When Barack Obama was elected as the President of the United States four years ago it signified the beginning of a new era for American politics: an era of change and of progress.
In the last four years, alone, Obama and the Democrat party have achieved much. They overcame the Republicans’ united opposition to pass an economic stimulus programme, overhauled the US healthcare system, lay down new rules to Wall Street and the banking industry and prevented the US auto industry from collapse. Furthermore, the Democrats overturned a two-decade-old law banning openly gay Americans from serving in the US military. He also despatched a team of commandos to kill Osama Bin Laden, brought the US war in Iraq to a close and struck a new nuclear arms treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medveder.
But, you may ask, what is he planning for the future? Why is he a better candidate than Mitt Romney?
There are three central issues, in which Obama has proved himself above Romney: foreign policy, the environment and healthcare.
Firstly, he has made it clear that he seeks peaceful negotiations over conflicts. He opposes the near term military strikes on Iran and will only use it as a last resort. He seeks international pressure against Syria rather than repeat the Libyan air power commitment for Syrian opposition. However, Romney appears to have a far more aggressive foreign policy than Obama. He presents a clearer US threat to Iran and has spoken in more permissive terms about Israel’s right to act against Iran’s nuclear facilities, without explicitly approving of such a step. Whilst Obama seeks to avoid conflict as much as possible, Romney is not so inclined as evident by his plan to increase military spending.
The environment has recently become a far more prevalent issue due to Hurricane Sandy. Obama remains the only candidate with any viable environmental policies having already made much progress in that area. He has already achieved the first- ever regulations on heat –trapping gases blamed for Global Warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. He has spent heavily on green energy, as he has recognised that this is a pressing issue. Meanwhile, Romney, in his ignorance, claims green power is yet to become viable and that the causes of climate change are unknown.
Lastly is the issue of healthcare. Obama achieved a landmark overhaul finally putting the USA on a path to universal coverage. Under the new law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidise premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets, small businesses will get help for offering insurance and Medicaid will expand. Obama has promised to continue on this path to universal healthcare as long as he is in power. However, Romney has promised to do his utmost to work for the repeal of the law. He would destroy the incredible progress that has been made for healthcare in America.
Romney with his aggressive foreign policy, ignorance of environmental issues and his lack of support for universal healthcare is seeking to drag the USA back to the past, to eliminate the progress that has been made in the last four years. Obama, on the other hand, is looking to continue with the work he and the Democrats have been doing. He looks to solve the international issues by peaceful means rather than the use of force, he is looking for an active solution to the issues of the environment and he wants to benefit the entire nation by creating a universal healthcare system. Obama is looking to the future whilst Romney is stubbornly set in the past. Obama is, therefore, not simply the best, but the only candidate for the job.
-Image courtesy of Chris Coleman (https://www.flickr.com/photos/iceman9294/)