On Election Day, I am voting for President Obama. I hope you will, too.
Hurricane Sandy really brought home to me the differences between the two candidates and how important it is that Mr. Romney is not elected. He would close FEMA (because New Jersey and New York—like Louisiana before them—can pay for all the damage themselves?) and believes that 47% of the country is outwith his remit. He seems not to realize that the President is the President to all Americans, regardless of party affiliation.
Given that the Republican Party’s strategy of government has been to try to stop any bills with presidential support being passed instead of trying to work with the elected government, I don’t suppose he is just toeing the party line. For four years they’ve tried to block any actual governing from happening. The GOP would rather the country ground to a halt instead of having Obama as president. It is hard to believe that a party would seriously choose this strategy and expect to be elected.
Hurricane Sandy only meant high winds and some rain in Western Mass. We were very lucky. We have spent the last 3 years and 8 months feeling lucky. Our daughter, Ursula, was born prematurely in February 2009 and spent her first 14 months in the hospital. We were lucky that the emergency generators kicked in during the worst storms while she was in hospital. We didn’t have to carry her (or watch while the nurses did it) out of the hospital while attached to all her tubes and machines. Reading about the kids and patients being evacuated from NYU Hospital was horrifying. While Ursula was in hospital we walked along beside her on the way from one room to another while nurses hand pumped her ventilator. It was no fun in a bright, daylit hospital. I cannot imagine in at night, without power, in a hurricane. Those nurses are fantastic.
Sometimes a person needs taken care of by someone other than themselves and their family. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has looked after Ursula in ways that we never expected and for which we will be eternally grateful. Ursula’s care has cost somewhere around a couple of million dollars. We would be bankrupt and homeless if we had had to pay for it. So I am extremely grateful to Governor Romney for the work he did to instill safety nets and to widen the health care coverage in Massachusetts. If he had the courage of his convictions and was supporting extending this very successful plan nationwide, I would consider supporting him. Instead he intends to cut these programs and continue the transfer of wealth to his own people, the 1%.
Sometimes a group of people need to be taken care of by someone other than themselves and their family. Hurricane Sandy illustrated that even New York State (with almost 20 million people) and New Jersey (8.8 million) need help.
In The New Yorker‘s endorsement of Obama they included this:
“A visitor to the F.D.R. Memorial, in Washington, is confronted by these words from Roosevelt’s second Inaugural Address, etched in stone: ‘The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have too little.'”
I don’t want a nanny state. I don’t want government health care to be the only option. But I want it to be an available option. If people have the money or will to pay for private health care, that option should be available. But in a civilized country there should not be 44 million people without health insurance.
The last four years, following directly on a terrible financial crash, have been hard. The eight before that were desperate: two wars kicked off, off-the-record prisons around the world, the USA used (uses?) torture as an everyday tool, individual rights were trampled, the people’s voices were ignored. Going back to that, but adding on contempt for the middle and working class (never mind the working poor, homeless, and all other disenfranchised groups) and a focus on money flowing to the monied over the weal of the common people is a nightmare that would send this country into the past, rather than into the future.
This country was founded by a bunch of individuals who managed to get together, despite their differences, and form a government. That government has been a living changing idea ever since. I believe that this country deserves a government who will look after the people first, not the corporations, and that is why we will be voting for President Obama on Tuesday.
Gavin J. Grant