We believe it's imperative for President Barack Obama to be re-elected, and here's three compelling reasons why:
• Foreign Policy: Obama, while not perfect in negotiating America's path in a changing and exceedingly difficult world, has done a good job of resurrecting American influence after the macho over-stepping of the George W. Bush era. Obama has fought terrorism in a calculated, focused manner, removed us from the quagmire of Iraq, and is gradually doing the same in Afghanistan.
Obama sees the benefits of working with moderate Islamic interests in the Middle East, and using crippling economic sanctions against Iran. Romney apparently doesn't.
The president is skillfully using diplomacy to avoid immersing ourselves in two potentially disastrous and hugely costly wars, in Iran and Syria, while still upholding American and Western values and interests.
Romney, on the other hand, has been in the thrall of leftover neo-conservatives from the George W. Bush era – the committed interventionists who, incredibly, still argue that the war in Iraq was a good idea. Why anyone still listens to these people is an abiding mystery in modern American politics.
If you want America to avoid another Middle-Eastern war, one that would make Iraq and Afghanistan seem like a backyard water-gun fight, then you'll vote for Obama.
The Budget Crisis: Neither Obama nor Romney have been honest about the fact that neither of their economic plans will do much to address the exploding debt problem in this country.
Without getting into all the numbers and rhetoric (you've already heard it all in campaign ads, TV news talk and the presidential debates), a better course is to determine which candidate is more likely to work from the middle to make the necessary hard choices. Anyone who's being honest about the debt crisis must acknowledge that it can't be effectively addressed without a combination of serious spending cuts and tax increases, along with entitlement reform.
Obama knows this, and Romney probably knows it as well, though one never wants to underestimate the capacity of trickle-down conservatives to ignore history and the facts in grossly exaggerating the revenue-enhancing effects of tax cuts.
We believe that President Obama, not having to worry about re-election, will look toward crafting his own historical legacy. Consequently, he'll be more likely than Romney to buck his own liberal base in order to work with moderates from both parties to make the hard choices that are absolutely necessary to reform entitlements and tame the debt monster.
At the same time, with regard to jobs, Obama correctly believes that more investment in education and research, as well as targeted stimulus spending and tax incentives in the short term, are proven job creators. Stimulus spending helped prevent a catastrophic depression in 2009, and will help goose our sluggish economy into a real recovery in 2013. This is something that can't be said about either cutting more taxes for the wealthy, or giving Wall Street a pass on its central role in the Great Recession by rolling back regulation.
Romney, with an anti-regulation, Tea Party-beholden, fervently anti-tax Congress riding his rear end, isn't likely to help our economy, and we can't risk another four years of… well… George W. Bush.
Everything else: Space doesn't allow us to go into a lot of detail, but we support the president on…
• Health-care reform. The more people learn about it, the more they like it. In answer to the Red-baiters who have time-traveled to 2012 to shout "socialism" at any creative use of government power, we have a one-word answer: Canada.
Anyone who has traveled to Canada can tell you that the overwhelming majority of Canadians will (politely) laugh in your face if you suggest trading their partially socialized health-care system for ours. While we'd be better off if Obamacare looked more like Canada's system, it's a definite improvement over the status quo.
• Energy policy. Romney will be firmly in the pockets of the coal and petroleum industries, ensuring that any progress on environmental protection and alternative energy will be stopped in its tracks and rolled back. There's really no Obama "war on coal" (or oil and gas), for example, unless you also believe that any regulation of the coal industry is a bad thing, that the oil and gas industry does anything that's not in its own financial self-interest, and that despite common sense and overwhelming scientific evidence, that human activities don't contribute to climate change.
• Women's issues. If Romney wins election, he'll be obliged to bend to the draconian demands of the profoundly anti-women, anti-reproductive freedom, anti-birth-control forces who are strongly supporting him with their money and energy.
• Supreme Court appointments. If you're enjoying all the campaign advertising hate on your TV screen and in your mailbox this election cycle, courtesy the current high court's profoundly anti-democratic Citizens United ruling, then you'll love the right-wing justices whom Romney will have an opportunity to appoint while in office.
• Rewarding bad behavior. If Romney wins, it will be a validation of the vicious lying propaganda that third-party groups and right-wing media have been littering the campaign trail with for several months. There's a reason that 30 percent of Republican voters said they believe Obama's a Muslim in a Pew Forum poll this past summer.
For all these reasons and many more, we enthusiastically support Barack Obama's re-election to president of the United States. It's no exaggeration to say that the results of this election will determine our country's course for many years.