Editorial: Four more years

Photo Illustration by Matt MatteucciPhoto Illustration by Matt Matteucci

 

Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

This November when we find ourselves in our local voting booth we won’t simply be deciding who our next president will be, we will also be choosing, as a nation, our moral compass, a vision of where we as a country are headed and a leader willing to usher in a new era.

When choosing whom to vote for on Nov. 6, the Express editorial board has come up with three criteria every leader should possess to successfully guide America forward.

Every leader should have a clear and practical vision of the future, a strict moral and ethical code by which he or she lives by, and most importantly compassion for the people he or she represents.

So far in this presidential campaign Gov. Mitt Romney has failed on all three accounts.

According to Romney’s campaign website his vision of the future places industry profits above the needs of the American citizenry. His policies would shift funding for public education to private for-profit schools. His policies would turn Medicare into a voucher program, which will no longer cover the full cost healthcare for seniors and the disabled. How can privatizing public education and Medicare save costs and strengthen these desperately needed programs when companies always put profit first?

In a recent op-ed piece Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote, “Mr. Romney’s campaign is telling lies: claiming that its numbers add up when they don’t, claiming that independent studies support its position when those studies do no such thing.”

If Romney is willing to distort the truth and outright lie to the American people than his campaign is lacking integrity and you cant have ethics or a moral code without integrity. There was a time when a man was admired when he stood up for his beliefs with courage, but now beliefs are subject to change if those beliefs turn voters off from his party’s platform. Plato once said, “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”

Finally we come to compassion, or the ability to understand and relate to another human being’s suffering. Mr. Romney holds a disdainful view of those less fortunate than himself, referring to individuals not paying income taxes as “dependent” on government to survive and believes these people feel entitled to food, housing and healthcare.

“[M]y job is not to worry about those people,” said Romney. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

These are the same people that struggle to put food on their table, or forgo medical attention because they can’t afford it. These are people that look to the government for help through a difficult time, but in privately held fundraisers Romney is quick to demonize them as a scourge on America not worthy of his compassion.

This country needs a president that is concerned about all Americans. A president whose vision for America doesn’t focus solely on private industry profits. A president who places value on honesty and that person is President Barack Obama.

Here at the Express, the editorial board is proud to endorse President Barack Obama for reelection because he has a clear vision for America. A vision based on equality and fairness. Obama has shown immense integrity by standing up for what he believes in regardless of political popularity. Obama has consistently exuded compassion for all Americans including those who need the government to survive.