Isn’t that the question? Aren’t we all asking what has been done for me during the past 3.75 years?
I thought I would sit this one out as over the past year I have lost much of my interest in politics. Maybe it is the overwhelming BS that hits the media everyday or the accusations and untruths that can no longer be sold as truth and transparency. Nothing goes without notice and without being checked from every angle.
Politics is much like a Sunday morning preacher describing his version of the biblical text and the deep meaning that only the chosen will understand. Take a verse out of context and you can make it mean anything.
Let me give you my favorite biblical text example: “The feast is made for laughter, wine maketh merry, and money answers all things.” For real! This is from the Bible, although I have had preachers declare that nothing of the sort is recorded in the Word. Well, I could make you check it out, but try Ecclesiastes 10:19.
Pundits and preachers — twisters of words and the Word.
But, back to my question. What has President Obama done for me during his first term? Why should I vote for him for a second term?
Here’s the bottom line. There has been very little done for me that will affect me directly at my age. BUT,
1. There is the Lily Ledbetter law that will assure my granddaughters that they will not get the same college guidance speech I received. When I graduated from a rather prestigious university my counselor rather proudly announced to me that I could expect to earn so much a week and that my male counterparts could expect to earn almost twice as much. I was totally pissed off! I had made better grades than most of my male classmates and had even helped some through a few of the more dauntingly complex chemistry labs. But, that was back in the 1970’s and it was a given, at least in the world of Mad Men, that women were worth less than men, even when equally educated.
My granddaughters have the law on their side. They are of equal value in the workplace. Okay, so President Obama didn’t help me on this one. I’m retired. But, he did do something that will affect our children and grandchildren. Thank you, Mr. President.
2. Let’s not forget Obamacare. My husband has been uninsurable since he was 19, thanks to an auto accident that left him paralyzed. Oh, sure! We could get insurance that cost more than most of us earn in a month conditioned that the plan would not cover any pre-existing conditions. Well, folks…. if you are a quadriplegic anything that puts you in a hospital can be traced back to the disability —- from pneumonia being contributed to by diminished breathing capacity to anything else that can hospitalize you or me.
Did Obamacare help me or my husband? Not really. We will be on Medicare (provided it isn’t in a voucher mode) by the time Obamacare would have covered my husband in 2014. But, there are lots of others with pre-existing conditions who will benefit. So, in a way, Yeah! I did benefit — at least in my heart. I know there are thousands of Americans who have received the same discrimination in insurance coverage as my husband. Knowing that everyone will now be eligible for coverage is satisfying to one who has fought for years for good healthcare for the man I love.
3. The president has come out in support of gay marriage. Does that affect me? No! I am not gay. But, I have friends who are, couples who love one another as much as my husband and I love each other. Maybe it was when my husband was last hospitalized and in ICU. Only family could visit for ten minutes twice a day. That 20 minutes each day carried me…. and my husband through the three weeks, giving each of us hope by seeing one another and sharing a very few moments together.
My best friend would not have been allowed to visit with his partner of 10 years based on the “family only” rule. I cannot imagine what that would be like, not being able to visit the most important person in your life when he or she needs you most.
4. Immigration. Okay, so we didn’t see this one through. But, we now know that children of immigrants will be able to stay in the only country they know as their home. Another four years with President Obama at the helm and I do believe we will see a major change. At least, for now we know that youngsters who speak English as their primary language and have only known the American way of life will not be deported to what would seem a foreign country to them.
5. Taxes. Where is Joe the Plumber now? Can’t speak for him, but for most of us our taxes have been reduced over the past three years. And, let me just add that taking away the mortgage interest deduction and the earned income tax credit (Romney-Ryan’s desire) would hurt those of us who work and struggle to make ends meet. Call them entitlements or loopholes, for the working masses these are two among quite a few breaks we have counted on.
6. Social Security. Let me just ask anyone who is dependent on a Social Security check to consider where they would be today if Social Security had been privatized as was suggested in previous administrations? Look! I’m aware that President Obama didn’t “save” Social Security, but with the contenders wanting to voucher out Medicare, I’m sure that privatizing Social Security is next on their agenda.
7. Speaking of Medicare…. I’m too old to worry about Medicare vouchers and the like. But, let me say that the idea of Medicare being made into a voucher program is as irresponsible as privatizing Social Security. Why would we believe that given an allotment to spend on health insurance would cover the costs of insurance as we age? The whole idea is to make those of us who reach retirement age secure with our futures. Even if the “entitlements” we earned and paid into don’t meet all our needs today, it is somewhat comforting to know that we have a base from which to start.
8. And, let me remind everyone who dismisses the idea of finally taking bin Laden out of the picture as an “oh, by the way” kind of thing that the previous administration more or less was up to their asses in alligators before they remembered that the idea was to drain the swamp. Not only has President Obama gotten rid of the alligators, he drained the swamp. And, our young men and women who served and continue serving our country are coming home.
9. Abortion. What can I say? This has been talked about, hashed and rehashed, decided and disputed and decided again. Abortion is not an easy decision for anyone. But, the ones making the decision should be a woman and her doctor, not a bunch of old men who have never faced the issue on a personal level and are incapable of doing so. That said, anyone who has kept up with the election campaigns can easily see that some in the Republican Party believe that even rape should not be a reason for a legal abortion. We are reminded of comments that our bodies will take care of the matter by shutting down or that a pregnancy as a result of rape could be God’s intention. Such statements are a disgrace. President Obama seems to understand to some degree that abortion is not something he should decide for the women of the nation. On the other hand, on too many occasions both Romney and Ryan have tried to step into the shoes of a woman. They do not wear them well.
10. Saving the automobile industry. The auto industry is not just GM. It is everyone that contributes to making the parts that are put together to make the autos. This covers thousands, if not millions, jobs in the U.S. While job growth may be slow, can any of us imagine where we would be GM had not been saved? Unemployment would be higher, and the country would have been in a deeper hole. Is there any doubt that President Obama made the right decision?
All that said, there are some of us who have not been directly affected by the policies of the Obama administration. I am one of them. But, I have been indirectly affected in a positive way by almost all of the decisions made and laws passed. We have grown accustomed to hearing all the candidates talk about the legacy that we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. As I look back over the first term of our president, I can see a better future for my children and grandchildren based on the decisions made.
Are we safer today than yesterday? Yes. We have had no attacks on our nation that have succeeded…. and I suspect there have been more attempts than most of us are aware of.
Let me also offer a bit of life as I see it. President Obama campaigned during the 2008 election season on change we could believe in. For months we looked forward to that change…. as I am sure he did. But, who would have anticipated that with two months before the election of 2008 our financial world would crumble before our very eyes? Who would have guessed that bringing our nation back from the brink of depression would trump everything we had hoped for? Although, this has not been the change I had hoped for in 2008, Mr. President, job well done.
Speaking of Trump…. disgusting and insignificant.
By the way, I cast my early ballot for Obama-Biden.