I realize people are getting tired of all the political talk. But I believe having a dialogue – a respectful, intelligent, fact-based dialogue – about the future of our country is important. It shows citizenship. It shows character. And, yes, it most definitely shows patriotism. Personal politics used to be a taboo subject but no more in this age of social media where people are more willing to share their beliefs and positions on issues with others. I think this is a good thing!

  • Is there a lot of bullshit in Washington, DC? Absolutely.
  • Are many politicians just out for themselves? Sure.
  • Do some just ‘talk the talk’ but falter when it comes to actually ‘walking the walk’? Yes.
  • Do the issues get clouded by political banter and he-said/she-said politics? Yup.

But none of these excuses is a free pass to take lightly our right to vote. When I vote, I like to do so with an informed mind. That said, here are the top 4.5 reasons I’m voting for Barack Obama:

1. Obama’s done virtually everything he promised he would.
Wars? Ending. Bin Laden? Dead. Auto industry? Saved. Economy? Not where it should be, but on the up-swing. The President walked into a mess four years ago. I believe it takes longer than four years to fix it. I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done, but I’m willing to give him another four years.

2. Obama is stronger than Romney on higher education.
Obama mentions the importance of higher education – specifically community colleges as vehicles for retraining – in nearly every speech he makes. As a community college alumna and a former community college employee, I know firsthand the value of not only higher education, but an affordable education. Romney has said he would cut funding for Pell Grants and for PBS, among other things. Obama has my vote.

3. Obama is stronger than Romney on so-called women’s issues.
The first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter act, which gives women greater power to push back legally if there are pay discrepancies. Huge kudos to him on this one. Romney’s gaffe about having “binders full of women” marginalized women.
Also, Obama understands that being pro-choice does not necessarily equate to being “for abortion.” Like me, he believes abortions should be rare and only performed as a last resort. Personally, I don’t believe I could ever make the choice to have an abortion. But who am I to impose my personal beliefs on anyone else? Obama believes this extremely difficult decision should remain between a woman, her husband (if she’s married), her doctor, and her God. Obama also understands that better health care, affordable access to birth control, and early, comprehensive sex education benefits all of us – these aren’t just “women’s issues.” Romney has waffled on his positions of abortion (leave it to states; never under any circumstances; only in the case of rape/incest/life of mother…). And, Romney would defund Planned Parenthood, which among its many services provides gynecological care for women, birth control, cancer screenings, etc. Obama has my vote.

4. Obama believes that having the wealthy pay a bit more is the right thing to do.
Romney believes in tax breaks for the wealthy. That’s called trickle down economics – the theory that if you give the wealthy tax breaks they’ll invest more, spend more, create more jobs, etc. and it will trickle down and benefit the middle class. We tried this in the 80s and it didn’t work. Mega wealthy Americans like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others have come out in support of Obama on this one. Trump supports Romney, which of course makes sense. How many gold-covered items do you need? Apparently, Trump doesn’t yet have enough. It’s not about punishing success. And it’s not about some arbitrary 47% of Americans mooching off the wealthy and not taking personal responsibility. It’s about helping our fellow Americans. To the far right wing conservatives who so often invoke the name of God in their voting and campaigning, I would ask – what would Jesus do? Obama has my vote.

1/2 – yes, the “half” of a reason I support the President has nothing to do with his ability to lead this nation. I support Obama because he is a man of character. He is a devoted husband and father. And for that matter, so is Mitt Romney. Both men cannot be questioned on their integrity.

I cherish my right to vote. And on this frigid morning, I can’t wait to get to my polling station, which has been moved three times due to Hurricane Sandy damage. In fact, this past week we’ve seen Governor Christie of New Jersey praising President Obama for his compassionate and strong leadership. It’s nice to see Republicans and Democrats come together and put party politics aside to help fellow Americans.

Who are you voting for and why?