Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why I Am Voting For President Obama

"We Have Chosen Hope Over Fear"  (M.A. Reilly, January 2009)

I intend on Tuesday to cast my vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden as I understand them to be trustworthy leaders who care about the welfare and security of my family and community in ways their contenders, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, simply do not.  My values are far more aligned with the Obama-Biden ticket than the Romney-Ryan ticket.

During the last four years, our President and his team have worked hard for us often against difficult, if not juvenile, Congressional Republicans.  During that time, comprehensive health care reform has been enacted; the President has pushed for stronger safeguards to corral Wall Street greed, has taken steps to save the auto industry and with it millions of jobs, has exited us from the wrongful Iraq War and is taking the necessary steps to end our military involvement in Afghanistan.  I am encouraged by the economic gains, modest as they have been, that were made during President Obama's first term and believe that Obama-Biden team need to continue to lead in order to secure increased economic gains. With a more cooperative GOP House who did not overtly work to undermine our country and the President, far more could have been accomplished. As mentioned in the New York Times editorial from 10.27.12:
Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery.
Further the infrastructure in our country needs considerable attention and President Obama is far more likely to invest in rebuilding transportation, education, technological infrastructures through stimulus plans than Mitt Romney who opposes spending taxpayer money to stimulate the economy.  As per The Washington Post (10.4.12):
Obama also wants to spend $210 billion over six years to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and railroads. He says that money represents half of the money the government will save as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down.
It is hard to know what Romney plans to cut in order to reduce taxes by 20%, reduce the corporate tax rate to 25% (from 35%), and end capital gains taxes.  It's hard to know what he intends because he simply has not told us. As someone nearing retirement in the next decade, Romney's overhaul of the entitlements (again no actual details) is a significant concern. Further, Romney's remarks about the 47% suggests he is a man without the necessary ethics to lead and champion all.

With regard to social policies,  President Obama's support of the Dream Act which would give undocumented youth a pathway to citizenship by attending college or serving int he armed services is important, although this does not replace the need for comprehensive reform of our current immigration laws.  This needs to be a commitment that the president attends to fully during his second term.

Nonetheless, as an immigrant and the mother of an immigrant, I have been appalled by Mitt Romney's calls for "self-deportation" of millions of undocumented people. His callous treatment of people is chilling and ill-informed and his assertion that Arizona's immigration laws are a model for our country is frankly incorrect. Regardless of the ways that Romney now tries to resituate his stance on immigration, no amount of 'new' rhetoric can lessen the impact of having Kris Koback (chief author of Arizona's tough and unfair immigration laws) as his immigration advisor.  

With regard to environmental concerns,  I support any candidate who does not pander to people who think the earth is 6,000 years old and believe that global warming is a farce.  It is simply too late to entertain such dangerous misunderstandings. As Timothy Egan put it this week:

Climate change is to the Republican base what leprosy once was to healthy humans — untouchable and unmentionable. Their party is financed by people whose fortunes are dependent upon denying that humans have caused the earth’s weather patterns to change for the worse. At the same time, Republicans have spent the last year trying to win an argument about the role of government as a helping hand. By now, most people know that Mitt Romney, in his base-pandering mode during the primaries, made the federal disaster agency FEMA sound like a costly nuisance, better off orphaned to the states or the private sector.
I live in NJ and have just experienced Hurricane Sandy. Federal support matters,especially at times of catastrophic disaster.  Mitt Romney has been on record saying he would cut FEMA.

Women have been clearly attacked by the GOP. President Obama supports a woman's right to choose and is supportive of continued funding to Planned Parenthood.  Paul Ryan directly stated during the VP Debate that a Republican win would mean the end to Roe v. Wade. Ryan said:
We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.”
Further, as Nicholas Kristof reported (11.4.12)

On these issues, Mitt Romney is no moderate. On the contrary, he is considerably more extreme than President George W. Bush was. He insists, for example, on cutting off money for cancer screenings conducted by Planned Parenthood.
In thinking about the GOP characterization of women consider these:

  1. GOP Terry England compared women to farm animals.
  2. GOP characterization of teachers as being akin to serial child abuser, Jerry Sandusky.
  3. The continued and frightening references and definitions of rape by GOP representatives, including Paul Ryan.

From Daily Kos.

The racially charged rhetoric that the GOP and their cronies have engaged in from the day Mr. Obama took office is deeply offensive.  I have admired our President and First Lady, Michelle Obama, who have continuously demonstrated dignity in response to the small-minded bigotry that has been aimed their way.  One only has to think of Donald Trump, Fox News, or John Sununu. We have all been diminished by the Republicans' rhetoric during these last four years.  Folks, the Party of Lincoln has clearly left the House and in their place are men and women who are extreme, bigoted, narrow-minded, Draconian, and frankly ill prepared to lead this country.  They do not deserve our trust, nor our votes.

On Tuesday, my vote will be cast for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
I hope you'll vote as well.


  1. I agree with everything you say here. I will vote for Obama, but that is in spite of his administration's plan for education. I'm voting for Obama because Romney's plan seems to be taken directly from the Broad Foundation. The last four years has seen mostly a continuation of No Child Left Behind, with calls for "choice" and anti-union rhetoric from both political sides. I saw the title of this post and considering your site expected more about the Obama education plan. I'm curious about what you think of it.

    1. Thanks Brent for your comments. My concerns about public education and quality learning for children re complicated. I don't think RTTTis going to be a help. So I am not supportive of the President's education plans. I don't think our Ed Secretary offers vision--or perhaps the vision he offers is not one I am buying. As a mom, I am worried about the absence of quality in the school my son attends. It seems very outdated. I didn't mention education as neither candidate seems very informed.

      The other issues I ddid mention as significant ones for me as well.

      Good luck on Tuesday:)

  2. You spelled out each valid point clearly and concisely. I wish every voter who was or remains on the fence could read this. Though sadly my vote won't count in the predominately republican state I live in, I voted for Obama. I greatly fear what will happen to this country if he fails to win the election.