Today’s (November 4, 2012) Juneau Empire has a helpful straightforward comparison of where President Obama and Mitt Romney stand on sixteen of the pressing issues of our time. I hope every undecided voter reads it and makes up their mind based on these two men’s positions. This election is not the time (if there ever is one) for making a decision based on one single issue. Voters need to look at the totality of the candidates’ governing philosophy and character.
For me, the choice is President Obama. I am a Democrat, a pro-choice feminist, and a lifelong liberal. I’m not in the “Government is the Problem” school of thought. I think that’s silly. We, the people, are all connected in some way to the government.
I am a cancer survivor whose state retiree insurance and military dependent insurance kept us out of bankruptcy. Our son works for the State of Alaska and our daughter works for the University of Washington. While I’m happy they both like their jobs, the biggest comfort is knowing they have health insurance.
I am the loving sister of a lesbian who married her wife in Connecticut, but lives in a state where their marriage is not legally recognized. I am the sister of a brother who is a professional horseman with no private insurance. He suffers the effects of Agent Orange fifty years after serving in Vietnam, and depends on the Veterans Administration for his health care. I am the sister of an older brother who lives outside the country. He depends on his Social Security and other government benefits accrued by his late wife through her school district job. I am the daughter of an 85 year old retired Marine, who receives a military pension and uses Medicare and Tricare for his insurance. I am the aunt of a niece whose active duty military husband is overseas for the umpteenth time. I am the aunt of a niece whose husband is Native American and lives on a reservation. Four years ago, she was certain that a President Obama would shut down the oil and gas industry, an important economic engine on their reservation. Instead, the President increased drilling across the country.
Those are just my blood relatives personally affected by local, state, and national policy.
The “Where they stand: candidates on the issues” article in today’s Juneau Empire spells it all out for sixteen major issues facing our nation. “Who do they listen to?” is also a critical piece of information. We know President Obama’s Cabinet members. We don’t know who Mitt Romney’s Cabinet would be, but we do know that seventeen of the campaign’s twenty-four special advisors on foreign policy served in the Bush-Cheney administration. Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, and some other people who got us into the Iraq War based on a lie are advising Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on foreign policy. An exception from the Bush Administration is General Colin Powell. He endorsed President Obama for President on October 25th.
Most women in this country thought that the issue of a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body was settled in 1973 with Roe versus Wade, but male Republican politicians all over the country are expounding on rape, conception, and what women choose to do with their own bodies. It’s offensive.
Here is where Mitt Romney stands as of this week: “Opposes access to abortion, though he previously supported it; says state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling; said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.” Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s stance is extreme. (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-ryan-abortion-20121010,0,4158...)
I don’t understand undecided voters, but I hope they weigh the consequences of their votes for themselves and their families for war, for peace, for women, for the poor, and for the world.