ICYMI: Santa Fe New Mexican Endorsement: "For President, Barack Obama"
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 22 October 2012 - 10:10am
For president, Barack Obama
The New Mexican
Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 10/20/12
President Barack Obama has earned four more years.
He inherited an unholy mess — an economy teetering on the edge of a second Great Depression and two foreign wars top the list of disasters. Slowly, steadily and with his eye fixed firmly on the needs of the country, the president has worked hard every day to improve our collective good. It was President Obama who bailed out the auto industry, salvaging 1.1 million jobs and keeping manufacturing alive in this country. It was President Obama who made the gutsy call to invade a compound in Pakistan, tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden. It was President Obama who finally signed comprehensive health reform so that no American has to fear bankruptcy because of a medical catastrophe. More work remains for a second term.
Despite 31 months of consecutive job growth, too many Americans still need jobs. Despite ending the war in Iraq, the United States still must leave Afghanistan and repurpose our military strength. Despite passing the Affordable Care Act, we need a President Obama in office to ensure that citizens do not lose their dearly won access to health care. Despite progress on equal rights — passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensuring equal pay for women, ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military so that gay and lesbian troops can serve openly and announcing his support for equal marriage — more progress is needed.
And it is that word — progress — that we urge voters to keep in mind when casting their ballots. Voters are not simply choosing between two men — President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney — they are selecting two philosophies of governing and of life.
In the world of Barack Obama, raised by a single mother and grandparents, propelled to the top through his own hard work, intelligence and drive, we all do better when we come together. He has never forgotten the struggles of his youth, understanding better than most the necessity of individual initiative. To Obama, government is not the enemy. It is not dispenser of all wisdom or wealth, either. Government is the safety net that catches the weak, the sick, the old and the very poor. It is also our collective will in action — building, defending and securing our nation. Obama will not privatize Social Security or reduce Medicare to a voucher system that costs too much while not guaranteeing treatment. He understands that Medicaid, which underwrites medical care for the very poor, must be protected from budget slashers who think nothing of leaving sick people at the emergency room door while asking for more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
Mitt Romney’s world is very different, one of privilege and wealth, where in his view, 47 percent of all citizens are takers who won’t assume responsibility for their lives. He had the good fortune to be born in a two-parent home, and should be credited for taking his comfortable start and building a fortune with it. He is a model of a citizen, a good father, husband and church member, contributing to his greater community with both his time and treasure. However, his vision for the United States — with almost half the population moochers — will not lift the least of us up. Instead, it will continue to divide the country along class lines, further splitting us between the haves-a-lot and everyone else.
This election — aren’t they all? — is an important one.
The next president will appoint one, perhaps two Supreme Court justices. Those unelected justices, as the entire country knows, extend the influence of a president long after his term ends; we much prefer a Sotomayor or a Kagan to a Scalia or Thomas.
The next president must continue navigating the dangerous shoals of the Middle East — it is disconcerting to realize that many of Gov. Romney’s foreign policy advisers are the same people who drew us into the unnecessary war in Iraq. They seem hellbent on attacking Iran, another disastrous war the country does not need. The next president must cut spending and raise revenues, smartly and with precision, so that the nation continues necessary investments in education, infrastructure and innovation, while at the same time reducing the deficit. The next president must pass comprehensive immigration reform, finding a path to citizenship for the many people now living in the shadows, while at the same time securing our borders.
So much accomplished in four years. So much remaining to be done.
For president of the United States, The Santa Fe New Mexican endorses Barack Obama.