I'm not a political junkie, nor am I a sports fan. When our grandson whoops deliriously, "We won," I'm wondering, "who is we?" He means his hometown team, which he and his family feverishly follow. I never got the idea of being a fan of your hometown team... until just a few days ago, when I realized I'm a Team Obama fan. It's my hometown team -- hometown America.
I obsessively read all the campaign polls, news articles, and op-eds at The Huffington Post, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. Despite the fact that it makes me alternately depressed, elated, disgusted, I keep exposing myself to this roller coaster. I can't wait until it's all over.
I have to admit that I'm not as excited about Obama as I was four years ago, when I was so proud of our country to be able to get past a poisonous history of racism, and to elect a black man.
Yes, I have been disappointed in some ways with the president. He's revealed himself to be a human, not an icon. He's sometimes too passive for my taste, too committed to compromise with an opposing party in the legislature whose only mission is to make him look bad, not to improve the lot of people in the U.S. He's sometimes too practical, too cool, too rational. He's been more apt to commit troops and money to defense than I would like.
But, I'm 100 percent certain that he's got our back. He's for the 99 percent of us who are normal working folks, and people who are not working, such as the hugely burgeoning retiree group, and people just out of college who cannot find jobs and have large tuition debt, and people who've been laid off and cannot find work, and people with any form of disability.
His initiatives (many of which haven't come to fruition, or are endangered because of the obstructionism of the Congress) are all geared toward making people's lives better, no matter who they are. He's concerned about keeping jobs and businesses thriving in this country, rather than investing in companies who are pulling jobs overseas. And he's a moral, ethical person, not given to lying or exaggerating to remain in power. It is this last piece that makes him presidential. He's a role model for young people of all types who are often missing this element in our public sphere. He represents the values of America to the world, rather than the greed and self-serving behaviors of the opposition party.
In my more sanguine times, I imagine that Mitt Romney couldn't possibly be as mean, lying, deceitful, and selfish as he has appeared to be during this long campaign. After all, he seems to be nice to his family and helpful to his fellow Mormons. I didn't think of him as being this way when he was governor of Massachusetts. In fact, he brought an excellent (near) universal health care plan here, one that has raised the levels of care and health immensely. But, he doesn't take credit for that, as it runs counter to the Tea Party's agenda and he is not moral enough, it seems, to dispute the Tea Party. But, now I believe he just championed the Massachusetts health care plan to retain power in this state, not because he believed that everyone is entitled to basic health care.
Romney has had so many opportunities to rise above the fray, to make a statement that reflects an honest, ethical, caring person. But, he's sidestepped those. He could have disowned Mourdock for saying those insane things about rape and abortion. But, no, again he capitulated to the Tea Party. Rather than acknowledging Obama's prescience in shoring up the automobile industry, he now is saying that Chrysler is outsourcing to China. An allegation that Chrysler corrected. No -- it's Romney and Bain Capital that have invested in companies that outsource to China.
Even Gov. Christie in New Jersey (a staunch Republican) has been in awe of Obama's and FEMA's immediate efforts there, post-Sandy, and he's gone public with his admiration and gratitude. But, Romney stated a year ago that FEMA's role would be better off privatized and run state-by-state. If you're in a devastated region after this week's deluge, would you like to turn to private companies, who are profit-driven, to protect you?
I'm not going to re-hash all the news reports that everyone has been reading. Instead, I'm going to urge everyone to vote and vote for the heart of this great country, one of the few countries in the world that accepts all kinds of diversity, whether it be race, ethnicity, religion, manners of speech, or sexual identity. Vote for the Obama Team, so we can say on Tuesday, November 6, that "We won," meaning the people of America won yet another term of humanity and grace (as in a disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill).