Barack Obama has worked to help Americans, no matter the opposition
When I was 12-years-old, a cardiologist told my father that his life depended on the replacement of multiple heart valves. A little more than a year later, my mother was given a similar diagnosis by a cancer specialist, and was told that a mastectomy was the only way to remove the tumor that had formed in her breast.
Luckily for my family, both my parents had jobs that provided the insurance coverage necessary to cover the almost $2 million in surgeries that it took to save my parents lives. But for millions of Americans, the cost of monthly insurance payments remains beyond their budgets, and the price of those procedures (almost 45 times the median income of a U.S. family) is more than they could imagine affording out of pocket. I shudder to think about what would have happened to my family if my parents had been one of the 43 million Americans that were uninsured before President Barack Obama took office.
I have no doubt that if the White House and Senate return to Republican control on Nov. 6, the 30 million people that Obamacare extends insurance to will lose the protection afforded them by Obama’s signature achievement. Republicans love to parrot the “repeal and replace” line. But their complete refusal to propose alternative solutions, and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s admission that the problem of the uninsured was “not the issue” he cared about, speaks volumes about the Republican Party’s plans for helping average Americans.
Healthcare is not the only issue on which Obama outpaces his conservative adversaries. Obama’s first major initiative — the stimulus package — stopped the free fall our economy had fallen into and prevented a second Great Depression. His financial regulation ensured that the reckless behavior of the financial services industry never again threatened the livelihoods of everyday people looking to pay mortgages. Obama’s constant fights to extend unemployment benefits were a Herculean endeavor aimed at helping families make ends meet.
Obama’s populism and protection of the American Dream could find no better contrast than the craven attitudes and policies promoted by Republican challenger Mitt Romney. While Romney might have finally begun to speak the language of a moderate, his long awaited “etch-a-sketch” transformation cannot obscure the utter contempt he feels for working class Americans. How can a man who readily admitted he wasn’t “concerned about the very poor” credibly claim that he’ll once again make America the land of opportunity? How can a man who declared that 47 percent of our country was made up of “takers” believably tell us that he’ll fight for all Americans? The obvious answer is that he can’t.
Obama is not a perfect man. His first term in office has obviously had its share of missteps. But to claim that a president who implemented Republican ideas for health care reform, cut taxes on the middle class and implemented three Bush-era free trade agreements is a radical, is to not live in reality.
Obama extended an open hand to Republicans when he took office. By proposing conservative backed solutions for health care, climate change, financial regulation, campaign finance and a range of other policy areas, Obama looked in vain for partners across the aisle who sought to steer our country through a difficult period. On Nov. 6 he’ll extend that same hand to millions of Americans, rich, poor, black, white, conservative, liberal and everything in-between in the hopes of finding a citizens ready to work to move our country forward. Let’s pray that the American people return his gesture.
Sophomore, political science and print and digital journalism
Current Events Director, USC Trojans for Obama.
Mitt Romney has a plan to restore the United States
President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was a success in large part because of the youth vote: 66 percent compared to McCain’s 28 percent. In the 2008 election, Obama excited young people; he showed charisma and laid out plans that he claimed would set the country back on the right track. Never before had such a young audience been tapped into.
Four years later, U.S. debt bulges at $16 trillion, with another trillion being added each year. Forty-seven million people are on food stamps. Poverty is at its highest level in nearly two decades. Twenty-three million Americans are struggling to find work, and 163 million people will have their taxes increased Jan. 1.
College students should be the people who are most concerned with these numbers. Soon, we’ll all be hunting for jobs, searching for ways to support ourselves and our families. We’re told every day how tough it’s become to find a job — from politicians to the media to friends and family, it seems the only thing everyone can agree on is the difficulty of breaking into (and staying in) the workplace.
So what has Obama proposed this election season to remedy this dire situation? Little to nothing. His first term did little to help the economic situation of the country; and in speeches and debates he has yet to lay out what he would do differently next time around.
This is the major difference between the candidates this election. Not only does Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney want to lead the country forward, he has the means to do it. Even Bill Clinton has praised Romney’s stellar record as a businessman. Romney’s accomplishments include running the 2002 Olympics on a balanced budget, creating tens of thousands of new jobs while serving as the governor of Massachusetts and balancing Massachusetts’ budget without raising taxes. In a time of need such as this, I believe we should look to a businessman to turn things around, not a politician.
Romney has the background to put this country back on the right track. He knows what it’s like to work with both sides of the aisle; he has had to gain bipartisan support many times in his political career. The country today is divided. Romney would work with Congress to help bring this country back together, which is what we need during a rough economic time like this. We need someone who will sit down with both sides to figure out what is truly the best course for the country; not a president who alienates those who disagree with him, which is what we have seen from Obama these past four years.
One of the great things about being young is that we’re not completely set in our ways. We don’t have the same kind of long-term commitment to a political party that some people do. We should vote for who would be objectively best for the nation; and I’ll be the first to say that if a Democrat ran on a platform I thought would help the nation, I would vote for him.
So when stepping into the voting booth or filling out your absentee ballot, think ahead to graduation. Think about leaving the comfort zone of college and entering the workplace fulltime and think about your two clear choices this year: a man whose failed economic policies have led to 50 percent of college students being unable to find work upon graduating, or a man who has spent a lifetime creating jobs in the private sector — a well established and respected businessman, who has laid out a plan to help restore America to its former glory.
Sophomore, geology and environmental studies major
Director of Public Relations, USC College Republicans.