In the race for president, set aside everything you know about the two candidates for a moment and reflect on the country you want to live in. Is it a country whose foundation is to strengthen the whole, or to strengthen the individual? Is it a country willing to help those less fortunate or do all Americans fend for themselves? Is it a country that employs a tax policy that seeks to spread wealth, or is it a country that favors a growing gap between rich and poor?
Is it a country that fosters cultural tolerance, or is it increasingly dogmatic? Is it a nation that favors corporate American or American workers? Is it a country willing to invest in its schools? Is it a country willing to believe in scientific findings and respond responsibly, or will its leaders deny what is obvious and launch campaigns that knowingly spread misinformation?
We aspire to live in a country that takes care of its own. We endorse the principle behind Medicare and Medicaid, behind a health care system that does not disenfranchise millions of Americans from a reasonable level of care.
We believe in a fail-safe Social Security. We are inspired by a strong public education system, admire the concept of student loans and Pell grants that encourage students from lower incomes to pursue higher education. We believe a college or technical education for all Americans is what will make our nation stronger for generations to come and we believe its funding is a priority.
We aspire to be part of a nation that understands the threat of climate change and is willing to make the changes necessary to reduce carbon emissions so our children and their children are not faced with ever-worsening options. Addressing climate change is the issue of our time and we aspire to be part of a country that confronts that issue and leads the world forward.
President Barack Obama embraces those aspirations as well. Four years ago he inspired the nation with a campaign of hope, but that campaign was largely put on hold because of the Great Recession and the emergency measures the nation had to pursue to right a sinking ship. Now that the economy is almost back on track, Obama deserves another four years to pursue those original goals with renewed vigor.
His opponent, Republican Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has flip-flopped on so many issues he’s lost the trust of most Americans. That’s not surprising: there is so little fact to his policies that in his mind they are fungible — but, worse, they are also wrong for America. A Romney presidency would leave the nation more in debt, would set the country back decades on women’s rights, gay rights and on the nation’s immigration policies, would ignore climate change, and would undermine the gains President Obama has made in foreign policy.
Don’t let that happen. Do your part to help re-elect President Obama and let him pursue the changes he set out to accomplish four years ago.
Angelo S. Lynn