I am not one to cry tears of joy over things. But this morning, I did. Tears of joy, and if I’m honest with myself, tears of relief. Relief that Mitt Romney is not President of the United States and that Barack Obama is.
You’re probably asking, “Why?” I don’t know if I can fully articulate why this election meant so much to me, but I’ll give it a shot.
I’m glad Obama is President…
Because my right to make my own choices about my body will stay intact. No rich, old, white man is going to tell me what I can and can’t do with MY body. I wouldn’t put up with that shit from my husband, so why should I put up with it from a bunch of strangers? Fuck that. Even though I can’t have children because I had a hysterectomy at 25 as part of treatment for invasive cervical cancer, I believe that no woman should be denied the right to determine when or whether she has children.
Because insurance companies will no longer be able to stop or deny care because of pre-existing conditions. That child undergoing treatment for cancer? Her parents’ insurance was about to stop paying for treatment. Because of the Affordable Care Act, the insurance company has to continue to pay. Her parents don’t have to worry about paying for the treatments that will save her life.
Because despite what extremists say, Obama is not a socialist. He’s a moderate, along the lines of Ford or Eisenhower. I’ve read President Obama’s books. The dream he has for America is the American dream. And sometimes the road to the American dream isn’t an easy one. But I have confidence in his vision, and I believe that it will get America headed in the right direction.
Because I believe that the education of our youth has been sadly lacking for years. President Obama knows that the only way future generations will succeed is if they have a strong education, and I agree. College should be affordable for everyone, and students shouldn’t have to be saddled with a mountain of debt just to get a college degree. My husband and I have been paying off his student loans for the last 15 years. No one should be saddled with that kind of debt just to get an education.
Because I believe that everyone, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation deserves to be treated equally under the law. This is so important, it’s a part of our Constitution. Some would like to forget that, but I refuse to. To that end, I also understand that the Constitution guarantees us not just freedom OF religion, it also guarantees us freedom FROM religion. Religion has no place in politics. It has no place in the decision-making necessary to keep this country strong and successful. Not everyone believes the same things and our Founding Fathers understood that. I want to be on the right side of equality, not the wrong one.
Because he made the decision to take out Osama bin Laden. I watched Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama bin Laden on the National Geographic channel Sunday night. I never realized that we could have been rid of him years ago, but then President Bush refused to act on the intel and allowed bin Laden to escape.
Because he is committed to ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the drain on our country’s finances that they represent. The war in Iraq has ended and troops are starting to come home.
Because he repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing gays and lesbians to serve their country openly for the first time.
Because he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have renewed our standing in the international community. I don’t think people realize how much Bush was disliked by the world at large because of the way he dealt with other world leaders. President Obama is respectful of others, yet gets his point across without resorting to bullying tactics. That international respect makes it easier and safer for us to travel to other countries.
Because I believe that, above all, Obama is fair. In the face of Congress’s pig-headed refusal to work with him, he had every right to be bitter and angry. Instead, he kept trying to find solutions, that while not perfect, were acceptable to everyone.
Because I believe in continuing to move forward, not back.