EDITORIAL: The Five Reasons Why I Plan to Vote for Obama

by Saundra McKee

   After weeks of op-ed pieces against our President, I’d like to offer a dissenting viewpoint. I like and respect and consider Jack Bennett a friend, but disagree with him politically.  I have no doubt that it will set off a series of tyrannical rants from the right, and that’s okay.  I’m a liberal Christian, sixty-two year old female, Democrat and retired educator (in order of importance to me).  For as long as I can remember my litmus test for those I vote for is based on a quote from the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey:  “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick needy and the handicapped.”  For me, Barack Obama’s life, career record and philosophy most reflects the values presented in the quote.

  1. The children.  It’s no accident that teachers, like other union members, support Democratic candidates most of the time.  Obama worked for children and schools as a state legislator in Illinois and continues to see the problems with standardized testing being used as the sole measure of a student’s achievement.  Romney thinks class size is irrelevant to student success.  There are studies that go both ways on that one, but ask almost any teacher.  Obama is willing to listen to students, parents and teachers.  I don’t get that from Romney.

   2. The aged, sick, needy, handicapped.  I’ll lump these together because too often being old and being sick go together.  Medicare and Social Security are so important to many of our seniors and the historical record shows that the Democrats have been the ones to protect it. Organizations for retirees agree.  Ryan, Bush, Santorum and other members of the GOP were determined to privatize social security and throw that money on the stock market.  With health care, we are just about the only modern nation that doesn’t provide quality health care to all its citizens.  Obama care isn’t perfect yet it is so much like Romney care from Massachusetts!  At least we’ve taken the first steps.  The American Council of Churches, AARP and many other groups support these efforts.  All these programs can be saved and reformed if members of Congress stop worrying about re-election and try to work together.

    3.To Humphrey’s list of who government should look out for I would add some others:  Pets-It may be silly, but I would never carry my beloved dog on the roof of my car.  Victims of bullying-as a teacher you try to curb this, but can only do so much.  It may be reaching, but I don’t like people who prey on or in Mitt’s case beat up on weaker individuals.  Veterans-Obama has worked to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and increase benefits for veterans.  I understand Romney got several deferments and along with mission work, studied French in Paris during the Vietnam War.  Women and racial minorities-I try to respect all religions and have no idea what he’ll do, but a cursory glance at the history of Mormonism or Church of Latter Day Saints raises all kinds of concerns about racism and empowerment of women.  Victims of incest and rape- Paul Ryan(who would be a heart beat from the presidency) opposes abortion even when the mother is the victim of incest and rape.  That to me should be a very personal decision.  Mitt was once pro choice, pro gay and pro gun control.  He claims he’s done a big turn, so I don’t really know where he stands on many social issues.  In the area of civil rights and human rights, Obama wins hands down in my humble opinion.  Conservatives claim they don’t want government interference but then try to get the government to tell women and gays what they can and cannot do.

     4. His persona.  Obama is a likeable guy that I can relate to.  He seems like a good husband and dad who really cares about people.  He wasn’t born wealthy.  He and Michelle had student loans and he drove around in old clunker cars even when he was in the Illinois legislature.  He lived in crummy apartments and lived paycheck to paycheck.  He could have made big bucks in the private sector, but chose teaching and service.  I respect that.  He’s patriotic but doesn’t think every war is equally just.  I can connect with him.  Like his granddad, my dad went out and signed up to serve and defend our country the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.  He’s a Constitutional Scholar who understands the need for limits to our rights.  He doesn’t want to take away anyone’s guns but questions whether private citizens need automatic rifles.  I find the Republican mayor of NYC much more outspoken on gun control.  I also like that he is of mixed race and has lived and experienced other cultures.  He sees the shades of grey (nothing to do with those novels!) when it comes to global issues like the Middle East and global warming.

    5. His record.  “General Motors is Alive and Bin Laden is Dead.” Great bumper sticker and true.  NASA is privatized, credit card companies are more honest and the economy is coming back.  I think we were on the verge of a major depression in 2008.  Romney’s policies sound scarily like those of George W. We can’t blame the man for all that’s wrong with the world. Gas prices reflect oil company greed (he did make BP clean up the Gulf) more than presidential policy.  There are several sites that list accomplishments of his first administration.  Check them out.

