Why I'm voting to re-elect President Barack Obama & you should too!
Growing up in Florida, I faced a couple of hurricanes in my childhood but nothing could have prepared me for what Hurricane Sandy had in store for us last week.
Having lived in New York City for the past eight years, I've never seen my city (along with New Jersey and the entire tri-state area) so devastated. I spent six days watching the news but barely venturing out because I just couldn't face what was happening. I've seen horrible things in the past (my family escaped from Cuba and Russia) but nothing compared to watching the same streets I have walked down a hundred times drown under almost 14 feet of water. The biggest, most bustling city in America became a ghost town.
When I finally left my neighborhood, I saw both the devastation and the helpful heroes and first responders that had come to my beloved city. As a FEMA truck drove by I knew more than ever that come Election Day I would be voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.
Read more ¿Qué más? A letter to my future children about why I'm voting for Gov. Mitt Romney
For anyone that knows me, this news isn't really going to come as a big surprise. I've been an avid supporter of President Obama from the start and my passion for his work has only grown in the past year. Although my Republican father and I completely disagree on politics, there is one thing that I will never stop believing: Social issues matter to me more than economics.
I care more about things Obama supporting the legalization of gay marriage (since many of my best friends are gay men and women), a woman's right to choose (since my mom once made the difficult decision to have an abortion) and the DREAM Act (that would allow some of my friends, the children of illegal immigrants, to become U.S. Citizens eventually).
As much as these things matter to me, if there's one thing that I realized in the past week, as Hurricane Sandy devastated my family, friends and colleagues, it's that economics, Obama's choice to stop campaigning and dive head first into the recovery, and FEMA are why I'm voting for him again.
Last year, Governor Mitt Romney said that he wants to send FEMA "back to the states" or, "even better" that he would want to "send it back to the private sector." I'm afraid to imagine what would be happening in New York, New Jersey and the Northeast right now if this was a year later under Romney's rule. Would he really stand by there as millions of people suffer after this natural disaster, and tell the states to send in their own rescue assistance?
Of course, now Romney's changing his tune, saying that he will "ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission." Well, it's too late for that, Mitt. He has gone back and forth on where he stands and what his real politics are all year long, and I am downright sick of it. How could I ever elect a man to the office of President who clearly lacks scruples and any sort of conviction...about ANYTHING?
I'll never understand people (like my own father) who tell me that Obama is responsible for the state of the economy in this country. My friend lost her house when the real estate bubble burst back in 2007 under President George W. Bush's rule and my hometown in Florida became the epicenter of the Great Recession (in fact, President Obama visited Ft. Myers a few weeks after he officially took the job back in February 2009), so I'm no stranger to the hard toll that the economic downturn has taken. But I wonder how anyone can expect a President to fix in three and a half years what it took another president eight years to cause.
My family came to this country under President Bill Clinton's rule, when the budget was balanced and things were good. My parents' business blossomed and, as President Barack Obama has stated, one of the things that makes America so great is that "no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try." My parents exemplified this when they were able to pay for my college education, and President Barack Obama exemplified this with the hard work and dedication he put into becoming the first Black president of the United States and all the hard work he has done over the last three and a half years.
Our country isn't going to be better off with a candidate that changes his mind depending on how the Hurricane winds blow (pardon the pun!), a candidate that doesn't respect gay Veterans who served our country and chooses as his second-in-command a man who thinks there is such a thing as an "honest rape" (I guess opposed to a false rape?!). Instead, I'm going to stick with the man that inherited the worst economic crisis we've seen since the Great Depression actually managed to make things a little bit better.
Maybe things aren't as good as they were 15 years ago and maybe they could be better, but I for one will NEVER forget that it was a Republican president who got us in this mess and it certainly isn't going to take one to get us out. It's going to take President Barack Obama to keep us moving forward, both with our recovery efforts here in New York as well as with society everywhere else in this great country.
Image via Barack Obama/flickr, Irina Gonzalez