Consider what the American public has had to weather on the economic front since the last time the nation held a presidential election: back then, the full brunt of what became known as the Great Recession was bearing down on the country, and subsequently the nation lost in the neighborhood of 8 million jobs to accompany a housing market collapse and trouble in the financial sector. Two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, also were putting a drag on the economy.
And there were other worries as well — spiraling health care costs and the impact of climate change not just on our nation but elsewhere around the globe.
Thinking back, it was a troubling time for many Americans. And so, when Americans headed to the polls that November, many of them cast their ballot for Democrat Barack Obama, a vote that at the time was seen as one for hope and change.
What about four years later?
We’d say that most Americans have taken off their rose-colored glasses and are seeing a more complex picture of our nation, its leadership and the difficulties of getting things done in the face of the incredibly partisan politics of our time.
That’s why, when it comes to the race between Barack Obama and the Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Willard “Mitt” Romney, we believe the nation is would be better served by returning Obama to the White House.
Obama has been tested on a number of different fronts during the past four years and he has emerged older, wiser and ready to lead the nation for another four years.
On the plus side, the president has brought the troops home from Iraq and has placed U.S. troops on a path to be leaving Afghanistan by 2014. And it was on Obama’s watch that Osama bin Laden was eliminated as a threat and it’s under his leadership that the U.S. continues to take a proactive approach in rooting out terrorists.
The president also deserves credit for the steps the federal government took to stop the hemorrhaging of national wealth that was occurring during the Great Recession. This included the $787 billion stimulus that may have been decried by his opponents but one that many economists on both sides of the aisle agree was necessary and ultimately helpful. The president also deserves to be recognized for his managed bailout of U.S. auto industry.
We also think that the American public will see more and more benefits coming out of the Affordable Care Act, one that provides all Americans with the opportunity to get reasonably priced health care.
This isn’t to say that all is right with America since Obama took office. The Guantanamo Bay detainment facility remains open. He has not done a good job in adequately managing the expectations of average Americans so that they understand just how bad things were — or just how culpable the Republican-controlled House has been in keeping many of his plans and policies – and the nation — from moving forward.
But we do know that Barack Obama remains true to his belief in this country and what all Americans are capable of achieving.
We cannot say the same about his opponent, who has been a chameleon since entering the political arena and who, if elected, will be at the beck and call of a segment of the Republican Party that looks to return to many of the policies that put us in trouble to begin with.
Go forward or go back. The choice for us is simple: Let’s re-elect Barack Obama.