Women are for Obama!
It's pretty safe to say that if you are on this site you have seen both the "I am voting for Obama & I'm a Mormon" and the traditional Obama campaign bumper stickers (which just so happens to come in 31 flavors)
Now is your chance to get a free "Women for Obama" bumper sticker by going to the Obama Campaign website and clicking here.
MormonsforObama.org on RealClearPolitics.com
Conroy reflects the views of the many of us who are Mormon and voting for Obama quite well, and Hannah Wheelwright says it perfectly with her quotation in the article: “The fact that I’m a Mormon is why I’m voting for President Obama instead of Mitt Romney. I’m a Democrat because I’m a Mormon. I think there’s so many things in my faith that do promote certain policies in the Democratic Party, and a lot of the reason I support President Obama is his dedication to social programs, equality, and those types of things.”
However, there is one area where I think Conroy didn't get it right (and I'm not referring to when he mistakenly wrote that Laura attends weekly church services at the Seattle Temple); he writes that "there is a significant subsection of younger, liberal-leaning church members who are emphatic supporters of Obama and who cannot relate to Romney as a politician, despite their shared faith." This has not been my experience. I have found that Mormons of all ages plan to vote for Obama. I know many LDS Obama supporters, and I've never noticed that youth was some defining characteristic that linked them together. Even myself, (although I listen to some hip hop and that new song by that band fun.), can hardly be considered young.
[caption id="attachment_912" align="alignleft" width="248"] Seattle Poster, by Jenny Beorkrem[/caption]
I live in Seattle, Washington, and I knew before I moved here that the city was somewhat liberal, but I've been happy to find that this extends to many of my LDS friends and leaders at church as well. I've never been embarrassed, nervous, or ashamed to talk about my political leanings with other Mormons, and sometimes I just assume that everyone votes Democratic, much like Utah Mormons undoubtably assume that everyone is Republican. But even those Mormons who are "conservative" seem fine with all the Democrats around them. I don't know the statistics here, but I would guess that the LDS Democrats in Seattle may not be outnumbered - or if they are, it can't be by much.
But this is my point: while I recognize that many Mormons vote Republican, I don't see that this is some defining characteristic of Mormonism or that youth is a defining characteristic of LDS Dems. The Church has a long-standing position of political neutrality, and this is much more defining of Mormons than a particular party affiliation.
So while it may seem odd to some that we have this website or that we are opting out of voting for the Mormon, for me (and Hannah Wheelwright,) supporting Obama really makes all the sense in the world.
Why I Support President Obama (Part I)
Post by Joseph M-
(Originally posted Feb. 5, 2012)
My principal reason for backing President Obama is his support and initiation of healthcare reform, and ultimately his signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. Republicans have pejoratively labeled it Obamacare; meanwhile President Obama has embraced the term, saying, "I have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care." I care too, and this issue is the political lynchpin for me. I cannot support any candidate who does not appreciate or understand the need for an expansion of access to healthcare in this country. Healthcare should not be a privilege of the wealthy, but a right for all. I believe that if we can get behind public monies for libraries, sports arenas, museums, parks, wildlife protection, and Bombs over Baghdad, then we should also ensure healthcare access.
And so you might further see my point: are you aware that through local tax payer money, you (and your children) can check out Saw I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and Saw: the Final Chapter from the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System? And I just checked - you can get it at the Salt Lake City Library as well.
My belief is that providing healthcare is the right thing to do; it is the Christian thing to do, and this aligns with my Mormon faith. I echo the words written by Boyd Peterson in his essay entitled, Why I'm a Mormon Democrat:
"I believe that the Democratic party takes the strongest position on many moral issues. For example, King Benjamin's address in the Book of Mormon admonishes us to prioritize, 'feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants' (Mosiah 4:26). I believe the Democratic party works harder to protect and defend these moral priorities."
And so I feel about President Obama. When I decided to vote for Barack Obama, I did so with the belief that he would bring change to America and especially its healthcare system. Of course, there is more to be done. However, President Obama has fulfilled his promise of change in so many ways; therefore, I will continue to support him and his presidency.
In addressing the specific issue of healthcare, I like these two quotations, one from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the second from the American Medical Student Association:
"Our approach to health care is shaped by a simple but fundamental principle: 'Every person has a right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all human persons, who are made in the image of God.' Health care is more than a commodity; it is a basic human right, an essential safeguard of human life and dignity. We believe our people's health care should not depend on where they work, how much their parents earn, or where they live. Our constant teaching that each human life must be protected and human dignity promoted leads us to insist that all people have a right to health care."
