I've had my differences with Obama over the years. In 2008, I worked for his campaign. I believed in him. And I felt let down when he gave up on the public option during the health care debate. I felt let down when he failed to close Gitmo. I continue to oppose his use of drone strikes and the unfair treatment of whistle blower Bradley Manning. And I felt let down when he allowed the Bush tax cuts to be renewed. I saw a group of Republicans who were willing to hold the country hostage for political gains. I saw them reject the jobs bill so they could use the difficult economy against the president during the election. It angered me that Obama hadn't been more forceful against them. I wish he had been more like Franklin D. Roosevelt, a president who was willing to challenge the status quo to stand up for the majority of Americans, not just the rich and powerful.
But just because Obama hasn't completely met my expectations, it isn't rational to assume that any other choice is the right one. It is definitely not true that Mitt Romney is a better choice. Obama isn't moving fast enough, but at least he isn't moving backwards. Mitt Romney wants to take this country backwards to the policies of George W. Bush. He wants to be overly aggressive on foreign policy. We already saw how this kind of hawkish behavior led to two wars which have nearly bankrupted this country. It has led to thousands of killed and disabled veterans who paid the ultimate cost of Bush's cowboy attitudes. Obama has a greater respect for human life because he only sends troops into combat when he feels it is absolutely necessary. He got us out of Iraq and is planning to allow the citizens of Afghanistan to police their own country.
Romney says he plans on repealing the Affordable Care Act. Ironically, this legislation was modeled after Romney's health care reforms when he was governor. The Affordable Care Act opens up health care to millions of uninsured Americans who previously who have had to use the emergency room as their only means of receiving health care. This meant they were free riding off the system because they didn't have to pay health care benefits as emergency rooms cannot turn people away. The Affordable Care Act provides health care to all while demanding that everyone pay their fair share to the best of their ability. Independent figures have shown that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the U.S. deficit by almost a trillion dollars over ten years. It has reduced inefficiencies as well. The Affordable Care Act demands that 85% of policy premium payments be used to provide health care, not line the pockets of private investors. Before, there was no policy like this. It also ensures that people with pre-exising conditions like diabetes and cancer will not be denied coverage. It provides health screenings for women. It allows college aged children to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26. Romney says he plans on increasing "competition" to bring down health care costs. This idea is laughable. Health insurers are not going to "compete" for the business of paying out money for AIDS, cancer, and heart disease patients. They would go bankrupt if they did. Romney simply has no plan to reform health care.
Obama supported the rescue of the auto industry. Mitt Romney said he preferred to let it go bankrupt. The implications of this are serious. The auto industry helps keep Americans working. It helps lead to innovation. Many thousands of manufacturing jobs rely on the domestic auto industry for survival. Many of the middle class jobs that provide health care, retirement, and a living wage come from these types of jobs. Many members of my own family have worked in the auto industry. Obama is a friend of the auto industry. Mitt Romney has spent his career outsourcing jobs to China. He made money bankrupting companies like KB Toy store. He has no sympathy for ordinary workers or blue collar jobs. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He bullied gay teens in high school--which he has admitted. Then, he went to Harvard and was able to get into Wall Street playing financial shell games and becoming a millionaire as a vulture capitalist. Instead of creating jobs, Romney spent his career in "business" killing jobs, liquidating companies and tearing apart the remains, all while acting like a parasite and personally profiting on the misery of others. I simply cannot imagine finding someone more qualified to dismantle this country than Mitt Romney. He would be terribly efficient--at creating 1 million new jobs in China. If you look at the bumper stickers of the Communist Chinese Leaders, most of them probably have Romney-Ryan signs on their cars. It's the only political bumper sticker in China that won't get you tossed in a dungeon for seven years.
Even though the Bush tax cuts led to record deficits, Romney still claims that tax cuts for the rich and increased military spending is going to lead to a balanced budget. Under Bush, we instead had record deficits, a loss of jobs, and a financial meltdown. Under Reagan, we had huge deficits because of unfunded tax cuts. To think that somehow Romney is going to grow the economy with this lame sort of plan makes absolutely no sense. History has already proven him wrong again and again. Basic arithmetic doesn't allow you to decrease revenue and increase spending while still balancing the budget.
The other issue is Iran. Obama has already stated he won't let them get a nuclear weapon. He has monitored the situation and knows that they are nowhere near being able to construct a nuclear weapon. Romney, after having accepted millions in campaign donations from hawks like Sheldon Adelson, have taken an overly aggressive stance on the issue of Iran. The last thing we need is another major war in the Middle East. Too many Americans have died in war already. We must be calm and rational on this issue. Obama has been a strong and steady hand. Romney and his aggressiveness will only lead to foreign policy disasters. His foot-in-mouth tour of Europe and the Middle East a few months ago was proof positive of that. He is completely tone deaf when it comes to dealing with people that are unlike him. The problem is that foreign policy is exactly that--foreign. Mitt Romney doesn't trust 47% of our own people and has said this very candidly. On the issues of foreign policy, he is a mess.
Obama may not be my ideal candidate, but he is far better than Romney. The decisions of the United States have a massive impact on the world because of our large economy and our large military. Millions of people live or die based on the smallest decisions made by our president. This election matters big time. Ohioans may be the decision makers in this election. That is why each of us must be personally committed to go vote against Mitt Romney and vote for President Obama. Drive a friend to the polls, too. Assist those whom you know to get there on election day.
America may elect Romney. After all, we did elect Bush. That turned out to be a complete horror show. We may be close to making the same mistake once again. I pray this doesn't happen.
I plan on voting for Barack Obama because he is a smart, intelligent leader who will move us forward. I hope you do the same.