In 2008, a young Illinois senator named Barack Obama declared his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. He captured the attention of the nation for his chance of becoming the first African-American president and for his grandiose vision of hope and change. Many would argue that despite his optimistic vision from 2008, we are no better off than we were then. With that said, I believe Obama deserves four more years, and here are my reasons why.
First, Obama has accomplished more than we give him credit for, and one of his successes has been restoring America’s credibility abroad. He approved the operation to take out Osama bin Laden, brought our troops home from Iraq and banned the use of torture, proving his effectiveness with foreign policy. President Obama has also demonstrated his assertiveness and maturity as a politician through his clear plan for preserving our national security. He is on track to end combat in Afghanistan in 2014 and has made an international effort to contain Iran and North Korea from possession of nuclear weapons.
Domestically, the economy has improved greatly under President Obama. He laid the groundwork for our financial system to recover, set up a Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and reformed the student loan program so higher education can be accessible to more Americans. In addition to that, he passed historic health care legislation and reduced our dependence on foreign oil through increased production of clean coal, natural gas and wind and solar energy. Considering the difficult circumstances he had to work with-especially an ineffective Congress-Obama has made substantial progress in his first term.
I am most passionate about Obama’s record on social issues. He repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, signed the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act and has expressed his support for legalizing gay marriage. Some of my more conservative friends on Facebook have called me selfish for using his track record on equality to justify my vote and they consider the social issues a distraction from the “real” issues. To them I say that these issues are more than a mere “distraction.” Gay marriage, equal pay, access to contraception and my right as a woman to make my own decisions with my body are just a few issues that should have been resolved a long time ago. Yet we are still at each others’ throats in a deeply rooted culture war that rages on through both sides of the political spectrum.
Finally, while Ms. Underwood makes an excellent case for Mitt Romney, I would like to take a minute to explain why I politely disagree. When Obama first ran for the Oval Office in 2008, I was a die hard Republican. However, the ignorance of the Republican politicians led me to divorce myself from the Republican agenda due to irreconcilable differences. While that may sound like the grounds for every other celebrity divorce, recent events make it difficult for me to regret that decision.
I could go on about Rick Perry’s bashing of gays serving openly in the military, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s support of a bill requiring a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion and Todd Akin’s incendiary comments about rape, but ultimately Romney’s lack of a clear plan for our nation and his many gaffes, including his infamous speech about the 47 percent and yes, cutting funding for Big Bird, leave me no reasonable alternative. Obama is the only choice, and I cannot wait to cast my first vote for him this November.