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Judge H. Lee Sarokin Headshot

Your Vote Will Be Counted But It Will Not Count

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The quest for your vote has begun. Voters are courted during political campaigns through inspiring messages, false promises, misrepresentations, half-truths, fear and bigotry. We are told how important it is to vote -- which is true -- but the day after election we the voters are forgotten while the contributors are remembered. Although the candidates supposedly run on their platforms -- the issues that face America -- their campaigns focus on trivia: dogs on car roofs, car elevators, the President's vacations, golf games or late night TV appearances, statements made by aides, whether 9/11 or the killing of Osama bin Laden are proper subjects for campaign ads, etc.

The Republicans have a dual dilemma this year because they are dissatisfied with both of the real candidates. They want Mitt Romney to be someone other than who he truly is, and they have created a fictitious President Obama so they can run against him rather than the actual one. While they try to rally the troops around abortion, gay marriage and gun rights, the real issues, like the real candidates, remain largely ignored. Differences help to distinguish the candidates one from the other, but it is agreement for which the public pines.

We want cooperation in jobs growth, improved tax reform, improved infrastructure, improved education, affordable health care for all, sensible immigration legislation, less reliance on foreign oil, a clean environment and healthy food. We want government waste eliminated, wars ended, the deficit reduced and an end to the childish bickering which now dominates Washington. We want representatives who are more interested in us than themselves and their supporters. But sadly, after the election those votes which we so freely give will not mean as much as those that have been bought. The corporations, the PACs, the special interest groups that dominate the elections will be heard and the voice of the voter ignored and forgotten (until next time).

I happen to think that President Obama is a great president with worthy goals. But no matter who is elected, unless Congress seeks middle ground the country will continue in its bitter downward spiral. The Republicans announced at the beginning of President Obama's term that their primary goal was to defeat him. They may succeed, but in their victory the country will have lost -- through 4 years of obstructionism. While the Republicans fiddled, America burned.