Friday, November 2, 2012

He's Not Heavy He's My Brother: My Support for President Barack Obama

As the 2012 election draws to a close I wanted to dedicate my final campaign post to the candidate I've been endorsing for months, the current Commander-in-Chief, Barack H. Obama.

Admittedly it's been a rough 4 years, the economy is in the toilette, college is more expensive than ever, jobs are scant and just in case republicans haven't said it enough, the was an attack in Libya.  But when looking at the hand Obama was dealt I find it disingenuous for anyone to say he hasn't performed admirably and with grace.

When Obama came into office he inherited a massive debt accrued by former President Bush.  With limited help from republicans the President has been trying his best to fix the economy but it is not an easy job.  how can one honestly expect a person to fix something in four years that it took eight years to break?  It is just not that simple.

The President has also been working tirelessly to make student loans more manageable and to increase funding for community colleges.  He understands that higher education is not a privilege it is a right.  In 1954 The Supreme Court declared that separate but equal is inherently unequal and it seems as though republicans have forgotten this history lesson.  The separation today may not be De Jure but it is most definitely De Facto, with people of lower socio-economic classes being left out or left behind.  Mitt Romney and his fellow republicans believe that the answer to improve the education problems in the U.S is to have more charter schools, to impose more benchmark tests and to limit if not remove federal college aid, and of course if you need money for school you can always borrow from your parents because they MUST be wealthy.  None of these solutions would do anything but worsen the state of education in this country.  We don't need more tests, or to ships students out of their neighborhoods to attend school, we need equality of opportunity.  If the local public schools are damaged the should be fixed the not outsourced because no child should have to travel outside their own neighborhoods to receive a quality education and our President understands that.

Anytime foreign policy is discussed republicans love to fear monger and ignore the fact that Obama did in three years what Bush couldn't do in eight, capture Osama Bin Laden.  They claim that we are in greater danger than ever before and that the President has made the United States look weak.  In a sense maybe they are right, anytime a nation goes from being a diplomatic bully or a global police officer to a calmer, less "rough and ready" force than I'm sure War Hawks would see this as weak, and I'm okay with that.  This world doesn't always need soldiers ready to annihilate anyone they perceive may eventually be a threat, sometimes we just need peace or at least not active conflict. Because where have these bulldog tactics gotten us?  Millions of lives lost and damaged in Vietnam, death and destruction in South East Asia, an unwinnable war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more enemies than ever before, clearly brute force is not the answer.

Mitt Romney will tell you that government is the problem and that the power should lay with the states  but historical we know that is a falsehood.  The federal government got us out of the Great Depression not localities, government creates jobs and provides aid to the people who need it most when states cannot.  The federal government passed laws to end segregation and voter intimidation in the south when the states either did nothing or encourages it.  In fact states like South Carolina still must have changes to their voting laws approved by the federal government because of their history of discrimination so it is clear states don't always get it right.

Nobody told us the road was going to be easy, in fact the road has been rough and the going has been tough, and the hills have been hard to climb, but we must hold on because that is life. There is no such thing as a quick fix to a major problem and to expect one you are only doing yourself a disservice. That being said, at the end of the day the choice is all of ours. Do we want a President who knows that our problems our his problems, that the wealthiest among us should pay their fair share and that the poorest among us need the most help, that equality should not be a dream but a reality, and that it IS in fact the Government's responsibility to serve the people. Because if they are not serving the ones who elected them, if they are not here to aid the ones who have put them in office who are they here for?

I took the title of this post "He's not heavy he's my brother he can not encumber me" from a Donny Hathaway song because it perfectly exemplified my feelings about this election and Barack Obama.  I know these past couple of years have not been perfect, there have been mistakes and pitfalls but despite the political baggage the president has accumulated (just or unjust) I honestly believe that he is the best choice for the the nation and I will continue to support him and I hope that all of you will as well.