Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reasons to Vote for President Obama

As the election nears its home stretch, and Hurricane Sandy opens up all sorts of new conversations regarding government and its role and bi-partisanship and the common good, it's worth taking a look at why we would vote for either candidate.  More importantly, it's worth acknowledging that both candidates have the good of the country at heart, and, as I told a woman who knocked on my door the other day, "If President Obama or Mitt Romney wins, the country is not going to fall to pieces."  We aren't going to go over the fiscal cliff, the government won't take over our lives, and America won't be on its way down.

With that in mind, I am considering the naive hope that we can simply learn to concede and acknowledge opposing view while moving toward more moments of consensus, such as we saw between New Jersey Governor Chris Cristi and President Obama this week.  Despite a move toward political division and intransigence, we are all Americans first.  This is a point we are reminded of in the new book by former moderate Republican congressman Micky Edwards.  Edwards posed some valuable ideas about partisanship in the Atlantic Monthly when he considered How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans.  His ideas about partisanship are worth considering.

So, even though there are many arguments against a second term for President Obama, here is a list of reasons why rational, educated, and genuine Americans would think President Obama is the better choice for president.  They probably know and/or believe:

1. The American economy that was about to go off a cliff in 2008 didn't, and has rebounded to a stable and growing - albeit weakly - status.

2. The stock market has been hovering near 14,000 for a while now, and corporations are posting record profits while sitting on more than $2 trillion in cash reserves.

3. The economy that was hemorrhaging jobs is now adding them, even in manufacturing areas like the auto industry.

4. The auto industry and all its related jobs is doing quite well.

5. They cannot be kicked off their insurance coverage for getting sick and they are allowed to access coverage even if they have a pre-existing condition.

6. They don't trust health insurance companies to have their best interests at heart.

7. They acknowledge the jobs saved by the stimulus program - which may have included teachers, police officers, and firefighters in their town.

7A. They understand the stimulus program was 40% tax cuts insisted upon by the Republican party.

8. They know jobs were lost because of corporate misdoings, not government interference.

9. They don't believe that education budgets need to be cut.

10. They don't blame poor people and food stamps and foreign aid for the rising debt and deficit.

11. The Iraq war is over and soldiers are coming home.

12. The war in Afghanistan is winding down and Al-Qeada has been massively weakened and disrupted across the world.

13. No terrorist attacks in the US.

14. Osama bin Laden is dead.

15. The believe a woman's reproductive system is her private medical issue.

16. They simply like him better.  They feel he understands their problems more.  They think he shares their values and is committed to their well-being.

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