From The Student Life to my Twitter feed, people have been hating on Obama a lot recently. I’ve noticed disappointment with the president coming from all sides, but what worries me most is the growing disillusionment among Democrats. Running with the slogans “change we can believe in” and “yes we can,” Obama, in a sense, set himself up for failure. No one, no matter how brilliant, could have bailed the United States out of an economic mess and two wars in just a few years.
Sure, President Obama has not revamped the U.S. to create a nation of happy people who all have jobs, health care, access to education, and the like. But he has made significant achievements for which few give him credit. Obama expanded Pell grants, providing more opportunities for low-income students to attend college. He bailed out the auto industry, saving thousands of jobs. The Affordable Care Act wasn’t flawless, but it set the groundwork for universal health-care coverage that will prevent illnesses from ruining families’ finances. And did I mention that we all can stay on our parents’ health insurance plans until we’re 26? Obama appointed women, Hispanics, blacks, and other minorities to cabinet positions and to the Supreme Court. His administration supports investments in infrastructure to ensure not only that people have jobs, but that the bridges they drive on to get to work are safe. He signed the Fair Pay Act, repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and killed Osama bin Laden. President Obama scaled back involvement in Iraq. Because of these accomplishments and so many more, I am incredibly proud to support our president.
President Obama has made advances for the United States and improved our reputation worldwide. At this important time in U.S. history, we cannot stop supporting Obama just because he has not fully lived up to our expectations. As Kal Penn, an actor who served in the White House Office of Public Engagement, wisely remarked, “Our generation cannot let the president’s strong vision be undone after everything we have fought for and won.” Obama still has the ideals and values that we voted for in 2008. We owe it to ourselves to continue moving our country forward by re-electing him in 2012. We can’t give up so easily.
And really, what’s our alternative? Under Rick Perry, Texas’s educational system has lagged (especially after recent budget-tightening measures), and his failure to seriously address the issue of poverty is deeply disturbing. Additionally, Perry represents a threat to the income security of the elderly, as his comments on Social Security have made clear. The other Republican options aren’t any better, either. Though his positions are hard to pin down from day to day, Mitt Romney supports policies that would represent a serious setback for America. On issues as varied as abortion, immigration, and civil rights for the LGBTQ community, Romney’s positions would significantly damage progress made during the Obama years.
And do you really want a Republican to head the EPA or the Department of Health and Human Services?
Obama is not the glamorous new “it” thing anymore. But he needs our support more than ever. If we fail to knock on doors, make phone calls, and show up to the polls like we did in 2008, Obama will lose. Please get involved. Check out the campaign’s website, join the Claremont College Democrats, and defend the president to your friends on both the left and the right. We need Barack Obama in the White House.