Why, you ask? Well, there are many different reasons. I could cite health care, gay marriage, Big Bird, the economy (Think slow recovery's all his fault? Take a look at who's been running Congress since the mid-term elections.), and so on. But there is one reason that has become extremely important over this campaign season.
I am a woman.
The Republican party has shown itself this year to be very anti-women's interests. A few choice examples:
- All the anti-choice laws that have been passed or proposed at the state/local level, ranging from the standard limits on how far into the pregnancy a woman can have an abortion, to the extremes evidenced by the Arizona law that states pregnancy begins at a woman's last period and the odious Virgina law that requires a woman to have a vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion.
- Senate candidate Todd Akin's comment earlier this year that abortion for rape victims is unnecessary because if a woman is legitimately raped her body will protect her from getting pregnant. And we can add to that my very own Congressional representative Joe Walsh, who claimed that with modern technology there's no such thing as medically necessary abortions these days (thankfully I'd already cast my absentee ballot for Tammy Duckworth), and Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who claimed that pregnancy from rape is God's will. Mourdock backtracked from the implications of that unfortunate statement, but that he didn't even consider what his words meant is telling--and not just for him, but for the party that refuses to disavow what he and these other men have said. It is clearly insensitive as well as ignorant of the simple matter of how the female body works, let alone complex issues like the psychological state of a rape victim or the possible complications of pregnancy.
- Many Republican general policies have a negative effect on women's rights and well-being. The anti-gay marriage stance would restrict a woman's right to marry the person she loves if that person happened to be another woman. Repealing the Affordable Care Act, as many Republican candidates claim they will do, would mean a return to paying for cancer screening and contraception. And of course, the recession has been tough on women as well. Economic recovery has been slow (again, not entirely the President's fault), but what exactly will Romney lead the Republicans to do? I wasn't too sure, so I looked it up on this handy BBC News infographic: apparently, his solution is to cut spending (especially health care) and roll back the regulations that were implemented as a result of the bad banking that got us into this mess in the first place.
Speaking without my ovaries for a minute, I'd be voting for Obama anyway. My political leanings are left of center, so the center-left Democrats are the best option in a national election. (The futility of voting for a third party above the state and local level is a blog for another day.) But I will say that I lived in Boston while Romney was governor, and it wasn't the worst thing in the world. I mean, he's certainly less terrifying than, say, Rick Santorum (NSFW). However, he has succumbed to that same sickness that seemed to overcome John McCain four years ago: changing face for the election. Romney used to be pro-choice, but now that he's running for President he's anti-choice. Repealing the Affordable Care Act? Would that be the one that's designed to work like the one Romney signed into law while governor of Massachusetts? And though Romney himself is a fiscal conservative, center-right Republican, by choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate, he has attached himself to the right wing Tea Party nut-jobs. I know all politicians lie, but how can you trust someone who makes such dramatic about-faces?
Anyway, the important thing is that you get out and vote. No matter who your candidate is, let your voice be heard.
So no matter who wins, the will of the people will have prevailed, and democracy--oh, sod it! If Obama looses I'm never talking to any of you idiots ever again!!