One of the main reasons I was so excited to come to the US this year was the fact that I would be present for an important moment in American, and World, history.
Can America re-elect their first African-American president?
Since being at SUNY I’ve been taking a course which takes a real-time look at the Presidential campaigns of both Obama and Romney. In all honesty, sitting in a class full of third year political science majors is pretty intimidating to a British student who knows fairly little of the workings of the American system. After a few initial reservations, I stuck it out because I know there’s a lot I can learn from these people and my professor and I want to be involved with this election in some way, even if it is just as a spectator.
I’ve always had an interest in politics. My parents were members of the Labour Party(back in the pre Blair/Brown years) so I have memories of being taken out leafleting when I was very small and playing with the kids of other Labour Party parents at meetings. Lots of my parents friends, who I’ve grown up knowing, are from that circle, although their membership in the party has declined dramatically in recent years for obvious reasons! Anyway, because I’ve grown up having lots of intense discussions about politics with my family, I can’t help but enjoy following the Presidential election. On an ideological level I am fully in support of Obama gaining his second term. I’m sure anyone who has an interest will be well aware of the differences in the candidates so I figured I’d list a few other reasons why Obama is the obvious choice.
1) He’s Left-Handed
So being a lefty myself, I feel an affinity with all those that have had to struggle all their lives in a world created for right-handed people. Of course I’m joking, honestly being left-handed makes very little difference to my life but I can say that I’ve never met a lefty I didn’t like and some of the ones I do know happen to be incredibly awesome…I feel sure that this applies to Obama as well.
2) He’s read all the Harry Potter books
So Harry Potter is almost definitely one of the best things to come out of Britain. I’ve read all the books myself as well as having had them read to me by my Dad, just as Obama is reported to have done with his own daughters, and he claims to love them all. Anyone who can juggle being President of the most powerful country in the world and getting quality Harry Potter time in with his kids is a pretty impressive guy, worth a vote just for that I’d say.
3) Celebrity endorsements
My mum is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and, thanks to her, I also enjoy a bit of Brucey now and then. Known for his political activism, I wasn’t surprised when she sent me a link to an article on his website today in which he stated his reasons for supporting Obama in the upcoming election. You can find the article here if you want to give it a read. Having read this, I thought I’d check out which other celebrities have voiced their support for the President. A quick google search returned an entire Wikipedia page devoted to celebrities in support of Obama including Will Smith, Beyonce, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Hathaway, Leonardo Dicaprio…well you get my point. What I can gather, therefore, is that Obama’s a pretty popular guy (with a very attractive fan base!). I’m sure Romney has the odd celebrity backing him, but with Springsteen on side, all I can say is, who can argue with The Boss?!
So one highly contentious policy issue is Obama’s creation of what critics have termed ‘obamacare’, which attempts to decrease the amount of Americans who cannot afford insurance and reduce the overall cost of health care. What the Affordable Care Act does try to do is ensure that all Americans will have access to affordable healthcare when they need it. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been brought up in a strongly left leaning household but I literally cannot fathom why anyone would be opposed to this concept, even if only for the reason that a healthy society is a more prosperous one.
5) He’s just really cool
Not only is Barack Obama a pretty great president, but he’s also probably the coolest guy to ever have lived in the White House.
Whether he’s commenting on a parody of himself singing Call Me Maybe, being photographed drinking a pint of Guinness or dancing and singing on national TV, Obama is undeniably cool. Despite his opposition attempting to use this against him in the recent campaign, Obama’s ‘coolness’ is what makes him so special as a president. Who can really say that they wouldn’t want to have a drink and a chat with President Obama?
So there you have it, my thoughts on who should take the next four years of presidency. Of course it makes little difference what I think, and since most of my readers are also British, all we can do is sit and watch the next few weeks unfold. All I would say is that, regardless of who you’re going to vote for, if you can vote then please do. I could go on for days about how strongly I feel about people using their vote however little difference they feel it makes, I have come across so much apathy about the presidential election since I’ve been here and I just hope that on the day people make the effort to go out and make a choice.