I'm perpetually annoyed by the blind reverence and adulation African Americans seem to shower on our president despite the fact that few of them can name a single thing he's done, other than get himself elected, to help them.
But I think the best case against voting for Obama in November was made by The Atlantic's Connor Friesdorf in his agonizingly honest and powerful piece, "Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama."
In addition to the president's horrendous record on human rights here in the US and his inhumane policies in the Middle East, there's the economy that, no matter how you try to spin it, is contracting and his failure to live up to campaign promises like reducing the deficit and lowering healthcare costs that are glaring.
I was prepared to vote for Gary Johnson because I have always believed that if more of us had the gumption to vote for the man we truly believe deserves the job, we wouldn't be forced to settle for the guy we hate the least.
But during Tuesday night's debate President Obama said something that I couldn't shake. In response to Mitt Romney touting his five-point plan to get America working again, Obama said:
"Gov. Romney doesn't have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That's been his philosophy in the private sector, that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate - you can make a lot of money and pay a lower tax rate than somebody who makes a lot less, you can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it, you can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions and still make money."
He was right.
"When I was a boy I used to think that becoming rich and becoming famous would make me happy," Romney said during a speech in 2005. "Boy, was I right."
Mitt Romney is the leader - both literally and figuratively - of a group of Americans that I like to call the capitalist extremists. Capitalist extremists are, quite simply, those men and women for whom there is nothing more important or more sacred in life than making money.
These are not people who believe that the American dream is to go to college, get a good job and make enough money to raise a family. These people believe the American dream is making hundreds of millions of dollars stepping on the backs, hands and heads of anyone who challenges their God-given right to be obscenely wealthy.
To be clear, there's nothing wrong with making money and certainly nothing wrong with wanting to make money. There's not even anything wrong with wanting to make a lot of money. What is wrong is the quest of the almighty dollar without any regard for those who you forcibly clear out of the way.
Romney's record shows it. At Bain Capital, his business strategy was, at its core, to buy a struggling company, fire most of the workforce, add extra and unnecessary debt and then declare bankruptcy. Then Bain and its investors would walk away with millions and millions of dollars.
The postulate of the Republican party, even at its most extreme, used to be that if left to make their own decisions the average person could more credibly decide what was best for themselves and their community. That meant reducing the size of government and reigning in spending to reduce taxes so that people could choose for themselves how they wanted to use their money. This was a noble idea. It is not, however, the philosophy of today's Republican party or Willard Mitt Romney and the capitalist extremists.
All the capitalist extremists care about is the blind pursuit of wealth, and anyone who gets in their way - be it the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchanges Commission or their employee's labor unions - must be eliminated.
They eliminate them so that they can keep all the money at the top. Bosses at companies like IBM (which pays 1 percent tax on $21 billion of earnings), Exxon Mobil (which pays 2 percent tax on $73 billion of earnings) and Verizon (which pays 2 percent tax on $10.5 billion of earnings) play by an entirely different set of rules than the rest of us.
These companies and others like GE, Halliburton and Lockheed Martin, take in billions of dollars from taxpayers in the form of defense contracts and federal subsidies, pay pennies of it back in taxes and reward their CEOs, board presidents and corporate officers with huge checks that they all ceremoniously send to the Cayman islands to eschew any possible taxation on what is "rightfully theirs" (because, you know, they built that).
That's the real reason Romney is asking for an additional $2 trillion in defense spending the military never asked for: it's not for the military, it's for defense contractors.
The robber barons at the banks have also gotten filthy rich literally stealing from the poor and giving to themselves. They take interest-free money from the Federal Reserve and loan it out to you and me for five, 10 or 20 percent interest and have the smug temerity to level us with even more fees should we ever be late in paying it back to them. As Rolling Stone's Matt Taibi eloquently stated it's essentially "an official government license to be rich."
But the capitalist extremists will tell you that these people aren't the problem. It's those union employees and their bloated five-figure salaries and the pensions they were promised when they got their jobs. It's the 47 percent of people who pay no income tax, even though they're our military, elderly and working poor. It's those damn moochers who think they're entitled to food and shelter that are really bringing us down.
President Obama is guilty of allowing this culture of corruption to persist as much as anyone else on the planet. The difference between he and Romney is that Obama at least upholds the flimsy excuse for regulation we have, whereas Romney wants to run them all out of town on the rails so that we can "unchain" businesses to rape and pillage us even further.
Once President Romney and the capitalist extremists destroy the evil unions, take care of those moochers in the 47 percent and roll back regulations on banks, businesses and big oil, we'll all see the America they envision:
Those wealthy enough to afford things like adequate education, housing and health care will have it. Those who can't will just be told that they need to do better and that perhaps their best wasn't good enough.
Today, 400 individuals have as much wealth as an entire HALF of America. One percent of people own 40 percent of the wealth and are taking in more of the nation's income than at any time in history since the 1920s. Eighty percent of this country's citizens have only 7 percent of its wealth.
One candidate sees this as a problem, the other sees us nearing the finish line.
I know this because you cannot subtract $5 trillion in taxes, add $2 trillion in military spending for the welfare queens at Halliburton, et al., keep it all deficit neutral and not balance it on the backs of poor and the elderly. You simply cannot.
The capitalist extremists believe the power and the money belong in the hands of the select few who "built it." This is the America Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and rest of the capitalist extremists see and the America they want.
For the good of everything our country was, is and can be, they must be stopped.