Top 5 Reasons Why I’m Voting For Barack Obama
My fellow Americans,
It’s no secret who I’m voting for, if you follow me on social networks. I’m not a democrat or a republican. Rather, I’m an independent who has been having trouble sleeping at night..
I’m also a husband. I’m a father. I’m a member of the work force. I’m a proud citizen of these United States. As such, I’d like to share with you the reasons why I’m voting for Barack Obama. You don’t have to read this, and I’ll defend your right not to do so. But if you’re any of the things I listed above, maybe you should give it a go.
Here’s why I’m voting for Obama:
- Though far from a perfect plan, Barack Obama finally did something decades of his Democratic predecessors could not: he passed health care reform into law. If it makes me a “socialist” to want myself and my family to receive quality health care – even if we have “pre-existing conditions” – then fine. Color me socialist. I believe everyone in a civilized nation should expect quality health care as a basic human right, and most civilized societies agree with me. I believe more affordable access to preventative care, especially for the poor, is a far better choice than waiting, as your illness gets worse and worse, until you have no choice but to visit the emergency room as a last ditch option, the damage done. I might be a dreamer, but I humbly submit that an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure. I also believe that a middle class family shouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy (after years of doing everything right) if the mother or father – or worse, one of the kids – develops a serious condition. I believe “survival of the fittest” is how it works in the animal kingdom. I don’t believe insurance companies should determine my family’s fate.
- President Obama is not a perfect man. Far from it. No politician can serve multiple masters and satisfy everyone – ever. But immediately upon taking office he set out to repair the years of systemic diplomatic damage caused by George Bush , whose mantra of “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” was an immature schoolyard approach that went over like a lead balloon on the world stage. Obama understands that “listening” to an adversary is not synonymous with “weakness.” He understands that, in a nation as powerful as America, it’s wise to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Obama is playing chess. His opponent, in my view, is playing checkers.
- I have two young boys, ages three and two. I want them to grow up understanding without qualification that women are every bit as capable as men in the workplace, and that they deserve equal pay. Their mother certainly does. I want my boys to understand that women have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies and when to do it, and I want them to shake their heads in disbelief when they recall stories from 2012 about a man running for president that wanted to overturn Roe V. Wade; a man whose running mate co-authored legislation saying, essentially, that a raped woman MUST carry the baby to term, irrespective of the unspeakable violence behind the conception. Ditto for incest. My boys need to know that old white men – in their own lifetime – tried to subjugate my wife and her two sisters by imposing strict religious dogma onto the electorate. “When you were a little boy,” I hope to say one day, “women almost lost what decades of education and enlightenment had gained.” And then maybe I’ll blow their minds by telling them about a thing called a “typewriter.”
- I believe that “entitlement programs,” though certainly abused by a percentage of society, are actually a worthwhile investment in the future for people who need a shot in life, so that they might attend college or afford to feed their kids while looking for a job. People in need are not, as many conservatives view it, a section of people to be pitied. Rather, as the Democrats view it, they represent an opportunity for the future of America. I believe a Pell Grant is a potential launching pad (it was for me). I believe it’s all right to plant a row of seeds knowing full well that not all of them will bloom, no matter how often you water them. Many of them will. Some will grow into giant trees bearing fruit for generations. It’s an opportunity cost that will pay huge dividends when compared to the alternative. Look around at your friends and families. How many of them took student loans? How many went through a rough patch and collected unemployment? Food stamps? If you answer yes to any of these, I bet you can also point to that person or those people and say, “it helped them to become who they are today.” I believe that Obama sees opportunities where the other folks see problems, and though the execution isn’t perfect, and never will be, the intention is pure. Pure America.
- I believe in science in particular and higher education generally, and I think they help us make a better world; they bring sunlight to the most pernicious diseases and vexing problems darkening the modern world. I also believe there is a movement afoot on the Right that says smart people are snooty and out of touch with “ordinary people.” I think I like the quote I read recently that said, essentially, that there’s been a train of thinking in recent years suggesting – even celebrating – the idea that “my ignorance is just as important as your knowledge.” I think that’s bullshit and utterly dangerous. I believe in evolution. I know how old the earth is because science proves it. I think stem cell research is critical. I think a college education is something to aspire to, and not something to worry about “indoctrination into.” I think college needs to be more affordable, more commonly accessed, and more highly regarded, just as I think grade school and high school and early education programs need to be viewed through the lens of opportunity. I believe the country represents a macrocosm of my own family. I want my children to crave knowledge, but more importantly I want them to feel empowered and supported to act on that knowledge in a way that positively impacts their own families, their communities, and this great country.
For these reasons and more (such as energy policy)I will cast my vote for Barack Obama. His vision for the country is more closely aligned to mine than is Mitt Romney’s. I believe Barack actually wants to make the country better and fairer for future generations, and I can’t help but think Romney simply wants to be called “Mr. President.”
What are your thoughts? I welcome a discussion in the comment section. I ask only that you keep your replies civil and thoughtful.