A little over four years ago, I cast a ballot for the first time in my life, and I had the privilege of voting for Barack Obama in North Carolina, a swing state. My vote was one of many that helped a traditionally red state swing blue for him in 2008. Now I hope to do the same thing in Nevada.
Last April, I had the chance to hear President Obama speak at UNC (and I got to shake his hand twice, no big deal)
I had the chance to hear him speak again today, and although the view wasn’t quite as good, the content of his speech was just as amazing the second time around.
No, it wasn’t the same speech. And I have heard my share of amazing speakers (including but certainly not limited to Elie Wiesel and Maya Angelou), but no one I have ever heard speak can captivate me like the President. Is he too cerebral at times? Absolutely. Does he do a terrible job of telling people what he has accomplished for us? Might be his biggest flaw. Other than attempting to compromise with a party that has made it clear from Day 1 that their only goal is to make sure that he is a one term president, instead of doing their jobs and actually working to better the country.
The list of his accomplishments can be best found at: http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/, but I don’t think he is perfect by any means. He has his flaws in policies and actions, such as not addressing the housing crisis, not prosecuting anyone on Wall Street, perpetuating the myth of clean coal, paying lip service to climate change, ignoring laws while perpetuating drone attacks on American Citizens, and keeping Guantanamo Bay open. But his shortcomings are vastly outweighed by his strengths, and I don’t think anyone can rationally argue that.
What draws me to Obama?
1) I know what he stands for and I believe I can trust his judgement.
2) He can relate to most Americans far better than his opponent can.
3) He embodies the American Dream.
4) He deserves the chance to finish what he started. Yes, the recovery has been slow. But it has happened despite massive opposition. And if Bush had 8 years to screw things up this badly, I want Obama to get 8 years to fix that mess.
5) Healthcare for all. No, that is not a handout. And chances are that history will look back on this as something incredibly transformative.
6) Inclusiveness. The right to marry who you love and the right for women to be treated as equals.
7) A goal for immigration other than “self deportation”.
8) A commitment to respecting America’s place in the world while still striving for greatness.
9) Belief in science.
10) Knowing that he knows we have tough choices to make in the future, but won’t place the majority of that burden on those who are struggling the most now.
Forward to four more years!