Here is a brief outline of my perspective on the 2012 presidential election. I will begin with social policy issues, as those are simplest. Each candidate has a clear stance on most issues, and their stances are generally opposite, so all that matters is what you think is right! Their approaches to the economy and to the environment contain more controversy, and it not simply a matter of what you ‘believe is right’; there are facts that can determine which of them is right. (Will Obama’s plan bring economic prosperity, or will Romney’s? Is global warming a problem that we should address, as Obama has begun to, or can we just ignore it like Romney intends to do?)
From Obama’s website: (http://www.barackobama.com/equal-rights?source=primary-nav)
“President Obama was the first sitting president to publicly announce his support for marriage for same-sex couples, and has always believed LGBT Americans should be treated fairly and equally.”
“President Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that gay and lesbian service members no longer have to lie about who they are to serve the country they love.”
“President Obama endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and extended hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights to LGBT couples.”
From Romney’s website: (http://www.mittromney.com/issues/values)
“As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton – but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.”
(Romney doesn’t have much on this subject on his website)
From Obama’s website: (http://www.barackobama.com/womens-issues)
“President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women fight back against pay discrimination. He understands that when women are paid less than men for the same work, it hurts the entire family.”
From Romney’s website: (http://www.mittromney.com/issues/values)
“Mitt Romney is pro-life. He believes it speaks well of the country that almost all Americans recognize that abortion is a problem. And in the quiet of conscience, people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America.
Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view. But while the nation remains so divided, he believes that the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – a case of blatant judicial activism that took a decision that should be left to the people and placed it in the hands of unelected judges. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.
Mitt supports the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions. As president, he will end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood. He will protect the right of health care workers to follow their conscience in their work. And he will nominate judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the law.”
From Obama’s website: (http://www.barackobama.com/energy?source=primary-nav)
“President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save consumers more than $8,000 at the pump, create jobs in the American automobile industry, and save 12 billion barrels of oil.”
“Under President Obama, the United States has become a world leader in natural gas, and production is at an all-time high . He is promoting the safe, responsible development of our near 100-year supply of natural gas, which could support more than 600,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.”
“Under President Obama, we are producing more oil than we have in 14 years. He is helping expand domestic oil production by offering millions of acres of land for development—including opening up 75% of our oil and gas resources in the Gulf and Arctic—and is improving safety measures to prevent future spills.”
“Since President Obama took office, electricity generated from clean energy sources like wind and solar has more than doubled and his investments in clean energy and energy efficiency have supported nearly a quarter million jobs.”
“President Obama has made one of the most significant federal investments in clean coal technology in history. The Obama administration has attracted more than $10 billion in private investments, and in 2011, employment in the coal sector hit its highest level since 1996.”
(As an activist for ending fossil fuel consumption because of the social impacts of global warming, I am not exactly excited about the expansion that Obama has made of the domestic fossil fuel resources. However, he at least has also been championing alternative energy, and wants to stop the subsidies to large fossil fuel companies.)
From Romney’s website: (
“Open offshore areas for energy development
- Mitt will establish the most robust five-year offshore lease plan in history, that opens new areas for resource development – including off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas – and sets minimum production targets to increase accountability.”
“President Obama has described his own energy policy as a “hodgepodge,” sent billions of taxpayer dollars to green energy projects run by political cronies, rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline as not in “the national interest,” and sought repeatedly to stall development of America’s domestic resources. Rather than embrace the nation’s abundant energy resources, the President has used endless delays, reviews, litigation, and overregulation to both slow their development and elevate his chosen “green” alternatives. He has gone so far as to impose regulations designed to “bankrupt” the coal industry, and his Administration was held in contempt of federal court for illegally imposing a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the Obama Administration, leasing and permitting on federal lands and offshore are down by half. Last year, oil and gas production on federal lands plummeted. Today, the Gulf of Mexico is producing hundreds of thousands fewer barrels per day than expected. And the EPA predicts that another coal power plant will never be built in this country.”
Science of Climate Change
(Now, if you are unfamiliar with the consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels at our present rate, let alone drastically increasing production and ceasing to subsidize renewable energy sources, while continuing subsidies for large fossil fuel companies, here is some information on climate change:
From TheLeadershipCampaign.org, a campaign I was involved in three years ago:
“A recent 6,700 page report funded by the United States Army, World Bank, and others states that without bold and immediate action, “billions of people will be condemned to poverty and much of civilization will collapse” as a result of global climatic disruption.
NASA’s top climatologist, James Hansen, set the goal by stating that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide of 350 parts per million (PPM) is the highest suitable level for civilization.Prominent scientists agree that stabilizing CO2 at 450PPM (the current political consensus) is “inadequate to sustain the integrity of global climate and to hold the risk of ruinous climatic change to an acceptably low level.””
- ^ 2009 State of the Future. The Millennium Project. Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, and Elizabeth Florescu. http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/sof2009.html
- ^ Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? Hansen et al.http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf
- ^ An Open Letter to the President and Members of Congress. Strong Leadership Needed Now on Climate. Woods Hole Research Center.http://www.whrc.org/pressroom/PDF/Climate_Scientists_letter_6.19.09.pdf
I need to get back to doing work I am funded for, so this one will be brief, but I want to leave you with a graphic from Obama’s website that I feel says a lot about his ability to save our economy from the disaster that he walked into:
Do me a favor and go to this website and spend five minutes reading the dialogue boxes that appear when you mouse over the dots at the top of the bar-graph depicting the change in the number of employed americans each month for the past four years.
If you want Romney’s perspective it is here, feel free to get a balanced perspective, but keep in mind that the rhetoric of unregulation that the republican party follows caused the corruption in banking etc that initiated the economic crisis. If I have time I will come back and try and provide some sources for this claim, in the meantime it will have to stand as my perspective.