The News believes it is appropriate to make our voice heard by endorsing a presidential candidate – with some discussion and much debate, we have decided to endorse President Barack Obama for a second term in office.
In an election defined by economic issues, we believe a steady hand is needed to lead the American economy toward recovery.
We feel President Barack Obama has been that steady hand, with a record of four years of economic recovery under his belt.
The president moved to stop the collapse of both the financial sector and the American auto industry in his first few weeks in office, preventing a second round of bank failings and saving one million American jobs.
As students, the president’s focus on reforming the student loan process and expanding Pell Grants make all of us better off.
The president made making higher education affordable a key focus of his presidency while Gov. Mitt Romney has presented a budget plan that cuts Pell Grants for the neediest and advocated the elimination of the Department of Education.
As Obama announces plans to make most community colleges free, Romney pledges to end tax deductions for the cost of tuition. As the president fights tooth and nail with an obstructionist Congress, his opponent shows his true colors on education policy with his willingness to cut education spending to increase spending on the military and provide additional tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
The much derided “Obamacare” bill should also rally students to the side of the president. Obama’s reforms allow individuals up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance, which has no doubt helped students here at Murray State. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has ended discrimination against the sick – banning insurers from denying health insurance to those with pre-existing conditions.
It is also worth noting the stark differences between Obama and Romney on other domestic issues. The President has taken a strong stand in favor of women’s rights, signing into law the first fair-pay legislation since the 1960s; Romney couldn’t be bothered to answer whether or not he supported this move.
Women with health insurance no longer have to pay for birth control thanks to “Obamacare.” Romney supported a bill that would have allowed employers to choose whether or not to cover contraceptive care for women.
On the issue of civil rights, there is no question as to which candidate stands in favor of equal rights for every American – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or straight.
Obama has endorsed marriage equality while Romney has taken a number of positions on the issue before ultimately deciding that marriage equality wasn’t a priority for a Romney administration.
In endorsing the president for another term, we should also note there are other things the president can learn from his opponent and can adapt to heal the inevitable divide that seems certain from our polarized, toxic political atmosphere.
For one, Romney, in spite of his own mistakes during the campaign, has been much more consistent in outlining his plans and explaining them to the public.
For his part, President Obama offered generalizations and vagueries when it comes to what he will do with another four years in office. We’d like to see the president’s own “five-point plan,” detailing how he plans to lead the American economy into recovery.
Romney is also spot-on about reducing the budget deficit and the national debt, though we feel that Obama has the right plan to get it done. We should all pay our debt as a nation, and if that means making hard decisions, we need a president with the spine to make those decisions, because they are the right decisions, whether or not they are popular.
Romney has staked out positions on some issues that fall into that category on principle alone. We would like to see some principled stands on the part of the president. We might not always agree with them, but we need to know where the president stands.
America needs a leader that is strong, that is firm and can make decisions under pressure while keeping his cool.
The nation needs a steady hand to direct it abroad and to manage the economy at home – not only a steady hand, but a proven leader.
That leader is our nation’s president, Barack Obama and we’re willing to give him another shot. “Hope” may be out of style four years later, but we still hope that the president might lead us toward recovery.
The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.