Four years ago in the midst of the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, we took the first step toward rebuilding the country with the election of Barack Obama. Since then, President Obama’s first-term record on the economy, national security, the environment and key social issues shows why I’m fired up to re-elect my president to a second term and cast my vote against Mitt Romney’s politics of divisiveness.
Here’s eight reasons why you should join me in continuing to move the country forward tomorrow by re-electing President Obama:
- Corporations have made record profits and are stronger than ever.
- Employment progress continues at a steady pace.
- Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will have healthcare who previously did not, those with pre-existing conditions may no longer be denied coverage, lifetime coverage limits for illnesses have been eliminated and children under age 26 can remain on their parents’ plans as they transition to financial independence.
- Obama’s student loan plan replaced “big business” loans with accessible, publicly funded student loans that benefit young people seeking higher education.
- Osama Bin Laden is dead. Terrorist groups have been diminished across the world.
- Obama recognizes the danger of climate change. Sandy in 2012. Irene in 2012. Katrina in 2005. Increased extreme weather is real, scary and not stopping. President Obama is willing to listen to environmental experts, think through these realities and keep FEMA well resourced. Mitt Romney views FEMA’s role as negligible, and sees environmental regulation as burdensome, job-killing and secondary to concerns about market-driven profits. Romney’s approach simply won’t do.
- Obama wants equal pay for women. The first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Although we know Romney possesses “binders full of women,” it is unsettling that as a father and husband, he won’t stand up for women’s equal pay.
- Obama repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which for too long dishonored and demoralized America’s gay and lesbian soldiers who served and died for our country. Romney’s time in Massachusetts and his currently stated positions show that he’s ready to use government power to preclude gay and lesbian Americans from many of the safeguards, rights and privileges enjoyed by everyone else.
In addition to moving the country forward, a vote for President Obama is also a vote against Mitt Romney’s elitist, out-of-touch agenda. Romney’s comments behind closed doors to wealthy donors – in which he dismissed 47% of the country as leeches – shows a lack of respect for those of us who don’t count ourselves among the super wealthy.
Romney has also shown a kind of tone-deafness in dealing with groups outside his comfort zone. A sad attempt at humor recently in which Romney joked, “I wish I was Mexican,” indicates his fundamental misunderstanding about what it means to be a minority in America. As President Obama’s story illustrates, being a minority can mold and enrich a person’s perspective and ability to understand people of different backgrounds – a far cry from Romney’s flippant characterization of minorities as eager to use their status to curry political favor.
Condescension to middle- and lower-class Americans has been a recurring theme of Romney’s campaign. He claims he “inherited nothing” when in reality he was born into a well-heeled family that could afford to help him buy a home after he graduated college. Romney has also refused to provide voters the details of his economic plan, displaying a caginess that suggests his policies will favor the financial elite at the expense of a majority of Americans.
As an American from a working class background, I don’t think the wealthy need lower taxes or more money or power than they already have. I want a president who will stand up for people like me who weren’t born rich and are down here tugging on our bootstraps. I want a president who will stand up for working class people like my mom, a schoolteacher, and my dad, who earned his retirement after decades of hard work. Mitt Romney has proven that he won’t. Barack Obama has proven that he will.
I urge you to join me in re-electing President Obama tomorrow.
(Christine Flack is the director of outreach for the Democratic Law Students Association at CUA Law. Nicholas Hart ’14 contributed to this article)