In 2008 the Independent News endorsed Barack Obama for president. The weight of two wars, escalating healthcare costs, senseless inequality and economic uncertainty were on our minds when we made this decision. Based on what he’s done with his first term, we think we made the right call—so much so that we’re willing to bet on Obama again.
When you really think about what he’s done in just four years, it’s pretty impressive:
Passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; reforming student loans; ending the war in Iraq; killing Osama Bin Laden and finally making some real progress on the health care front with the Affordable Care Act. (And those are just some of the highlights.)
But when you think about him doing all of that while navigating his way through the worst economic climate since the Depression, it’s even more impressive. Everyone who thought a president couldn’t or shouldn’t tackle social issues during such dire economic times has been proven wrong. He didn’t take on health care reform because it was an easy campaign promise he could cross off the list. He took it on because in the long run health care reform will help our economy. Obama is a multi-tasker, a long-term thinker who sees the big picture and he has governed that way—even when some people didn’t understand or get why he cared. And America is better off because of him.
We all know the economy looms large over this election. But blaming Obama for all of our economic woes is a pretty weak argument. The reality is that our economy was a sinking ship when Obama took office in January 2009. He took the wheel of that ship and began steering us in the direction of recovery. Sure, his progress has been slower and smaller than everyone would like, but it’s still progress. Thirty-one straight months of private sector job growth, translating to 5.2 million jobs. Nearly 500,000 of those jobs added are manufacturing jobs—the most growth since 1997.
If you’re debating voting for his opponent, Mitt Romney, based on economic issues, you’re not alone. But believing that the economy is better off under Republicans is a dated generalization. Just compare the numbers from Bill Clinton’s terms versus George W. Bush’s—that should be all the evidence you need to retire that theory. None of Romney’s proposed economic policies can guarantee more jobs or overall growth than what Obama has accomplished. His “5 Point Plan” is good on paper; but a lot of economists and experts who have studied it have questions about how the math adds up.
You can’t guarantee that your vote for Romney will be good for the economy. But you can guarantee that it will be bad in terms of women’s issues and the ongoing fight for LGBT equality. Romney has vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade and take away a woman’s right to choose and turn it into a state’s rights issue. He has also promised to champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Those are things you can guarantee will be on the agenda of Romney’s first term. Taking away rights from women and same sex couples in exchange for possible economic growth? That’s not a risk we’re willing to take. We bet you aren’t either.
There’s a lot at stake in this election. Don’t be lame and buy into the “elections don’t matter” mentality. Elections matter. Your vote matters. In presidential elections, your vote really matters, since we live a swing state. Less than 1,000 votes from the state of Florida put George Bush and Dick Cheney into the White House. We all know there are more than 1,000 Floridians that wish they had cast their ballot 12 years ago. Don’t let that be you this time around. We hope you vote and we hope you vote for Barack Obama.