I’m heading to Costa Rica for a few months to live the good life at an eco-resort yoga retreat right on the beach. I’ll be taking my blogging elsewhere for this. You can follow my adventures at: Writing from aBroad.
The grumbling about President Obama’s job performance began around day three by Democrats and Republicans alike. Apparently many people thought we’d elected Harry Potter and with the wave of his magic pen, there would be peace on Earth, economic prosperity for all and airwaves free of Kardashians. Let’s face it, even if Obama had accomplished those things, Fox News would still find something to gripe about, like the number of his gray hairs or the size of his flag pin (and really, any news organization upon which the phrase “flag pin” is even uttered, should have to remove the word “news” from its moniker).
It’s as though people didn’t (and still don’t) recognize the massive hole we were in (insert second Kardashian joke here) and understand it was going to take a while to get us out. I’ve recognized it and I’ve always appreciated the job Obama has done. I’m not a reluctant supporter of the president, I’m an enthusiastic one.
I know I’m not going to change any minds by writing this. Heck, many people have already cast their votes. I’m sharing this because I’m sure it’s somewhat of a mystery to people on the right why I support Obama, just as it’s a mystery to me how they can support Mitt Romney. So here are some of my reasons. I’m voting for Obama because…
The test told me to (kinda)
Granted, my mind was already made up but I took one of those online tests to match me with the best candidate (my results). It actually determined the best one for me is Jill Stein (Green party) at 87% but Obama is close at 86%. Romney trails far behind at 25%. Try it for yourself and see if you selected the right candidate for you.
He’s done some GREAT things
Obama secured a prominent legacy for the distinction of being the first black president. But he will also be remembered as the first president to come out of the closet and declare that homosexuals should have equal rights even while half the population disagrees. And he will be remembered for implementing a health care system where other presidents have failed or haven’t even bothered to try. It’s a flawed system but it’s finally a step in the right direction. Certainly he has had other great accomplishments but these are two for the history books.
He’s not a Republican
For the bulk of my adult life, I’ve peacefully coexisted with Republicans. I’ve had to because my family was mostly comprised of them (happily, the key word in that sentence is “was”). It was just accepted that the Dems were the baby-killing tree-huggers and the Repubs were the gun-toting tax-critics. They were more about money and we were more about compassion. We all just agreed to disagree…please pass the turkey. But the Republican party of late has gone in a decidedly backward direction, as exemplified in its recently-adopted platform (comparison of both platforms). It refuses to grant gays marriage equality and wants to deny them the opportunity to openly serve in the military (seems to me that the people who shouldn’t be able to serve openly are bigots). The GOP wants to replace family planning in schools with abstinence-only education and wants to force women to bring children into this world that they don’t want or they don’t believe they can adequately care for (“Yes, little Joey, you weren’t brought into this world because of love but because of federal law. Be good while I go score some meth”). The GOP wants to push a religious agenda (especially a Christian one) ignoring science and favoring the writings of an ancient book. Global warming…the environment…stem cell research…I could go on and on but suffice it to say, I think the GOP platform of today is awful and downright scary and it’s the reason I like someone a little bit less when I find out they’re willing to associate themselves with such policies.
Things ARE getting better
Republicans are renewing the old “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” line. Here’s the way I see it: if you gain 10 pounds a year for eight years and then gain five pounds a year for the next four, you may not be in better shape than you were four years ago but that IS progress. Unemployment has declined almost 2% under Obama (after skyrocketing 4% under Bush). The economy and housing market are bouncing back. Obama has removed us from two wars and involved us in fewer military conflicts than any other president in recent times. And in case you haven’t heard, he got Osama Bin Laden. Yeah, the increasing debt isn’t good and there’s debate about how much responsibility lies with Obama. But I do have hope that investing in the future (renewable resources, small businesses, people’s health and education) will pay off. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s plan is to sock a couple trillion dollars away in anticipation of more war and then hope enough jobs can be created to cover the massive loss in revenue from lower taxes to the wealthy. Thanks, but I’ll stick with the plan that’s showing some progress.
He’s not Romney (then again, Romney isn’t even Romney)
The one comfort I can take in the possibility of a Romney presidency is that there’s always the chance he’ll end up supporting all the same policies I do. While reading about Romney’s history, it was blatantly apparent to me that this is a guy who has always done whatever it takes to get what he wants. His flip-flopping positions aren’t gradual evolutions but rather calculated measures to achieve his next goal. I’m sure if he becomes the world’s most powerful man, his next job aspiration will be God. He really is the Etch-a-Sketch master and I’m rather shocked that enough people have fallen for this embarrassingly transparent tactic and allowed him to reach the level of presidential candidate. I will give him a slight nod: he was easily the most palpable of those fighting for the GOP nomination but when the competition is Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ricky Perry and Herman Cain, even a turd– an actual turd– manages to seem less crappy.
