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Why I’m supporting President Obama.

For weeks I’ve grappled with this post about President Obama and why he has my vote, as others have written. And now here it is, Election Day.

This is the time I guess.

Obama. Forward.

I had originally started to write a point-by-point, fully researched post about policy and successes with links to reputable sources and unbiased polls. Then I realized, I’m preaching to the choir here. Most of my readers, or at least my commenters, are fairly progressive. And if you’re not, I know I’m not going to change your mind. That’s okay.

If this post isn’t for you, feel free to skip to the next one in your reader; come back here in a few days when I’m writing about another trip to another continent. We can bond again next week over funny kid stories or PR fails or our love for our families. But today, I have to write what’s in my heart.

I tell my daughters–as with religion and football and friends who are allowed to stay up until midnight for some reason–that lots of people believe different things. It doesn’t make them bad. There’s not always a good guy and a bad guy. There may be a good guy and a more good guy. Or sometimes, they may be a good guy and a guy who’s lost his way.

That’s how I feel about Obama and Romney.

I can go on about policy comparison and analysis of their proposal (or uh, lack thereof) and blah blah blah. But I think my feelings can be summed up with some very small, clear recent actions that speak to what’s in a person’s heart. And what’s in a person’s heart has always been important to me.

I watched Obama last week during Hurricane Sandy, calling every governor of every state in the track of the storm, starting with those most at risk–regardless of party affiliation. He behaved in the spirit of Presidents Clinton and Bush I in the wake of Katrina who joined together to help fellow human beings.

I watched Romney only make calls to the two Republican governors.

I watched Obama put off campaigning, be where he needed to be, stay in constant touch with FEMA and local governments, and firmly and clearly express, whatever you need we will find a way to make it happen.

I watched Romney fake empathy by staging a rally at which his team purchased supplies from Wal-Mart then passed them off as donations from supporters, which he “accepted” graciously in front of cameras.

Real help was needed, and he couldn’t rise to the occasion. His first instinct wasn’t to help; it was to look like he was helping. And it horrified me.

A good guy and a guy who’s lost his way.

I feel like those descriptions have been apt throughout the last four years, and certainly throughout this campaign. When I look at Romney’s 47% BS, the pandering to the Tea Party, the flip-flopping on every single policy like a beached mackerel–maybe he’s a good guy somewhere deep in there.  I will be honest, there’s a lot that that makes me think he’s not. A lot. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt in thinking, he wants to win an election, and in doing so, he’s lost his compass.

I want my girls to grow up thinking of their President as a good guy. A man who believes in reaching across the aisle, even if that aisle won’t reach back. I want them to have faith in our leaders, because maybe they’ll be among them one day.

But more importantly, I want my daughters to know that their rights as girls and eventually, women, are valued by our President. I want them to know their bodies are not under government (or geez, employer) control. I want them to know that the President cares about the food they eat and the air they breathe. That he cares about children and their health, wherever they live. That he wants to help those people and not profit off them. That it’s perfectly fine that their friend Quincy has two loving mommies, and that they’re entitled to the same rights that we are.

I want them to grow up believing that all people matter. And I think only one candidate shares that view.

In fact this year, I’m starting to think that only one party holds that view.

The Democratic Party is far from perfect. There are a whole lot of things I’d like to change. But when I look at what the Republican Party leadership has become (and I stress its leadership; not all Republicans), I can hardly believe this is America. It too, has lost its way.

When voter disenfranchisement becomes a matter of election tactic, we have a big freaking problem.

It’s here.

It’s here.

It’s here.

It’s here.

It’s here.

And it’s here. For God’s sake, you’re going to make old ladies in Florida wait in line for 7 hours as a voting deterrent tactic? It’s immoral.

I’m so proud that yesterday, New York Governor Cuomo ruled that voters can vote at any poling place, so that those displaced by the hurricane can still vote even if they can’t get to their own districts.

And PS, Staten Island always goes red.

We should be making sure more people can vote. Not fewer. Not just White people. Not just rich people.

