Do Ask! Do Tell!
Originally published at http://nos.nl/artikel/430837-president-obama-verdient-tweede-termijn.html
President Barack Obama deserves a second term
President Obama came into office with an agenda to create a new future for America. He promised to take us from a world of everyone for him or herself, where a war was started on a false pretext and the federal deficit was escalating out of control. America’s reputation in the world was at a low point, painfully apparent to the 6 million Americans who live abroad. He rallied the American people and indeed the world with the call for hope and change – an America where it didn’t matter if you were rich, poor, black, white, young, old, Republican, Democrat, Jew, Muslim or Christian. An America where everyone has the same rights and where we are collectively and individually responsible for our future.
Today his Republican challenger asserts that President Obama has had his chance to turn around America and it’s time to take a radically different course. The reasoning goes that the president had more than three years to bring the United States from the brink of economic collapse to a robust economy. From Mitt Romney’s perspective – and indeed the perspective of many in his party who set their goal make Obama a one-term president, whatever the cost – Obama’s job was to clean up after the Bush administration. They claim one term was enough and it’s their turn to show us how it’s done.
They call Obama’s presidency a failure. We Democrats are tempted to ask, what planet do they live on?
President Obama’s accomplishments in over the past 4 years have been nothing short of extraordinary. He ended the war in Iraq, passed comprehensive health care reform, created a more just society by enacting equal pay for women and allowing gays to openly serve in the military, and put the United States on the path to economic recovery in the midst of the most severe financial crisis in decades. The US economy has seen 31 consecutive months of job growth, unemployment figures have fallen to 7.8% and even housing prices are recovering.
This election provides the opportunity re-elect a president who is a man of integrity, who is fulfilling on an agenda for change despite being thwarted by a Republican opposition that is willing to sabotage the US economy in order to prevent him from being re-elected. They have blocked legislation to that would create jobs, cut taxes and give companies incentives from bring jobs back to the USA, and even blocked legislation to help veterans find work in their communities.
Much is at stake at this election. Three Supreme Court justices will turn 80 in the next four years and their replacements will be appointed by the president. One of them, Antonin Scalia, still publicly opposes the 2003 court ruling that legalized homosexual sex. It is like he is has been asleep in a cave and woke up in the wrong century. Scalia and other conservative judges would deny families like mine the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness promised in the Declaration of Independence. Until the Defense of Marriage is struck down and same-sex marriages like mine are federally recognized, I do not have the right to live in my own country with my Australian wife.
Like many Americans, I am impatient and want to see the change we were promised happen now. My mother is 83 years old and deserves to have all four of her children near her. At the same time, I’m aware that President Obama never promised to wave a magic wand to give us a new America. He said we were going to do it together. It’s encouraging that thousands of Americans living and studying abroad are still registering to vote and requesting absentee ballots at http://www.votefromabroad.org. This election will be close, and every vote counts.
If he is re-elected in November, as he should be, Obama will have the opportunity to continue his program for change. I’m looking forward to it.
Chair, Democrats Abroad Netherlands