Friday, July 06, 2012

Why I'm Not Voting for Romney

No actually, I don't.
There are just over 120 days until the presidential elections in the US. American ex-pats are eligible to vote in the US presidential elections but have to register to vote before each election.

There is an organization made up of recent and long-time olim, that has been present at almost every event for English-speakers in Israel that I have attended in the last few months, trying to sign up eligible voters.

Their pitch is slick and their message is, seemingly, everywhere. They have compelling reasons why it's important that dual citizens living in Israel should vote in the US elections. This organization believes in the power of absentee ballots, believes in the power of a flood of ballots from Israel to demonstrate that American citizens support Israel, believes that voting in the US elections is an important way to protect and support Israel.
"...voting in the US elections from Israel is one of the most powerful actions any US citizen can take to protect Israel..." - Elie Pieprz, NationalDirector of iVoteIsrael
I totally hear these arguments and feel that they have some merit. I am completely comfortable with each dual citizen making his or her own decision on this matter.

As for me, I'm not voting for Romney because I'm not voting in the US presidential election at all.

As a US citizen living in the US, I never missed a voting opportunity. I took my citizenship responsibilities seriously. Although not a political animal by nature, I did my homework and made informed choices at the voting booth for decades.

Two years ago, I gratefully, proudly and wholly accepted full citizenship in another country. Even though the US government allows me to vote in their elections, I feel that it is no longer my place to do so.

Like many Israelis, I take exception to US Jews who postulate solutions for Israel without having to live with the consequences of their advice. I begrudge US foreign policy that impacts Israel's internal decisions. Similarly, I feel that, since I no longer have to live under the direct governance of whomever is in the White House, I have no right to try to influence the election, even though it is legal (and even encouraged) to do so.

I am not naive. I know that nations are interdependent and politics is a cagey game. And I can hear that voting in the US election is my chance to push back.

I hear. But for myself, I made a different choice.

When the HaBayit HaYehudi primary is held in October, I hope to cast my vote for the governance of the country in which I live. That's how I will "vote Israel".


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear where you're coming from. Just bear in mind that, as a US citizen, you're still affected QUITE DIRECTLY by the policies adopted by the US Administration. Not as an Israeli, but as an American. For instance, from what I understand of the "Obamacare" health-fund legislation situation, US citizens basically are going to be forced to buy a particular form of health insurance -- or else be forced to pay a penalty. As a US citizen, that requirement will still fall on you, regardless of the fact that you may not have set foot on US soil for years. Like I say, I totally hear where you're coming from vis-a-vis US elections. Just make sure you're taking the WHOLE picture into account.
--ExPat

Bat Aliyah said...

Of course I have considered this issue. I could absolutely make the case for people who are choosing to vote. Regarding the policies of the US Administration, I am monitoring very carefully the extent to which they impact me. Should remaining a US citizen become an onerous burden, we will all have to decide whether or not to retain our status as dual citizens.

Leah said...

When I went to Israel two of my friends flew quickly to Israel when there was an election. Literally their two votes- yes, their two votes swayed the election results. The winner won by about 100 votes.
So, we do see that our actions help to change the results.
I do not agree with your decision just like I do not agree with some other things that you say, yet I have respect for you as a fellow Jewess.
In your response to anonymous's comment you wrote back: "I am monitoring very carefully the extent to which they impact me."
Yes- the way they impact you.
Are there not others that may be impacted by your decisions? Do fellow Jews in other countries not matter to you?
Just as my two friends flew to Israel to vote in an election that would greatly impact their fellow Jews there, why is it that you have let go of responsibility to help Jews in other countries? I myself cannot make aliyah yet? It is on the table, yet it is not possible right this moment. Your vote could sway or stem a tide. Yes, Hashem has a planned outcome already yet in Israel the election that you will vote in, too, already has an outcome.
i am not trying to persuade you to vote. I am only encouraging you to look at what I believe to be all or nothing thinking that may result in negative ramifications on your fellow Jews in another country.
Shabbat Shalom. No disrespect, just a thought.

