It is without reservation or hesitation that we endorse President Barack Obama for re-election. The President has earned the trust of the American public, and the gratitude of our nation, for his preventing our country from spiraling into another Depression. Had it not been for the diligence and attention of President Obama, the United States would have endured an economic collapse that dwarfed the current recession by comparison.
Since his election in November 2008, this President has been under relentless attack by a Republican Party hell bent on ensuring his failure. Beyond the usual and expected partisan differences, the right-wing of the GOP has been shamelessly racist in its attacks upon President Obama, and the First Lady, and has stirred hatred in this nation toward the President that is reminiscent of the worst excesses during Jim Crow. Contrary to the assertions of Republicans, and their candidate Mitt Romney, this President has gone to extraordinary lengths to appeal to the spirit of bipartisanship to take care of the nation’s business. Unable to win the policy debates, Republicans resorted to skillful and coded race baiting on Capitol Hill, and over the airwaves of their media ally, the Fox News Channel, to sow the seeds of hate and resentment against President Obama. It has been one of the most despicable periods of racism in our country since the days of the segregated South.
For his part, President Obama assumed office after the Bush administration wrecked this nation, plunging it into debt and costing our country trillions of dollars and thousands of lives from two wars that were not adequately budgeted; and one of which – Iraq – was waged under false pretenses. When he assumed office in January 2009 President Obama was faced with an economic disaster and he rightfully focused first on stabilizing the nation through an economic recovery package. It was only through his efforts and his leadership that the automobile industry was not only saved but has been making an unprecedented comeback. Had he not made such emergency intervention a priority, the positive steps we see toward recovery today would not be occurring. President Barack Obama deserves full credit for saving the American economy.
As he does for bringing to justice the leadership of the al Qaeda terrorist network, the group responsible for the attacks upon America on September 11, 2001. While the Bush administration said capturing Osama bin Laden was a priority but later made it less so when the al Qaeda leader evaded the U.S.; President Obama quietly and patiently waited for the moment to find the nation’s number one enemy. The President showed real leadership in ordering U.S. Special Forces to raid bin Laden’s compound and execute the attack that claimed the life of the terrorist. Today, al Qaeda exists as a fragmented network, with its leadership core decimated, and the threat of a domestic attack by the group significantly diminished though not totally extinguished.
President Obama has also shown real leadership on health care by pushing forward the most comprehensive health legislation since the administration of President Lyndon Johnson. Derisively tagged “Obamacare,” by Republicans determined to undermine the law, the new health care law expands coverage, challenges providers and patients to be more thoughtful in making care decisions, and will eventually lower costs by eliminating unnecessary procedures, decreasing emergency room care, and creating a patient-centered model based on coordinated primary care. While the law is not perfect, it is the most dynamic effort yet to make certain that all Americans have access to quality health care. It is a gargantuan accomplishment for President Obama and history will recognize his courageous leadership on this issue.
The President has also provided visionary leadership in the education arena. The administration’s “Race to the Top” initiative provides proper incentives for public school systems and challenges them to provide high-quality academic programs in exchange for federal funding. It is a welcome relief from the mostly test-centered focus of the Bush era No Child Left Behind Act. President Obama has also been vocal in calling upon public school teachers to be more accountable for the academic performance of their students and has been an advocate for teacher evaluations and merit pay. The President, through Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, has made American students advancement in science, technology, engineering and math, or “STEM,” a national priority and has stressed the necessity of advanced education. Likewise, on the higher education front, the President has also addressed the issue of the burden of loan debt on college students; an important recognition as many young people are opting out of college because they can no longer afford to attend.
His challenger, Republican and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has proven himself to be unworthy of the public’s support for the office of President. Mr. Romney has repeatedly lied on the campaign trail, changed positions to suit the political winds or audience, and has offered no credible reason to support his candidacy except that he is a businessman. While we do agree that experience in the private sector enhances one’s understanding of our economy, Romney’s years leading Bain Capital is hardly the type of experience that should give comfort to voters. Mr. Romney’s sole motivation at Bain was wealth accumulation and the collateral damage of fired workers, butchered companies and shattered retirements had no effect on his selfish intentions. It is precisely the modern day corporate vultures like Mitt Romney that have helped export jobs overseas and crush the American worker.
Romney’s economic proposals, and we stretch ourselves to define them as such, are nothing more than the retreaded “trickle down” nonsense of the Reagan and Bush eras. While claiming he will eliminate the nation’s deficit, Mr. Romney refuses to clearly identify how he will do so and clings to the notion of tax cuts, even for the wealthiest citizens. He has rightly been called out by many economists and the nation’s leading newspapers for his attempt to dupe the American public. By hiding behind the façade of “businessman,” Mitt Romney is hoping the electorate is stupid enough to simply buy the hype and not question the snake oil salesman behind it.
President Obama has not been perfect. We have, from time to time, taken exception to the absence of urgency on his part toward issues we think are vitally important to the African-American community. Still, we are clear that this is no choice between the “lesser of two evils” as some misguided members of our community would like to have us believe. The President has done a remarkable job given the cards he was dealt. We find the criticism of the President by some African-Americans to be insulting and a sign of their lack of knowledge on the workings of the presidency. We are equally disgusted by the behavior of some Black clergy who have urged their congregations to not vote due to the President’s support of gay marriage. It is pseudo-religiosity on their part and an offense to common sense when they propel one issue as a litmus test when several others, identified by Jesus no less, receive scant attention from their pulpits. No, we are not suggesting that African-Americans should vote for President Obama because he is Black; though it should be a source of enormous pride and not a reason to vote against him. We are encouraging support of the President because he has earned it. Period.
On November 6 we encourage the African-American community, and the nation as a whole, to do right by our future and re-elect President Barack Obama. We implore you to vote and do whatever you can to make certain your family and friends do likewise. In 2008 history was made and in 2012 we must view this as an election of even greater consequence as we have an opportunity to shape the future.