Four More Years!

Crisis averted, America. That is all there really is to say. Crisis averted.

The threat of a Romney-led US government can finally be expelled from our anxious hearts.

Albeit the path to re-election was not as smooth as one might have expected. Despite the near unanimous pre-election consensus of another Obama win, including Nate Silver’s reassuring 90 percent victory assurance, the contest was admittedly not without a few scares. With Romney carrying an ominous lead through a good length of the night, the suspenseful lag in swing state results, along with the tight, ever-counting and ultimately irrelevant battle for Florida, the installment of new conservative leadership remained a frustrating possibility through much of the night.

Toward the end, however, it could be said with little debate that the race was not a contest at all. Riding California’s gargantuan 55 electoral vote wave and a soul-cleansing sweep of the alleged “battleground” states, Obama reclaimed the Oval Office in a decisive, no-nonsense fashion.

And as if a 303-206 victory was not impressive enough, he did it in spite of cutthroat political opposition, escalating economic insecurities and an increasingly conservative America. It is a testament not only to the triumph of Barack Obama’s character, but also of the public’s clear distrust in Mitt Romney’s.

The latter can be traced back all the way to the Republican primaries. With the amusing emergence of personalities like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, the fruitless struggles of the Conservative Party to find a respectable nominee was apparent.

Then, after months of nasty debates and campaign ads, Romney was finally given the Republican ticket, and there was really not much of a choice. Having to select from among a delusional two-time adulterer, a shameless advocator of church and state and a flip-flopping crowd-pleaser, the Republicans decided that the last was clearly the lesser of the evils.

Thrown into the public spotlight, however, it did not take long for Romney to show his true colors.

From his awkward inability to connect with the middle and lower class, to his blatant tendency to say anything he needed to gain support, he shamelessly exhibited nearly every political stereotype that one can think of.

Romnesia. Horses and bayonets. A binder full of women. Etch a Sketch. What his campaign lacked in concrete values and verifiable facts, it surely made up for with viral video and meme-worthy material.

In a nutshell, Mitt Romney was simply not fit to be the President of the United States. He had a horrible reputation with the growing voting minority. His background was muddled with talks of questionable and sometimes heartless business practices. His foreign policy experience was little to none. His words were poorly conceived and, more often than not, falsified. Electing such a man into the most powerful desk in the world, in charge of our military, our well-being and safety — that is a chance that America decided it simply could not take this election.

And I applaud us for that.

Do not get me wrong. Barack Obama is not a perfect man. Yet, few can deny that he is a principled, goal-oriented and transparent leader unlike any other. Four years ago, he told us he would end the war in Iraq.

And that is what he did. He said he would bring an end to Al-Qaeda. And so he killed Bin Laden. He said he would reform health care. And so he created ObamaCare. This is a president that has hosted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, Google Hangouts on Google+ and answered questions from the American people live on YouTube. He is not afraid of being put on the spot. He does not shrivel from pressure or shrink from the unpopular when he knows it is right.

He is the type of leader America needs, the type of leader that the world needs. I am truly excited to see what he can do for this country in the next four years. It only pains me to know that they will be his last.

Benjamin Hong is a third-year biological science major. He can be reached at bshong@uci.edu.