It’s clearly going to be a close election.  I have tried to warm up to Romney and just haven’t been able to sense that he gives a darn about my demographic or the demographics that I care about.  I fear what blunders he’ll make across the pond. I don’t think he can inspire us or bring us together as a nation. He was strongly disliked during his one term governorship.  I could say lots more and should include footnotes, but space is always at a premium.  If this gets printed, I sincerely thank the KP for its independence.

  • By player24, September 7, 2012 @ 2:10 PM

    Nothing is worse than grown-ups fighting over politics online. I would rather listen to Fran Drescher talk for 8 hours than fight about politics on a comment board.

  • By mark, September 7, 2012 @ 6:35 PM

    @ Dalereese67, I think many will agree to those 3 lines. Stumped why you don`t agree with any more lines but that`s OK. I do wonder why, agreeing with those lines, you strongly defend obama. He falls into that statement.
    It`s a shame we have only these two, or 4 counting vp`s, to choose from. This country has thousands of great men and women who are leaders. But our f-ed up system and MONEY prohibit them from ever reaching the podium. So….we have Moe and Larry to choose from. Wonder where Curly is? And Schemp?
    I don`t want to give Obama another chance. He had one. Many great presidents only had 1 term and did great things. I wanna flush and give another a shot. We are at an impass where there is little time left to turn things around so that we as citizens can stay in the comfort we enjoy. And by that I mean living in the most free and powerful country that has ever been! We are losing that status ya know… Thank you.

  • By forward, September 8, 2012 @ 9:26 PM

    I really wish the Kittanning Paper would stick to it’s ” all local all the time ” moniker and leave the Jack Bennett ( and anyone elses ) opinions on national politics, and the endless debates that it brings behind. This is not the mission of the local paper according to David Croyle.
    You all might as well realize that peoples political views are influenced by a lifetime of experiences and opinions. The odds of any of you changing another’s opinions, or who they will ultimately vote for, based on a message board argument are just about nil. You might as well all get together in good spirits, enjoy the beverage of your choice, and sing Kumbaya while roasting marshmallows around a campfire. All this bickering is really a waste of your time, of course it is your time to waste, so do as you please.
    I think there is enough going on locally to argue about and the KP would do well to try to pry, if necessary, some more news out of the County government. Surely our commissioners are doing more than just making a small splash in the paper every 10 weeks or so. At least let’s hope they are.
    So KP take a trip to the courthouse and see what Rich, Two Job Bob, and Butt-aglia are up to a little more often ‘eh? And Jack, maybe you could accompany them.
    All Local All The Time.

  • By mark, September 9, 2012 @ 9:15 PM

    @ forward. Federal issues are just as, if not more, important to us at this time.If you feel it`s a waste of your time,take your time and go to the courthouse and report back for us. I for one would be anxious to hear from you.I hope you don`t feel I am bickering with you as I`m not. Thank you.

  • By forward, September 12, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

    Though I explained my point, you apparently didn’t understand.
    I never said federal issues are not important just that they are not LOCAL. The courthouse is.
    I never said it was a waste of MY time, rather that it is a waste of those peoples time who are arguing about these presidential politics with nary a chance of changing each others view. That includes you. I did however say that ” It is your time to waste, so do as you please “. Perhaps you missed that.
    You may be upset that I mentioned your hero Jack Bennett. But while he is worrying about the muslims…( Some of whom are good ones and some of whom he is friends with ) ….and whether Obama is going to get elected, we are paying nearly $ 200,000 a year, NOT counting benefits, to 3 commissioners who have only been in the paper for tossing around a pharmacy contract and posing for a picture at the train station.
    Hence my statement that Let’s hope there is more going on there than that, and hence my suggestion that perhaps the Kittanning Paper and/or Jack Bennett could try to find out what else might be going on there.
    As to your futile comment that I go to the courthouse and do it myself. I don’t have a newspaper and I am not a reporter, If I did have a paper and called it an ALL LOCAL all the time paper I certainly would be there.
    If however YOU, would like to go to my place of employment and put in a couple midnight shifts for ME, then go to my place and take care of my 6 acres of property, help remodel my garage, take the kids to wherever they need to go, help with the dishes, laundry and house cleaning, thereby freeing up some of my time , I’d be glad to.
    Now to reiterate my point……It’s Not that it’s not IMPORTANT, it’s just that it’s Not local.
    Everyone else seemed to understand that.
    Oh, and Your issues are not important to me at this time. I hope you don’t think I am bickering with you.

