I copied and pasted the following from another blog because the priest who authored the comment has articulated exactly how I feel about politics and voting in particular. Although I have voted for a GOP candidate since 1988, I am feeling less and less certain that I will be voting at all in the upcoming presidential election. This fear was cemented last night with Newt Gingrich's commanding win in South Carolina. My comments continue after the following:
" please count me as one of those whose principles have, so far, prevented me from voting for a GOP candidate for President since 1988. I stand by that decision. To argue that I somehow have an obligation to support a candidate, because his opponent is worse, is deeply flawed. Anyone who argues that there is a grave obligation to vote for someone has a high burden of proof.
For that matter, I pointedly deny that I did a thing to elect President Obama. I can prove it. I live in Ohio. The outcome of Ohio’s vote for President did not depend on a single vote. And I am prepared to bet $100 (up to 20 takers) that this year, my vote will, once again, not tip the election.
Make no mistake: I vote; but I vote only for those candidates whom I deem worthy of my vote."
Needless to say, I am disappointed that Santorum didn't fare better and even more concerning is the fact that he sounded like he was auditioning for the role of running mate last night, which means he realizes the improbability of being able to move forward. There are two candidates in the field that nothing in this world could convince me to support, and they are Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
Romney blows with the wind and has no real stance on anything except that which he feels will help his chances of getting elected. This is what is refreshing about Santorum, with whom I do not agree on every single issue incidentally. The reason he lost the Senate race in Pennsylvania to Bob Casey is because he would not abdicate his core beliefs for political expediency. The same cannot be said for Romney. Is he the first politician to blow with the political wind? No, but it doesn't mean I have to vote for it.
Gingrich induces a visceral reaction in me that I cannot put aside. Listening to him talk about food stamps last night did nothing to assuage that feeling. It is not a Catholic value to want to see people go hungry, and if enough of us took care of our less fortunate brothers and sisters out of our own pockets, there would be no need for Access cards (which, at least in this state, is what has replaced the food stamp so the stigma attached to public assistance would be removed). There are many people who qualify for food stamps who do not seek help because of their pride and because of people like Gingrich, who thrive on wedge issues for their own political gain.
Sadly, most of us in this country have no idea how other people live. We hear stereotypes and then we swear by them, not taking the time to investigate the truth for ourselves. For some people, the image of a pimp in a feathered hat driving up to the grocery store in a new Cadillac to make his purchases with food stamps is still sadly alive.
This is the toughest economy I've seen in my own lifetime. The family my employees assisted at Christmas doesn't want to be on public assistance, but what is a father of five children to do if he cannot find work because there are no jobs? Until Catholic social services found housing for them, they were living out of their mini-van. These were not people living beyond their means and there are countless others like them about whom the Romneys and the Gingriches could not care less. They will do nothing to help them, but they'll use their circumstances to further their own political agendas which are built on fear and demagoguery.
This country is in the economic mess that is it because of a few simple facts that I have yet to hear a politician admit. The culpability for these problems lies with both parties, with the exception of the first which was not a political event but a national tragedy.
1. The aftermath of September 11, 2001
2. The investment in two needless and costly wars immediately on the heels of 9/11
3. The refusal to raise the revenue necessary to support these two needless and costly wars
4. Bad mortgages that people could not afford in the first place
5. The bail-out of the corporate welfare queens on Wall Street
Don't hold your breath waiting for any of the candidates to admit this because if they point a finger about any of it, three fingers will be pointing back at them.
On the same thread where I copied the priest's comments above, another commenter observed that the Democrats and Republicans are two wings on the same bird: a vulture.