Ode To Obama

This presidential election is the first one in which I am old enough to vote, and I am proud to say that I am standing behind President Obama. Why? Because he simply gets it in a series of important issues. (I want to make it clear that the order of the issues does not indicate a ranking of importance).

Another reason I want to re-elect the president is the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” If an individual has the desire and calling to serve in the military, why exactly does it matter who they love? In the 21st century, it simply makes no sense to dismiss someone from service solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation. How exactly does identifying as LGBT affect an individual’s competency to serve any more than identifying as heterosexual does? It does not. President Barack Obama is fully aware of this and made the decision to repeal the discriminatory and outdated law. On a related note, President Obama also supports marriage equality.

President Obama also agrees that the government has no business meddling in the private health decisions of American women. Mitt Romney has notoriously flip-flopped on issues like birth control, insurance coverage of birth control and abortion. However, his running mate, Paul Ryan, has been staunchly opposed to these issues.

Issues regarding reproduction are extremely personal. The government should not have a place in regulating these issues. Every individual in America should have the liberty to make whatever decision is best for him or her. If that decision involves getting pregnant, avoiding pregnancy, terminating pregnancy, or seeking the aid of medical technologies to facilitate a pregnancy, all people should have the freedom to make the decision that best suits them, and to take the most appropriate course of action for their circumstances and wishes. The government has no business creating laws that regulate personal and private matters.  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge this.

President Obama is also quite aware of the benefits of financial aid for college students. Mitt Romney made it very clear that his administration would not provide any help with either grants or loan repayment options, and instead suggested students “shop around” for the lowest price, and borrow money from his parents if he had to. What if your parents do not have over $100,000 to fund an entire undergraduate education? Are students whose families cannot afford to pay for a college education less deserving of said education than those whose families can fully fund them?  For many low-income students, education is perhaps the only way to create a better future. The fact that someone was born poor should not be a deterrent. President Obama understands that a huge part of the American dream is the idea that no matter where you come from, you can succeed. President Obama has increased the budget for Pell Grants, which facilitate college access to low-income students.

President Obama has also created student loan reform, particularly the “Pay as You Go” program. This program makes it so that a borrower’s monthly amount is calculated based on monthly earnings, debt amount and family size, and capped at 10 percent.

There are many more reasons why I support President Obama, and frankly, I could go on and on for pages. The unemployment rate is below eight percent for the first time in years. Let’s not forget that hundreds of thousands of jobs were being lost per month when he took office. Things are slowly recovering, and the only way to go is forward, not back.

Jeanette Reveles is a fourth-year film and media studies and women’s studies double major. She can be reached at revelesj@uci.edu.