Why You Should Vote For Barack Obama
Editor’s Note: “Why You Should Vote For Barack Obama” is part five of the series “Political Perspectives.”
Mitt Romney, his running mate Paul Ryan and the Republican Party have shifted radically to the right. Take, for example, Romney’s position on women’s rights. Romney’s own website calls “for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism” (even though it was a 7-2 decision). Not only that, but if you vote for Mitt Romney, don’t expect to see progress on any rights for the LGBTQ community – Romney opposes same-sex marriage and still supports DOMA. Don’t expect to see the DREAM Act passed, either. Romney said he favors the idea of “self-deportation,” making conditions in the U.S. so bad for undocumented immigrants that they have little choice but to leave the United States. Don’t expect to see a president willing to sign legislation to end pay or workplace discrimination. Romney has refused multiple opportunities to state whether or not he would sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pair Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And don’t expect to see a president up to the challenge of taking on the dangers of climate change. Romney’s Five Point Plan proudly advocates “eliminat[ing] regulations destroying the coal industry” and remains silent on the issue of preserving the environment, fighting pollution and mitigating the dangerous consequences of climate change.
But the problems don’t stop with Mitt Romney. A vote for Romney means an administration and cabinet full of the people to whom he has proudly catered for years. Even if you believe Romney’s etch-a-sketching to the center is sincere, the rest of the Republican Party, including Romney’s advisors, has shifted radically to the right. Romney’s foreign policy advisors consist mainly of people from the Bush administration who lobbied in favor of war. An informal, yet influential advisor to the Romney campaign, Kris Kobach, is the author of the divisive and controversial “Papers, Please” Arizona immigration law. Romney’s wealthy donors are those that he placates by saying we should not care about the 47 percent of Americans who support Obama and will never be convinced “they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” As a candidate, he has tried to walk back this comment to improve his image among swing voters, but you can’t count on the people who end up in powerful positions within his administration walking back their own extreme positions. And, although Romney is rightfully trying to distance himself from this radical agenda, the people who would surround him in the White House certainly wouldn’t allow him to continue becoming a waffling moderate.
If you’re on the fence about Romney because you like his economic policies, but perhaps disagree with him on social issues, you should vote for President Barack Obama. It was under President Obama that we finally saw job growth after years of stagnation and a massive recession inherited from the Bush years. It was under Obama that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, and that the federal government stopped supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It was under Obama that we finally started to fix our broken health insurance system in a way that reduces the deficit, retains competition in the private sector and allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age twenty-six. It was under Obama that Pell Grants were expanded and a college tax credit was created for college students. And it was under Obama that we ended the war in Iraq, and that we are now on track to end the war in Afghanistan.
We’ve made a lot of progress over the last four years, and now is not the time to turn back. Change is not always quick and easy. Ten or twenty years down the line, you should be able to tell your friends and family that you voted to keep moving forward. People are not going to be asking how enthusiastically you voted to lower taxes for the wealthy or how much you wanted to slash federal spending. They’ll ask whether you voted to protect the rights of women and the LGBTQ community, to preserve our environment for the next generation and to make sure all Americans have access to affordable healthcare.
I plan on telling them that I proudly voted for President Barack Obama to move this country forward.
Read an opposing article explaining why you should vote for Mitt Romney here.
Read parts one, two, three and four of the series “Political Perspectives” here.