11.05.12

President Barack Obama is the obvious choice, but election day is only the beginning

Posted in Around The Nation, Election 2012, Williamson County at 11:37 am by wcnews

President Barack Obama deserves a second term and I believe he will get one.  This election has mirrored the 2004 election in that no very popular incumbent will win reelection over and less popular challenger who hasn’t made a strong enough case for himself.  Some of it is the Obama campaign, but most of it is that Mitt Romney has kept to much of what he will do as President hidden, as well as his tax returns.

President Obama was not the FDR style candidate many of us had hoped for, during a time of serious economic struggle.  But he has made significant changes.  Passing a stimulus, that while too small, was what we needed at the time and got the economy out of a big hole.  We’ve begun the process of ending two wars, but Gitmo is still open, and big disappointment.  But he did pass something Democrats have been trying to pass since the time of FDR, health care for most, if not all Americans – The Affordable Care Act.  Though it is not all is should be – neither was Social Security when it first passed – it won’t have a chance to bee all it can be if President Obama is not reelected.

While there are still many, many issues that need to be addressed – education, inequality, wages, and a fair tax system (the wealthy paying their fair share) – a Romney presidency would put us back to where we were four years ago in a hurry.  That is not an option.

I agree with Dr. Cornell West’s assessment, Cornel West Plans To Vote For Obama In November And Protest His Policies In February.

Right. But doesn’t criticizing Obama make all that bad stuff you just said more likely to happen?
I’m strategic. We have to tell that truth about a system that’s corrupt—both parties are poisoned by big money and tied to big banks and corporations. Speaking on that is a matter of intellectual integrity. American politics are not a matter of voting your moral conscience—if I voted my moral conscience it would probably be for Jill Stein. But it’s strategic in terms of the actual possibilities and real options available for poor and working people.

So voting for Obama is good strategy given the realities of the world?
A Romney administration would be a catastrophic response to an already catastrophic condition. I still get in a lot of trouble with my left-wing comrades on this—that I would still support Obama winning while continuing to tell the truth about drones dropping bombs on innocent people, which I consider war crimes, about the Wall Street government, about the refusal to close Guantanamo, about [section] 1021 of the National Authorization Act where you can detain citizens without trial or even assassinate citizens based on the decisions of the executive branch. All of those things to me are morally obscene. It’s a matter of telling that truth, strategically. I think we have to ensure that we don’t have a takeover by conservative right-wing or we’re in a world of trouble.

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What happens if and when President Obama is re-elected?
Well I hope he wins because Romney is so dangerous. But when he wins, the hard work only intensifies. We’ll still need to critique US foreign policy and the worshiping of Wall Street. Let’s start treating workers the way you treat bankers and have loans available to students the way they’re available to banks at zero percent interest.

Do you think Obama will be different?
There might be a possibility that he starts to tilt towards main street rather than Wall Street, but we’ll see who he chooses to surround himself with. When you choose Geitner and Summers, you’re sending pretty strong signs that this is going to be a Wall Street-friendly government. But we’ll have to see and we’ll keep putting pressure on him. The important thing to recognize is that when he does win, the work begins all over again in terms of pressing for issues that will be critical of the system that he runs.

Yes, Obama is the obvious choice. But election day is not the end, it is the beginning. And to keep the safety net safe – Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – the battle will begin on Wednesday.

Further Reading:
Endorsements – Paul Sadler, Matt Stillwell, and Ken Crain.
You get out of it, what you put into it.

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