The Big Vote

The presidential candidates

So I started working on this post a little over a month ago, and I want to start off by saying that I’ve never really gotten involved in politics before so this is my first attempt at something like this. I’ve never been interested in politics for a number of reasons which I won’t bore you with now, but I have done my research and I set out trying to be as objective as possible.

However, this failed almost instantly and I’m sorry to say that my journalistic ethical code has gone right out of the window concerning this particular subject and I’m going to state out right that I am pro-Obama.

Now, I know as a British citizen a lot of people may question why this sort of thing even bothers me in the first place, but America has so much power over us and the rest of the world why shouldn’t I offer my opinion even if I am British. The result of this election will drastically influence Britain and the majority of Europe first and fore most economically, but in many other ways as well, so I feel justified in writing this post.

I’ll start with my conclusion: If America elects Mitt Romney to become president of the most powerful and influential country in the world, I am genuinely scared for anybody that isn’t a white, rich, misogynistic, straight and closed-minded male. AndI say this with good reason.

As I stated at the beginning of the post that this all started a month ago when a small bout of insomnia hit and I ended up awake at four o’clock in the morning watching the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. I was initially amused thinking this whole thing was a big joke, and that no-one could actually be considering this man to run the country. Especially female voters.  Then amusement turned to frustration, anger and many other negative emotions which resulted in this post.

My primary concern was originally Romney’s policy and attitude towards female health care. I am baffled as to why female voters are even considering voting for this upper middle-class man who thinks that it’s not only acceptable to take away a woman’s basic human right to decide her own health care, but also a man who has argued over whether rape can ever be “legitimate”, a man who is wanting to ban female contraception and abortion regardless of circumstance. For a man who claims he wants to bring America forward, he’s taking several steps backwards in regards to women.

His wife, who although has gone through some tough personal battles and I respect her for this, just makes me angry. During the campaign she’s been trying to repair Romney’s extremely broken relationship with female voters. My question is why Americans want a First Lady whose core values are those of a 1950s house wife with no rights, and who lives to serve their husband and children.

When appealing to female voters, she addressed women who were working mothers, saying that regardless of whether you have just worked a nine to five job, it is expected that you come home and you help your children with homework regardless of how tired you are because “It’s how it is, isn’t it?” Since then I have seen several conferences with placards of ‘WOMEN LOVE ROMNEY’ and my initial gut reaction is just: NO! It is something that is just purely mind-boggling to me.

Let’s compare this to Obama who has frequently said that he is absolutely against men deciding female health care, that he respects women enough to let them make their own decisions about contraceptives and abortion. For me the choice between the two is simple: point Obama.

Their policies on homosexuality is something else that extremely concerns me, which I may be a little too involved in because it is something that is personal to me, I have family members and a best friend who are gay and it just doesn’t affect who they are as people, how much I love them and it should not affect their basic human rights to marry whomever they choose. However, I digress a little.

I applaud Obama for being the first president to say that gay marriage should be legal in all states, because frankly it should. There is just no other way of seeing it. Romney’s backward and homophobic opinions on this matter disgust me, and I just can’t trust this man to run America when clearly he doesn’t respect everyone as equal human beings. Massive point to Obama.

After looking at Romney’s policies on health care, the word hypocrite springs to mind. This is a man who created a similar policy to Obamacare when he was governor, and now wants to overturn this health care plan to satisfy the pressures of his Republican party.

As a Briton I have to admit I am a little biased when it comes to National Healthcare, because I love our healthcare service, though it is flawed, I think it’s only right that everyone has equal rights to healthcare, regardless of income or insurance. Sorry Romney but based on policy and hypocrisy the point goes to Obama.

Let’s move on to foreign affairs, (which I knew little about until I started reading up on it, so please forgive any mistakes). So I’m going to break this down into simple terms, mostly for my benefit, and leave you to decide for yourselves as I really can’t input much opinion on it, though as it is one of, if not the most important topics of the debate, I feel like I have to cover it.

When it comes to National defence, I am all anti-war, but I am not unrealistic in thinking that we can just drag ourselves (American and British troops alike) out of these people’s countries and going back to our own business. So, who’s got the best policy on this?

A side note before I compare the policies: I came across this one website where it explained one of Romney’s ideas was that he wanted to ‘modernize air and naval forces’ which made me chuckle after seeing his interview where he showed he had no understanding of the basic functions of a plane (you all know which one I’m talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJKpqFKBlG4).