The same way we should be making sure more people have decent incomes. More people have jobs. More people can get reasonable home loans. More people can have health insurance. More people can marry who they love and raise productive, healthy children. More people can go to college without being saddled with 20 years of debt.

I like where this country is headed right now. I like that I can travel abroad once again and not have to pretend I’m Canadian for fear of my safety. I like the benefits I’ve seen to my small business. And I like that my President has a big heart–for all people, not just those like him.

And yes, I’m way better off today than I was four years ago. I say that as a small business owner, as a primary earner for my family, as a mother, and as someone who almost had my power shut off for non-payment.

My President has my vote again.

——

If you’re in a fightin’ mood, I’m happy to point you to any number of sites that will be happy to have your page views. Respectful comments only, as always.

{ 68 comments… add one }

  • denise 11.06.2012, 9:44 am

    Beautifully and powerfully articulated. Thank you.

  • kate C. 11.06.2012, 9:45 am

    Yes. Exactly!

  • Addis Jones 11.06.2012, 9:46 am

    Well said! I too believe that his heart is in the right place and so as for me and my family, we stand with the president.

  • Susan 11.06.2012, 9:50 am

    Amen.

  • Marinka 11.06.2012, 9:51 am

    I love this, Liz. thank you.

  • Stephanie Schwab @stephanies 11.06.2012, 9:53 am

    As always, you are the writer I’d love to be on the topics I feel most strongly about. Thanks, Liz.

    • Mom101 11.06.2012, 10:03 am

      Wow high praise. Thank you Stephanie.

  • Mars 11.06.2012, 9:55 am

    While you know I don’t agree with your politics, I just wanted to… Bwahahahah!

    I couldn’t keep a straight face.

    • Mom101 11.06.2012, 10:02 am

      Hehe. Hi Marshall. Go vote. Texas needs you.

  • Alyssa S. 11.06.2012, 10:01 am

    Honestly, I’m just happy that I live in a time and place where I have the right to vote and that we were able to take our son with us to the polls so he could see us in action and that my daughter is being taught what the whole voting process means. I voted from the heart and I hope to turn on the TV later tonight (I don’t think I’ll survive the TV news spin frenzy) to find out if it will end as I expected or not :)

    And P.S.: To anyone who hasn’t, get out there and vote!!!

  • Karen 11.06.2012, 10:10 am

    Bravo, Liz.

  • marke 11.06.2012, 10:11 am

    Liz: When I grow up I want to write as well as you. Name your steak day lunch or dinner. You deserve it for so so many reasons.

  • Avitable 11.06.2012, 10:15 am

    On the nose, like always!

  • Nancy Johnson Horn (@Nancy_Horn) 11.06.2012, 10:15 am

    Thank you for writing this.

  • tali 11.06.2012, 10:21 am

    Damn.
    As always, you hit the nail on the head!
    Thank you.

  • Dawn @ thedalaimama 11.06.2012, 10:22 am

    You have articulated so clearly the beauty of our nation. We all get have our own views and express them. We get to cast our vote in support of the guy (or gal) who we believe will represent us.

    Great Post. Thank you!

  • UpsideUp Laurie 11.06.2012, 10:23 am

    Beautifully articulated, Liz. As usual.

  • Korinthia Klein 11.06.2012, 10:28 am

    An excellent post.

    I think the thing I’ve struggled with most during this difficult campaign season is how to frame the issues and the candidates for my children. I want them to know what I think, but I also want them to think for themselves. I’m careful when I talk about either side to describe what the different policies will do. I had a talk with them last night about how for many people it comes down to thinking about government as something we have a say in that represents us and is here to help us do things collectively that we can’t do on our own, versus people who believe government impedes the things we want to get done and has too much control of our lives. Depending on the situation, both sides have a point. I wish so much of the rhetoric didn’t come down to ugly personal attacks and slights at the expense of minorities or the poor, but that has been much of what we’ve seen in our swing state.

    I’m proud of our president. I’m looking forward to voting for him today.

