I waited until the very last moment to vote (I left yesterday for Brussels, so I will not be in Chicago on election day).
I had been thinking that I wouldn't bother voting this time around. I am quite disgusted generally with the surreal state of affairs (many people seemingly ready to vote for the greedy, corrupt Republicans who spent the eight years with "W" destroying our nation and driving millions of citizens to poverty, misery and/or death). But I am also very disappointed with Barack Obama. I realize he could not perform miracles, but the compromises he made that led to the awful health care "reform", the $708 billion "defense" budget he proposed, the ridiculous waffling on "don't ask, don't tell", the continued aggressive attack on progressive activists, "illegal" immigrants and marijuana growers, and the steadfast support for "titans of finance" leave me feeling like he sure doesn't represent my interests very well.
And then in Illinois, our current governor is a nice guy, but not very effective. The Democrat running to take Obama's seat in the Senate owned a bank (with his family) that failed and cost taxpayers millions. "My" congresswoman is progressive on everything but Israel, and on that topic she is just awful and treated me like dirt when I confronted her about her "love of Israel."
Sigh...what's a nice, bleeding heart progressive like me to do?
Well, I finally accepted that while I didn't have lots of reasons to vote FOR anyone, I had plenty of reasons to vote against others.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate is a horror on "social" issues like abortion and is completely mealy-mouthed about what he would do to solve our budget problems. The Republican running for Senate is the sort of fellow who lied about his military record in Vietnam and elsewhere. I can't bring myself to vote for a guy who tries to explain away saying he served under fire, got this award or that - when he did no such thing. Disgusting. How you can trust anyone who does that and then won't even own up to it?
So I voted Democratic for the key "big ticket" offices, and went Green on the rest (I could not in the end bring myself to vote for Jan Schakowsky. If she is defeated by a right-wing, Orthodox Jew who baited her for being "soft" on the Palestinians, well, then I say it serves her right).
I have a feeling that the closer we get to election day, the closer the races will become. It's one thing to express disgust with Obama and the Democrats. It's quite another thing to capitulate to the corporations and other super-rich who are trying to buy this election through anonymous attack ads, and let right-wing extremists, nut jobs and just plain ruthless ideologues to dig themselves in deeper.