I’ve read some truly amazing articles, facebook notes, and blog posts where the authors explain with passion and eloquence why they are voting for their chosen Presidential candidate. I read everything I come across, no matter the candidate. I like the camaraderie of finding someone who votes similarly to me, and I think it’s fascinating to understand why people are voting for the other guy.
I was asked several times by members of the Obama campaign to write a piece for them about why I was voting to re-elect President Obama. I hesitated again and again. I am a writer by trade, but I struggled to find the words to express my thoughts. Talking politics is outside of my comfort zone, and I didn’t think I’d be able to write something that could make a difference. I started to doubt myself.
But the one thing I never doubted was who I was voting for, and why.
I am voting for President Obama because I have a preexisting condition. If you know me you’re probably assuming I’m talking about my blood clotting disorder, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. But in fact, the six insurance companies that rejected me didn’t cite my clotting disorder as the reason for denying me coverage – across the board, they denied me because I’d taken anti-depressants after my daughter Madeline died. Since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I now have health insurance and have been able to access affordable preventative care. I feel healthy and confident and well-cared for – I wish all Americans could feel the same.
I am voting for President Obama because I also have friends with preexisting health conditions. Some have scary diseases like cancer, some have auto-immune diseases, some have chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus. I don’t want any of them to EVER worry about getting the health care they need, to ever have to choose between eating or getting important medical treatment.
I am voting for President Obama because he doesn’t think climate change is a punchline.
I am voting for President Obama because he believes in women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. When my water broke nineteen weeks into my first pregnancy, I was given the option to terminate the pregnancy. I made my decision based on what I knew I could live with. I have friends who’ve become pregnant from rape. I have friends who’ve had ectopic pregnancies that threatened their lives. I have friends who have become pregnant via IVF. One of my former co-workers even added twins to his family via a surrogate (that former coworker? Tagg Romney.). Having a baby isn’t always an easy, sunny experience – it can be a very complicated, difficult thing, and women deserve the right to be able to make the right choice for themselves in these complex situations. I want a president who supports the choices women have to make for themselves and for their families.
I am voting for President Obama because I like the way our economy is moving. I am a small business owner and I run a charity, and I like that the President has a solid plan for keeping our country moving in the right direction.
I am voting for President Obama because I want a leader who respects all religions. I want a president who understands that America is built on the freedom of religion – the freedom to choose what to believe, or what not to believe. I want a President that understands why our forefathers established the separation of church and state.
But most of all, I am voting for President Obama because I want a president who believes in equal rights for all. I want a president who doesn’t think my brother is lesser-than just because he is gay. I want a president who didn’t pledge to write discrimination into the Constitution. I am voting for President Obama because this is a pivotal moment in our country’s history, and someday when my daughter asks me how I voted, I want to be able to look her in the eyes and say, “I voted for the candidate who believed your uncle deserved the same rights that your daddy and I enjoy.”
I am voting for President Obama, because I believe he is the best man for the job.
Post Script: I also want to remind everyone that they are entitled to vote however they want. I trust that everyone here will be respectful, and remember that we are all in this together. This isn’t some sporting match where we gloat over who won. I hope everyone will come together and support the winner and respect the president.