YOU MIGHT HAVE SENSIBLE REASONS not to vote for President Obama in 2012. You might be a billionaire, for example. But when you read a few blogs, check out the political pages on Facebook, and listen to nutjob right-wing news, you quickly realize there are two bizarre strains of thought when it comes to voting against Obama in November, or not bothering to vote for him.
1. The crazy right-wing types insist Mr. Obama is a commie, a Kenyan, a tyrant in black sheep’s clothing (emphasis on “black”) and warn he wants to destroy America with gay marriage licenses and crippling taxation.
2. The grumbling types, including a few disgruntled liberals, complain that President Obama hasn’t carried out all his promises and say it makes no difference whether he or Mitt Romney is elected.
In the end, most Americans choose the candidates they support based in part on fact, in part on opinion. So let’s start with a fact in his support. Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the death of 3,000 innocent Americans, sleeps with the fishes. The nutjob right-wing types sneer, saying: “Obama didn’t kill Osama, the Navy Seals did.” But they’re lying through the right side of their teeth if they try to say they wouldn’t have gone loco if the nighttime raid into Pakistan, ordered by Mr. Obama, had failed.
It’s also a fact that the previous administration, headed up by a rock-ribbed conservative crew, didn’t kill Osama, either. They got us involved in the wrong war, at the wrong time, in the wrong place.
Not convinced? Say what you will about flaws in the Affordable Health Care Act. It may be like having watched legislative sausage being made. But it’s a start. It’s at least an attempt to address serious problems that beset our current health care system. And right now–this very day–if you have a type-1 diabetic in your family, an uncle with lupus, or a wife with multiple sclerosis, your loved ones can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. That’s not all, as they say. If your family has an adult son or daughter, age 19-25, without their own health care coverage, they can now be covered on your family health plan.
Millions of young Americans are better off, as a result.
In fact, if Mr. Obama is a communist, business leaders haven’t noticed. Corporate profits in 2011 reached all-time highs, even as wages stalled or declined. (More on that later.) When the U. S. economy crashed in 2008, the Dow-Jones began a long plunge from 14,164 (October 9, 2007) down to 6,440 (March 9, 2009). Trillions of dollars in investments were wiped off books before the “with-out” a valid birth certificate could recite the first line of the oath of office. Since then, whatever the nutjobs say about the “communist” in the White House, stock market valuations have doubled and the retirement plans of many an angry Tea Partier have been saved.
Remember when Mitt Romney and Republican leaders made fun of “Government Motors” and said it would be a far better thing to “let the U. S. auto industry die?” Talk to a GM or Chrysler worker today, men and women with families and bills to pay, just like you, are still collecting their paychecks and now earning a bit of overtime. How are those “bailed out” companies faring? June 2012 sales figures for General Motors were up 15.5% over 2011, and with 248,750 vehicles sold the company had its best month since the 2008 collapse. Chrysler did even better with sales gains of 20.3%, and its best June figures since 2007.
Speaking of the auto industry, what about howls from the right, blaming Mr. Obama for rising gas prices? As recently as March, Rush Limbaugh was almost apoplectic. Other right-wing types went to great pains to point out that on the day Obama took office a gallon of gas sold for $1.81. Of course, they ignored the fact it was selling cheap in January 2009 because the world economy looked like it was about to go bust.
So, let’s go back to 2008 for a broader perspective. On May 28, 2008, crude oil sold for $135 a barrel and the average price of a gallon of gas was $3.94. Four years later, under Mr. Obama, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped to $3.50 and a barrel of crude is selling for $84. So, congratulations, President Obama.
Really, all you right-wing nutjobs. Go look it up.
NO PRESIDENT, DOMESTICALLY OR IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS, can put up a perfect record. Unemployment is too high and Obama has struggled to bring it down (just like President Reagan during his first term.) He hasn’t closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Nor has he managed to push through the Dream Act. Unlike Mitt Romney, however, he hasn’t emphatically stated that he’ll veto it if it should ever pass. Meanwhile, he has pushed hard to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records; but he has decided not to deport young Latinos, who came to this country as children, who grew up here, who look in their mirrors and see themselves as Americans. Mr. Obama supports gay marriage, too, a far cry from haters on the right who want to put gay people behind barbed-wire fences. And in Libya, we helped take out Moammar Gaddafi, a dictator responsible for an array of terrorist attacks on Americans, including the Lockerbee bombing (December 21, 1988), which numbered 189 U. S. citizens among its victims, and occurred while Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of conservative thinkers, was still in office. President Obama rallied NATO behind him and won the full support of our allies for military action and not ONE American serviceman or servicewoman died in Libya as a result.
In addition, all U. S. troops are out of Iraq.
In recent months a parade of conservatives has marched across the screens on Fox News, spluttering with indignation, because Mr. Obama won’t stick Uncle Sam’s red, white and blue nose into Syrian affairs; but now that country is spiraling toward civil war–and if we are saddened by the loss of life, at least we aren’t stuck in the middle. And these same conservatives, who said we could easily march into Iraq, find weapons of mass destruction, and march right back out again, fault President Obama for not taking a stronger line regarding Iran.
They might tell you President Obama wants to destroy our nation. But Obama is careful not to involve our nation in wars we can avoid. Since January, the U. S. and it’s allies have ramped up diplomatic and economic pressures on Iran and even Iranian leaders admit that the international sanctions are biting. We’re also building up naval and air assets in the Persian Gulf region, sending Iran and our ally Israel signals that we have not ruled out military intervention to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran’s oil exports, which support 80% of it’s national budget, have dropped from 2.5 million barrels daily to 1.5 million. The Iranian banking system has been cut off from all electronic connection with the rest of the world and the Iranian currency has lost half it’s value.
SURE, SENSIBLE PEOPLE MIGHT VOTE AGAINST President Obama; and let them all vote openly, fairly, by all rights. But there are good reasons for most Americans to vote for a second term for Obama and here are a final few for the day. The decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in the case of Citizens’ United, with five conservative U. S. Supreme Court judges holding for the first time in history that corporations are “people” and can pour unlimited funds into political campaigns, means that those same corporation “persons” will soon be in position to buy up politicians in bulk. It’s a decision as bad as any since Plessy v. Feguson, with the potential to corrupt our entire democratic system; and it proves that it is imperative to keep Mitt Romney from having the chance to fill the next high court vacancy. Last but not least, if you’re a union worker in this country, you should be clear by now, and should understand that the GOP won’t rest until it breaks all unions, public and private sector alike.
And if you’re a non-union, blue-collar worker today, you should think twice about which party you’re supporting and keep in mind that the average union worker makes $10,000 more every year than you do, and ask yourself, what do the Republicans ever really say or do to help you get any increase in wages?
Think Bain Capital.
Picture Mitt Romney and friends, pioneering the outsourcing of good American jobs, left and right