The Case for Obama

By Derek Xiao ’15, Brittany Zhang ’15, Katie Slavik ’15

On August 23, 2008, when a young, promising man who spoke of change accepted the nomination for President of America for the Democratic Party, the US was abuzz. Tired from eight years of a Bush administration that started two wars, drove the federal deficit to unprecedented highs, and created the largest economic recession since the Great Depression, Americans dared to hope for a president who could turn the country around. Four years later, the same man is sporting a head of gray hair reflective of the trials of his presidency. Despite dealing with a Republican Congress that insists that their main goal is to make sure “President Obama is a one-term President,” Obama has managed to move America forward. While President Obama says that the job is clearly not finished, he is confident the country is headed in the right direction, a direction Mitt Romney wants to change. What we see isn’t the face of a man who has lost the hope he created, but rather the face of an experienced leader determined to make sure America feels the change he promised in 2008.

First and foremost, the issue that rests heavily on most Americans’ minds is the economy. With the economy still on the rebound, the easy thing to do would be to blame the President. The truth is that most Americans are better off today. Four years ago, Bear Stearns failed, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were bailed out, Lehman Brothers was bankrupt, and the entire financial system was in danger of collapse; America was a mess due to the Republicans. However, within a couple weeks of being sworn in, Obama enacted a $787 billion stimulus and bailouts which helped save Detroit, one of the engines of our economy. Today, the economy is recovering, and unemployment is decreasing, a sure sign that the plan worked. However, during the financial crisis, Romney said, “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” While most Americans were shocked by this statement, putting it into perspective gives it more sense. Romney was a businessman. His success is undeniable, but because of his experience as a leader and millionaire, he doesn’t understand what it would be like to be laid off. Romney doesn’t care about who he lays off, but that’s how businesspeople succeed. But is this the man that should be our president, one who cares more about dollars than the people?

Not only does Romney want to make a “U-turn” with the economic progress, he also has no foreign policy experience. When asked about his policies, he said, “You could just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.” This response is fitting, because Romney has just opposed whatever the President did, while not offering any better alternative. Obama has four years of experience with dealing with international leaders and has pursued security policies to keep the American people safe, while closing a chapter in history by devastating al Qaeda leadership, including the death of Osama bin Ladin, and ending two wars in the Middle East. While Obama has shown courage in foreign policy in his time in office, Mitt Romney only stood on the sidelines, criticizing Obama. He did indeed strongly support U.S. military action against Libya, but once Obama initiated action, Romney then strongly opposed it. Once Obama decided to take out Moammar Gaddafi, Romney once again resolutely opposed it. But once Gadhafi had been killed, Romney decided to approve it. With no definable foreign policy on his own part, it is laughable to hear him criticize Obama for “a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy.”

Obama has also passed, through a tough Republican congress, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, the most significant healthcare reform since Medicare and Medicaid. American families can now gain access to quality, affordable health care. It prevents companies from denying preventive services for women and sick children, and helps seniors afford their prescriptions. Not only do ordinary Americans benefit, but Obamacare is predicted to reduce the deficit by $127 billion. Despite the benefits, Romney will repeal Obamacare, a health care plan based on Romney’s health care plan for Massachusetts. Repealing the act would mean reversing back to the healthcare system we used in the Bush era, and Romney’s plan is to let the states choose their healthcare systems, which is severely flawed as states that have tried to require insurance companies to cover everyone can’t enforce the rule in a way only possible by the federal government. Romney is running a candidacy against a plan modeled after the original healthcare plan he pioneered as governor that will provide insurance to an estimated 30 million people, a sure sign that he is not running for the American people, but instead against the Democrats and what they support.

Furthermore, Obama has worked hard to create better education for the less privileged. For example, Obama has signed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands Pell Grants, money given by the government to pay for responsible students’ college tuitions. Obama does not want to increase class size, which would further drag America behind rising nations as the intellectual powerhouse of the world. Obama has lowered interest rates on student loans so that more students can achieve their goals, while Romney would repeal the reform and claims poorer students can “borrow money from [their] parents.” Romney is out of touch with Americans, and as he does repeatedly, he shows how he has no idea what it is like for the middle-class. Because he doesn’t know the hardships of the middle-class, even if he desired so, Romney could not stand up for the middle class.

When then Senator Barack Obama stepped onto that stage in Denver, Colorado in 2008, the nation had a reason to be excited. This was a man who first and foremost, firmly believed in hope for change, but also had the determination and strength to fight for what he believed in. He fought for everyday Americans, for their parents, and for their children. He believes in LGBT rights, and repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He supports pro-choice and signed the Fair Pay Act. He supports energy independence and opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline. Although Republicans have made it tough to get America back on the right tracks the last four years, Obama has fought through the challenges and turned in a very productive first term that includes saving the economy from potential disaster, turning al-Qaeda into a loose, unorganized mess, helping all Americans gain access to reasonable health care, and supporting higher education for all Americans. While the country is on the right track, however, the job is not done. Luckily for Americans, neither is the man. With another four years of President Barack Obama, America will once again prosper “from sea to shining sea.”

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