On Election Day Tuesday, let's not turn back time. We can't afford to have corporations buying public office and favoring profit for the few over fairness for all. We can't tolerate a rapidly-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Our Constitution affirms that "all men are created equal."
Let's not return to the days when women were considered second-class citizens and men were always boss. Let's not return to the days when women had limited reproductive choices and men controlled the purse strings. Let's not fall back to the days where affordable health care, freedom of choice and civil rights were legislated by rich white men and the lobbyists who financed them.
Let's not go back to the days when multi-national corporations tried to stifle unions and undermine workers' rights. Let's never return to the Robber Baron days when arrogant rich men lived by one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. Let's dismiss the days when politicians carelessly eroded our environmental protections, while refusing to address the massive elephant-in-the-room: climate change. Let's not return to the days when bigotry and racism; poverty and limited access to education and opportunity encouraged resentment between us. We are a nation of immigrants: more alike than we are different.
- "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Setbacks from fighting two foreign wars - and the subsequent drain of blood and treasure - have hindered our growth. Too-big-to-fail investment banks have manipulated the economy and derailed the mortgage industry. To prosper, we deserve better than the outdated, unworkable, unrealistic policies of corporate raider Mitt Romney and his obstructionist "Party of No." Every major economist in America - including Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman - has attacked Romney's constantly-shifting positions on how to revive the economy. Romney offers only empty talking points and platitudes, but he is dangerously malleable.
Under Romney's stated tax plans, 7000 of his wealthy corporate friends would benefit, while 26 million children in 13 million working families suffer. After all, Romney has expressed his disdain for "the 47%." He's more interested in building additional ships for the Navy - who publicly have stressed that ships are not needed - to reap profits for John Lehman, one of Romney's main financial backers. And that's only one example of how Romney's well-heeled supporters expect to benefit at our expense.
Mitt Romney has spent the entire presidential campaign trying to hide under a cloak of secrecy. He has avoided press interviews; refused to release his tax returns; failed to offer any real solutions to stimulating the economy or creating jobs and repeatedly lied about Ohio auto worker jobs being sent to China. He's barely mentioned the present war in Afghanistan or our troops serving there, yet he's found time to threaten war with Iran. Romney's lack of diplomacy has offended even our closest allies, while his ignorance about foreign policy and cultural differences could spell dire consequences for the United States.
Romney also has promised to dismantle our country's universal health care system - initiated by President Obama and similar to the one Romney himself championed when governor of Massachusetts - and cut Medicare for seniors and Medicaid benefits for the poor. He's vowed to pull funding for Planned Parenthood's important women's health programs and abolish or undercut FEMA, forcing individual states in the midst of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy to rescue themselves!
On Tuesday, please cast your ballot for President Barack Obama, a thinking president who has the knowledge, ideas and empathy to address challenges facing all Americans, not just the privileged few. He advocates policies that unite us, not divide us; policies that celebrate the hope and promise and principles of equality on which our nation was founded. President Obama advocates action that will carry us forward as a stronger nation. United we stand.
Images of 1930s WPA-funded artist murals, Coit Tower, San Francisco by Tara Bradford.