Three Reasons This North Dakotan is Voting Obama

As a proud liberal who believes in progress and new ideas, I’ve been dismayed about the state of affairs in politics recently.  I’m appalled at intentional distortion and misinformation campaigns on the part of conservatives.  I’m frustrated with willful ignorance.  I sometimes feel obligated to counter flippant anti-government and anti-Obama remarks I see on social media, and overwhelmed by the effort it takes.  And when angry, white, rural voters vote against their own best interests like they did in Wisconsin, I feel the same thing many liberals do — the urge to throw my hands in the air and give up.

Now is not the time to check out.

I did some soul searching and came up with answers.  I came to realize I don’t need to debate every topic and have an answer for every conservative talking point.  I don’t have to convince anybody of anything.  I only need to be sure of my own feelings, and be willing to share them with others in a straightforward manner.

I am voting for President Obama again in 2012 for many reasons, but three come to mind in particular.  These are not abstract reasons, but real world, tangible things I’ve experienced in my own life.

The Affordable Care Act

I know it irks the s#*t out of conservatives to read that their number one target is my number one reason for voting for Obama again.  I love that.  But in truth, most of the conservative arguments I’ve heard against ‘Obamacare’ are an abstract argument — usually an argument about the individual mandate, or death panels, or government bureaucracies and spending.  Bogus arguments about spending I might add, considering the 2012 Farm Bill has bipartisan support and it’s .

For me, Obamacare could quite literally be a lifesaver.  About the time President Obama was sworn into office, I was diagnosed with diabetes.  With diabetes comes an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.  As a cruel coincidence, I also found myself without health insurance shortly after, due to a career change.  Without Obamacare, insurance companies could have declined to cover me.  If I had a stroke with no health insurance, it would be sure financial ruin for my family.

If my own personal story isn’t reason enough, consider that of my wife.  She’s a cancer survivor.  Cervical cancer.  Not lung cancer.  I shouldn’t feel the need to point that out, but since conservatives so often like to blame the victim, I thought I would gkfx make it clear that my wife’s cancer was of a kind where her behavior was not a contributing factor.  Without Obamacare, our insurance company could have dropped her when they found out she had cancer.  And the treatments to save her life would have sent us into financial ruin.

Financial Reform

Some years ago, I got a credit card.  My credit rating wasn’t the greatest at the time and the card has less-than-desirable terms.  It wasn’t outrageous, but it didn’t have the platinum terms Rick Berg gets either.  It had a pretty high interest rate and a somewhat obnoxious annual fee.  But what really pissed me off was the fifteen dollar fee they charged me every time I made an online payment.  Not a rush payment mind you, just an ordinary monthly payment.  Boy, that pissed me off.  Let’s be honest, it’s more convenient for the credit card company to take my payment online.  It saves them money to accept my payment via their website.  And yet they’re charging me money to accept my payment via their website.

Keep in mind, this was a credit card with a credit limit of less than a thousand dollars.  Minimum payment was about $35 and I was paying between $50 and $75 every month.  Fifteen dollars right off the top makes a big difference every month.

When President Obama got to work on credit card reform, my fifteen dollar fee every month disappeared.  And my balance dropped immediately and considerably.

Osama Bin Laden is Dead

Like most people, I was at work on the morning of September 11th, 2001.  For a very long time after that day, things did not feel the same.  I noticed a change in myself in the aftermath.  It was simple — some people would say, minor — but it was a change nonetheless.  Before 9/11, I didn’t care too much about the news.  But every morning since September 12th, 2001, I got up and watched the news.  Before anything else, I would drink a cup of coffee and watch the news.  I waited.

For all of President Bush’s two terms, I waited to hear the news… we got him.  The news never came.  Instead, I heard President Bush saying things like,  Like he didn’t care.  This was six months after the 9/11 attacks.

Before the 2004 Presidential election, I had arguments with my conservative friends over it.  I would ask them, “Doesn’t it bother you that he’s still out there, walking around, breathing the same air as you and me?”  I usually wouldn’t get a straight answer.

So I waited.

On May 1st, 2011, a Sunday night, almost ten years later, I was getting ready for bed, knowing I had to be up for work in the morning.  The network broke into programming with a bulletin — President Obama would be addressing the nation shortly.  My wife and I immediately began to speculate what might be so important that the President would feel the need to address the nation so late on a Sunday night.  A few minutes later, we had our answer.  

President Obama spoke the words and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My hand went to my mouth.  When he said the operation went down without the loss of a single American life, the words “Oh my God,” crossed my lips involuntarily and I began to cry.  My wife put her hand on my arm and comforted me.  I had waited a very long time for this news.

I still watch the news every morning, but I don’t feel like I must.  I feel safer.  I feel satisfaction.  I feel a sense of justice.

These are my reasons for voting for President Obama once again.  I’m not alone either.  I have a co-worker who has his own reasons.  When I discussed this topic with him, he told me his dad is an autoworker in Michigan and his pension was quite likely saved by the loans the government granted to the auto industry.  He’s voting Obama.

My wife’s friend is incensed by the Republican attacks on women’s health.  She takes birth control pills for non-contraceptive health reasons.  She’s voting Obama (and Heidi Heitkamp).

There are millions of Americans with personal reasons for voting Obama again.  We don’t have to argue with everyone we meet.  We don’t have to attempt to convert every conservative to our way of thinking.  All we need to do is ask ourselves why we are voting for President Obama, personally.  And then share those stories with the people we meet, one at a time.

That’s how you get a President re-elected.