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For the last year I have been under- and overwhelmed with millions of dollars worth of Republican commercials, ads, bumper stickers and leaflets highlighting all of the reasons why I should not vote for Barack Obama. Except for the one that reads simply, "Because He's Black". Limited Red State issue I suppose... But not once in the last year have I heard a concise, logical, rational argument from the Republicans about why I should vote for Mitt Romney. The points I took away from the painful-to-watch RNC were that they oppose gay rights, women's rights, and tolerate overt racism. Those issues are deal breakers for me and I'd NEVER support a party with those positions on their platform. Small government (well, small enough to deregulate business, but big enough to regulate my uterus) and family values (like, teaching your kids to hate people because they are different) were other nuggets I gleaned off the RNC. I've been reminded again and again about how bad President Obama is, how evil, how threatening (really?) and how bad he would be for the future of America. Ironically, I've heard very little about why anyone should vote for Mitt Romney. He's an elitist, he's an ass, he's out of touch. Sometimes its hard to focus at a three ring circus. In the midst of the chaos, its easy to forget why we are voting for Barack Obama.

I came across an article/blog entitled Voting FOR Barack Obama by Georges Ugeux today on Huffingtonpost.com that struck a nerve. He's states in plain language all of the reasons why he is voting, not for Romney, but FOR Barack Obama. He opens with:

We have completely lost track of the fact that we are electing the next president and not trying to define who the loser of the election will be. I thought I would try to define what the main reasons are to vote, as I will, FOR Barack Obama.
I couldn't stop reading. I had to write my very first diary about it. {{Keep reading!}}

I've heard ad nasuem about why I should say 'No!' to Obama and an on-going account of Romney's buffoonery, but I've read very little about why we all should vote for Barack Obama. In the midst of the all of the mud-slinging, I believe we have forgotten that we are electing a president, not a loser, and we should know why. We should be concerned about the shortcomings of the challenger, but should balance that with recognition of our own President's relative awesomeness.   Mr. Ugeux's article provides eight simple, clear and concise reasons why his vote will go to President Obama. Healthcare, budget, women's rights, Wall Street, war, Congressional opposition...they're all there. Coincidentally, I agree with each of them.  I am grateful to Mr. Ugeux  for taking the time to pen the essay. Thoughtful, consumable, and direct. I am appalled by Republicans who are voting AGAINST Barack Obama, despite all that he has done, for no other reason than who (or what color) he is. The Nobama! Obummer! O.B.A.M.A. bumper stickers and signs are constant reminders of this. They'd choose an unquailified candidate over a tried and true incumbent. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Furthermore, why are Republicans not taking the time to advertise why I should vote for their candidate and their policies?

In light of their stance on gay marriage, women's rights (why is my uterus up for discussion...again? Is it 1973?) and the exclusive/self-righteous/religious hypocrisy - I'd never vote Republican anyway. But there are independents and moderates that are on the fence. Where is the hard sell? Where is the soft sell?  Nothing. I love that the essay does for Barack Obama what the Republicans can't / refuse to / are unwilling to do for Mitt Romney. Its echoed Bill Clinton's consumable pitch at the DNC. (Albeit less eloquent). Simply tell me why Romney is the better option, without referencing President Obama. I suspect if they could make a Romney-centric sales pitch, they would have done so by now. Perhaps Republicans will follw Mr. Ugeux's lead and knock out an 8-point argument of their own. Maybe we should have Obama stickers that say simply: Obama is Awesome. Sometimes I think we lose sight of that because he's been caught in the criticism/defense cycle for 3.75 years.

Unfortunately for them, it seems they are betting that enough of the body politic's  (unwarranted and racist) hatred for the President will justify replacing him with the next white guy dressed in red that comes along. For us tolerant, educated folks, replacing something that works (albeit imperfectly - and really, have we ever had a perfect president?) with a great 'unknown' is not a gamble we're willing to take. I am better off today that I was four years ago. The markets are better and the economy is better. Thanks, but I think I'll continue on this path. Slow and steady and stable and safe. Inclusive and insightful. My expectations of President Obama were reasonable. The mess he inherited was nearly immeasurable. He's made cautious and calculated in-roads. No overnight miracles - which, for me, will always be synonymous with the gains in the housing market under Bush. Which were a miraculous mirage.  

Lastly, and Mr. Ugeux doesn't say it so I will, I couldn't care less what color my President is. I am voting for him because he is an awesome human being (Scholar, Leader, Husband, Father, Senator, President, Lawyer, Community Activist :)). I am not voting for him because of his color, despite the fact he is my bi-racial brutha'.  Our worst President's have always been white.  I'm fairly certain, Bush is tied up in a basement in Texas. Because I'm not a racist, I'll always vote for the most qualified white candidate.  As long as they take the time to tell me why my vote should belong to them...as opposed to pointing a finger at his (or her) opponent and screaming "NOT THEM!" at the top of their lungs. The anyone-but-him campaign, is too easily turned into the anyone-but-you vote. After a year of information, what little information I have about Mitt Romney scares me to death. Ironically, the Republican propaganda machine has given me an earful about my President...and I'm a stronger supporter today than I was four years ago. And I was completely dedicated then, I'm not even sleeping now. Sleep-deprived and anxious, thanks to Mr. Ugeux little article, I've regained my focus.

(Disclaimer: I'm a tolerant, human-loving, biracial, educated, professional, liberal, married, mother from California whose is routinely appalled by how frequently legislators cite their faith and God in their legal arguments - so I'd never vote Republican. Obama/Biden in 2012. The best candidate thereafter...)

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