Ed. note: This is a link-laden piece, for those readers who haven't been keeping up with the news. If you don't care to view the links within my article (below), please at least read this New Yorker piece about what President Barack Obama has managed to accomplish in the face of Republican obfuscation and how a Romney presidency would stimy our nation's growth and progress. I am disappointed about several actions/inactions of Obama's presidency, but the alternative is simply unthinkable.
We've come too far to go back 50 years, which is where the corporate-backed Romney-Ryan presidential ticket wants to send us. The GOP's relentless assaults on women's reproductive rights, on Planned Parenthood, on equal pay, on health care, on Medicare, on Social Security, on education and the environment simply cannot stand.
The widening economic gap between the richest one percent of Americans and the middle class and the poor is deeply unjust, more and more resembling the early 20th-century years when robber barons wielded disproportionate influence over government policies.
Health insurance as a right, not a privilege
Despite Mitt Romney's claims to the contrary, Americans do die in their apartment without insurance - about 45,000 people per year! In the richest country on earth, these unnecessary deaths are scandalous!
Going to the emergency room is not by any stretch of the imagination, preventive health care. Isn't it odd how the former Massachusetts governor boasts about getting health insurance for every citizen in his state, yet doesn't want the rest of the country to have such benefits??!!
"Obamacare," which is loosely modeled on the Massachusetts plan not only provides insurance options for all Americans, it provides coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood provides valuable services for women who cannot otherwise afford breast cancer screening, birth control advice, etc. But Mitt Romney said he will "defund" Planned Parenthood his first day in office.
Foreign policy affects us all
Mitt Romney's abysmal failure to grasp even the basics of foreign policy - he seems to think we're still living in the Cold War era, with Russia as our greatest threat - would lead only to more (futile and endless) wars, with tremendous costs of blood, treasure and our already-damaged reputation hanging in shreds on the world's stage. Romney's idea for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict? "...we'll just kick that down the road," he told wealthy benefactors at a Florida fundraiser - the same event where he disparaged 47% of Americans.
Given his many inflammatory statements on Iran, Israel and Syria - and his Bush-era advisors who already got us into two wars - the idea of Romney as president provides considerable cause for concern. Romney's willingness to jettison measured and longstanding US foreign policy (Jerusalem, Egypt, Libya, etc.) to pacify his right-wing base is particularly worrying. And for Romney not to even mention our current war in Afghanistan in his convention speech - and later dismiss the criticism, saying he didn't think the war was "important" to talk about in the speech - suggests he would not be competent as commander-in-chief.
Further, Romney's bizarre habit of making strange and undiplomatic statements and remarks wherever he goes has managed to offend even our closest allies, including Great Britain! His testy behaviour when challenged at presidential debates indicates Romney doesn't have the level-headed temperament - much less the key qualifications - to serve as president.
Jobs and the economy
As for adding jobs to the economy, Romney has no specific plans, at least not any he's willing to share with voters. Respected economists (including Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman) have dismissed Romney's vague jobs and tax proposals as unworkable. The math simply doesn't add up, no matter how many ways Romney or Ryan try to spin their magical-thinking claims.
Romney still refuses to release his tax returns, an unprecedented move for a US presidential candidate. Romney and his surrogates keep insulting our intelligence by repeating the same distortions and lies, over and over. Apparently they think voters are gullible enough to accept whatever they say at face value, without bothering to question the facts and think for themselves.
Voter suppression attempts
The Republican party also has to answer for blatant voter suppression attempts, which have sparked lawsuits and arrests. Civil liberties groups alarmed by the GOP's multiple voter suppression efforts and repeated voter harrassment have asked international observers to monitor the US election - a request usually made for Third World countries and banana republics. What does that say about our democracy? No longer quite the shining beacon of liberty and freedom, it would appear.
Apparently it's not enough that Romney's rich backers are trying to intimidate their employees to vote for Romney. In the same vein of widespread voter suppression efforts, Romney's son Tagg - using a Bain Capital subsidiary as an intermediary - has purchased 2012 voting machines in several states, including the key battleground state of Ohio! Shouldn't this be considered a conflict of interest - if not illegal - when his own father is running for president??!! Certainly, Romney family ownership of voting machines could open the door for questioning certain voting precinct results, as well as inviting potential lawsuits.
Voter protection: Your right to vote
Determine state-specific voter information here. If you face any problem when attempting to cast your ballot, please telephone Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Don't let misleading phone calls, erroneous billboards, careless clerical errors or noisy hecklers outside the polling station affect your right to vote!
P.S. And if you are a Romney supporter - other than rich, corporate banker types, obviously - can you give me one good reason why??!! I've asked my friends who say they're voting for him, but no one seems to have an answer (other than he's 'not Obama'). I believe President Obama deserves four more years!