Monday, November 5, 2012

Election 2012: The Land Of Hopes And Dreams

When George W. Bush was reelected as President in 2004 some of my friends who were Democrats were quite upset. By that time President Bush’s leadership he demonstrated after 9/11 had faded in people’s minds and many liberals expressed significant issues with his leadership. It wasn’t just my friends were angry with Bush being re-elected. A lot of people were spreading doomsday scenarios resulting from four more years of President Bush.

But we survived and none of my friends who said they would, actually moved to Canada.

Now the tables are turned. The same liberal negativity towards President Bush is coming from extreme conservative voices towards President Obama. The doomsdays scenarios and the criticisms are just as crazy as the far left liberal complaints about President Bush.

Is there a lot at stake in this election? Yes, but it reaches far beyond just the president. While the Electoral College renders some people’s voices moot, local elections and referendums count on every single vote, every single voice. So please do your research and vote.

I vote because even with Politics, I’m an optimist. Are their corrupt self-serving politicians out there? Of course. There’s corrupt self-serving people in every part of our society, from schools to churches, from books clubs to waiters. But we still go to these places. We don’t’ just give up on institutions because they have problems.

We are the American government. It’s not some alien entity, the government is a reflection of who we are, with all of our great traits and some features we’d rather not think about sometimes. It is the collective expression of all our greed and selfishness, but it is also an expression of our greatest hopes and dreams.

A couple months after President Obama was elected someone I knew who was conservative asked me how that “hope and dream stuff” was working out for me.

After four years it’s still working out great. I still believe in President Obama.

I don’t believe Mr. Romney is a horrible person or that he’d lead our country into an apocalyptic zombie wasteland of capitalism run wild. In many ways he would be a very similar president to President Obama. To accomplish his goals he would have to move towards the center with many of his views like President Obama had to. Any major changes he would try to make would take time to implement.

Am I worried about the economy? Yes, am I sure either Mr. Romney or President Obama have significantly better plans to fix it? Not really. It’s not like the President can literally make jobs. I don’t think President Clinton doesn't deserve the credit for the surplus, and President Bush doesn't the blame for the recession. The consequences of economic policies are passed down to latter presidents. It’s difficult to place blame or credit for something as immensely complex as the economy on one person. I trust that there are smarter people then me trying to figure this stuff out on both sides of the aisle.  Regardless of who will be elected, our economy will continue to improve, not because of one man but because of our collective will.  

The main reason I voted for President Obama is that I believe he along with the Democratic party is on the right side of history when it comes to LGBT rights and women’s rights.

Democrat Stephen A. Douglas was on the wrong side of history when it came the issue of slavery when he lost to President Lincoln.  Southern Democrats as well as some Republicans were wrong fighting against the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act.

While slavery and Civil Rights were extremely contentious issues of their time, no reasonable person in our society now would argue that our country did not move into the proper direction of protecting more people’s rights.

We are now at a similar impasse. The Supreme Court is deciding which case to hear this year about the issue of Gay Marriage. Women’s rights have once again come to the fore as a political issue. At this critical time, more than ever, we need a President who can lead on these issues, fighting to expand rights to all citizens.

Can President Obama make these changes all by himself? No, but his voice, on these issues brings comfort to those who feel disenfranchised and reminds us of the compassion within us that we sometimes forget. This is the part of us that puts aside stereotypes, and insecurities and acknowledges the basic human rights that we all deserve. Right now, every single voice that fights against hate and bigotry is literally saving lives.

I am 100% confident that future Republican candidates and Republican platforms will have very different things to say about LGBT Rights and Women’s Rights. It will take some time and there will be people like the ones whose insecurities resulted in the need for National Guard Members to escort students to school in Little Rock. But we will get through this, and America will continue to expand rights to all of its citizens.

So vote. Vote with the best inside of you. Don’t vote for a “lesser evil.” Put aside the gaffs, the jokes, and the headlines.  Think about who represents the best inside of you, the best inside of all of us. Believe in our system as we believe in ourselves. Place hope in politicians through your vote. If you don’t believe in anything or anybody, you will never be disappointed, but then again you will never know what its like to feel the glory of a dream fulfilled.

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