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Four years ago, I was in the midst of separating from my wife, losing my home, losing my job and still grieving the loss of my father. Not to mention my boys being ripped from me as well as my cats.

Now, I am remarried, have a decent career path, and a home where I am proud to have my boys be with me as often as I can.

Yeah, I'm better off under Obama.

The safety net was there, weak as it was, but there nonetheless. Not without challenges, my old boss tried to challenge it, nice people...somewhere underneath. Even the grinch had a heart, right?

What I want to do is tell off republicans. I want to yell at them, to deliver some sort of reality to their alternate universe, to bring them back to a semblance of sanity. To let them know their actions in small and large ways are hurting all of us. That their tribalism is hurting America. That In their desire to suppress and make the "other" go away they are killing what makes America unique and pre eminent.

But, I am not a yeller. I only do so in times of urgency... No, I rationally discuss with the so called conservatives. I frustrate their lines of thinking or arguments and when they get testy or break down and say something uncivil I remind them that they are the reason there is no civil discourse in society today. This sets them frothing... And I remind them that that's the disease, the unwillingness to even listen to other thinking that is the problem.

I live in a rather small red portion of MA. Some times I get a thinker or someone who used to remember and admire william Buckley... I met the man, don't believe in his politics, but he was big believer in the arts and using rational arguments, so a loyal opposition I can respect... And then I tell them this: what I want to see is a strong, intelligent and vibrant republican party. One that uses logic and cogent arguments to raise the level of discourse. Why, do I want this if I am such a dyed in the wool liberal? Because, it takes two worthy tennis players to help each other surpass their individual level of play. Only when both parties are smart, vibrant and rational can level of discourse AND governance improve.

And Obama knows this. He believes in this too. Which is why he tries and tries and tries to work with whomever on the other side is willing to stick his or her head out from the so called conservative side. One day, may it come soon, the pledge to norquist, will be broken and forgotten. Rational and thinking republicans will come to their senses and be brave enough to seriously govern. To reject the hate and move on to to do right by America and its people.

Today, I have the love of my wife, my two boys, a decent life, hope for today and tomorrow. I have my ex wife's good will when it comes to my boys. I see them as often as I can. These are my treasures. I have a home and a career... All good things.

So where does Obama fit in all of this? He gave me hope that America can be smarter than under Bush. He gave me hope when there was little to hope for. That hope kept me working looking for a job when job pickings were slim. He gave me a tax break when I landed a job, and this helped more than anyone will know. He gave me topics to speak about to others, especially my now wife. She's another Kos lurker, and I love her deeply and admire her intelligence. She has very similar political leanings though she is hesitant  in seeing a resurgent GOP.

My little gremlins like making heads spin just as much as I and my wife do. They are smart logical thinkers. And, they can see the trust I put into our president. They understand that he is smart and respects intelligence. I have great expectations of them. And they have even greater expectations for themselves. As president Obama has for all of us. And, this is how it should be.

So, yeah, I am better off today than four years ago. So, republicans, what other lame ass attack do you have? Or, are you finally going to sit down like adults, disuss things intelligently and seriously govern?

I suppose you will have to follow thru on your latest attempt, feeble and uninspired as it is. Perhaps when you are done with your palinesque tour de force that is the Romney campaign, when the hurt of so many loses makes you rethink...

Okay, okay... I am dreamer. But, I like this dream than the nightmare of my reality four years ago.

Originally posted to Qantumreflection on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

    by Qantumreflection on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:53:38 PM PDT

  •  What a beautiful, heartfelt diary. Say it loud (4+ / 0-)

    and proud and full of simple grace.  Thank you for telling us about your story.  And congratulations on your new marriage and your new visitation happinesses with your sons.  

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:01:28 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! (5+ / 0-)

      What I didn't mention is that my sons are special. Every child s special and dear to their parents. My oldest is an asperger child. The younger was a preemie and though He has caught up to his peer group he fiercely admires his overachieving to a fault.

      I won't get into it, but the four of us, myself, my wife, my ex and her new husband are working together for their development. My boys are thriving. Another reason to be proud and happy.

      Another reason why Obama inspires and why he must win this election. The world he envisions is the one both of my children can succeed in.

      How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

      by Qantumreflection on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:48:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grateful you are better off and I will follow! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matrix

    I've bringing myself to telling the truth - about how much better off I am compared to four years, but I've been a little reluctnt because so many others suffer.

    I'm going to lean on this piece  for another but I want o tell the story of real prosperity for a couple of 68 year LSD.  Including my right wing family members.

    We owe a lot to each other, but you're a  a big part of my tale of good fortune - and how that fits into our Gerald view of a better life for all.

    Best wishes to all.

