I voted for Barack Obama because I think that I am better off if the nation as a whole is better off. My life will be better if my neighbor has access to education, has adequate health care, and has the opportunity to follow their dreams. If all of our lives are improved, my life will be improved, and my daughter’s future will be brighter. I think that a “me first” attitude, that looks out only for my own immediate self interests at the expense of those around me, leads to a society that is overall worse off. By focusing on “us” instead of “me”, our country will be a place where people can aspire to be their best, will have the hope and desire to better themselves, and will make society better, safer, and more secure for me and all Americans.
This isn’t to say that I think people should be given a free ride, should be given handouts without effort. I think people should try to improve their lot in life, they should take responsibility for their situation. However, I also recognize that, whether due to bad judgement or just plain misfortune, not all people succeed and that some, even with the best of intentions, will fail. Also, some just never get the opportunity, due to life circumstances, to go to school, to get the education they need to get a better job. And, I think, that if we help those people better themselves, society as a whole will be better for it.
I also think that Obama is an intellectually curious man, a man who thinks about things, dwells on them, looks at multiple sides before forming an opinion. He is a man to whom the world is not black and white, but is various shades of grey. I think he is a man that will look at the available evidence before acting, he will not rely upon his intuition, which so often leads us astray. He is a man who will surround himself with knowledgable people, people who know more than he does about the important topics of the day. He will listen to those people and make informed decisions after weighing the available evidence.
I don’t expect that Obama will succeed at all that he has promised — just as all politicians promise more than they can deliver in an effort to get elected, so did he. But, I think he will point us in the right direction, in terms of energy security, basic research, improving infrastructure, protecting civil liberties, and providing a nominal amount of health care to the majority of Americans, to name a few. These are issues that are important to me personally, but also that I think are vital for the health of our nation. If we neglect these issues, our country will lose its position as an important world player. I think Obama will correct course and help us regain our standing in the world and earn back the respect of the rest of the world.
Finally, I am impressed that Obama is a self-made man. He worked for everything he has, he has earned it by his own effort. It wasn’t given to him because of who his family was. He didn’t get any special favors. He did it all on his own. He is the embodiment of the American dream, a dream where the son of a foreigner, raised by a single mother, can become President of the United States. I think that this is something to be admired.
For these reasons, I voted for Barack Obama.