By Jay Rinaldi, Staff Writer
November 9, 2012
With President Barack Obama’s re-election, I am looking forward to his next four years as our president. Unlike many people, my primary reason for voting for Obama was because of the health care reform act he passed in his first term.
If Obama had lost re-election, Romney would have done what ever he could have to stop its complete implementation. But now that Obama has won, he will make sure the law will be implemented in its entirety.
The health care reform act, as the President has said, was passed because it was the right thing to do for the country. Some people may have a legitimate philosophical opposition to the law, but in terms of insuring millions more people, eliminating the possibility of financial bankruptcy for millions more people because of medical bills and bringing down health care costs, this law was the right thing to do.
Secondly, I am looking forward to the continuing increases in investments in education. I believe if Romney had won, he may have cut back on our education expenditures. The U.S. was a pioneer in understanding that the quality of a country’s education system is the foundation for a country’s economic success.
As a consequence, the U.S. has the best college institutions in the world and the most powerful economy in the world. Obama has made education a priority and will continue to improve our system in the next four years.
Another critical issue facing the U.S. government is the unsustainable debt that has been growing since the beginning of the Bush administration. In the last four years there have been record deficits, which are going to have to be reversed. Obama will make sure that the reduction of the debt will get done in a balanced way.
Taxes will be raised, probably on higher income earners, and entitlement programs, like Medicare and Social Security, will have to be dialed back, but not to the devastating extent that I believe Romney and his running mate would have pushed for. Military spending will also have to be used more cost effectively.
Finally, I think that these next four years under the Obama administration will allow his foreign policy to be seen and respected to its full extent. Different from his predecessor’s foreign policy, the Obama doctrine has utilized multilateralism to respond to international relations and international crisis. Instead of antagonizing other countries, Obama has shown them respect.
Before Obama intervened in Libya, he made sure that he had the approval of other Muslim countries in the region so as not to be seen as initiating yet another unsolicited western intervention. Further, the Obama administration has kept us out of wars.
Congressional members had called on Obama to send in ground troops in Syria and Obama refused. Despite the horrific devastation that continues to be inflicted on the Syrian people by its own government, Obama weighed his options and came to the conclusion that sending ground troops would just be another open-ended mission like the one in Iraq that would cost more American lives; America could not, and would not, accept another situation such as that.
If Romney had won, I am afraid his neoconservative foreign policy advisors would not have gone with the same approach.
In essence, the contrast between Romney and Obama was real. I do think Romney would have been a pragmatic president, and a good president, but as Chris DiMarco said after he had lost the Masters in 2005, “I should have won, but I was playing against Tiger Woods.”
Romney was a good candidate, just not as good as President Obama. Obama showed during the debates and campaigns that he was more knowledgeable about the issues, more deliberate in his reactions and more presidential in his demeanor.
Obama is a pragmatist and a visionary, and Romney was just a pragmatist. To be a transformative figure, you must have a transformative vision, and Romney was just pushing an outdated philosophy that has been around since the 1960s.
Obama is a transformative figure. He knew people were in desperate need of help, so he passed the Affordable Care Act. He knew people were sick of never ending wars, so he ended one, and will end another. And finally, he knew people were tired of unjust laws, so he repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.