Opposing viewpoints part one: Why I support Obama

Trevor Nichols, News editor

This November, Americans will vote whether to keep President Obama in office for another four years, or elect Governor Romney to the presidency. For the following reasons, I support re-electing President Obama.

I support Obama’s education policy. He has supported governmental programs to make college more affordable, doubling funding for Pell grants, an issue of much importance to high school students. Obama has supported programs that encourage science and technology, key to future innovation. An educated populace is the foundation for a surging economy.

Obama is also the clear winner environmentally. Over the last four years, he has increased energy efficiency standards, supported clean energy and mandated large factories to report their emissions. Renewable energy source use has doubled over the last four years. Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Romney even believes in global warming, and it is certain that his running mate Paul Ryan does not. It is safe to say that a Romney administration would reduce environmental regulations, preventing a sustainable future. While some have charged that Obama’s support for clean energy has damaged our oil industry, this is simply untrue. Domestic oil production increased by roughly 120,000 barrels of crude oil a day for the last year, according to “A Secure Energy Future,” a governmental report compiled by six federal agencies. The United States now imports 12% less petroleum from foreign countries than it did four years ago. Clearly, Obama’s support for clean energy has not crippled American industry.

Furthermore, Obama’s economic policies have prevented total collapse in the economy. Obama is hardly an extremist economically – for example, he compromised with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. Economic recovery today is increasing, with new housing construction at its highest rate since 2008. Obama’s General Motors bailout helped the domestic auto industry make significant recovery. All in all, Obama prevented a financial crisis set into motion before he took office from becoming even worse.

The Republican Party has become severely polarized over the last four years. Although many Republicans are more moderate than their Tea Party counterparts, the Tea Party has gathered enough energy and dedication to commandeer the Republican Party and make this year’s platform one of reactionary extremism. It’s why Romney’s running mate is Paul Ryan, an extreme budget hawk, and it’s why Mitt Romney is notorious for “flip-flopping”- he has to appeal to an extremely conservative base, while at the same time trying to win over moderate voters that will ultimately decide the election.

These are only a few of the reasons why I support Obama over Romney. I also find it impossible to believe that the Romney-Ryan tax plan can feasibly cut taxes by trillions of dollars without raising taxes on the middle class or creating a larger deficit. Obama is pro-choice. The president has helped to decrease discrimination, from his support of gay marriage, to promoting equal pay for both genders, to abolishing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” making our military stronger. He has ended the war in Iraq, weakened Al Qaeda, and prevented the denial of health insurance to children with pre-existing conditions.

This election is a choice between affirming the societal progress we’ve made over the last four years, and setting back significant change for a potentially long period of time. For me, the choice is an easy but important one. GM is alive and bin-Laden is dead.