When originally published, this letter was erroneously attributed to Santa Barbara City Councilmember Grant House. The author is, in fact, Grant Marcus. The Santa Barbara Independent apologizes for bungling the byline. Again, this letter was not written by Grant House.

President Obama:

I submit this with extreme disappointment and sadness. I have been a Democrat for all my voting life, some 40 years. I helped you get elected, contributed to your campaign, and walked precincts to get out the vote for you. I lead a celebration parade on your inaugural night down Main Street, Ventura, with streamers and party hats, and your indelible image on my shirt. I had the audacity to hope.

Martin Luther King once said that a man should be judged “not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” It is for this reason, I will not be voting for you for president this next election. It will be the first time in my life I will choose not to vote for a Democrat.

Mitt Romney – or McMoney – is no choice either for the American people. Electing a king of corporations would commit our founding fathers to rolling in their graves.

We now have two corrupt parties having a rich man’s ball at the expense of all Americans, and offering no choice to average citizens anywhere in the country.

I grew skeptical with your cabinet appointments. Then with the escalation of the war. Then with your refusal to investigate the Bush/Cheney cabal. Then with your arrest of 400 nurses and doctors for wanting health care for all. Then with your protection of coal, gas fracking, and nuclear power. Then with your resounding absence in Wisconsin. Then with your signing the National Defense Act that allows for the secret detention of Americans without trial. Then your attack on immigrants throughout the country. And now, your continued use of drones, torture, black sites, and secret killings, and without conscience or hesitation, even of Americans, without transparency or justice.

Meanwhile, like Bush, you bailed out banks and Wall Street instead of Main Street, without one corrupt banker going to jail.

Your lack of change is visible in all the foreclosed houses that stand out like sore thumbs in our county. And you, sir, have no excuse for any of the above, because you aren’t the CEO of oil like Bandhar Bush, you are a constitutional lawyer.

I cannot be a good German supporting supremacist values that lead us on crusades all over the world while our country goes bankrupt, and more and more of our people beg for food and work at traffic signals with cardboard signs that read, “Help me! I am a single mom. My four children need your help!”

I cannot vote for a president that will not tax the war-mongering, insider-trading, shareholding rich while Americans barely survive on the streets, starving. These are not democratic values, ethical values, or Christian values. These are the examples of shame by out-of-touch Washington politicians who don’t give a rat’s behind about anyone but themselves.

This election, I will no longer support you, and, I will campaign against you as one Democrat who will not sacrifice his moral integrity or his democratic values for the good of the party. I will not be your lemming or chameleon following the blind leading the blind.

You sir, in all respect, have proven yourself nothing more than a servant in the White House, waiting for the next order to serve elitist, invisible power. You are the shield they hide behind. You had an opportunity to show sound leadership. The nation voted for genuine change. And yet, you have forgotten your roots and the community you came from. You have forgotten all your many campaign promises as well. Your silence on so many occasions only proved your lack of leadership and commitment. And in the process of forgetting and silence, you have undermined the very people who elected you.

The hope you once offered has been a charade. The peace candidate you portrayed was a lie. You are the enemy of progressive Democrats and independents across the country. You are the epitome of failure. “Change, yes we can!” was just a subverted slogan for your actions, which say, “Change, no we can’t.” It is for these reasons and so many more I cannot and will not vote for George Obama Bush for president. I will not vote for more of the same absence of choice.

I urge progressive Democrats and independents to write in a protest vote of “NO!” for president this election. Let the foolhardy repugnicans anddemorats continue to vote like idiots, though no choice does not a democracy make. – Sincerely, a long time Democrat who remembers Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the roots of his party, now in the diaspora.