While every Presidential election is hyped up as having the potential to ‘change the direction of the country’, 2012 represents a year where that could be the case regardless of who wins next week’s election.  President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have established different viewpoints on several important issues, and have messages that cater to two completely different demographics. In this election, I’ll be voting for the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  I’ll give you a few (but not all) of my reasons below:

1. Obama is the more progressive of the two candidates.

‘Socialist’ is too extreme (and we will be coming back to the ‘e’ word), but an argument could be made that President Obama is the most progressive Commander in Chief in a long time.  It certainly hasn’t been perfect, but a real attempt has/is being made on reforming health care in America.  You can be cynical and call it a political ploy, but the fact remains as a sitting President up for re-election, Obama came out in support of gay marriage.

Vice President Biden brought up an excellent point in the Vice Presidential debate: in the next four years, it seems very likely that 2 new Supreme Court Justices will be appointed.  The legality/legal repercussions of the issues we debate now (and issues we haven’t thought of yet) will be going in front of the highest court of the land.  My personal preference is that the man making nominations for these posts would be a man with an already proven track record as a forward thinker.  Which brings me to point 2:

2. Degree of Difficulty

For some of the reasons mentioned and a largely understood but unspoken reason (don’t worry, I’m getting there), the sitting President of the United States has had one of the higher degrees of difficulty for his term in office to be considered a ‘success’.  We’re looking at a long road ahead before ‘the average American’ most likely will look at his (and his family’s) state of affairs and call it ‘prosperous’, but there is a sense that things are ever so slowly turning.  Unemployment numbers are moving again in the right direction, the housing market appears to have bottomed out.  As Commander in Chief, there was a plan for Iraq, there was a plan for Osama bin Laden; for those reasons, I’m willing to give President Obama some leeway when it comes to foreign affairs.  In terms of the alternative…something’s left to be desired.  Beyond the economy and Obamacare, you could bring up Guantanamo, Syria…a number of things to challenge the Obama presidency.  It feels like it started to come out during the debates, but why does it feel that way.

Which brings us to number 3:

3. ‘There, but for the grace of God go I.”

Man, listen.  Politics is probably the dirtiest business there is.  Even if you’ve never run for political office, in the ‘real world’ you’ve probably seen more politics than you’ve ever wanted to (even if you’re not always aware of it).  From nearly his first day in office, President Obama has exposed a very, very ugly side of this country.  Something beyond “Bill Clinton is a womanizer,” or “George W. Bush is a frat boy legacy kid.”  This is Donald Trump demanding a birth certificate (most of us learn in middle school you have to be born in this country to run for President; even someone as cynical as I have enough faith in our National Security to trust they would notice something that glaring.)  This is Hank Williams and Ted Nugent telling their fans about our ‘Muslim President’.  Obama is not a Muslim I assure you, but if he was…what is the problem?  And yes, of course, this is the Tea Party.

Now I know my fair share of Republicans.  We come from different backgrounds and obviously have different ideas about how to handle society’s problems.  That’s America.  You have ideas, I have ideas, we find a middle ground in the give and take, and keep the peace without resorting to disrespect.  That’s how politics usually function.  Maybe he didn’t have a choice in the current climate, but Governor Romney has chosen to embrace the most extreme elements of the Republican Party.  In 2012, it was probably what he had to do to win the Republican nomination.  In 2012, it was also, simultaneously, a move that antagonized a significant number of moderate minded voters (I’ll spare you a pun about an exact percentage).  But having said that, it should keep the President, the Democratic Party and many others wide awake for the next two weeks that for some of the things that have been said, no one feels this will be a landslide re-election.

Regardless, my vote will be going for Obama-Biden 2012.  My last point is just that; vote.  I’ve heard some of my more militant brothers and sisters say they’ll abstain from voting.  They have their reasons.  But as I’ve often noted, I’m a direct descendant from the rural South.  Any ‘right’ that my ancestors have bled and died for will always be a right I take full advantage of until the day I die.

Lighter subject matter later this week (I promise).

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