My intention for this post isn’t to offer a litany of reasons why I support President Obama. I know why I support him, and that’s really all that matters. The voting booth is a private place where we get to exercise our franchise. I believe that our president believes in a more inclusive, progressive America. This is an America that invites diversity of thought and opinion. This is an America that does not suppress the views and experiences of those that differ from you. Open dialogue about our visions for America is what makes us stronger. We will find areas where we agree to move the ball forward, but the current nature of our politics doesn’t invite these constructive conversations to occur. In politics, one side will never get all of what they want, but we should celebrate progress when it occurs.
Critics must understand that idealism does not hinder the political process—it keeps us grounded in what America is and can be. In the age where individuals create their own facts to suit their political agenda, we need strong idealists. Folks whose passion for this country cannot be suppressed by the daily tracking polls or the 24/7 media loop. America is bigger and stronger than any one issue that divides us. We must not lose sight of that, for if we do, the tiniest of problems will become unsolvable.
As a young man, the cynics would classify me (and others like me) as a young idealist who hasn’t experienced enough of the world. I have experienced some of the world, and that’s exactly the reason why I remain optimistic in where we’re going. I was just talking to my students about how much individuals my age have experienced over the past two decades: Y2K, 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Hurricane Katrina, Financial Crisis, and the election of Barack Obama. We have lived and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
I support President Obama because he offers the clearest, most forward vision for America that I have seen from any candidate for the Office of the Presidency. He has consistently argued that we are all in this together. He comes from the mold of RFK. While his campaign promise of 2008 to change Washington fell short, he never had a honest partner in the Republican Party to help him achieve this noble goal. Have I been satisfied with Obama on every issue? Absolutely not. I strongly believe that he needs to be more forthright on crime in the inner cities. No more lip service. We need a strong message from the American president that he will devote resources to combating this chronic issue. For me, that needs to happen in the Obama presidency part 2.
I simply don’t get that same message—we’re in it together—from the Romney campaign. This isn’t the bash Romney show. As a voter, I’m simply providing one of the main reasons I support our current president. A message of inclusiveness has always been a potent one for folks who think like me. No one will ever be completely satisfied with a candidate, and if they are that’s kind of scary. Americans are rarely in lockstep with any one candidate, and that’s why we’re so great. We can constantly push folks that we believe in to act on issues that we care deeply about.
Candidate Obama, circa 2008, told us that we would have to push him on issues. It was never just about electing him. It was always about holding him accountable to the promises that he made once he took his seat in the Oval Office. When he sits at the Resolute Desk, I do believe that he’s thinking of us. But then again, that could be my idealism talking again. It never hurt anyone to hope. I believe—and always will believe—that hope is a catalyst for change. A country that lacks in hope and a belief in the possibility for things to change is a stagnant one.