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The Danger of Voter Apathy in 2010

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The current election looms with many people being disenchanted with Barack Obama, and a Republican takeover of Congress is predicted. Apparently the Obama bubble has burst, and many of his supporters are now disenchanted. The liberals feel he's backed off his liberal agenda, and the right criticizes that he's the most liberal President in history. There is criticism from both sides, but largely from supporters who feel that not much has been accomplished, which personally I don't understand this perception. Obama was basically served a plate of shit yet still managed to push through some very ambitious agendas: healthcare, economic stimulus, financial reform. He's done more in two years than George W. Bush did in eight. Yet the criticism that Obama gets coming his way is hefty, almost laughingly so if one compares it to the amount of things Bush was allowed to get away with!

The fallout from the economic crises seems to have left everyone feeling the pinch directly, and therefore disappointed with the current President and ready to switch to elect Republicans. I do not understand this logic. Eight years of Republican President led to war and recession. Obama has had two years of the aftermath of this to try to change direction in policies, something that is difficult to do, and even more difficult to execute, but it is being done. Why putting Republicans into office now is an appealing option to anybody is beyond my comprehension. Do we have that short term of a collective memory? Is the public that shortsighted that they can't realize that all the economic problems currently facing the U.S. are not Obama's fault but the previous administration's? What will the Republicans do better exactly? All they've been able to do is attack Obama, an easy target given today's climate.

The danger for Democrats is that many Obama supporters not coming out to the polls. I witnessed this lethargy in the past presidential elections in Ukraine, where Victor Yanukovych, who effectively stole the election in 2004 and had millions of people demonstrate against him in the mass movement known as the Orange Revolution, became president of Ukraine this year. Disillusionment with the orange leaders 5 years later led to lethargy among the orange electorate at the polls and paved the way for Yanukovych's victory. More about this can be read here.

I can't stress enough the need for all of us who are feeling somewhat apathetic to make the effort to vote. Often we must choose the lesser of two evils, but we must choose. If we don't, the danger is that the greater evil will win, and our memory should not be so short as to forget the dark days of the Bush/Cheney years. Our collective future is at stake!

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