The Choice: Election 2012 by Lawrence Von Haelstrom

I am deeply proud to be an American. With all sincerity I do believe this is the greatest nation on the planet. A lot of my progressive brothers and sisters look wistfully at Europe. Oh, in Germany you get eighty weeks off every year, they say. In France there’s a free nanny for every baby. In Switzerland, chocolate bars are good for you!  Whatever. Here in the United States, our president was raised by a single mother of no particular class or wealth, and with no social connections.  Long ago we told England and her caste system of royalty, landowners, and peasants to just fuck off. Here in the United States, you really do have the freedom to make of yourself what you want. From Walt Whitman to Warren Buffet to Jay-Z, we’ve been able to reinvent ourselves and cross more cultural lines than in any other country on this Earth.

There has always been an ugly side to our history, too. We’ve had slavery and segregation, deliberate ignorance and hate—and folks quoting the bible to justify it all. There’s always been an intolerant streak in our nation’s story. Barack Obama’s story, though, is the story of the United States that I love. I have no doubt that his intentions are only to do what’s best for our country. Call me naïve if you must.

I don’t want to say too much about Mitt Romney. We’ve seen him before. His character—Mr. Potter, Shooter McGavin, the sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo–is normally correctly portrayed as the bad guy.  If life was anything like our movies, the night of the election, after his loss is confirmed, he would get a pie in the face or fall into a pile of horse manure and that would be the last we see of him.

I will vote for Barack Obama to continue the good story of the United States. The one that saw the country go from Jim Crow to electing a black president in the course of a single generation. The story of opportunity and freedom for all—unalienable and self-evident.


Lawrence von Haelstrom is a former junior bull-roping champion and street magician who maintains a body fat percentage of 9.8. He explains his long absence from Drunk Monkeys by saying he was busy working on new deep breathing techniques.