  • Vicky 11.06.2012, 10:29 am

    Thanks Liz
    I have a daughter who’s father is a devout Republican and a very good man.
    I try so hard to help my daughter develop her own ideologies, without bashing the man that loves her more than breathing.
    This brilliance like this ^^^^ helps me convey not just sentiment but rationality without polarizing, which is what I think it should all be about.
    It is not about good people or bad people, but who knows what we need now to keep this country moving in the right direction. She will still need to make her own informed decisions, but I want her to learn how to do it by not just following ‘the crowd’. And I want her to learn NOT to make incendiary statements and to allow others their beliefs. BUT if she can articulate in a kind and meaningful way…she could also be a force for change. <3 V

    • Rae Ann 11.06.2012, 4:18 pm

      Also well stated. Seriously.

      • Kelley 11.07.2012, 8:34 am

        Vicki,

        Me too. We’re a split household, and my sons are just now starting to ask questions. They were shocked to learn that their dad and I don’t agree on this most major of topics. I think I’ll keep this post-and your response-for future references, because I know I’ll need it.

  • dale & doug 11.06.2012, 10:38 am

    We’re with you and our vote might make a difference as we vote in Palm Beach County. We have “Buyer’s Remorse” but when we added up the good and the bad for each candidate………and his running mate…………there was no choice. And if you are an ultra-orthodox right wing Republican who KNOWS what God wants you to do, it must be difficult to understand Hurricane Sandy which made it clear (as you so well pointed out) for whom you must vote. And now we wait (voted using an absentee ballot weeks ago)

  • Julie Marsh 11.06.2012, 10:40 am

    As your small business employee, I too am better off than I was four years ago. And as another mother of two daughters, I too want them to have choices and opportunities in a nation where they’re just as high of a priority as my son.

  • Mandy G 11.06.2012, 10:46 am

    Watching the election with baited breath from Canada.

    Just curious. Do you believe the American system would benefit from a three party (or multiple party) system to help ease some of the need for the Republican party to embrace extremist views in order to secure their voter base?

    • Mom101 11.06.2012, 11:22 am

      I think there’s room for more parties, although they tend to fragment voters that are often aligned. I would think that the moderate Republicans would like the Tea Partiers or religious extremists to split off and stop tarnishing their party…however then they lose some of their voting bloc. So it’s complex.

      • doug 11.09.2012, 2:49 pm

        That would be a good thing. It would marginalize those folks and let the two parties fight it out over “real people” and “real issues”. It might actually bring out a greater vote………..but what do I know?

  • Elizabeth Kane 11.06.2012, 10:51 am

    Agree, agree, agree. Beautifully written, Liz.

    This election stress is making me crazy! Here’s hoping for a good day.

  • Liz 11.06.2012, 11:06 am

    Well said.

  • Fairly Odd Mother 11.06.2012, 11:18 am

    I love this and you know I love you and all you stand for and all you do. The next time someone asks me “How could you vote for Obama?” I’m sending them here.

  • Jen 11.06.2012, 11:20 am

    Another Canadian anxiously watching and waiting, hoping for good news tonight. This election is important for us too; with our current ultra-conservative Prime Minister (ptooey), it’s quite likely that we’d get dragged into any new Middle East mess that Romney might instigate. This was beautifully written.

  • Elaine A. 11.06.2012, 12:06 pm

    I honestly wish it could be so cut and dry for me. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, it’s so interesting to read other’s points of view on the election, etc.

  • Jill V / TerraSavvy 11.06.2012, 12:21 pm

    Well said!

    I will be forwarding this to my mother now and anyone else I know who is out of alignment!

    Thank you!

    xo

  • dusty earth mother 11.06.2012, 12:55 pm

    Well said, Liz! I also am very attuned to the heart and core values of the person I vote for–and I respect the heart and life of our President. Who will prayerfully continue to be our President tomorrow.

  • Issa 11.06.2012, 1:16 pm

    Once again, you’ve said what I wanted to say, a zillion times better than I ever could. THIS! All of this. 100%.

    I try really hard to not discuss politics online. I’ve gone so far as to hide it with that politic blocker. Not because I haven’t already voted. Not because I don’t know all the issues. Just because the hate that people fling hurts my heart.

    I believe in our president. He’s done the absolute best he could given the mess he was handed four years ago and with the congress of NO. He has earned my vote for the next four years.

  • Christine 11.06.2012, 1:42 pm

    I’m a Brit living in California and I know who I would be voting for if I could. I have a daughter (who is American) and the thought of the Republicans winning scares the crap out of me.

  • Caroline 11.06.2012, 1:42 pm

    Absolutely. It’s not the elation of 2008, but it is a sober moment where we choose a direction. I’m trying to stay calm and have faith in the people with whom we share this polity. I hope, in particular, that they are looking at their daughters, or nieces, or sisters today and thinking very hard about this choice. Glad you made it through the storm safely!!

  • Asha {Parent Hacks} 11.06.2012, 1:46 pm

    What Stephanie said. You are such a beautiful, articulate writer, but more, such a clearheaded thinker. So grateful for you, Liz! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • Emily (CityBaby Living) 11.06.2012, 1:48 pm

    As usual, nailing it for those of us less eloquent. Have you seen girlsgonechild.net today? I think you would really enjoy her post about why she is voting for Obama today. So far you both have my fav posts about the subject.

    • Mom101 11.06.2012, 2:24 pm

      One of my favorite writers. Interesting post – thanks for pointing me there.

  • magpie 11.06.2012, 1:49 pm

    Yes. Well said, Liz.

  • Marija 11.06.2012, 2:43 pm

    Yet another Canadian here, deeply saddened that surveys (polls) have been so close this whole time. Even after 47%. Even after flip flops. Even after “binders full of women”. As soon as droves of people vote for a PARTY based on what they THINK HISTORICALLY party stands for, you’ve lost control over where your county is heading. Listen the words spoken now, open up for the ideas expressed now, observe the behaviours presented now, and project the future. Because it is about future. And there are multiple ways to get there.

  • Tabatha 11.06.2012, 2:58 pm

    The town where Romney did that fake charity thing? Smushed between my hometown and where I live now. It was disgusting, and I’m angry that my area, my state, went along with it for whatever reason.

    But yes, better said than I could have mustered.

  • Natalie 11.06.2012, 3:07 pm

    Awesome! So much of what you wrote is in my heart as well. Thank you for having the courage to share.

  • Caroline 11.06.2012, 3:20 pm

    p.s. Liz, to add to your prior list of words/phrases that need to die: “values voter.”

  • Amy 11.06.2012, 3:39 pm

    Well said! Thank you for being honest and standing up for what you believe in, without being derogatory or condescending to the other side. I do not have that gift or tact but know it is hugely better – more successful, more mature, and more effective – than my swears and making fun of people.

    I saw your post on SarahViz.com’s FB page.

    Amy

  • Dorf's Daughter 11.06.2012, 4:01 pm

    It’s takes courage to be a liberal thinker like you: courage to believe that although you might not get everything you want, you know that others will get a fair shake. Courage to recognize your own prejudices for what they are and still believe that we’re all created equally. Courage to walk the talk that we are, indeed, our brother’s and sister’s keepers. No one does it quite like you,Liz. We follow your words on this blog, for sure. But we follow your heart first.

  • Jill 11.06.2012, 4:10 pm

    As always, your writing it articulate, clear, and well thought out. I love it.

  • Elise 11.06.2012, 4:19 pm

    My husband said it this morning, “Today, we will either re-elect a decent man and a good president or a lying a$$hole.” We live in Massachusetts, we know *exactly* what we would be getting from a President Romney.

    I don’t get the Obama disillusionment, I just don’t. He’s done amazing, heroic things that will stand the test of time. But most important to me, he has shown up everyday and tried to do what was right. A perfectly imperfect human being, just like the rest of us.

  • BethB. 11.06.2012, 5:46 pm

    Thanks for lending your amazing articulate voice to this important topic!