    •  I understand. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bamjack

      There are many who still suffer. I don't browbeat others with my success at beating the downturn. I share with them my tribulations I went thru, relating the pain of losses and the seemingly unrelenting aspect of it. To inspire them and to give them some sound advice of surrounding themselves only with people who nurture and want them to succeed.

      There is one that I keep checking in on. Smart woman, young with a little girl on the spectrum. Finally landing a decent job. Not the one she wants, but it's a living wage. It's a start.

      She lives in a very red world, so she threads her thinking carefully. And comments on FB and other boards accordingly. She derides poor thinking and rank hypocrisy in politicians.

      I can see her making the people around her think. Though not all are swayed, some won't vote for Rmoney. The power of hate is strong and difficult to let go. But it's a start.

      How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

      by Qantumreflection on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:04:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary nt (0+ / 0-)

    I love me peektures and that is that! Cheerleaders till 2016

    by matrix on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:31:05 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the comments. (0+ / 0-)

    This has been brewing for a while. I tend to lurk and comment from time to time when a point hasn't been voiced. Over the past few years there have been some great perspectives that leaves me pondering, more hopeful and/or inspired. I often hear my perspective voiced, which is hwy I lurk. It's good to find a community of people who think and feel the same way.

    But this, well, the sheer absurdity of the republican campaign has to be answered and done with earnestness. Not just on online. I engage wingers when they start. Answering this question is important because it's important, simple and is the question they are asking themselves. And I can see the internal doubt on their faces when they begin to understand the profound change I went thru. Not just because of Obama but because with Obama.

    I don't ask for converts or look for validation or verification from them. All I ask of them is to open their sources of information, to apply their cognitive skills. They will likely not publicly announce their changes, they live in a red world with red institutions and red partisans. I just want them to think for themselves and fr the benefit of the people they love.

    When they do this, it is enough to have start on the process of being a saner citizen. They may not vote for my president but they will ask more of their candidates. And this is what I want.

    How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

    by Qantumreflection on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:37:21 AM PDT

    •  Old Joke ... (0+ / 0-)

      There was an old joke about a Conservative being a person who stands astride the broad arc of history, yelling "STOP!"

      This seems to absolutely define today's Republican party to me.  They have no REAL plan for the future because they really don't want the future to be significantly different from the present (unless they can make it more like the PAST!)  I also feel somewhat compelled at this time to repeat a comment I saw last week, either here in DK or possibly on DU:

      Democrats see human suffering and ask "What can be done to alleviate this?"  Republicans see human suffering and ask "What can be done to make a profit from this?"

  •  Yeah, me too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmyVVV

    Bigger salary and 401k performing better.

    I took a hit on my condo value, but I always knew that was artificially priced.

    And now, with HCR, I might have a chance to retire at 60.

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:23:21 AM PDT

    •  My retirement revolves around HCR as well (0+ / 0-)

      I think there are a lot of us out here. I could do it, and I want to do it before 60, but wouldn't risk it without insurance.  Fingers crossed.

      The best psychiatrist in the world can't compete with a puppy licking your face.

      by AmyVVV on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 12:22:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes we are better off because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    my fiancee was born and raised in a community rife with chemical poisoning of the environment. She has more pre existing conditions than any human I've ever met.

    Thank you Barack Obama for the ACA that she may actually live a full life minus the "greed before need" crowd.  

    Canton, Ohio. Ground Zero-Battleground State.

    by glbTVET on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:59:27 AM PDT

  •  me too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    I am making about 40% more in salary and I have much better health care so yes, I am doing much better than I was 4 years ago.

  •  Let's see... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    In 2008 I had almost no job -- just a few hours of work that brought in $300/month -- but I did have COBRA.

    In 2012 I'm working -- I was originally hired because President Obama made large amounts of money available for training and Governor Daniels allocated it to students attending .  With the enrollment boom they had to hire new instructors.

    So I'm better off.

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:39:30 AM PDT

  •  A smarter R party (0+ / 0-)

    would be terrific for the country.  

    It would allow/force the Dems to discuss/rediscover their agenda and history.  It would raise the level of discourse and rid the R party of its ignoramus speakers/leaders/cheerleaders.  

    But it seems very unlikely.  We are on a trajectory for sinking further and further beneath the enlightenment into romanticism and idealism.  Empiricism and rational thought are too demanding for the lazy, the comfortable, the well off... expect more stupidity.  Expect intelligence and reason to be even more unpopular 4 years from now than they are today.  

    Sad, but true

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:52:33 AM PDT

    •  I play a long game... (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I agree it seems the trend is heading away from a smart GOP... But, a defeat by Romney is going to force the remaining party bosses to re assess why they lost. Plus, there are more signs of fracture within the republican party.

