I wasn’t planning on talking about politics too much on this blog. I think meaningful debates are impossible behind the keys of the keyboard. But I did want to be clear about who I voted for and why. Read through my reasons, check out the linked articles, and feel free to comment on why you disagree. I most likely won’t reply to the comment but I will read all that you post and any articles you link. Let’s do this.
1. I am glad Obama has ended the war in Iraq and brought the focus back on the war in Afghanistan (and eliminating Bin Laden). I think Obama takes the right approach in foreign affairs and is a very calculated, clear thinker when it comes to difficult decisions that need to be made. Military leaders from both sides of the aisle have had high praise for his leadership. I also agree with his stance on ending “enhanced interrogation” (torture). Note: I do disagree with his use of drone strikes.
2. I was overjoyed to see the unjust law of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repealed. Any citizen that has the desire to fight for our country and our freedoms should be free to be open about who they are. They should not have to lie. Also, studies have shown that the repeal of DADT has had no negative effect on our fighting forces.
3. Obama becoming the first sitting President to vocalize his support for gay marriage was an incredible step towards equality. Every tax-paying citizen should be equal under the law and banning gays from marriage denies them over 1000 rights that Halie and I will enjoy once we’re married. No religious argument can be used against gay marriage because we are a secular society that is open to all religions (and lack thereof). Christians would not want Jews outlawing pork or Muslims outlawing alcohol. Also, Obama has extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
4. I think Obama’s Affordable Care Act was a major step in the right direction. I think it has its flaws and these flaws can be fixed. Repealing and “replacing” is not the answer because we would lose so many great things from Obamacare with no guarantee of any serious replacement. I would lose my healthcare, people with preexisting conditions would too. Women would go back to being charged more. Ezra Klein has a great article about what is at stake when Romney talks of repealing Obamacare.
5. I believe Obama’s plan to continue the Bush tax cuts for everybody except those making $250,000 or more in taxable income is the right thing to do. Our tax rates for the wealthiest are at some of the lowest points ever and it is a contributing factor to our debt being so large. There is no proof cutting taxes for the richest few lead to more jobs and trickle down economics has never and will never work. Job creation happens in the middle class and we need to support them. Obama has.
6. Obama’s policies have made strides in women’s rights. From not being charged more in health care plans to the Lily Ledbetter Act, women are better off because of Obama. He also increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act.
7. Worried about jobs? Obama has created more private sector jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in all of his 8 years. Obama has had 32 months of job growth totaling over 5 million private sector jobs. And this is also with Republicans blocking many attempts they’ve made at passing jobs acts (even the Veteran’s Jobs Act!).
8. He has done much to help young Americans in college and recently graduated. He’s significantly expanded Pell grants. Mentioned earlier, Obamacare allows people to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they’re 26. Not free healthcare but better access to healthcare to help the recently graduated until they get a steady job where they can afford healthcare. I currently fall under this category and am very glad for this. So when Romney speaks of repealing Obamacare, I hear him speaking about taking away my insurance.
9. We need a strong federal government. I don’t trust a politician that runs for a position (job) in the federal government by saying it is evil or it does not create jobs. Maybe so, but it sure created your job, Mr. Politician. Recent events in the Northeast have reminded us that in times of need, there needs to be a leader there to help. State aid is fine for state issues but when there is a disaster that is across many states, we need an organization (FEMA) to coordinate aid and to help the states cover the cost. All of us have the potential of having natural disasters at home and there’s a good chance we’ll need these aids one day.
Conclusion: I am proud that I voted for Obama in 2008. I am proud of what he has accomplished in 4 years. And I was proud to vote for him again. He is just a man, he has his flaws. I have disagreed with decisions he’s made. I have wished him to focus on some other issues that I deem important. That said, he has taken our country out of the Great Recession and has put us back on the road to recovery. He’s made large strides in the ongoing fight for equality. All of this in the face of historic pushback, racism, misinformation, and right out lies from the other side.
Here’s a quick video of what President Obama accomplished in his first term: