Written by Tito Valdes, member of Student Government and the Board of Trustees.
My name is Tito Valdes and I am a junior political science major with a law and society minor at Lebanon Valley College. On campus, I am involved in student government, the Board of Trustees, HYPE, A.S.I.A., the Hispanic Alliance, Intramural Basketball, the Diversity Action Committee, the offices of Residential Life and Student Affairs, and the College Center Desk.
This election is very important to me for several reasons. Growing up, I had an amazing mother teach me about the world through countless experiences. I also had an abusive father who was addicted to alcohol and cocaine. We did not have an abundance of resources, and faced tons of struggles. I can tell you what it’s like to live from paycheck to paycheck. These experiences have allowed me to develop an appreciation for people who come from all different walks of life. I have learned amazing things from every single hardship. I am who I am today because of the cards I was dealt by this game we call life.
I became interested in 2008 while I was living in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and there was a gubernatorial race going on in Puerto Rico and a Presidential race going on at the federal level. There was one candidate in particular that appealed to me because of his ability to refer to jobs as much more than a paycheck. He understood what it was like for middle-class American families who were hurting. He was a candidate who had respect and a sincere appreciation for women, the LGBTQ community, and other groups who have been abandoned by society (at least in my own personal opinion). This candidate’s name was Barack Obama. He was a black man with a funny name, which caused some discomfort for some people. I on the other hand was inspired by his willingness to put his name out there and run for this nation’s highest office.
After months of intense campaigning and mudslinging from both sides of the aisle, the election came around and President Obama was elected as our country’s 44th Commander in Chief. The mixture of emotions that I was feeling at the time are simply indescribable. I felt that this was a true accomplishment for AMERICA – not just people of color. I felt that we had come so far since the Civil Rights movement, and that we had elected a true leader that could make this country a great place to live. I felt that he could restore a lot of faith that was lost in this amazing place.
It is hard to believe that 4 years have gone by, and we’re back to the same political campaign rhetoric of 2008. Over the next two months, I plan on blogging on important issues that come to mind regarding this Presidential election – the views of the candidates, important issues that are being talked about and/or neglected by either/both candidates, etc.
I am voting for President Obama in 2012 because I feel that my interests are best suited under his party’s platform and his vision for this country. I believe that Mitt Romney is simply out of touch with the realities of 2012. I don’t think that he can relate to the average American family because of the fact that he’s lived in privilege for most (if not all) of his life. I’m not knocking his accomplishments. I recognize that he’s worked hard, and I don’t think that rich people are evil. That isn’t my point at all. My point is that his policy stances and clearly documented statements don’t seem to align with the realities of America in 2012.
President Obama campaigned and promised a lot in 2008. While he isn’t the perfect President (and I dare you to find the perfect President in our history), he did deliver on his promise to bring health care reform to this country, to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to end the war in Iraq, etc., You can disagree with these positions, but he was voted into office by an electorate that new he pledged to make these changes. This is not new. It was not unannounced.
I happen to think these changes are great and am frightened by what the other side of the aisle has proposed. Social policy has a lot to do with my unquestionable support of the President in 2012. I simply cannot align myself with the other side of the aisle in this election on any significant social issues. In this election, I am voting for the President because my future is what is important. I am concerned with where I’ll be 2 years from now once my time at Lebanon Valley College is over. I firmly believe that my chances at being a successful person will increase if President Obama is re-elected.
This election isn’t about politics, to me. It’s about creating a sustainable environment for my children. I STILL believe. I support our President and will be voting for him in 2012.