The Universal Notebook: Whose side are you on?

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The only decision anyone really has to make between now and the presidential election in November is “Whose side am I on?”

The sides and the stakes in the upcoming election could not be more stark or more serious. If you side with the privileged few, you vote for Mitt Romney. If you side with the poor and middle-class many, you vote for Barack Obama.

Romney would make an excellent president of Corporate America, a plutocracy in which the rich get richer and the rest get used. Barack Obama has been an excellent president of the United States of America, scaling back two pointless wars, rescuing the country from the economic ruins of the Bush administration, enacting immigration reform, ending discrimination against gays in the military, and passing sweeping health-care reforms that benefit all Americans.

So whose side are you on, the corporate few or the mortal many?

Of course, Romney and the Republicans and their billionaire sugar daddies (unleashed on democracy by the Supreme Court’s Frankenstein decision in Citizens United that corporate monsters have more rights than human beings because they have more moolah) will be spending billions to persuade you that this election somehow has something to do with freedom and individual liberty. Malarkey.

We will surely, for example, hear more Obamacare horror stories like that told by our pathetic excuse for a governor, who sees jack-booted IRS thugs rounding up and executing anyone who doesn’t have health insurance. Sane folks will realize that the individual mandate is a good idea, a practical idea, a constitutional idea, and originally a Republican idea. As with most things, the shape-shifting Willard Mitt Romney was for it before he was against it.

And as to Gov. LePage’s crazy idea that the government has never forced Americans to do anything they didn’t want to do before the individual health insurance mandate, ever heard of the income tax, Boss Paul, or the draft? Oh that’s right, you were in Canada during the draft era.

If conservatives, fond of raising the Bogey Man of Obamacare death panels and health-care rationing, were intellectually honest they would admit what they really believe – that anyone without health insurance or the ability to pay should simply not get health care. Whose side are you on, the living or the undead?

We will also surely hear the frightening fantasy that this election is about Big Government versus small government. In your GOP dreams; Republicans presided over the greatest expansion of the federal government in history under President George W. Bush. It’s just that Republicans expand the military, defense contracts, intelligence gathering, homeland security and the penal system and Democrats expand health, education and welfare. Whose side are you on, the fearful or the free?

Romney zombies will also try to scare you with nightmare visions of t-t-t-taxes. The reality is that the wealthy in this country do not pay their fair share. They know that and they want to hire Willard Mitt to preserve their privileges and exemptions. Any true patriot, however, understands that we purchase our freedom and our domestic tranquility with our taxes. We were all, rich and poor alike, better off when the wealthiest among us paid 50 percent to 90 percent taxes. We’re now just asking them to pay 39 percent instead of 35 percent. It is their patriotic duty to do so. Come on, you fortunate few, whose side are you on?

The fact that most polls show Obama and Romney running neck-and-neck toward Nov. 6 is what’s really scary. This race shouldn’t even be close. What it suggests is that a great many working-class Americans are blinded to their own best interests by one of the three conservative ghosts – racism, ignorance and propaganda. Come on, America, wake up. Don’t be prejudiced, stupid or fooled. Mitt Romney will only represent the interests of the wealthy few. Barack Obama already represents the interests of the rest of us.

Whose side are you on?

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Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Yarmouth. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

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