Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What is the difference?

Word cloud portraits of the 2012 presidential candidates, based on the most used words from their speeches. Thanks Eric Millikin (via the Detroit Free Press)!

In the aftermath of the third and final presidential debate of 2012 I find myself reflecting, as we are meant to be doing at this point in time, and wondering, what's the difference between these two men really? They are both successful politicians who have proven their ability to garner the support of and represent a group of American people. Most of their communicated desires for the future of the United States are similar and, to be honest, their plans for getting there are not all that different. They clearly both care about the country and have a sense of pride and responsibility in regards to their roles as American citizens and leaders. So where, you might ask, do the discrepancies lie?

The difference between these two men, unfortunately, lies in their fundamental ideals and personal values. It shouldn't. At least not in reference to their campaigns for the presidency. The idea of life in the United States, supposedly, is that we should all be able to live our own lives according to our own principles, the way we see fit without persecution - so long as we are not infringing on the rights of others. This principle has been ingrained into the very fabric of our country. It is in the constitution. It is what we are all taught in school as children and it is what we expected to encounter as we made our way into the world as adults.

Barack Obama has consistently represented this principle. Over the last four years he has made history as a president who openly promotes the legal protection of the individual's right to personal freedom. Never before has a president been brave enough to vocally endorse this. Others have provided diplomatic answers in order to appear neutral and maintain the support of those who would prefer that, at least on some subjects, the president just keep his opinions to himself.

Over the last few months Mitt Romney's words and actions have demonstrated that he does not respect the notion of free will for all Americans. He does not believe that all Americans should be entitled to freedom and choice within their personal lives. Romney supports the idea that the federal government should make laws to restrict what individuals can do with their own bodies. He thinks that the government should define what it means to be in love, to be committed and who should be allowed to benefit from a legal marriage. Ironic considering that the Republican party is generally against the "interference" of big government.

It has taken us many decades to even begin to build a society that exemplifies the principles of freedom that were set out at the very beginning of our nation. Mitt Romney is a man who wants to take our society backwards, a man who wants to impose his own views on others via the denial of their rights. To my knowledge, the judgement of others is not usually a power reserved by politicians - and I think most voters would agree with that - so then why would Mitt Romney utilize such personal judgement in a pursuit to control the lives of others?

Thus far Romney has proven to be ignorant of the experiences of the struggling American, unashamed in his willingness to present wishy-washy and everchanging views (do you know what he actually stands for?) and blatantly offensive to a large majority of the population. It may be that Barack Obama has not been the perfect president or been able to fulfill all that he claimed he would strive for in 2008, but surely he is better than the alternative. Surely the positive aspects of his policies, personality and presidency thus far outweigh the negatives, and even if you are unsure as to whether they do, surely a return to oppressive and prejudicial law with a man like Mitt Romney is not worth your vote.

You should vote Obama on November 6th if:

1) you are a woman who enjoys having the right to choose how you will live your life, whether your decisions are based on religion or not

2) you love a woman - mother, sister, aunt, partner, daughter, etc. - you respect her freedom to make her own choices regarding her body, and you think that she should have access to health care options that will keep her safe, regardless of income level or lifestyle

3) you want to marry a person of the gender of your choosing in the state of your choosing, and to be entitled to the benefits that accompany a legal marriage

4) you love someone who wants to marry the person of their choosing in the state of their choosing

5) you want a president that is willing to stand up for the rights of all Americans - vocally and via legislation

6) Fill in your own reason!

There are so many reasons that I would vote for another four years with Barack Obama. These are just a few.

What is your reason?

Love and freedom.


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