By Lisa Gallina
In the two months before the presidential election, I find myself constantly in conversations about the issues at stake with each party’s candidate. We all have issues and ideologies that spark our passions, and make us encouraged or outraged. The data is there for each of us to investigate from independent, unbiased sources, if we make the time to do so. If we rely on snippets, sound bites, or rumors, we could believe horrific lies that can unfairly damage people and their rights.
The GOP candidate has a history of flip-flopping on key issues (showing a lack of commitment), but the current Tea Party-designed platform that the GOP has built for him is anti-LGBTA, anti-education, and anti-healthcare. These three areas disturb me deeply. I am a parent of a child with a chronic illness. Without her medication, she would die within 24 hours. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), allows me a measure of relief and planning, knowing she can remain on my healthcare plan until age 26.
For women, I am reminded of how many have lost their lives because of lack of early detection for breast or ovarian cancer. Obamacare makes preventative health care for all possible (and don’t think I forgot about the prostate!)
The anti-education stance is incredibly disturbing and has far-reaching ramifications. If elected, the GOP power establishment will do everything in their power to use religion to destroy students’ access to scientific-based research. Their agenda would eliminate the teachers’ ability to teach science and the truth, and instead focus on preaching a hateful, anti-gay, pro-life agenda. They will infiltrate the public school systems in every community with a doctrine of intolerance and “gay-away” training programs. Think how much more difficult this will make life for those children who struggle with coming out.
President Obama has publicly (and through policy) supported and created new avenues to improve access to education, healthcare, and to expand the rights of the LGBTA community. It may not have been first on his list of accomplishments: after inheriting the worst economy in 70 years, and dealing with Republicans blocking all attempts at collaboration on economic, healthcare, and social justice issues, even achieving his first goal of universal healthcare was a Herculean struggle. But he has taken up the issue and made his personal and political stance known. He has created opportunities for the LGBTA community to be recognized, and in his next four years, he will do more to increase access, education, and to maintain a culture of tolerance, in place of fear.
What the GOP means by wanting to “take back America” is to turn back the clock on civil rights, gay rights, and women’s healthcare choices. It means to return to a time before Darwin, before the prospect of equal rights for all citizens, and before the social programs of FDR’s administration.
If you want to go back to a time and lose all that has been fought for: the right to marry whom you wish, to make decisions about your body and healthcare, to attend school and work as equals in a progressive, free-thinking society, then you know who your candidate is.
Throughout history, dividing people at the bottom of the socio-economic strata has worked as a strategy to keep us at cross-purposes, fighting for scraps of freedom. President Obama’s campaign ends that archaic insanity, encourages an informed and educated citizenry, and challenges us to find common ground.
As an ally, I see how we can all join together to fight oppression, racism, and sexism. Each of these affects us all. We need to stand together and get active in the Obama Campaign. Where we put our purchasing and financial political support is where we collectively put our power!
I ask each of you to become informed on a local and national level, and to help this nation move forward by getting involved with and supporting the Obama/Biden Campaign.