Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote Smart!

As Election Day is upon us, I find it more and more disturbing when I see friends (and in some cases family) who are supporting Mitt Romney for president. I'm surprised because by now they should be able to see what Romney stands for, and I'm even more surprised when a majority of those supporting him are women. I know a lot of people have taken advantage of early voting and this won't mean much to them, but for those who still have to vote on November 6th, I just have one question about your support of Romney:  Why?

Is it because he hammered us over the head at the last debate that he has a "five point plan" to fix the economy? Just because he said that over and over again doesn't make it true. He never once gave a single one of those points to the voters, instead luring us in with his "wait and see" tactics. You really want to vote for someone who won't tell you why you're voting for him? A man who says he has a plan to fix the economy, yet he left the state of Massachusetts with a huge deficit when he left the governor's office. A man that has made millions from the auto bailout that he so famously opposed ... and is now taking credit for. A man that refuses to release his tax returns because now it looks like he (allegedly) paid no taxes from 1996 to 2009 because of a loophole that was actually closed in 1997, but he was grandfathered in and kept using it as a "charitable donation" to the Mormon church (so not only did he not pay taxes, but he got a tax deduction on the donation). It may have been legal, but don't you think it's immoral for a man in government to take advantage of the government like that, and in the end, taking advantage of the rest of the honest tax payers? You want to elect a man who's main budget proposal is cutting taxes by $5 trillion, but increasing the military budget by $2 trillion (which they have not requested)? Explain to me how that math works.  Isn't that like, say, you earning $3000 a month, and then spending $3500 a month? It doesn't work! Romney's solution is to defund Planned Parenthood and PBS, two organizations that register barely a blip on the federal budget.

This is the man who want to privatize everything, including FEMA (although he's now flipped on his FEMA position -- surprise). Romney believes private industry can handle a national disaster better than the government can. Well, I suppose that's true when there is a Republican in the White House. Just look at how Bush handled Katrina contrasted to how Obama has handled Sandy. And let's not forget the tornado that destroyed a town in Alabama, you know, the one in which Republican Eric Cantor said the government would not give aid to unless Obama met their other budgetary demands. These are the people you want to put your trust in to run the country? And if private industry can do so much better, how about asking Donald Trump to take over the recovery of New York from Hurricane Sandy? He was so eager to give $5 million to the charity of choice if Obama caved to his blackmail demands to satisfy his own racial prejudice, but we haven't heard a peep out of him since the hurricane. Come on, Donald, show us how truly caring the Republicans are.

And women. How can you put your vote in for Romney with a clear conscience? This is the man who said he would not have signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, you know, the one that said women deserve equal pay for equal work. He does not believe you deserve to be paid the same as men. He probably doesn't even believe you belong in the workplace. He would rather have you in a binder than working outside the home. He says he had more women in government during his term as governor, but most of them were in positions that he didn't have to interact with, and by the end of his term, his percentage had shrunk because a lot of those women quit. This is a man who believes employers have the right to decide if women can get birth control, while allowing the government to tell them that they can not have an abortion under any circumstance. For someone who claims to be about smaller government, telling women what they can and can not chose to do with their bodies sounds very intrusive. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood because of the far right wing ultra-conservatives think he's working for them alone. Defunding Planned Parenthood would impact the health of millions of women. It's not just abortion services they do (which amounts to 3%, and no Federal funding covers the procedure), they do cancer screenings and more, so a woman who votes for Romney is voting against herself and millions of other women. Please explain to me how this makes sense in your head. Think about it -- one minute Romney is pro-choice, the next he's pro-life depending on who he needs a vote from. Do you really want to take the chance of putting a guy in power when you have no idea where he stands on this issue?

And what about health care in general? The man who wants to repeal Obamacare on day one is the man who basically wrote the health care plan when he was governor. In fact, he was so proud of it that it's featured prominently in his official governor portrait! The only reason he and the rest of the GOP are against it now is simple ... a Democrat got a conservative measure passed and it just drives them crazy. If McCain had won the election and done the same thing, they would have been dancing on the rooftops (and the Democrats would have played along and not tried to stonewall the process at every turn).

And gay rights. Romney signed into law the first marriage equality law in the country. Romney promised to be better on gay rights than Kennedy. But even with all of those promises and actions, it's coming to light that he was still very anti-gay, especially when it comes to same-sex couples and children. He did not think it was right to change the birth certificates in Massachusetts to read Parent 1 and Parent 2, holding to the notion that a child had to have a mother and a father to be normal and healthy -- which has been proven not to be true in the least. I'm sure there are plenty of single parents in Massachusetts who would disagree with Romney on that, raising healthy, well-balanced children on their own. And what about children who come from abusive, broken mother/father homes? Is it more morally imperative to keep children in that kind of environment rather than allow them to live in a loving, caring, safe home with two dads or two moms? Romney has said he would repeal DADT, he will put a Constitutional ban on marriage equality, he will not support ENDA, and he thinks hospital visitations for gay couples is a benefit not a right. So if you're gay, or know and love someone who is, why would you vote against those issues? Why deny yourself or your loved ones those basic rights?

And lastly, because I could go on and on, do your own research on the candidates before you cast your vote based on something you heard someone else say. Just because Romney keeps talking about Obama's failed presidency doesn't mean it's true at all. It only takes a second to Google "Obama accomplishments" to get a full list of everything he's done in the past four years. Just because Romney and his surrogates now keep hammering on Jeep moving jobs to China does not make it true. Even Fox News has called them out on that lie. This is not a time to be lazy and cast a vote because someone told you something that they read on a Facebook post. Use your brain for a change. Stop listening to the pundits and do your research! Fact check everything you hear at multiple sources. The country is on the road to recovery. It's going to take time, especially when you have a political party that has publicly made it known that they have no intention of working with the president (and Romney believes he will be able to reach across party lines at this point? Right. This is the guy who vetoed hundred of bills in Massachusetts ... that were overturned by the Democrats). You're voting for the guy who will probably appoint one or two Supreme Court judges. How do you think things will go with two more conservative-leaning judges on the bench? You're voting for someone who has experience with foreign policy. You want to elect a guy who wants to start two more wars and has no idea that Iran is bordered by water on the north and south of the country, the man who insulted our number one ally and who believes Russia is our number one enemy? This election is about more than just the economy. Romney can say he's a good businessman with a good plan, but that doesn't make it true. Turn off all the rhetoric. Vote smart on November 6th.