Editor’s note: The Father Life is not endorsing a candidate for US President, and there are plenty of candidate comparisons already available online (two of the better ones are at glassbooth.org and votehelp.org). Instead, we’ve invited two fathers to give us the reasons they have chosen their respective candidates. Miguel Guadalupe’s pro-Obama article follows. For the article on John McCain, click here.
With all the speeches, debates, ads, and robo-calls, John McCain and Barack Obama are asking for one thing – our vote. It is all we have, but it is invaluable because with each vote, one of these men gets closer to being the leader of the free world. That is why who we give our vote to becomes such a personal decision. Here are my own reasons for giving my vote to Barack Obama.
I vote for my mother. She has been self employed for more than 10 years, is a cancer survivor, and struggles with arthritis. Still, she has no health insurance. It is too expensive for her to get, even though she runs a business, and yet, she does not qualify for federal or state assistance, because get this – she runs a business. I cannot include her on my insurance because she isn’t a dependent, she’s out of state, and my job’s health insurance doesn’t cover parents. It is my daily nightmare that one day she will turn ill and the cost of her care may well doom her, and then us, financially. The system we have now is broken because it caters to the extremities of the economic classes, and ignores people like my mother, who at 56 still has too much pride to accept a handout and works every day, even on days when she can barely walk without feeling pain. Obama’s healthcare plan not only helps the already insured, but also finally helps people like my mother who have fallen through the cracks, offering her the healthcare she needs and deserves.
I vote for me and my wife. Thankfully because of our hard work and our ability to get good educations, my wife and I have accomplished what our parents had hoped we would, a better life for us and our child. But like many people in the middle class, we are worried about this economy and whether the start-up technology company I work for or the media company she works for will make it through this storm. We are responsible financially, but like many, are in danger of being a layoff away from potential hardship. We look at the 700 billion dollars being “invested” to shore up Wall Street, and while we understand it to be necessary, this investment cannot stop there. This country needs to invest in its workforce and small businesses, in start ups and companies that don’t offshore jobs. It must invest in the next generation of manufacturing and alternative energy. It must do more than cut taxes for large companies and socialize their losses after decades of privatized gain. It must look out for the consumers who hold up this economy on their shoulders. Confidence must be returned not just to creditors, but to those who are most affected by them. Obama’s plan to reward job creators and help incubate businesses, invest in infrastructure, extend transition support to service employees, and engage in fair global trade so that our workers can compete on a level playing field, will bring back the confidence Americans need to continue to strengthen this economy. I understand Obama’s tax plan and it does work for the middle class, especially for small businesses, including plumbers. Despite the best efforts of others to confuse the conversation, Obama has the best plan to steer the economy in the right direction.
I vote for my daughter. She will need to grow up in a country that values her education as the means to maintain greatness. She will need access the best there is to offer, and she will need an educational system that promotes all types of learning. When she heads to college, she should not have to graduate with the equivalent of a mortgage in student loans as her parents did, keeping her at a disadvantage vs. her peers. Most of all, she will need to have equal access to everything the world has to offer — not glass ceilings placed above her because of her gender. Obama’s plan to invest in education from grades 0-12 and to create better ways to keep college affordable answers her needs and the needs of this country’s children.
I vote for my cousin, who is starting to make it on her own. Should she one day be faced with the tough decision of becoming a mother, the choice must be hers, knowing that she has the support of her family in whatever choice she makes. I applaud Obama’s position on Roe vs. Wade and his stance that family planning is best left to individuals based on their own morality and conscious. No one should be forced into a decision either by the government or by lack of options. Instead, they should be provided with real alternatives and support to make a sound choice.
I vote for my friend, who lost his father on September 11th, 2001. For 7 years we have bungled the war on terror by being distracted in Iraq and not capturing the man responsible for this atrocious act. In that time, we have eroded our global reputation and have squandered the opportunity to make the world a more unified, safer place. Cowboy diplomacy has failed, and a new direction of true engagement and cooperation must begin. Our commander in chief cannot simply be a good soldier. A good soldier is needed in the field. A good leader is needed in the White House. An effective leader must have an unflappable temperament and must foster real cooperation within the global community to fight for peace and security. I believe Obama has the temperament, understanding, and steady hand necessary to meet the global challenges that await him. I am confident that Obama will both draw the Iraqi war to a peaceful and successful close, and mend our position as leader of the free world.
I vote for my generation, who is ready to lead. We are more connected, unified, and diverse than ever. We are ready to fulfill the ideals of our forefathers, and we understand the issues that affect the different kinds of people in this country – Asians, Blacks, Latinos, Whites, Women, etc – are not singular issues, but American issues. We are ready for a candidate that is not judged by race or gender but by his or her merits. We are ready to break from the idea that only a certain type of candidate should lead our country. This election is my generation’s coming of age, and Obama is the transforming force that inspires us.
I vote for the future of this great nation. I vote for one America, not division between “real” vs. “not real.” I vote in defense of intellectualism. I vote for a true separation of powers and of church and state. I vote for good VP choices. I vote for an end to false populism, litmus-testing, and wedge issues. I vote for a President who will use the Constitution to protect rights, not limit them. I vote for the idea that loyalty to country does not require sycophantic acquiescence, because I too am pro-America. I vote because we have nothing to fear but fear, itself, and I won’t let my vote be manipulated or clouded by fear. I vote for the American dream, the belief that has made this country great – that with hard work and a thirst for knowledge, even if you have a funny sounding name, you can achieve anything, including becoming the President of the United States. I vote for hope. Therefore, I will vote for Barack Obama.
Miguel Guadalupe (he’s the one on the right) grew up in New York City and currently resides in New Jersey. He is an Account Executive at FirstRain, a search-based research company for investment Professionals, and has worked in financial services for over 10 years. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he currently volunteers for various alumni and community organizations, and is the proud father of a talkative and tenacious toddler.
Miguel Guadalupe is a Director at Gartner Inc, a technology research company. Miguel (he’s the one in the middle) grew up in New York City and currently resides in New Jersey. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he currently volunteers for various alumni and community organizations, and is the proud father of a two beautiful girls.