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I Am Voting for President Obama

I am voting for President Obama on Tuesday, November 6.  That bit of news should not be any surprise to anyone who has followed this blog for more than a few months.  My politics are liberal and progressive, and while I can be as cynical as the next person, I do believe that elections matter.  

I know that there are plenty of our readers who are not U.S. citizens, who can only shake their heads in amazement at the wild and wooly way we go about selecting our president every four years.  I am trusting all of you to just find someplace else to be for this one -- unless of course, you are somehow fascinated with this kind of political expose.

I imagine that there are a few people with "sensible" and "logical" reasons for not re-electing Obama in this election year -- millionaires, for example.  I also know that there are a fair number of right-wing types who insist that our president is a commie, a Kenyan, or a Muslim.  They are the tea party sympathizers who warn that he wants to destroy America with universal health care, gay marriage licenses, and crippling taxation.  Add to those two factions the "grumblers," including a few disappointed liberals, who point out that President Obama has not fulfilled all his promises and has been too willing to play nice with the obstructionists on the other side of the aisle.

I have lots and lots of reasons to vote for Obama this year, although, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have only twice in my 57 years voted for a candidate who was not a democrat.  The first time was when I voted for John Anderson, the liberal Republican turned independent candidate, in the 1980 election.  And then, this year, I crossed over to the "dark side" and voted in the Republican primary here in Ohio, casting a vote for Rick Santorum -- trying to push the Republican primary mud wrestling further into chaos.  It didn't work, but there it is.

Reasons to vote for Obama this year:

  • The Affordable Care Act, derisively dubbed "Obamacare" by those who oppose the whole idea.  Say what you will about flaws in the Affordable Health Care Act. It is a start -- not perfect by a long shot, but it is at least an attempt to address serious problems that beset our current health care system. Right now, because of the passage of "Obama Care," people with diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, or parkinson's, or lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, or any of a myriad of other health issues can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. More, if your family has an adult son or daughter, age 19-25, without their own health care coverage, they can now be covered on your family health plan.  If you have a child with a significant disability, the lifetime maximum cap on your medical coverage has been lifted.  You and your family do not have to worry how you will pay for the medical care your child needs to survive.
  • The Republicans are universally beating the drum, demanding to know if I am better off than I was four years ago -- and I imagine they have asked you, Dear Reader, the same question.  My answer?  Hell, yes!  In spite of what they would have us believe, in 2011, corporate profits reached an all-time high, even as wages stalled or declined. In 2008, as President Obama was coming into office, the U.S. economy was in a critical nosedive.  The Dow-Jones had entered a long plunge from 14,164 (October, 2007) down to 6,440 (March, 2009).  Trillions of dollars in investments were wiped off books before Obama's steady hand pulled all of us out of the death spiral.  Since then, stock market valuations have doubled and the retirement plans of many an angry "birther" have been saved.   Talk to a GM or Chrysler worker today.  Those men and women with families and bills to pay, just like you and I, are still collecting their paychecks, as are thousands who toil for the manufacturers of parts that feed the U.S. auto industry.  In June of 2012, with 248,750 vehicles sold, General Motors had its best month since the 2008 collapse. Chrysler did even better with sales gains of 20.3%, and its best June figures since 2007.  And although the right insists that Obama is to blame for rising gas prices, the fact is that in May, 2008, crude oil sold for $135 a barrel and the average price of a gallon of gas was $3.94.  Four years later, under Mr. Obama, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped to $3.50 and a barrel of crude is selling for $84. 
  • Osama bin Laden is dead.  I am not one who celebrated that event, but I've paid close attention to the decision making process this president followed in launching that raid, and I am impressed by the backbone displayed in the call that sent Navy Seals into Pakistan.
  • The previous administration got us involved in the wrong war, for all the wrong reasons.  The cost to us in dollars and precious lives has been staggering.  Today, because President Obama kept his promise,  all U. S. troops are out of Iraq, and Obama is careful not to involve our nation in wars we can avoid.  In Libya, we helped take out Moammar Ghaddafi.  President Obama rallied NATO behind him and won the full support of our allies for military action.  Not one American serviceman or servicewoman died in Libya as a result.

