My comments below were documented about 6 hours before last night’s 2nd Presidential debate took place and have not been altered as a result of anything either candidate conveyed during the debate.
I have issues with Barack Obama. Many of us on the Left do. But in the heat of a tight campaign race I am not going to attack my choice for President and thus help someone who I feel will do greater harm to our economy and the future of our planet. I wish there was this pure ideal of a candidate out there that many people thinks exists, but there isn’t and we all need to get past that.
We have a two-party system that doesn’t always give us the candidates we want but it does allow our participation and it falls on more than simply voting for whoever wins the ticket to create a government that was the envy of the world when it was inaugurated back in 1789. I realize the Roberts court with its Citizens United decision has made it more difficult by allowing larger amounts of money into politics to influence voters. For at least the last 150 years, the plutocracy in this country, with the aid of the courts in some cases, have diminished the original concept of a government for and by the people of this land. But the system does still work if we put more than a faint effort behind it. So until it doesn’t, I’ll do all that I can to prevent people like Mitt Romney from making choices that can hurt me and almost every other American.
Mitt Romney will double down on the Reagan/Bush policies of trickle down economics and kill what gains we have made since January 2009. His uncertainty about whether or not the climate science is sufficient is a joke in light of the abundant data available to him and presented by a significant consensus of climate scientists. The guy makes a rash call on what took place the night the Libyan embassy was attacked before the intelligence is even conveyed to the commander-in-chief, yet somehow he doesn’t have the capability to assess the legitimacy of man-made global warming? Only a fool would subscribe to such a weak notion and I do not want to waste my vote on a fool.
There’s a certain amount of noise being made by those who have bought in too easily the imagery that has been created by the religious right, the Tea Party, FOX News commentators, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and right-wing blogs like Breitbart and The Drudge Report who want to portray the president as un-American, a Muslim jihadist sympathizer, a socialist/communist/fascist, and yes, even a racist. They’ve regurgitated this nonsense so long that they have bought into it so completely, now accepting it as unquestionable and can’t understand why anyone would consider voting for the man.
Here then, not laid out necessarily in any hierarchical fashion, are the reasons I will vote for Barack Obama instead of the Republican option.
1. He has a broader constituency he considers when making public policy compared to Romney’s narrower concerns for the wealthiest 1%. He doesn’t belittle and give up on people he feels certain won’t vote for him.
2. He gets it about “man-made global warming” and though he hasn’t moved fast enough to act on what he knows, he will not be the immovable object Mitt Romney will be on this.
3. He understands that reducing taxes and cutting public sector jobs deprives the U.S. treasury of revenue for paying down our national debt and that free market principles alone will not create the job growth we need at this time.
4. He is more willing to promote clean, renewable energy as a part of an energy and jobs policy to become oil independent rather than Romney, who wants to open up more dangerous exploration for oil in offshore deepwater and under arctic ice.
5. He has shown that he is serious about reducing health care costs in this country where the Republicans have NEVER made any serious effort at this. Who wants to vote for a candidate like Romney who supports repealing the one piece of health care legislation that has at least made a dent in one of the highest expenses consumers have to deal with today?
6. He has a better feel for what poverty is really like, growing up around it and at times having lived on its threshold, making something of himself despite the absence of traditional parents. Many growing up under these conditions and feeling alienated as a mixed-race child might have given into drug addiction and a life of crime. Instead, the man has fulfilled the American dream and created a stable family life that serves as a role model for others.
7. He supports the free-enterprise system but also understands that it is subject to human weaknesses, requiring sufficient government oversight to protect those who would suffer abuses from greedy corporate interests.
8. He shares my view that values tradition yet understands that the Constitution is a living document and subject to the interpretations of the ever changing social dynamics as opposed to the rigid concept of “original intent” that claims to know what the framers over 200 hundred years ago thought would be best for the general welfare of this nation today.
9. He’s more willing to sustain a lot of what belongs to the public commons rather than turning it all over to the for-profit private sector.
10. He’s shown greater concern and support for public education while Romney and the GOP work with wealthy special interests to privatize education.
11. He fulfilled the spirit of compromise more than the GOP who refused to work for the common good and allowed itself to be hi-jacked by a radical element that voted NO on everything that didn’t meet their strict and narrow criteria.
12. I feel safer that he is less likely to send our military troops into harms way and doesn’t alienate other cultures and nations with an obnoxious level of American exceptionalism.
13. He doesn’t show the disdain and indifference for science that too many in the GOP do.
14. He thinks women should make equal pay for equal work.
15. He thinks the American worker deserves a minimum wage
16. He too thinks it is dishonest and selfish for people of great wealth to hide their fair share of taxes in off-shore and overseas accounts while voting against a livable wage for the rest of us.
17. His tax rate is more comparable to mine than Romney’s 13% and has shown ample evidence of this in releasing years of tax records to Romney’s one and half.
18. He hasn’t threatened to restrict civil rights in the form of banning gays in the military, creating a constitutional amendment opposing same-sex marriage and insisting women‘s bodies be invaded to support extremist pro-life views.
19. He supports a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians where Romney sees “no hope” for this.
20. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. Don’t want Romney adding more Scalias and Thomas’. Think what would happen to Roe v. Wade
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of money out there in politics and this invariably opens the door for corruption and influence peddling. When you look at both campaigns however one thing sticks out with the Romney campaign – they’re getting much more larger individual donations. In August, the average donation was $58 for the Obama camp. Ninety-eight percent of donations were $250 or less. Romney’s campaign has not been that forthcoming on what their average donation is but it is clearly higher than Obama’s . What little I did find on Romney’s was in this AP report where representatives said “about 94 percent of its donations came from people who gave $250 or less.”
You get a better idea how much more each donor is giving when you look at state and local coffers. In San Antonio the average contribution to the Democrat’s campaign was $135 while Romney was pulling in an average of $681 per donation and in New Jersey Obama’s average was $149, compared with an average of $802 for Romney. Opensecrets.org also shows Romney’s top contributors are outpacing Obama’s. Even more glaring is how many billionaires have lined up in the Romney camp.
What also repulses me about electing a Republican as President or even for dog catcher is their brazen attempts to eliminate qualified voters by pushing voter ID laws. Voter fraud is a fear mongering tactic used by those on the right and most of them know that the threat of in-person voter fraud is wildly exaggerated.
So I am voting for Barack Obama even though my vote won’t carry much weight in Texas where the GOP is sure to walk away with all the electoral college votes. There are caveats to my reasons and imperfections that can be pointed out. But they are insufficient to make me think that Romney would be the better choice. Should Obama be successful in gaining a second term then I will spend as much energy challenging his decisions I object to, like continuing the practice of torture, privacy right violations and his deadly use of drones. Issues that few Republicans would find fault with.
As president I understand that he may feel the need to continue such practices, seeing the world from a vantage point the common man or woman can’t. But if we have learned anything from the Bush White House’s reason for taking us to war in Iraq, it is that we shouldn’t hesitate to challenge the Executive branch’s claims that rationalize calls to war or human rights violations. Actions to defend any national security interests should be based on the highest legal & moral standards, not the influences of wealthy, powerful self-interests.