I Choose Obama

H ere’s why I believe Barack Obama is worth your support. p5rn7vb

Here’s why you have to vote tomorrow.

I shake my head at the comments these people make.  These are your “low information voters”.  They’ve been bamboozled by the cynics on the Right, who are mobilizing them to get out and vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.  What’s sad is that these people have bought the GOP talking points fully.  Notice when the interviewer asks them to get specific, they’re unable to do anything other than sputter some inchoate rage about how Obama’s “not American” or that “they want their freedom back.” What you’re hearing are GOP talking points that tap into the irrational and racist feelings that a certain segment of the population has towards Obama.  You hear the effects of their demonizing Obama at every turn, suggesting that he’s causing the complete ruin of America. Such bullshit, I’m sorry to say.

The sadness is that they don’t know they’re being played.  What we’ve seen for the past four years is a GOP that isn’t in search of what’s best for America, rather they’re in search of a way to return to power.  Nothing sticks in the collective craw of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Karl Rove, and all of the other right wing power players more than the fact that a populist wave, a real desire for change, swept the first African American into the presidency, an event that represents of all of the efforts over the last 50 years to make a more equitable society.

And Koch-Adelsons have pulled out every dirty trick in the book to roll it all back. Voter suppression efforts by Republican-run states (even though a GOP strategist admits it’s just “Republican mythology”). Efforts to break the unions.  Enabling corporations to pour unaccounted dollars into the election. Pledging to repeal a healthcare law that provides coverage for over 30 million more people.  Attacking women’s healthcare and reproductive rights.  Resisting efforts to make the rich (and corporations!) pay their fair share in taxes.

Fact is, the Koch-Adelsons hate everyone who’s not reppin’ for their privilege to do as they see fit.

I have a daughter.  I want her to grow up in a country where she’s in full control of her body and her life.  That means 1) she should get paid the same as any many for the same work.  That the Republicans are against the Fair Pay Act–and Mitt Romney won’t say what his opinion is either way–is shameful for a 21st century nation that purports to be a world leader.  And 2) if there ever comes a time when she needs to get an abortion, she should be able to make that choice and live with whatever moral or ethical consequences there are.

You don’t believe in abortions? Fine, then don’t have one.  But you don’t get to impose your views on the rest of us.  The Amish don’t believe in technology, but they’re not trying to outlaw iPads. They just don’t use them!

It’s worth noting that Obama is not a perfect alternative by any means. There’s a sizable list of things about him and his administration you can take issue with: Not closing Guantanamo Bay and authorizing indefinite detention; continuing the Patriot Act; drone strikes; adding names to a kill list. These are things that the progressive community still has to challenge the administration on because many of them provide no public accountability by the government to us.

This election is also about the Supreme Court.  Within the next four years, there will need to be some new appointments. We will want justices on the Court who look to interpret the Constitution through the prism of today’s society, not one that existed over 200 years ago when blacks were 3/5 human.  We’ll want justices who won’t see the need to re-hear cases that have been settled, i.e., Roe vs. Wade.

Should Barack have articulated a “black agenda”?  Some still press this issue, but I say that’s absurd.  There are absolutely many things that ail our community: higher-than-average unemployment, male incarceration, HIV rates among black women. But to suggest that Obama should’ve had a “black agenda” ignores the fact that he’s the President of the United States, not the President of Black America.  And, especially in this highly partisan environment, I believe it’s asking way too much for Obama to articulate a specific “black agenda”.

Be clear: There’s been no gridlock in Washington.  There’s just Republican obstruction to any and everything Obama had tried to do.  The GOP is in thrall to the extreme right wing billionaires and the rubes who make up the Tea Party are just pawns.  What you see is a group of people who are not concerned about the good of the country.  Rather, they’re most interested in their own power and the power of the few wealthy individuals and corporations that back them.  That, my friends, isn’t democracy.  It’s called plutocracy.

Romney, Ryan and their big money puppeteers don’t care about you or me.  They’re more than willing to wrap themselves in the rhetoric of patriotism in order to convince the uniformed to vote against their own interests

So I say a vote for Barack is a vote for our sisters, wives, mothers and daughters to have the right to choose and to equal pay.  It’s a vote for unions to organize.  It’s a vote to check corporations who still don’t believe you can make a profit AND do some good in the world.  It’s a vote to make it easier for people to get financial aid for higher education.  It’s a vote for the wealthy to pay their fair share. It’s a vote for a president who understands the complexities of the world we live in today.

And, vote tomorrow for Obama is a vote to support the progressive culture we all care about.  I’m not suggesting that Obama is anything other than the centrist he is.  Realistically, that’s the type of person who can make it to the presidency.  We’re some years away from a truly progressive president.  In the meantime, giving Obama another four years signals that America is ready to continue its move towards a more equitable society.  Let him finish what he started.  That’s the kind of encouragement we could all use as we continue to work to make that vision a reality.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.