A week ago, if you asked the average Democrat who was going to win this presidential election, the resounding answer was President Obama. But the latest Pew Research poll shows Mitt Romney ahead with likely voters, 49 to 45. Obviously, Governor Romney is benefiting from a bump after his superior performance at last week’s debate (even though Governor Romney made a boat load of false claims and spouted off inaccuracy after inaccuracy, not to mention he’d been saying one thing throughout the campaign and said the near opposite during the debate on numerous topics).
Personally, I think Governor Romney’s bump in the latest polls is a simple reflection of average people finally beginning to pay attention to the election. Sure, everyone’s been seeing clips of things on the evening news and people have been going to see the candidates speak for months now, but the average American has a job, a family, hobbies and other interests besides politics. The average American doesn’t watch MSNBC or FOX all day every day and doesn’t read the newspaper or the news websites that updates us on even the most mundane topics of the campaigns. The average American, the everyday Joe, the likely voters who are vaguely undecided (and who will very likely decide this election) are just now beginning to really pay attention to the election. They started last week at the debates, and if they haven’t listened to Mitt Romney before and heard all of his promises and claims for the last year or so, then what he said at the debate made perfect sense. In fact, it sounded pretty darn good.
And the Romney/Ryan campaign knows this and is taking full advantage of this—as they should. But here’s the thing: as citizens of this republic not only is it our duty to vote, it’s our duty to be informed voters. Know the issues, know the candidates.
Now, I’m not a political writer or pundit. I’m just an average person who gets really interested in politics every four years. It’s important to me. Also, I’m a proud liberal Democrat. The blood in my veins runs blue. President Obama doesn’t need to campaign for my vote; he has it just by showing up. There are Republicans out there who feel the same way about their party and candidate. And that’s great. But there are just as many undecided and independent voters out there who really do weigh the candidates equally, who consider the issues that are important to them. Or maybe they’re just not as interested in politics or as engaged as some of us are so they begin to pay attention as election day draws near, when they start to formulate their opinions based on the often desperate claims made by panicky surrogates as the poll numbers shift and tighten.
This is the beauty of our electoral process: each of us is allowed our opinion, every vote actually does count, and all the information we need to make informed decisions is virtually at our fingertips.
I only see one clear choice here: President Obama needs to be re-elected. Here’s why:
1. President Obama gets stuff done. Despite the Republican agenda to simply deny President Obama a second term, and block nearly everything he tried to get through Congress, the president still was able to accomplish the following:
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
- U.S. Auto Industry saved from collapse
- New-home sales saw biggest jump in 47 years
- $77 billion provided for reforms to strengthen elementary and secondary education
- Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
- Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
- North American Wetlands Conservation Act
- Benefits for veterans vastly improved
- Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, instituting equal pay for women
- Largest reform of student aid in 40 years
- New Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Federal deficit shrank 8% year-on-year
- Obamacare, providing affordable healthcare for MILLIONS
- Osama Bin Laden killed
- 7.8% Unemployment
These are just a few of President Obama’s many accomplishments in his first term, when our elected Congress worked tirelessly to block everything he tried to do. If he could do all of this in just four years, imagine what progress can be made in four more.
2. You or someone you love is part of the 47%.
3. Mitt Romney is not qualified. His experience in the private sector is weak because as a CEO, your sole interest is to make money for your company (even if that means firing people and shipping jobs overseas). Romney’s experience as Governor of Massachusetts should come into play here, but it’s inadequate. When Romney was in office in Massachusetts, it ranked 47th among all the states in terms of job creation, which is one of the main topics of Romney’s campaign: the 12 million jobs that he plans to magically create.
4. For all of the good things going on in the world, it’s fair to say that the world is in turmoil. Just look at the Middle East. President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. I’d say this qualifies him as the clear choice for foreign policy, not to mention ending the war in Iraq and killing Osama Bin Laden. When Mitt Romney traveled abroad, visiting England during the Olympics, he embarrassed himself and offended our closest ally.
5. Trickle down economics does not work for a sustained economy. Period. Wealthy Republicans love it because it keeps their pockets lined, but ask any economist, right or left, and the evidence is overwhelming. We tried it, it failed. Miserably. Do we really need to try it again?
6. Mitt Romney doesn’t know who he is. How can you be the leader of the Free World, and yet not know who you are? In his Senate campaign against Senator Kennedy, Romney ran to the left of Kennedy on issues of gay rights and abortion rights and now he’s pandering to the far-right wing of the Republican party with a pro-life, anti-gay marriage platform. Romney ‘s healthcare reform in Massachusetts, his greatest accomplishment as governor, is nearly the same as Obamacare, which he now opposes. Do we need to talk about his $15 trillion tax cuts and various other flip-flops?
7. We’ve all heard about Governor Romney’s taxes and his off-shore accounts and his bazillion dollars hidden under the mattress, but did you know this…
From Mother Jones:
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney rips President Obama’s policy on China and talks tough against the rising global power. “We’re going to crack down on China,” he said at a recent event in Ohio. “They’ve stolen our jobs; that’s gotta stop.” But according to Romney’s recent tax returns, between 2008-2011 Romney invested more than a half million dollars in the stocks of 10 Chinese companies—including firms that embezzled, partnered with Iran, and stole US intellectual property.”
(emphasis is mine)
I don’t know about you, but I think this is pretty big deal. Like a huge freaking deal.
So the information is all there. People have their opinions and will vote for whichever candidate they feel will help them and their family the most. The facts are facts and some will choose to ignore them and some will argue left-wing media conspiracy, we’ve all heard it.
But for me, the choice is clear: I am a woman and I want to be able to control my own body and make my own decisions. I am a mother of daughters for whom I want the same thing. I don’t make a million dollars a year and I want my children to be able to go to college and have all of the same opportunities as their wealthier peers in school.
They are smart and talented and work really hard—college should be affordable for them. I want my children’s future to be in a safe world, free from tyranny and threats to our country. I have an elderly mother who depends on Social Security and Medicare and I don’t want her to have to worry about paying for her medications. I’m a veteran and the wife of a veteran who served twice in Iraq. We have earned benefits that we don’t really need right now, but in twenty years we will need them to be there for us.
Most importantly, I’m a citizen of the greatest nation in human history. Our country was built on principles of liberty and freedom, of equal opportunity and hope for all, not just the few. Not just the one percent or the two percent or even the 53 percent. All. And I will vote for a president who will preserve those principles.
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