Illustration by Teddy Benson

You read last week’s article, “Ten reasons why [Ellen Scully] isn’t voting for President Obama.” I’d like to counter some of those points, and provide some reasons of my own in support of Obama.

Like Scully, I am not 100 percent behind everything my candidate says or does. She admitted Romney was not her favorite person in the world; neither is Obama mine. She pointed out that Obama seemed like he was about to close Guantanamo Bay, but then failed; it’s true. However, I am a realist about politicians. If you are not going to vote for a politician who doesn’t keep all their promises, then you might as well never vote at all. Considering that Romney is promising to create jobs while nonpartisan economic centers are pointing out that his plan will overall lose jobs, neither candidate can be counted on for his promises.

Scully’s first point is almost laughable. She complains that for Obama’s “utopian visions” to come true, money must be collected from taxes. “I have never met a person who likes taxes,” says Scully. Nice to meet you, here I am. Does Scully like interstate highways? Does Scully like public libraries? Does Scully like her public high school that she mentions attending later in the article? Then she must like taxes. This is barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what taxes do for you.

If, as Scully suggests, seeing my weekly paycheck drop from $500 to $460 would mean that “everyone can go to college and get medicine on someone else’s dime,” well, I’d consider that $40 very well spent. I’d consider it a great investment for my own kids’ futures!

I’m voting for Obama because I support raising taxes slightly on everyone to, in turn, lower costs dramatically for everyone.

Scully’s second point has to do with Social Security. She claims that Mitt Romney sees the problems with Social Security as “worth addressing” while Obama “seems to believe money will magically grow on trees.”  The implication here is that Obama does not see the problems as worth addressing. Scully is ignoring the fact that earlier in his term, Obama organized a bipartisan fiscal commission to address the problems with Social Security, in addition to other issues. He also stated that he would be willing to work with anyone from either party on a solution that strengthens Social Security.

I’m voting for Obama because he is willing to cross party lines for solutions. Republicans have stated, in words and actions, that they will vote against anything Obama supports, no matter what, because Obama supports it.

As someone who doesn’t appreciate other people getting government help on her tax dollars, it’s surprising that Scully criticizes Obamacare and demands that people be able to choose to live without health insurance. Perhaps Scully has only ever associated with people who can easily pay for their medicine and services out of pocket, but that is not the case for most people in this country. So how do these lower income people get care when they are injured or sick?

Well, from the taxpayers, of course. That is why free hospitals exist. Overcrowded, understaffed, 24-hour-wait in the emergency room, free hospitals are where people who can’t pay their health costs go, and then the U.S. government (we) pay for their health care through our taxes. If Scully doesn’t like that either, does she suggest we leave these people to die? Does she have a better idea?

I’m voting for Obama because he has worked on developing a plan to make sure everyone can get medical help when they need it.

Scully’s fifth point, about employers being required to cover birth control, was mentioned in her article at the end of last year about the Republican “War on Women.” I explained in my last response to Scully that religious nonprofits, such as Catholic organizations, were exempted from this mandate. Perhaps she read that, because she didn’t mention it again here.

However, some were still complaining that the exemption does not protect individual employers from having to cover birth control. This is what Scully is still complaining about. The problem with this argument is that it if exceptions were made for every individual employer, it wouldn’t be very long before employers made up all kinds of things they are morally opposed to so that they could spend less on their employees. An employee of a Christian Scientist wouldn’t be able to get covered for anything.

So, in the end, if Scully’s only issue is that, in general, insurance coverage shouldn’t cover birth control, I hope she is also willing to say it should not cover any other optional medicine that is not crucial to the employee’s survival.

I’m voting for Obama because he isn’t afraid to call himself a feminist, and he is knows a woman should have a right to medicines she wants and control over her own body.

Scully’s fifth point criticized Obama’s sympathy for Occupy Wall Street. I confess my own disappointment in Occupy Wall Street as well; I found the whole movement pretty disorganized, and split into many different factions, believing in different things, all under the “Occupy” label.

That said, the Occupy Wall Street movement was launched by people who wanted corporations to have less power, a sentiment with which Obama sympathized. Occupy protests were sometimes chaotic and there were some complainers, but when a national movement rose up, the fact that the President expressed some sympathy and willingness to listen, seems like a good move to me.

I’m voting for Obama because he is willing to listen to people that others label as ‘whiners,’ and find out their grievances. Just because they are poor, or even rude, does not mean their opinion doesn’t have value to the president.

Scully doesn’t support the DREAM Act. This was the first point of hers that truly shocked and disgusted me. First of all, she is incorrect in saying that the DREAM Act simply provides amnesty for undocumented adults. The DREAM Act is to help people who were brought to America as children, when moving was not their decision. They have lived in this country most of their lives, and oftentimes, would not have anywhere to go in their birth country.

