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Election 2012

President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at Cheyenne Sports Complex in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

In addition to my admiration and respect for Barack Obama — based on his life history, persona and performance against all the odds the last four years — there are several reasons why I am voting to re-elect President Obama:

First, he has earned it.

On the domestic front, in spite of the blatant Republican congressional obstruction he has faced, he has done the following:

He prevented a major Depression during the deepest, longest economic crisis of our time.
He rescued the auto industry and effected a painfully slow but steady recovery. He also imposed a measure of regulatory oversight on the corporate and financial sectors, which were wracked by the lack of even a baseline integrity, fueled by outrageous rewards, with no checks, balances or accountability.

He enacted universal health care, a core economic and quality of life issue, which will deliver millions of Americans from potential bankruptcy, poverty or death.

He fulfilled his promise and ended the war in Iraq and he is in the process of ending the war in Afghanistan; wars which have drained trillions of dollars from our Treasury and killed thousands. He restored American foreign policy credibility around the world, which in the midst of widespread turmoil, has allowed international coalitions built on trust to combat the growing threat of terror and upheaval.

I am also supporting the president because I believe unspoken racism underlies a broad swath of the criticism he has engendered, but, more positively, his leadership reflects a core value of my own – that we did not ‘build this’ alone and that the role of government in a democracy is critical. He believes in vigorous and robust competition and equal access to opportunity, but ensuring a level playing field and providing a core confidence that the system is fair and affords a modicum of equity.

The national Republican Party today is committed to systematically undermining those values. Under the guise of freedom, free enterprise and entrepreneurship, the party of Abraham Lincoln has been hijacked by leaders who relish making government the enemy. They take pride in weakening our core as a community, but do it while boldly rigging the economic and political system to protect those who have already won, privatizing the gains and socializing the losses, all the while espousing cultural and social values designed to return women and minorities to the days of “Mad Men.”

Finally, President Obama has my vote because to me, Mitt Romney is the poster child for hypocrisy. Ten years after he was elected as the socially moderate, fiscal conservative governor of Massachusetts, he has changed his position on nearly every major social and public policy issue and yet he exhibits no shame.

If elected it’s not at all clear which Mitt Romney we will get. The moderate — or the severe conservative? The one who “loves” all 100 percent of us — or the one who says 47 percent of us are just “takers”?

The one who pledged armed intervention in Syria and Iran — or the “peace loving” candidate we saw at the last debate? The pro-choice candidate for governor — or the pro-life candidate for president?

Who is he trying to seduce with these baldly politically driven shifts? Surely no one can believe he will challenge the dominant right wing base that elects him?

For me, the choice is crystal clear — not because Obama fulfilled all his promises of “hope and change,” or that all the critiques are wrong. The choice for me is clear because I want to be able to trust my president, as well as believe in his character and integrity.

I want to know that my president is focused on protecting the public interest, ensuring that the people and not just the special interests will be heard, and that he, above all else, will work to restore the sense that we are all in this together.

In the words of John W. Gardner, the legendary founder of Common Cause, “Liberty and duty, freedom and responsibility. That’s the deal.”

I want a commander-in-chief who understands that that deal is more than a political slogan – that it is the core of presidential leadership.

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Tags: Barack Obama, Election 2012, Mitt Romney

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the writer and do not in any way reflect the views of WBUR management or its employees.

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  • Travis White

    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Countries ✓
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Cities ✓
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Neighbourhoods ✓
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Schools✓
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Anything ✓
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Children

    “Anti-Racists” have yet to tell Asian children in Asia & African children in Africa that THEY must be flooded with hundreds of millions of people who are not their race and force assimilated to END their own race and culture.

    “Anti-Racists” only demand this program of genocide on to WHITE children.
    Anti racism is a code word for anti White.

    • MrLongleg

      I can’t believe that you are not absolutely ashamed by posting this racist BS! I am white and am not afraid at all of assimilation. This is a free country where everybody (incl. brown people) have the right to pursue their happiness, Go and crawl back under the rock you came from…

      • Travis White

        Yes you are right

        Asia is for the Asians
        Africa is for the Africans
        but
        WHITE COUNTRIES ARE FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        It is called GENOCIDE

        Anti-Racist is a codeword for Anti-White

  • John

    I’m absolutely sick and tired of hearing democrats complain about an obstructionist congress. There are two problems to this complaint:

    1.) The president has no legal right to enact legislation. He is the head of the executive branch, the branch that executes – carries out – the laws enacted by the legislative branch. His job is to take what the congress (both houses combined) give to him and veto what laws he doesn’t think he can execute.

    2.) Obama had a majority in both houses of congress in his first two year. The democrats squandered that time giving us a heath care law that 60% of the nation wasn’t comfortable with.

    Meanwhile, when campaigning, Obama promised we wouldn’t break 8% unemployment. We did, and stayed there a while. We’re now down to 7.9% based on the typical measurements, so we’re right back to where he said our worst point would be. Meanwhile, if you count in the people who have stopped looking (I’m not talking about people who aren’t looking to begin with, but those who are out of the ranks of actively looking), we’re still near 11%.

    I’m not a huge fan of Romney, but I have zero faith in Obama.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.narbonne.3 Steven Narbonne

    Hey, Scott, will you explain Benghazi to us all?

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