He can’t be re-elected
This isn’t actually relevant in my decision to vote for Obama but it is a reason I believe he can have more success in his second term. The Republicans have spent the last four years cock-blocking Obama and shamelessly admitted so. Senate minority leader Mitch McConell brazenly stated, “”The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.” He then ran off to pull a girl’s pigtails. Frankly, I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats to do the same thing to Romney. But take a re-election bid off the table and perhaps the president and congress can work together and make some faster (and better) progress. And with politicians on both sides of the aisle positioning themselves for 2016 runs, that’s an incentive for more congressmen to push policies popular with all Americans. If there’s one thing that can be counted on, it’s politicians acting in their own best interest.
His Veep doesn’t frighten me
As bad as I think Romney would be for our nation, Paul Ryan would be infinitely worse and if the devil decides the time has come to collect upon Mitt’s soul, we would be in some serious trouble.
There’s nothing about his policies I strongly oppose
I do differ from the Democrats on some issues, none of which I would consider fundamental. But I don’t understand how people can say they feel strongly about an issue and then vote for someone who opposes that position. A single issue shouldn’t be the reason to vote for a candidate but a single issue should be enough reason to not vote for a candidate. Would you vote for a candidate who was perfect in every way… but he opposed equal rights for blacks or women? Ok, some people would but I can’t justify voting for someone while vehemently opposing any of their policies.
People who voted for Obama in ’08 are voting for Romney this year because they THINK he will be better for the economy. The top economists in the world can’t say for sure who will be better for the economy and there’s certainly no historical evidence to prove that a Republican president is better. Yet average Joes have the audacity to believe they know who will be better. Ha! It’s really just a crap shoot. I don’t know who will be better for the economy but I do know that promoting equal rights for those who don’t have them and preserving existing rights are the best path for our country. I’ve heard some people say that all that matters this year is the economy and social issues can wait. I wonder how many of them would be willing to put rights they take for granted on hold for four or more years? That’s what’s at stake here. Social issues always matter.
He stands for the principles this nation was built upon
Even if someone had a crystal ball that guaranteed Obama would tank the economy and Romney would bring prosperity, I’d still vote for Obama. Money isn’t everything and what we surely stand to lose under Romney isn’t worth a few extra bucks in my pocket. I won’t diminish the importance of a strong economy but it should come in addition to freedom and liberty and equality, not in exchange for it. We’re known as the land of freedom, not the land of economic surplus. We’re the land of opportunity, not the land of opportunists. We don’t pledge jobs and tax breaks for all, we pledge liberty and justice for all.
Obama’s slogan this year is “Forward” and he’s the candidate to continue moving us in that direction.
…post of 2011. Barely got it in under the wire. Gotta get my shit together next year.
I figure I should start the new year out right by writing a post to my blog that it probably appeared I’d abandoned. I’m going to blame my absence on the Facebook status update, which is really a much easier way to vent my frustrations.
In the time since my last post, the four year anniversary of my blog came and past. One thing that hasn’t changed in four years is that I still think people are idiots. In fact, they seem to be getting better at it.
One annoyance I’ve been dealing with involves my phone. I had to buy a new one a couple months ago and it’s been one hassle after another ever since. Just to give you an idea of what I’ve been dealing with, the first time I attempted to call the store where I bought it, the line was busy for half an hour. I didn’t even know the busy signal still existed but I was particularly surprised that a phone store lacked the technology to avoid it.
I later had to go into my local Verizon store and endured the opposite problem. The phone kept ringing and ringing. On the third extended ringing session, another customer and I exchanged annoyed glances so I knew I wasn’t the only one bothered by it. I went near the service desk and asked, “Does anybody hear that ringing?” Nothing. They clerks didn’t even look up at me. So I decided to take advantage of my apparent stealth status and picked up the receiver and then hung it up. I figured a pissed off customer on the phone was better than 10 in the store.
I don’t expect everybody to excel at their job but is it asking to much that people exhibit a minimal level of competence? You don’t have to be the pilot that can make a perfect water landing but you should at least be paying enough attention that you don’t overshoot your destination by a couple hundred miles. You don’t have to be the secret service agent who jumps in front of a bullet but you shouldn’t allow entry to the White House to be easier than entry to the corner dive bar.
My hope for 2010 isn’t that people work harder or longer, just better.