Showing posts with label Mitt Romney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitt Romney. Show all posts

Monday, November 5, 2012

Watch out when they push 'jobs'

Barack Obama, Carol Henrichs 
It is Election Day Eve. It has been a never-ending election season, and yet, in many ways, it is hard to believe we are finally here. As a supporter of four more years for President Obama, I have personally spent months commiserating with like-minded voters and debating and debunking the merits of a Mitt Romney administration.

I have made lots of new friends and probably lost some too.

For me, this election comes down to a continuance of the last 25 years I have spent fighting the State of Illinois’ proposal to build an airport south of Chicago—an airport that is unnecessary, isn’t approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, is opposed by the airlines and the local residents and governments that would have to live with it, and just plain doesn’t fit into the rural area where it is proposed.

I have heard all too often the term “jobs.” This project started as a Republican initiative back in the 1980’s. It is now favored heavily by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., a Democrat. The line has been blurred between the two. “Jobs” has been the promise--jobs for the poorest suburbs in the Chicagoland area. Trouble is, that would likely not be the result, for a multitude of reasons.

This project has taught me that “jobs” is often nothing more than a political buzzword used by politicians to make it look like they are actually doing something for someone. “Jobs” can also mean total degradation of the environment, whole communities, and destruction of private property, not to mention people’s lives.

That is what I see when I hear Mitt Romney talk about creating “jobs” on day 1, if he is elected. In the context of Romney-speak when he talks about drilling on federal lands, it makes me cringe. When he talks about renewing an energy policy that puts people to work, what he is really talking about is profits for oil, gas, and coal companies at the expense of the natural resources it would destroy. There has to be a balance between the quality of life of people living in the areas rich resources with extracting those from the earth. Romney doesn’t understand that balance. All he understands is profit.

To me, this election is about the intangibles that translate into profit and people. It is always a delicate balance. I just don’t think Romney gets that.

What about the ecosystem that sustains mankind? What about the endangered species that are about to vanish from the earth—species that one day could prove to be a cure for human illnesses? What about the indisputable climate change that has raised temperatures to new heights, caused droughts in the country’s mid-section, and ramped up the effects of storms, like Hurricane Sandy. What about the global conditions that have not yet been felt. The buzzword “jobs” pales in comparison. Survival always trumps jobs numbers. Mitt Romney knows nothing of these complex problems.

Then there are women’s issues. I wrote my first pro-choice letter to the editor years ago. Choice isn’t about the pros and cons of abortion. Nobody likes abortion. Choice is about private, personal decisions being made by a woman with guidance from her family and physician. It is not the concern of the government, let alone to be mandated by government.

There are so many other reasons that a Mitt Romney administration scares me to my core.

Beyond these issues, I could never vote for a candidate whose policies were so opaque, for a candidate who changed his position to accommodate each audience he spoke to, or one that is so beholding to his religious views that he would impose them onto others. Mitt Romney is an elitist that doesn't seem to understand truth, transparency, or compromise. 

It is why I am voting for Barack Obama for President. I am not unhappy with the man who has governed this country for the last four years; he is a man that was able to bring the economy back from the brink after eight of the most trying years of my political lifetime. I am excited to hear Barack Obama speak about “all people.” This should be a country of opportunity for men and women, no matter the age, race, religion, sexual preference, or geographic boundary. I am encouraged by his ability to bring people together, to be able to sort through the layers of complex issues. I love that he has been so tolerant, keeping a steady hand, even when all odds were against him. He has even been able to get things done, despite the bullies in the U.S. House who have thwarted his every initiative. I am proud that he has looked beyond his own personal view to support gay marriage and to follow through with “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” He really is a trustworthy leader, who understands people, of this country and beyond, and can relate to them. Barack Obama gets it. I love his demeanor and how he has handled difficult times with good humor and compassion. I am proud to call him my President.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Barack Obama must win a second term

Official photographic portrait of US President...
US President Barack Obama 
I feel confident that Barack Obama will win a second term in the White House. I say that partially because I cannot imagine any other scenario. Like so many others, I have watched this race with Mitt Romney intensely. I've studied the debates; read all the pundits; and engaged every way possible. There should be no contest. On character alone, Obama is head and shoulders above his challenger. Obama wins on substance, temperament, intellect, diplomacy, integrity, and just about every other way.

I have not, however, donated money to the campaign, for two reasons. 

First, I stand by the principle that elections should not be bought. The Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that basically threw out any monetary restrictions in campaign finance is immoral and unethical, in my opinion. I plan to support any effort in the future that will negate this blunder by the corporate-heavy, prejudicial court. 