Thus, unless Scully believes in children serving out the prison sentences of their parents, the DREAM Act does not promote criminal behavior. I also find it ridiculous and offensive that Scully decided she could speak for immigrants by saying that the act is a “blow” to immigrants who achieve U.S. citizenship legally. I don’t know if Scully has ever talked to an immigrant who came here legally, and I confess I don’t have statistics on their positions, but in news I’ve read and personal interactions I’ve had, the vast majority of immigrants, no matter their legal status, favor the DREAM Act.

Scully should not tell us that this legislation is a blow to immigrants when they are the ones fighting for it to be passed. When an undocumented immigrant enters the U.S., they are not doing it because it is the easy way out; they are often doing it because they feel they have no other choice. Gaining citizenship can take over a decade. What needs to happen is a reform that makes becoming a legal citizen much easier and much faster.

I’m voting for Obama because he does not think that children should be punished and left rootless because their parents tried to get them to a better, safer life. I’m voting for Obama because he does not support racial profiling, suggestions of “self-deportation,” or taller walls as real immigration reform.

Scully criticizes Obama’s advertisements for criticizing Mitt Romney’s wealth. However, in the ads I’ve seen, Obama is not saying, “This guy is a billionaire, don’t vote for him,” so much as he is saying, “Hey, this guy is a billionaire, and coincidentally, part of his economic recovery plan is to give tax cuts to billionaires.” In addition, the Obama campaign has been using Mitt Romney’s extreme wealth to show that he is out of touch with the middle class, which has absolutely been proven true by Romney’s own actions.

I’m voting for Obama because he hasn’t spent his whole life worrying about profits instead of people.

Scully’s declaration that the wealthy pay more “so half of Americans can pay nothing” sounds creepily like Romney’s infamous comment about “the 47 percent”. Surely, Scully has read the explanations for the number of people who don’t pay income tax. Many don’t have incomes. Many are elderly. Many have incomes too small to be charged an income tax. I’m guessing these people aren’t at these levels because they’re trying to cleverly avoid income tax.

I’m voting for Obama because he knows that the wealthy do need to pay more to truly be paying their “fair share”. Because when America has granted you the opportunities that allowed you to get where you are and Congress has spent years giving you what you want, then you do have the privilege of being able to give back.

Scully sums up most of her analysis in her 10th point, calling for generically less government. Wanting less government is a valid claim, but where I’m confused is when she decided that Mitt Romney could provide that. Romney talks about getting rid of government, but none of his actual plans, nor his past record, reflect anything of the sort. His economic plan has been predicted to be a failure by nonpartisan studies, and he certainly is anything but anti-government-interference when it comes to social issues. Just what exactly does Scully expect Romney to do differently?

Romney has vowed to increase America’s already extravagant defense budget, and his tax cuts for the rich certainly won’t help the deficit either. It mystifies me that Republicans in this day and age are trying to demand deficit and tax reduction simultaneously. Many of the things that Romney has vowed to cut to help reduce the deficit may be done in the name of cost-reduction, but is actually part of playing to conservative social values, such as his vow that “we’re going to get rid of” Planned Parenthood. In addition, when people pointed out that Romney’s healthcare plan for Massachusetts was similar to Obamacare, he defended his action by saying that it was only statewide, and kept federal government out, but at an earlier time in his gubernatorial seat, he stated that he thought his plan should be adopted on a national level.

At the beginning of her article, Scully complains that Obama vowed to create change, and she does not see any changes in her day-to-day life. What changes, exactly, did she want? Scully lives the life of a white, presumably upper or upper-middle class private college student. What of Obama’s promises for change has she missed out on? What, exactly, did she want to change in her personal life? It sounds to me that Scully, like many of us CC students, myself included, are more or less living the dream, compared to most in America.

There are more reasons to vote for Obama than the ones Scully kindly provided for me. Obama is the first president to announce support of gay rights, like marriage, hospital visitation, and the right to serve in the military openly. I am resentful that it has taken us this long to get out of Iraq, but all the active duty troops left in December 2001, and few organizers and advisors remain. It saddens me that Osama bin Laden was killed without a trial, but Obama was at least able to assassinate him through a small task force instead falling back on the regular American strategy of bomb-everything-blindly-until-a-body-shows-up. Overall, I have been massively impressed with Obama’s intelligence and work ethic, and I look forward to the good he will do in a second term, thanks to the votes of the poor, LGBT, minority, and female voters whose rights Republicans don’t care about, and whose votes, Republicans often forget, still count as much as those of the wealthy and privileged.

Rosie Curts

Guest Writer

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