  • By mark, September 14, 2012 @ 10:57 AM

    @ forward, Yes, I understand your statements.The KP has been posting comments on “Larger than local” issues since it`s beginning. Changing opinions isn`t gonna happen I agree, but posting opinions is this site`s purpose. I`ve known Jack for 40 years and haven`t seen him for 35 hence not my hero. You should know if you read my posts the type of people I do admire. Working people who don`t suck off our system, people who at least try to follow the 10 commandments, compassionate people who think of others, logical people who use their brains before their keyboards, and lastly people with some self esteem and morals. My parents worked very hard to instill all these qualities in their children. Succeeded with some but not all. Most parents did in that era.
    I,not unlike yourself, work more now than when I was raising my 4 kids and that wasn`t my plan but it is our governments so that the “boofers” can receive their entitlements that they “deserve”. Agreed county is just as bad as federal, no argument there, and let`s not forget the boros and townships that are building new this and that. The US is broke. The state is broke. The countys are broke. I can`t stop the flow of the river but I am trying to simply navigate it.
    The KP has been doing something in Kittg that was never done before and my hat is tipped to them. Give them some slack before they have a meeting and say screw these people and lock the door.
    Yes these are my issues and I`ll bet they are important to someone, if not you. If not for the KP, we wouldn`t have been able to have this discussion. Thank you.

  • By forward, September 19, 2012 @ 9:26 PM

    mark, if you mean by your statement that …” the kp has been posting comments on ” Larger Than Local ” issues since it’s beginning ” ….that the paper has been running national or world articles then you are wrong. You people who comment have turned articles on local things into larger things by bringing your political views into even the most local issues.
    Otherwise you seem to finally understand, and sort of agree with me, well done!
    As to your praise of the KP it is well deserved and I was in no way insulting this paper as should have been evident. I gave great thought to the wording of my Sept. 8th comment to try to be perfectly clear and to not hurt anyone’s feelings, even suggesting a little peace, love, and understanding among you arguers. It just makes sense that there’d be one of you to come forth and try to twist my words into something else and thereby bring me into the fray.
    Like a guy I knew used to say ” Ahh, There’s one in every crowd ! ”
    And there’s also little chance of the KP saying ” screw these people ” and locking the door as you mentioned. Did you ever notice how many ads are in this paper ? or on this site? As long as this paper pays for itself and/or makes money there’ll be no screwing or locking going on. If nothing else this paper could be sold!
    If you’ve known Jack Bennett for 40 years as you say and have not seen him in 35 years, you must not get out much. The man is everywhere.
    And just to further give the KP props so that there is no further misunderstanding of my comments or having anyone thinking I am saying anything bad about it I’ll offer up this. At some time in the not too distant past I placed an ad in the KP for an item I had for sale. The response was every bit as good as, or possibly even better than any ad I ever placed in that ” equine themed ” publication and my item was sold in no time.
    There that should just about cover this issue, even for you, for the third time. Thank You……

  • By mark, September 26, 2012 @ 3:29 PM

    @ forward, no I`m not wrong as I said what I said, not what you assumed I said.
    And we agree on what, you didn`t say what statementI made you agree with. Hoping it`s the people I admire.
    Haven`t seen Jack as all I do is work and go home and work. That is what needs changed.
    As for the third time, they say it`s a charm.
    Sorry for the delayed reply but haven`t been on the site for a bit. Needed to get away from it and chill.
    And, you`re welcome.

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