Obama deserves four more years | AspenTimes.com

Obama deserves four more years

We’re a bit perplexed as to why anyone other than the staunchest right-winger would consider not voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.

When he was elected four years ago, the nation stood on the precipice of calamity. In the final year of the debacle that was the Bush-Cheney administration, the U.S. economy was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs monthly. The fraud perpetuated on Wall Street that allowed subprime mortgages to be traded like a bad casino bet caused millions of homes to sink into foreclosure, destroying families and even lives. The long war in Afghanistan and Iraq not only had cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion, but it also had claimed the lives of more than 4,500 U.S. servicemembers.

America, as former President Jimmy Carter so famously put it decades ago, had sunk into another “malaise.”

Obama not only was a symbol of hope – he was an earnest and qualified statesman who was willing to tackle the massive problems at hand.

Fast forward to today, with less than three weeks until the national referendum that boils down to a two-man race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The nation slowly has improved. Despite Republicans in Congress who have tried to stymie nearly all of his moves, Obama has produced results.

There are tighter regulations on Wall Street that seek to prevent it from returning to its wanton ways. In fact, the stock market has more than doubled in value since early 2009.

Aided by a federal bailout, the U.S. auto industry is back on track. Manufacturers have added more than 400,000 jobs in the past two years. Just a month ago, housing starts surged to their highest level in four years, signaling a new beginning for the construction industry.

For the first time since Obama took office, the jobless rate fell below 8 percent last month.

The dubious war in Iraq has ended, and the conflict in Afghanistan has been winding toward a close. Under Obama’s watch, the U.S. military was successful in eliminating the country’s No. 1 enemy, the terrorist mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden. This is an achievement that the president’s detractors have been loath to admit.

We’re really not sure what Romney has in mind for America. As governor of Massachusetts, he was a centrist, even instituting health care reform legislation which in many ways mirrors the federal Affordable Care Act, otherwise (and sometimes derisively) known as Obamacare.

But Romney seems to be willing to say or do anything in order to attract voters beyond his GOP base and has been caught in many untruths – some say out-and-out lies – during the recent televised debates with the president. This does not bode well for a potential Romney presidency.

Worst of all, Romney’s agenda for America is not far removed from the things that the last Republican president espoused: energy independence, a tougher stance toward China, expanded free trade, a balanced budget. George W. Bush’s policies, or his attempts to implement those policies, were dismal failures. We hardly see how Romney could do any better with them.

But this is not about Romney, it’s about Obama. He’s akin to the captain of a slow-moving, albeit sturdy ship, one that is being steered in the right direction but every so often has to navigate around an iceberg (i.e., the Republican Party) that threatens its buoyancy.

We would hate to see the positive movement of the past four years reversed by the failure of some voters to recognize that the nation is on a good track. Vote Obama on Nov. 6.

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