Dueling Columns: Pick your President


In the years since the last presidential election, I have watched as our country has spiraled downward. Now that I am finally of age to vote, I can answer the call of civic responsibility and cast my vote for the candidate who can, and will, turn this country around. That candidate is Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Not only is Obama intelligent, optimistic, confident and of strong moral character, he can see beyond personal interest and govern without the aid of a narrow ideology. These are qualities that we all need in a leader, especially as times in the United States grow more trying.

Now I don’t know about you, but I want to be part of an America that treats everyone equally. I’m tired of living with a government that considers its citizens sub-par just because of economic standing, and gives tax breaks to big business, not those who really need it.

The middle class is struggling, and Obama not only recognizes this but understands it as well. His economic policies will give income tax credits to as many as 150 million individuals and families. This credit will consist of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families. This plan could effectively eliminate taxes for some Americans in the low-income bracket. John McCain’s economic plan gives a $4 billion tax break to oil companies and gives more tax cuts to the wealthy but will leave the middle class high and dry.

And while McCain would support tax breaks for companies who outsource jobs to foreign countries, Obama will work to create 5 million new jobs domestically. The plan is based off a $150 billion plan to invest in cleaner, greener energy sources.

In the meantime, Obama has a plan to jump-start the economy by rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure, which will create even more jobs. He will also offer tax breaks to businesses that keep jobs within the United States.

Another huge issue for myself, and for thousands of other Americans, is health care. Obama will guarantee affordable health care for not only the middle class, but for every single American by the end of his first four years in office. No exceptions.

People who do not already have health care will be able to enroll in a plan similar to the one currently available to Congress, regardless of any preexisting conditions. It will also help smaller business, which might otherwise not have been able to afford it, provide health care for their employees.

For people who do have health care, Obama will work to reduce the cost of medication by stopping pharmaceutical companies from blocking the use of generic drugs and allowing safe medications to be imported from other countries. He will also prevent insurance companies from raising premiums without improving the quality of health care.

Empowering women is something Obama is all about. He supports the rights, freedoms and choices for all women, regardless of income or background. Not only do his health insurance policies work to help the 19 million uninsured women, but also his focus on public health, research and prevention is outstanding.

He defends both stem cell research and a woman’s right to choose, which are two stances that I look for in any candidate. Along with that, he will help provide funding for family planning, sex education (including abstinence and safe-sex methods) and contraception.

I do not buy into arguments that challenge Obama’s experience as a politician. Experience to me means more of the same. And what America needs is not more of the same. I think we’re all looking for, and in need of, a different kind of politics.

The different kind of politics that will lead to major change in this country will come from Barack Obama. But without you, the voter, he cannot do anything. So I hope that, on Nov. 4, you stand with me and cast your vote for Barack Obama.