October 14, 2012

Why I Support President Obama

A friend of mine asked me why I support President Obama. Here is my answer:

As a preface, I think there's a stark contrast between between President Obama and Governor Romney, in regards to honesty, conviction and consistency. I think anyone who has watched Romney over the past few years knows he changes his opinions based on the moment, so if he were President, I don't think anyone knows how he would govern -- not even Romney.


In regards to President Obama, I don't agree with him on every issue, and he's let me down on occasion, but, overall, he's tried very hard to fulfill his 2008 campaign promises. If you look at the numbers, he has kept (or made compromises to keep) more than 50% of his promises, and another 20% are in the works. He has broken 17%, but that's not bad when you look at historical data. PolitiFact has all the numbers, if you want to see the details.

President Obama thinks about the long view and doesn't always do what's politically advantageous in the short-term. He takes time to think issues through and doesn't shy away from nuance. This is why he's not the best debater. He doesn't think or talk in soundbites. I like this about him, even though he gets beat up for it on occasion.

When Obama took office, he inherited a mess, which he has improved bit-by-bit, once again, thinking about the long view. It will take more than four years to turn this damaged ship around, and I think he's earned the chance to finish what he has begun. 

He saved the American auto industry and bolstered the economy through stimulus packages. There's debate around whether he did too much or too little in these regards, but I think he found a solid middle-ground. 

In regards to Obamacare, there are a lot of great benefits. Will it get tweaked and improved over time? Yes, but The Affordable Care Act is a good (if imperfect) start. Insurance will cover more people, which will help negate ER healthcare that is both expensive and ineffective. When LBJ signed Medicare into law in 1965 there was exaggerated talk of socialism, but, in time, LBJ was on the right side of history, and I think President Obama will be too.

When it comes to battling terrorism, the facts stand for themselves. Osama bin Laden and countless other terrorists are dead, and President Obama's resolve hasn't wavered. Also, he brought our soldiers home from Iraq, tightened sanctions against Iran and has a plan to extract the U.S. from Afghanistan. And how he handled these actions improved America's standing in the world, which took a beating during the unilateral Bush years. 

Regarding social issues, he ended DADT, pushed back on DOMA and backed gay marriage (although Biden forced his hand here). I know some people disagree with this one because of their religious beliefs, and here's where an important fact surfaces about my political views. Years ago, I realized I had  to step outside my own opinions and worldview when it comes to law. You have to view issues from multiples points of view and always remember do unto others. I'm not gay and rights afforded to gay couples don't impact me personally, but they do impact the lives of many hard-working, tax-paying Americans (not to mention many of my friends). I would never condone a law that forced a church to go against its tenets and marry a gay couple, but I wholeheartedly support civil marriages because it's the fair thing to do. Equality is equality.

In addition, President Obama passed Wall Street reform, helped oust Gaddafi, did away with torture, expanded Pell Grants, upped fuel-efficiency standards and increased support for veterans.

Also, Joe Biden says things like malarkey.