As Americans celebrate Columbus Day and the presidential election is less than a month away, here are some thoughts about why--in my opinion--re-electing Barack Obama for U.S. President is the only reasonable choice.
For the record, I am indeed a liberal and make no excuses about it, was raised in an essentially nonreligious "to each his own" household, and can usually find something to like about everyone. Mitt Romney was my preferred GOP candidate because I initially believed he could help the economy but picking Paul Ryan as a running mate was a deal-breaker for me. ("Fountainhead," indeed!)
I hate no one and will not get into a pissing match with people who disagree with my choices. I gladly listen to--and welcome--differing opinions but find it hard to justify the behaviors and name-calling by those who react cruelly to others who disagree with them. America is a diverse country and to fear or violently react to its progression as such is a sign of ignorance, instability and the polar opposite of the ideals upon which it was founded.
No one is ignorant about the economic challenges we are facing; they have limited many of us, radically altering many lives and lifestyles. Everyone has been affected in one way or another—if not personally, within their communities, the experiences of family members, loss of services/amenities once taken for granted, and so forth. Frustration, aggravation and exhaustion run rampant; many are at the edge of their ropes. Everyone wants to blame someone and there is a groundswell of people who lay every negative reaction and behavior at Obama's doorstep.
Although I hardly consider our 44th President to be the Savior-in-Chief, this nation's economic downturn began way before Obama became a household name. If you didn't notice businesses failing in every community as far back as 2005-2006, you were probably too busy sailing the "Sea of the Last Hurrah" before it got really serious. There was a swelling, palpable sadness, for sale and/or for rent signs on every block in virtually every area, and I somehow knew it wasn't going to get any better any time soon. Then of course, it didn't.
Although I'm not really "into" politics or government, these people exercise a distinct amount of power and control over our lives, so I believe it's crucial we pay attention to what's happening. Although it is not my responsibility, desire or obligation to convince you about anything, I do believe everyone should question and fact check notions heard or inherited.
Ask yourself these five questions before going to the polls on November 6th:
- If government financial assistance is so despicable and objectionable, how come it was just fine when Mitt Romney's parents went on "public relief" when he was a toddler and teenager Paul Ryan received Social Security when his father died? …But everyone else who finds themselves in similar need and turns to these available programs at present are "seeking handouts." ("Entitlement," indeed!)
- Exactly how is a government dictating who we marry, what we do with our bodies, and how we should handle our finances "less intrusive?" The subtext of Romney's declarations about "government that does not intervene " is that government should lay off big business—not "hands off the little guy." Yet Obama advocates healthcare for the millions of Americans who go woefully without and successfully remedied a credit card system that allowed millions and millions to be so far in debt that there was no way out.
- Obamacare is such a despicable proposition? The data and reality does not support the death panel accusation, despite what some would have you believe. However, everyone fortunate enough to have health insurance can probably offer a true yet ludicrous story about their insurer's version of a "death panel" or--at the very least--how they had to battle for the simplest of procedures because their insurer micromanaged or over-questioned a doctor's treatment.
- If you believe every highly prejudicial--and sometimes downright ridiculous--conspiracy theory liberally tossed around about Obama, why haven't you been paying attention to the realities of "The New World Order" that have been unfolding worldwide, are far closer to fruition, and are far more anchored in traceable evidence/events?
- Have you ever actually seen an appreciable decline in taxes that reached your wallet? If taxes were lowered by 20%, will 20% more find its way into your budget? My experience is that you see about $20 more in your paycheck, if you're lucky… What happens to the rest of it? And that's if there is indeed a viable, executable tax reduction plan put into place and approved.
And, finally, my personal five reasons:
1) Those who so desperately hate Obama, consider him the root of all evil, and believe with every fiber of their beings that he is everything from the anti-Christ to a lightly veiled Muslim endorsing a takeover of the U.S. have yet to provide anything other than vague accusation, innuendo and outright lies to support these allegations. As a writer, editor, researcher, and former journalist who has made a point of researching facts, the only thing I have found is rhetoric and propaganda circulated to perpetuate fear and doubt.
2) Many Conservative Republicans I've encountered are some of the most frighteningly hostile, venomous and angry people I've met to date; their largest protestations and disrespect regarding Obama seem more mired in fear, hate and prejudice than in statistically relevant facts. (If you doubt this, wait and see the comments that ensue should they catch wind of this story.) If Romney has anywhere near the over-reacting, harsh and retaliatory mindset as the people who support him, we are undoubtedly doomed for annihilation in short order.
3) Overall, I AM doing better than I was four years ago. For the first time in my life I own a house (even though our household income is over 50% less than it was in 2008). Whatever financial changes/sacrifices we've experienced are more traceable to previous administrations than to Obama's.
4) To ubiquitously hate because of differences in opinion, religion, ethnicity, and color is the most un-Christian behavior I can possibly fathom. Make no mistake that there may be pockets of people in other countries who hate us but it does not warrant obliterating a nation. If it were—considering the hate I have heard many Americans espouse for other nations—that would mean we deserve the same.
Rational thought and common sense must ensue. Neither amount to weakness, indecisiveness or lack of power. Only those full of fear, insecurity and loathing lash out impulsively and the end result is rarely fulfilling—or peaceful.
5) My heart and gut tell me that Obama is the only choice. Whatever causes I have supported throughout my lifetime—with or without volumes of evidence to support it at the time—have resulted in my eventual reassurance that my intuition and belief were well-founded and sound. For all our sakes, I'm praying that streak continues.
For anyone not entirely sure if they're registered, check out http://www.longdistancevoter.org, which has information for everyone to make sure they're registered, to register if they're not, to file absentee ballots, and to have every detail they need so that they have a smooth voting experience on Election Day.
P.S. Anyone writing me off as "just another member of the liberal media": Have you ever stopped to think that many members of the media--who strive much more than you realize to be fair--are simply more tolerant of different lifestyles because they see firsthand the result the intolerant who "take matters into their own hands?"