By Jay Floyd
Since there’s not a ‘none of the above’ choice on the ballot this year, there’s nobody for me to vote for. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to choose to express this on election day, and probably won’t until I’m in the booth. Please, dear God, let it not involve a large, inflammatory sign or costume. For fifteen minutes last week, though, I saw for the first time ever a way that I could vote for Obama. Here’s what happened.
I recently applied for health insurance through Kaiser here in Los Angeles — not a ‘fancy’ outfit, but a serviceable one that will at least reattach anything you may have chopped off without sending you to the poor house. My application was denied because I told the truth. I was informed by friends later that I was supposed to lie about my pre-existing conditions like mild hypertension, a history of smoking and having spent many years as a devout Democrat.
I’ve bristled at ‘Obamacare’ since its inception because of its obvious ties to the insurance industry and, because I’m an idealist, I wanted socialized medicine for everybody. So I didn’t like Obamacare one little bit, even though I’d never read it. I’ve seen how massive the legislation is and the idea of reading the whole thing makes me alternately homi and sui cidal. But I have ingested chunks of it, and there are certainly chunks of it that I like. A lot. I like that I’ll be able to get decent insurance no matter what. (To reiterate, I said ‘decent’ insurance. Sham insurance is unacceptable to me — I’d rather remain a cash patient.) I like that people’s kids can stay on their family policies longer. I like that caps on care will be adjusted. There’s a lot to like. I don’t want the whole thing chucked since I think it’s better than what we have now.
Romney’s promise to overturn Obamacare ‘on his first day in office’ bothers me. And, being in the market for something, ANYTHING to hang my hat on in this election, I thought, “I may vote for Obama.”
Oh, how ashamed I felt. My ego went into overdrive. After all the fighting I’ve done about what a scandalously corrupt President Obama has been, how could I handle voting for him? There’s hypocrisy… and then there’s schizophrenia. Am I really a ‘one issue’ voter? No, I’m not. Or at least, I didn’t think I was. But everything is upside down for this extremely hesitant independent. I don’t know my way around this place. I’m used to having a team and I liked having a team, but it fortified a kind of political blindness that, once uncovered, can’t really be returned to. So I did the only thing I could think to do. I called a friend. I confessed.
The concept had its moment, but left me. I’m back to not knowing what I’m going to do while trying to be okay with my own ambivalence — which is only better than the alternative because I can explain it.
It may not actually be better at all.