During the conferences and tours I’ve found that Obama is playing on the assassination of Osama Bin Laden during his term, his plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, his wish to cut military funds, etc. Although major points to Obama for the assassination of Bin Laden, I think the rest of his promises are a little hard to believe, but that’s just me.

From what I understand, Romney has a “plan” when it comes to funding the military and adding more troops to the army, which he refuses to share with anyone. Worrying I know. I’m also more than a little concerned at his wish to alienate America and their military activities, which ties in a little with his environmental policies.

Moving onto their policies, input and plans for Iran, Israel, and China etc. I can’t really offer much enlightenment because I tend to stay away from these issues because honestly, I don’t really understand them. As unprofessional as this is I am going to link you all to a wonderful website my best friend so kindly linked me to which will explain all of these issues much better than I can. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-candidates-obama-and-romney-on-foreign-policy/1026723/1

For me, no points to anybody, but that’s my own personal issues and beliefs which can’t be resolved no matter who is elected.

On a side note, I think Romney’s trip to Britain in the summer was appalling, and really damaged any future relationship he could possibly have with us as a country. I mean, did you have to be so rude, unprofessional and petty? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.  As a result, the British public now favour Obama to Romney ten to one, bravo Mitt, bravo.

Moving on to environmental issues, which as previously stated ties a little in with the issues above.

Obama is all for doing what he can to avoid future oil spills and do what he can with his carbon footprint. Now, I’m no eco-warrior but I do think after the disaster of the BP oil spill, this is something that has to be a priority because it literally affects everything both now and in the future. Although, this isn’t an area I am an expert in I think Romney’s plan of drilling anywhere and everywhere to ensure America’s independence in nuclear power (see the connection?) is just a little worrying. Again, point Obama.

I have one final point to make and compare before I wrap this up and that is their differences in education. As a student, this is something that I take great personal interest in, in British politics as well so I know a little more about this than some of the previous subjects.

I know the American education system is a little different to ours but I will give this a shot. So Romney wants to introduce his very business-like approach in backing ‘charter schools’ and school-choice and vouchers etc. This I think could be great on the one hand for families who want their children to have the best chance at a good education. Fair enough. However, there is a very big flaw in this plan which is that these schools could result in the closure of many public schools, and loss of thousands of jobs. Ah… Big problem. The other issue I have with Romney’s education policy is that he CLEARLY has no idea what it’s like to be a student who doesn’t have a money tree in their back garden. Romney has said that students should ‘borrow money from your parents if you have to’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1t6IkWPMRQ). Excuse you? Last time I checked, the majority of Americans don’t have $20,000 lying around for each of their children to go to college.

Obama on the other hand, who has from what I understand, only recently finished off paying his student loans really does understand where the average student is coming from. He wants to invest in public colleges and allow equal opportunities for everyone to have a better education. Of course, there are problems with Obama’s plans too. His RTTT (Race to the top) plan has been extremely controversial throughout the states and has a long way to go yet.

There are a lot of kinks to work out in both policies, as they are massive reforms in the American education system, but I have to again side with Obama on this because he seems to grasp the concept that everyone deserves a good education, and that not everyone has $20,000 lying around. Sorry Romney.

I could go on and on about this but with the result of the election being tomorrow I feel like I am repeating everything that has already been said. So I’ll wrap this long post up.

I know, I’ve come across as very pro-Obama and I’m not saying that his policies are flawless, because let’s face it we’ll never get a perfect president. I think the pressure on Obama has been massive, he inherited a pretty disastrous American economy which he has tried to turn around, and I think he deserves an A for effort.

He’s put on private sector jobs month after month, to name one of the things he has done to help boost the economy and I believe has genuinely tried his hardest to make the best of a poor and difficult situation. The problem is I feel is that everyone is forgetting that this is a world crisis, not just an American one and four years isn’t long enough for him to prove himself.

I don’t think Romney will be any good for America, for Britain or for the rest of the world. Yes, Romney is a good business man and it may appear like he could get America out of this economic crisis but for me that’s the only positive of this candidate. In my opinion, he is a clumsy public speaker (a very dangerous aspect in a president), he’s untrustworthy and hypocritical, and he’s homophobic and misogynistic.

I understand that undecided, middle-class voters are losing their faith in the American dream and that Obama is taking the brunt of that but I truly believe, for all the above reasons and many more, that what is best for this world is for Obama to be re-elected.

The results are tomorrow, and I really hope the American people have given Obama a second chance. I would love to hear any opinions on this matter.

And I will leave you with this link, showing you just how cool Obama really is. http://ashbensos.tumblr.com/post/34517147168

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Filed under News, opinion, politics

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