Bat Aliyah said...

Leah,

Somebody asked me a similar question just a few hours ago:

"What about your loved ones that are still living in the US? Whatever the reason is, your American family has not chosen to make aliyah. I am certain that you don't want them living another 4 years under the Obama administration. By casting your vote for Romney, you increase his chance of winning and help your loved ones."

Here was my answer:

I love my family in the US. If it were up to me, they would all make aliyah. But darn them. They insist on making their own decisions about these things. And whatever happens, they will live with the consequences of their decisions just like the rest of the grownups in the world.

Me Ani said...

HaShem gives you a zechut to help your brothers and sisters in America, yet you CHOOSE not to?

Bat Aliyah said...

Me Ani,

Wow, what a lot of assumptions are packed into that accusation. That voting in the US election is a way to help my brothers and sisters in America. That my not voting will hurt them. That my vote actually matters one way or another. That I am selfish for exercising my right to not vote. That I would vote against Obama if I did vote. That voting against Obama is best for American Jews. These are all arguable assumptions about which good people can reasonably disagree.

Leah said...

Dear Bat Aliya, Gut voch. I thank you for replying to my earlier response.
I do, however, find a little personal distress in a response that you just written."....they will live with the consequences of their decisions just like the rest of the grownups in the world." Ouch, Bat Aliyah. Are you sure you can answer for the rest of the grown ups in the rest of the world? Seriously? Not asking in jest, ust wondering if you will answer a serious question with thought.
There were rabbanim whom specificaaly spoke with husband about aliyah and told him, not now because of the frailty of his father and the like...
In other words: Is it right for you to make blanket statements?
No disrespect, just hoping you will answer this question.
Be well.
Have a good week.
Leah

Bat Aliyah said...

Leah

I was not making a global statement about Jews who don't make aliyah. I was talking about the adults in my family who don't make aliyah. And Rabbi Pinchas Winston teaches that Hashem counts those who want to make aliyah but are prevented from doing so ( my situation for nine years) for legitimate family reasons as having the status of those who live here. I always found great comfort in that and hope you will too.

Leah said...

Thank you Bat Aliyah, I hope that is what you meant. It was in your statement of "like the other grownups in the world" that included others outside of your own family. Perhaps you did not mean to write that or did not understand what it would come over as...
Be well. Thank you for your clarification.
Leah

Baruch Eliezer said...

Remember, "...Exile is not home. Exile is not Redemption, no matter how sweet it is..." Words of one of my favorite Rav's, Rav Pinchas Winston

Shevi said...

Remember in the Gore Bush election, The supreme court decided not to count overseas ballots. All of the U.S. servicemen's votes were thrown out. If anyone deserves to have their vote count it is the young people who die for their country. Don't think your vote will even be counted.

BS said...

First, in my view, if Romney is elected, the US is going to be in the same kind of trouble it was in under Bush. So to the person above who wrote that you don't want your family living under another 4 years of Obama, I'd like to know how you think Romney is going to make life better for you, unless of course you're in the 1%, then I can see why you want Romney.

Also, I'm a little perplexed about the 'Obamacare' issue vis-a-vis ex-pats. If you live outside the US, you have universal health care. Congrats - you don't have to deal with this American nonsense. It is a prime reason why I want to leave and go to some other industrialized country, Israel included. While I understand that ex-pats do have to pay taxes (the only industrialized country that requires that, by the way), I can't imagine an American living in Israel/Canada/Britain, et al, would have to purchase health insurance as if they live in the US. The US is backwards, but I can't imagine it's that backwards. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm probably wrong, knowing how backwards this country is.

Bottonm line: the US health care system is a joke and it needs to be changed to Medicare for all, like what Israel/Canada/Britain/plug another advanced nation's name in here, has.

Obama2012.