Probably more importantly, I just don't have money to throw into the political arena. Paying bills and taking care of necessities is a much more responsible avenue in my fixed-income household. I'm at least grateful there is enough to pay for the necessities. 

Just because I am not throwing money at my President does not mean I don't support his candidacy. In fact, any of my Facebook friends will attest that I am a big Obama supporter. I have literally devoted hours in an effort to debunk the lies, distortions, and misrepresentations from my 'friends.' If I got paid for the 'writing' I've done on the subject, my personal economic situation would be greatly improved. That however, is not, nor has never been my goal. I have long endeavored in support for causes that I believe in, not because of what I could get out of it, but for what I could put into it. 

While I definitely do not agree with every policy or decision, I have been proud of the leadership in the White House. I cannot say the same thing for challenger, Mitt Romney. To me, Romney epitomizes everything that appalls me. Born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, he really doesn't stand for anything. Despite his participation in his church, he doesn't appear to me to be a moral character. That is another topic for another time.

While Mitt Romney may have done some good things in his life, I'd be willing to bet he benefited by them. He is the kind of man whose deeds are the main course; while any other benefit to anyone else is merely a side dish. He is a bully, void of empathy. He has harmed countless people for his own gain. To me, that is the lowest form of human behavior. I certainly don't want that type of person leading our country.

I've been amazed at how many people simply hate Obama. It is painfully obvious that irrational feelings of hatred stem from varying levels of racial bias because Obama's father was African-American. The election of this President has caused bigotry to rise to the surface, largely by fringe groups of white, Christians who still judge people by the color of their skin, but even by some who don't admit their prejudices. I find it incredible and frightening that in 21st Century America there are still people so filled with racism--a racism so ingrained in them that it colors their views and perceptions. It is so appalling.

Mitt Romney is the stereotypical white, rich guy that probably never knew the joy of getting his hands dirty. A man of privilege for his entire life, he doesn't know what he is missing. 

How could anyone think he could lead a country where only one percent of the population is like him? Romney's role on the national stage should be limited to that of economic adviser, because that is what he knows. But as the leader of a country that is so diverse, a Romney presidency would be worse than what was experienced under the George W. Bush administration. I never dreamed anyone could be worse than Bush, but I believe Romney would be. While he may be a good business manager, running a country is far more complex and requires skills he does not have. A country is all about its people--something Romney is not very good at. 

Running a country is not about simply descending the stairs from a perch in an ivory tower, writing a few pink slips, and then retreating to the country club to joke about it with friends. 

I am sickened at how the marketing of Mitt Romney has influenced so many people--including many of my friends and family. How can people be so blind as to fall for the faux facts, targeted policies aimed at the audience, plans that change with the wind, and his refusal to answer questions? Where is the substance in this man? 

Mitt Romney has turned the leadership of the country into a game. He wants to win it and he will win at any cost. This isn't about leadership of the country we all hold dear; it is about winning. 

What appalls me the most is that people are not just allowing it but are encouraging it. They have convinced themselves that he is what they see in front of them. In reality what they see is an actor--a made-up for the camera robot with no heart. Funny, they voted for George W. Bush because they thought he was a nice guy, only to learn how wrong they were. These are people who lack the depth of understanding to vote for the person that will do the best job managing our country as just one of many in an increasingly  complex world. I just don't think Mitt Romney is up to the task. 
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Parade Route

Politics often provides such a clear distinction between the candidates.

It was at a parade that I met Barack Obama, the Democrat running for a second term as President.

The following picture of the two of us posing in front of my house was taken Beecher, Illinois back in 1994 when Obama was campaigning for  a seat in the U.S. Senate.

I was a small town reporter taking pictures of the Fourth of July parade. We lived along the parade route, so I often combined business with pleasure. I recall being totally excited and amazed that a candidate for the U.S. Senate was walking in our little, small town parade. I had no idea at the time that the man with whom I took this picture would become the 44th President of the United States.

Obama obviously loved campaigning. He loved being around people. He enjoyed meeting them. His huge smile was evidence of how much fun he was having. He reached for as many hands as reached out to him. He was friendly and took time to talk with folks along the parade route. In fact, there were many times he had to run to catch up after being sidelined by questioners and interested future constituents.

Then there is the other side. A video was made of Paul Ryan, the Republican Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, who is challenging Obama.

I could go on about Romney, but this is a story about parades, so the object is Paul Ryan, the same man whose speech at the Republican National Convention was picked apart by fact checkers the following morning.

Watch how Paul Ryan greets the people along the parade route.

There is no doubt in my mind which man I would rather see lead this country.
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