  • Rita Arens 11.06.2012, 5:56 pm

    My husband lost his job in September, and one thing we’ve been around and around about is that I think he’s too honest a guy to have been good at that job. If he’d been able to sell little tiny communities fire engines they didn’t need a profit good for him and bad for them, we’d be floating in Benjamins instead of collecting unemployment. But what matters to me is that he’s the kind of guy that can’t do that.

    If Obama loses, it will be because he misjudged how easy it would be to do the right thing, not because he wasn’t TRYING to do the right thing. You said it so well.

    • Mom101 11.06.2012, 7:01 pm

      Rita, that’s a really amazing perspective.

      But Obama did a LOT of right things.

      I think if he loses, it has nothing to do with his judgment and everything to do with the judgment of people who would vote for a pathetic Rorshack candidate in spite of the facts, and their own best interests.

  • Heather 11.06.2012, 6:55 pm

    Great post – you said everything I wanted to say in my own post about this, but couldn’t articulate.

  • Holly 11.06.2012, 7:44 pm

    Thank you so much for writing exactly what’s on the tip of my tongue.

  • Galit Breen 11.06.2012, 7:50 pm

    This is absolutely stunning and holds my whole heart.

    {Thank you.}

  • Beth 11.06.2012, 7:52 pm

    Thank you Liz for expressing exactly how I feel about this election too. My kids keep asking me what has Obama done for us and you know what? I’m going to make them read your post. Brilliant post.

  • Renee 11.06.2012, 8:21 pm

    Brava, Liz! Well said! :)

  • Goddess in Progress 11.06.2012, 8:39 pm

    Awesome, awesome post, Liz. You said it better than I was going to. I couldn’t agree more.

  • jane maynard 11.06.2012, 10:05 pm

    allison czarnecki and I were talking yesterday and she said that when she was in line to vote, there was a couple in front of her, originally from the UK now US citizens. he was a BYU professor and a supporter of Obama. I LOVED what he had to say: When he hears Romney speak, he most often hears the word “America.” When he listens to Obama speak, he more often hears “Americans.”

    I loved that.

    Crossing fingers, toes, hair, legs, whatever right now! Go obama!

    • Mom101 11.07.2012, 9:32 am

      That’s perfect. Thank you so much for that Jane.

  • NYCSingleMom 11.07.2012, 5:11 am

    I went to sleep knowing Obama had hit 270 but waking up and reading your post this morning made me cry. Obama may not be perfect but in my heart I know that he is looking out for us (and our girls). I can not or could ever say that about Romney.
    And as an African American woman, its hard to vote for a man and a party in which every photo op represented a world from another era. It was truly scary there were never any brown or asian faces in the crowds, ever.
    Have a great day, I know I am.

    • Mom101 11.07.2012, 9:33 am

      I’m a Caucasian woman and yet the faces in those photos were never lost on me either. I don’t live in a world that’s all white (let alone all white old men). His rallies don’t look like any America I know.

  • Kelley 11.07.2012, 8:44 am

    Bravo! Bravo!

  • Stephanie Lemelin Bazinet 11.07.2012, 10:37 am

    Liz, I’m not even American but I share your sentiments! Beautifully said!

  • Observacious 11.07.2012, 11:24 am

    Victories for Obama and marriage equality. It was a good night.

  • gabriela 11.07.2012, 11:44 am

    So well put! I wish I spoke as eloquently as you write.

  • Amber 11.07.2012, 12:34 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, and I am so happy that my state (VA) turned blue once again! For me, it was about the world that my daughter would inherit. Having a little girl has made me want to fight even harder for women’s rights because I am fighting for her future even more than my own.

  • Grammye 11.07.2012, 3:41 pm

    I am so proud of who you are and how you are raising (if I may) our precious girls.
    A good guy and a more good guy.
    A good guy and a guy who’s lost his way.
    Your sensitivity to humankind is such a beautiful asset.
    Life is always our perception; with choice how to see the world and its people. You are a more good gal.

  • Michelle 11.08.2012, 11:42 am

    Yes yes yes. This exactly. So articulate. Now that we are on the other side I really hope to see the two sides come together, I hope that the election results have proven that they need to do this.

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