Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Wrap Up: Voting My Conscience, Voting for President Obama

Yesterday I wasn’t mentally prepared to discuss the presidential election.  The vote was very close and this election season had been such an ugly one that I didn’t want to dredge up any additional negativity in the universe; I didn’t want to sabotage the outcome I had been envisioning in my head.

Now that almost all of the electoral loose ends have been tied up, I thought I would take the opportunity to share my views on the candidates and my thoughts on the electoral results.  Let me preface this post by saying that the views expressed are my own and (duh) are entirely subjective.  If you don’t agree with me, bully for you, I don’t want to hear about it; I do not troll your blog (unless you’re Donald Trump), so do not troll mine.

That being said, I’m decidedly thrilled with the outcome of the presidential election;  I, like a majority of Californians, voted to reelect President Obama. I voted for the President in 2008 and, after much soul searching and reflecting on the past four years, I decided to cast my vote for Mr. Obama against.  Let me tell you why.

I am better off today than I was four years ago.  Four years ago, I was working in my first post-graduate school teaching position and was preparing for the inevitable layoff notice that I was going to receive in the Spring (on my birthday, no less).  In 2008 I didn’t have a lot of hope that the future was going to be any brighter for my generation; to me, it seemed as if the Baby Boomer generation had destroyed the economy and watched the future of the younger generation-- my generation-- combust without a single protest.  At the ripe old age of twenty-five, I had virtually given up any hope of retiring or even getting to make a living in my chosen profession.  I felt that I had done everything right-- worked hard, went to college and graduate school-- but was still not seeing any of the fruits of my labor.

Four years on, scarily close to thirty, I do have an inkling of hope, a sense that the future will be (somewhat) brighter.  First of all, I am once again fully employed in a teaching position and I have been for almost two years; I managed to secure my “clear” teaching credential (a process that occupies the first two years of a teacher’s career); and I’ve consequently been able to gain professional experience while earning a decent wage and paying into a state retirement plan.

Though these professional gains are modest ones, they are improvements that I hadn’t expected to ever find four years ago.  I can’t say that the past four years have been all sunshine and roses-- they haven’t-- but I do know that I am better off today than I was four years ago to this day and I am in a better position because of the President’s leadership.  Our nation is still shaky financially; however, the President’s policies did help the situation from getting far worse than it could have been.

The financial crisis was a lot like a major bodily injury in which the victim loses massive amounts of blood.  As a first responder, all you can really do is stem the flow of blood and stabilize the victim; it takes time for someone to recover from major injury.  Truly, the economy is the same; it will take years for the economy to recover its recessionary losses; to expect the President to correct such errors in four years (two of which have been stalled by political gridlock) is impractical.

Another reason why I voted for the President is because he trusts women to make their own choices about their doctors with their medical professionals.  I think it’s important for people to understand the importance of allowing others to make choices they may not make for themselves.  Even if you believe in your heart of hearts that abortion is wrong, your moral objections should not infringe upon someone else’s right to have a safe and legal abortion.  You can morally object all you want, that is your right; however, your rights do not supersede another person’s.  Women should make their own healthcare choices; the government shouldn’t make those choices for them.  Full stop.

Perhaps the primarily reason why I decided to vote for President Obama was the Affordable Care Act which, despite the storm in a teacup it stirred up, is a fantastic thing.  I don’t think you can grasp how profound a change this piece of legislation will have on the lives of millions, myself included.  Like millions of other Americans of all ages, I have a pre-existing condition that, in many circumstances, could prevent me from being insured or even from getting the treatment that I require.  However, because of “Obamacare,” I know that I will be able to get the care that I need.  I’m not asking for Uncle Sam to pay my medical bills, just the peace of mind in knowing that I will not go bankrupt paying for my medical bills.

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it is important that you weigh your options carefully and really interrogate what a choice means to you.  No matter who you vote for, you cannot lose if you vote your conscience.



P.S. No trolling! -_-

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