      I have some friends and neighbors who are republicans, who are dismayed by Romney and the failed not romneys. When we speak, they know I am discreet, they would rather vote for Obama than any of the would be candidates. The crop was discouraging and poor. They see the republican party imploding and diminished.

      They know my hopes for the republican party, and I will bring up someone I like to them. Steve Schmidt, Meghan McCain... And even post GOP chairman Michael Steele have shown smarts, intelligence and a dedication to truth speaking. But these folks are all on the "wild..."

      How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

      by Qantumreflection on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm better off too (0+ / 0-)

    on a personal level, but the town I live in is in the grasp of wing-nuts, so is the state I live in.  So, unlike four years ago there a the background noise of the viciousness that is actually quite scary.

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

  •  Excellent answer to a simplistic question (0+ / 0-)

    Personally, I am financially worse off but consider myself better off.... as a federal employee my pay has stagnated under Obama - no pay raises - while cost of living, daughter's college tuition, etc. have increased....but I have more hope about the world that I will leave my children than I did under the very dark days of Bush.... the darkest that I remember in my 52 years...how did so many forget so quickly?

  •  I Too Am Better Off Than I Was Four Years Ago - (0+ / 0-)

    but I realize that there are lots of people out there who still don't have jobs (and their unemployment is running out), or whose home is in foreclosure, etc. There are lots of people who still need help - unfortunately, all the Republicans can think about is how to increase unemployment and pain by busting unions, throwing people off food stamps, cutting Pell grants, voucherizing Medicare, etc.  I thank God every day that a Democrat was in the White House to handle the aftermath of Bush's recession/2008 economic meltdown, or our country would be little more than a third world banana republic by now.

  •  I am much better off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flying Goat

    The company I worked for cut about 70% of the staff in December of 2008, so I spent the first six months of 2009  looking for a job. I worked contract jobs without healthcare or benefits for a couple years, but now I have a job that includes health insurance. I am working, paying my bills, sending kids to college, and I don't have to worry as much about bankruptcy if somebody gets sick. We just need to keep going in the same direction and maybe start up a WPA program to help the people who weren't as fortunate as I was.

  •  I'm better off too, but there's a broader question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmyVVV

    I, too, am better off than 4 years ago, although as 67-year old retirees in less than perfect health my wife and I wouldn't be if the Repugs were able to gut Medicare and repeal Obamacare. I take great satisfaction that in the last 4 years my sons have graduated from college and found good jobs. (I had kids late; many recent grads have grandfathers my age.) Both sons are strong Democrats, and the younger one - formerly less political than his sibling, is volunteering for OFA!
      Here's a broader point, though. I'm not just concerned about myself and my immediate family, or with the immediate past. I'd like to see America - and the planet - have a long and bright future - not one diminished by the ugly things Repugs are plotting, and certainly not one blighted by unchecked climate charge. I agree with that authentic conservative - Edmund Burke - that we must consider not just our own interests, but posterity. That is the answer to libertarians - or more correctly selective pseudo-libertarians - like Romney & Ryan. I am better off under President Obama, but even more importantly, a bright future demands a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:03:59 AM PDT

  •  As someone who isn't better off.. (0+ / 0-)

    let me say that I also don't blame President Obama. If anyone pays attention to politics (and is not an extreme Right Winger), it is easy to see that Republican obstructionists are the primary cause of diminished economic improvement.

    They're plan was to prove that government doesn't work, and surprise, they're succeeding. They vowed to thwart President Obama from day one, and they've stuck to that plan to the detriment of the country. It's borderline treasonous in my opinion.

    So yeah...still voting for President Obama.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:28:37 AM PDT

  •  Am I "better off" than I was 4 years ago? (0+ / 0-)

    No--and yes. As far as employment goes, I am in a decimated area, the public sector. I wish Obama had done more, directly, to help it. On the other hand, I can clearly see the big picture.

    I have lived through the presidential terms of Democrats Carter and Clinton, before Obama. Honestly, by comparison, this man keeps racking up victories, jaw-droppers, on his watch. HCR. The repeal of DADT. The death of OBL. Lilly Ledbetter. The list goes on. The RW knows he's effective, which is why they're in such full-throated torment right now.

    I will vote accordingly in November.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 12:14:15 PM PDT

  •  Me, too. (0+ / 0-)

    Not many changes of note, but I didn't lose my stable job over the last four years, I did receive (meager) salary increases, and my retirement funds are hopefully on the upswing.  

    Thank you, Obama. You've got my vote.

    The best psychiatrist in the world can't compete with a puppy licking your face.

    by AmyVVV on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 12:20:31 PM PDT

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