It is true that I have been disappointed with this president on a number of counts:

  • It took him way too long to come around to supporting marriage equality.  He was far too beholding to the religious fundamentalists who preach HATE and exclusion.  
  • He has not closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
  • I agree with this administration's push to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records, but I wish President Obama had pushed harder to get the Dream Act passed.  
  • The unemployment numbers are still far too high, and there are too many people struggling to make it in an economy that is leveled off, but not growing at a rate that helps those of us with modest incomes to survive and thrive.  
  • The cost of a college education grows more and more prohibitive every year.  My own kids can't afford it, and they are out of luck when it comes to "borrowing money from their parents."

Still, with all of that, I see promise in what has been achieved.  It isn't all I would have hoped for, but I do believe we are moving in the right direction.  I am 57 years old.  I have worked all my life, knowing that there would come a day when I would need the social security income I have paid into for decades, and the Medicare coverage, and perhaps, should I need that level of care, even Medicaid.  I have children and grandchildren, and the world they are going to live in needs to be one where the opportunities for them to advance are still available.  My lifelong fight for equal rights for women did not end when I hit menopause.  I may no longer need birth control options for myself, and I will never again be faced with decisions regarding an unplanned pregnancy -- but I adamantly insist that those decisions are for women to make for themselves, with their own physicians.  Government should have no part in that conversation.  Which brings me to the subject of supreme court judges.  Presidents come and go, but a supreme court justice is a lifetime commitment.  The makeup of the highest court has far reaching impacts on our lives.  When I think about who might be appointing those men and women to serve on the court in the future, and then I contemplate the values and beliefs and political affiliations of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan -- I am afraid.  

And so, I will vote for Barack Obama in November, and if you are eligible to vote, I urge you to do the same.



  1. <3 you swan!!!

    mouse (who will deny anyone other than her evil twin typed this to Daddy) :P

  2. t and I heartily join swan in her commitment to re-electing Obama as U. S. President. Besides the really sound assets we could appreciate from continuing with this President that swan cited, I am convinced that electing Romney would not only recreate the exact policies that led to our economic downturn the last four years, would reverse all the progress that has been made since 2008, and would worsen the effects of what has been a severe recession to become a fully blown economic depression.

    Unless you are a white small (or large) business owner, or a elderly white guy who talks with, and to, empty chairs (e. g. Clint Eastwood):), the Republicans have nothing to offer us this time around.

    All the best,


    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

  3. Impish18:24 PM

    Right there with you, Sue. I find that each election is a compromise as no one will believe as you do. Voting for the lesser evil is what I usually do. If only they could compromise and work together as well, we would all be better off.

    1. Impish, I so agree. Our country was founded on compromise...we have two parties so we can hear all sides and COMPROMISE to fine the best solution...not draw a line in the sand!


  4. On your second-to-the-last point, regarding unemployment, I am not at all sure that our government is capable of making realistic changes to bring that about. The Republicans would have you believe that trickle down economics would be the cure-all and that if we gave enough money to the 1% "job creators" that it would fix the problem... but if we note what is happening at the moment in the stock market, the business economy is at near all-time highs again, and unemployment is staying pretty much where it has been.

    We don't have a planned economy, so there is only so much the government can do to "fix" the economy and give folks jobs, and we certainly can't just roll everyone up in the government's petticoats and give *everyone* a job... I think we probably need to be focused more on your last point - Getting people better educated and retraining people to be better suited and better able to take on the jobs that already exist... and that will exist in the future. The fact is that we have way too many people who are in the un-skilled labor force, and fewer and fewer job openings in that area.

  5. I agree completely - I live in a defiant swing state, I wish I could vote more than once!



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