A vote for the future

A vote for President Barack Obama is a vote for societal progress.

Trent M. Kays

This is it. The election is tomorrow. The months and years of campaigning will finally be at an end, and the American public will receive a much-needed respite from political speech. Honestly, I’m glad it’s almost over. I’ve lost friends over some political dialogue this election season, though I think I’ve become more concerned about the trajectory of this country than ever before.

I’m not going to offer tons of statistics or percentages. Those are all available online; all you have to do is Google them. Instead, I just want to talk with you about our country and the importance of this election. I want to talk with you about what worries me and our future.

I’m concerned about the future of this country, and I have been for some time. I worry about a citizenry who gladly supports military occupations around the world but doesn’t support health care at home for people who can’t readily afford it; the willingness of some to declare “Big Government” the bane of existence while supporting more military spending is ludicrous. Our world image has tumbled, our focus on our own citizens has fallen and our outlook for the future is hazy.

I don’t know what’s to come, and I think that’s what is most frightening. But, despite these issues, everyone who can should vote. If anything will destroy our democracy, it is voter inaction. I don’t care for whom you vote as long as you go out on Election Day and vote.

While I want you to vote no matter what, I think the best candidate is our current president, Barack Obama. America needs to keep changing; we need to keep moving forward and improving. We’re not there yet, but we’re further along than we were four years ago.

We live in a country where people simply will not vote for our current president because he’s black. That’s despicable. We live in a country where people praise the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr., but they will not vote for a man who works to enact them.

Do you want to be part of a country where women are treated as second-class citizens without agency? Where women cannot decide what’s best for their own bodies? Do you want a country where religion corrupts the law instead of the secular foundation? Do you want a country where the government allows the majority to decide the rights of minorities?

These are basic questions with simple answers. Too often, politicians cloud issues with convoluted speech. Let’s be clear and simple. To vote for Gov. Mitt Romney is to vote for American imperialism, to vote for inequality for the LGBT community and to vote for someone who cannot possibly understand the plight of the working class. These votes matter because they will impact the future of this country.

I want to live in a country that values equality, education and its citizens. I want to live in a country that respects people of classes, creeds and ideas. This is what America stands for. Yet, we could soon lose it. We will lose this stance on Election Day if our current president isn’t re-elected. I’m sorry, but not all of us were born into wealth. Some of us were born into poverty or the middle class. Some of us were born into a class that produces hard workers whose focus isn’t on their foreign bank accounts but their fellow human beings.

This is not to say our current president hasn’t disappointed me on many occasions. His willingness to continue torture, not take a greater stand on gay rights and not open government to the level of transparency it needs is bothersome. I also don’t approve of his secretary of education, military spending and some domestic issues, and I think the health care law could’ve been stronger. But, all the wrong or mistaken things he has done pale in comparison to what a future with Romney could look like.

Anyone who doesn’t support the equality and rights of women is not fit to be president. Anyone who hides money in order to not pay his or her fair share with the rest of us is not fit to be president. Moreover, anyone who spurns hard working teachers, police officers, fire fighters and those we need to maintain a civilized society is not fit to be president.

We need a president not firmly rooted in 1950s thinking. We need to continue to support Obama as he leads us out of the Bush-induced recession. We can’t find our way out alone. We need a guide, and our current president has done a pretty good job so far. There are more jobs now than four years ago. The rights of all citizens are starting to gain more respect. Our image on the world stage is finally starting to rise again, and many of our troops are returning home.

I encourage every person who can to go vote. I encourage any student who needs to skip class to vote to do so. This is important enough to miss a class. This is important enough to go to the polls and cast your vote for the future of our country. Be informed about issues, and vote in the national and local elections. We shouldn’t let other people decide our fate, especially when we rightfully have a voice.

Regardless for whom you vote, I want you to go vote. If you spend some time looking at both Romney’s and Obama’s records, I think you’ll conclude that Obama is the more logical choice and the only candidate who could potentially understand the issues students face.