By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist–
Soon we will be voting for the position of president of the United States. We have the defending president, Barack Obama, and the challenger, Mitt Romney. Some folks see these two candidates as the same and others see them as vastly different. Let’s take a closer look, because one of them will be leading our nation for the next four years.
First, I’d like to address those who see them as the same. People who see them this way are usually the non-traditional folks who want dramatic and drastic change. Their issues may range from green issues, issues of fiscal conservatism, or issues of socialism. They all have their points and many are very disgusted with the two party system. They may see Obama and Romney as offering no real change for the U.S. Listening to their views one can see their point, but if there is no strong third party candidate who can gather enough votes to win the election, their votes will hurt one of the two candidates by taking votes away from them. These folks may be voting with their conscience, but their non-votes for either Obama or Romney will help sway the election one way or the other.
Let’s take a look at the challenger, Mitt Romney. Romney is a very successful businessman and a multi-millionaire. He was one of the early pioneers of outsourcing U.S. jobs to other countries to cut costs. This is not an unusual business practice. Many, if not most, companies have practiced outsourcing, cut their expenses and raised the value of their stock. Yes, it’s a double-edged sword when you take into account all of the Americans who have lost their jobs because of this practice, but the bottom line is the bottom line. When you go to the store, are you swayed by sales and lower costs? Many of us will purchase the lower priced product. You have to give Romney points for cutting costs and being profitable, but you have to take away points for the U.S. jobs lost.
Romney is the candidate of the rich and the powerful. Make no mistake, he will look for cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. If you are a senior citizen you should realize this. He will take away from the 99 percent and give to the 1 percent. Again, this is not a new or unusual practice. With a few exceptions, the rich and powerful have always taken care of the rich and powerful. One last thing about Romney — he is no friend to the LGBT community. He is against us marrying, against us serving openly in the military and against us having insurance rights. Any LGBT person who votes for Romney is, in effect, voting against him/herself in regard to these social issues. One also has to note that Romney is not especially sympathetic to women’s issues.
Obama, on the other hand, is very responsive to LGBT issues. He backs us in marriage, he backs us in serving openly and he backs our rights in insurance policies. Yes, he still has a ways to go to back transgender rights, but to my recollection he was the first president to ever even say the word “transgender” in his speeches. If you vote solely on LGBT issues, you must vote for Obama and yes, he does support women’s issues.
Fiscally, he is less conservative than Romney. He is willing to cut the budget but he is not willing to direct his cuts from the poor, the women and the seniors. He is more apt to cut red tape from the social and military budgets. The 1 percenters will likely have to pay more taxes if Obama has his way.
One last comment regarding foreign policy – it seems that every time Romney makes a statement about a foreign country, they become upset with him. He needs to hone his diplomatic skills. Obama is more diplomatic and has the respect of many foreign countries.
So choose wisely my friends, for this person will be our leader for the next four years, and don’t forget that two Supreme Court seats will be open during this period, which the president appoints. Would you like conservatives or liberals in these seats?
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.