USCCB - June 18, 1993, "A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform."
"In a time when thousands of people lose their health insurance every day, when health care is becoming elusive to even well-to-do Americans, and when any person is just one pink slip away from becoming uninsured, it becomes clear that health care for all is not just important to achieve, but imperative.
At its root, the lack of health care for all in America is fundamentally a moral issue. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care (defined as a basic guarantee of health care to all of its citizens). While other countries have declared health care to be a basic right, the United States treats health care as a privilege, only available to those who can afford it...
Americans purport to believe in equal opportunity. Yet, in the current situation, those who do not have health care are at risk for financial ruin and poorer health, both of which disadvantage them in society and thereby do not give them equal opportunity...
The Declaration of Independence states there are certain 'inalienable rights', including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If Americans believe in an inalienable right to life, how can we tolerate a system that denies people lifesaving medications and treatments? Similarly, if Americans believe in an inalienable
right to the pursuit of happiness, how can we allow millions of dreams to be smashed by the financial and physical consequences of uninsurance?"
AMSA - Aug. 27, 2009, "The Case for Universal Healthcare."
It feels dang good to be on the right side of history on this one.
To see Part 2 of this post click here.
Forward... and my car is famous.
The Obama campaign has produced a new video establishing some clear reasons for a second presidential term. I am so happy that I am on the right side of history on this one.
Also, my car and its accompanying bumper sticker is now famous... check out Democratic Underground for more on this historic occasion.
The Bumper Stickers are Now Available!
[caption id="attachment_844" align="aligncenter" width="540"] I'm voting for Obama, and I buy American[/caption]
Are You Pro-Life? Really?
Since the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, there have been an estimated 50 million abortions. This number is greater than the current population of any state, including California. This number is greater than the populations of major countries such as Spain, Canada, and England. While it is true that legalizing abortion caused this number to expand, had abortion remained illegal 50 million additional children would have been born to parents that did not want them, could not care for them, or lacked the emotional or financial means to provide for them. Even assuming that a small percentage could have been adopted by good families, and women with financial means were able to have abortions (as there will always be doctors willing to perform the practice at a certain price), there would still be millions of unwanted children that would need our support. When discussing the issue of abortion, the ramifications of illegality are rarely discussed, and thus the debates remain short-sighted.
I am pro-life. I believe that abortion should be avoided, with the exception of rape or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. I understand the emotion behind this issue, and many of you may be listing five different reasons why I am out of touch or why this position might be inferred to disrespect women. Let me further explain my point of view.
I am pro-life in a larger context. For many on the right side of the political spectrum, a pro-life stance drives discussion around the sanctity of the embryo. Typically there is little discussion around what happens to that unborn child once it arrives in the world. What I find most alarming about the issue is the intensity of the right to fight for the child’s existence but somehow that same intensity disappears after that miraculous organism draws their first breath. I believe that the rights of the embryo do not stop after birth, but should instead be supported by society in the best manner possible. To disagree might indicate the use of the embryo merely as a prop to support an ideological position.
Over the past several decades there have been many laws passed by the government that support children. From after-school programs to educational grants, children’s health insurance, and food stamps, the government has stepped in to support underprivileged children. Most of these programs have passed with near partisan support, primarily driven by Democrats. Presidents Obama and Clinton have driven more legislation that assists underprivileged children than any other presidents since FDR. For those who understand the childhood history of these two presidents, their passion and understanding of what is necessary to help bridge the resource gap is not surprising. As we debate laws and legislation that affect children, we need to recognize that government can be a solution.
Many will say that pro-life refers only to the unborn child, but to me this concept stretches further. Christ said “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” If we truly are pro-life and fight to halt the onerous practice of abortion, we need to remember that the birth of a child is not the end, but the beginning.
Ann Romney and the War on Women
You have probably heard about the dust-up over a comment Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen made about Ann Romney a few days ago. What Rosen actually said was that “you have Mitt Romney running around, saying, ‘Well you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.”
Of course the words Rosen chose were not good, but that does not mean the point she was trying to make wasn’t true. The fact is that Ann Romney had the luxury to choose to stay home to raise the family’s children, and she actually has no idea what it is like to struggle to make ends meet in a tough economy. That isn’t an insult; it is just a fact.
Of course it is no surprise that the right-wing media has been doing their best to paint the left (Obama) as hostile to traditional values (They hate motherhood, for goodness sakes!) A regular Fox contributor, Dr. Keith Ablow, provided an illustrative example of the discourse coming from the Right on the subject when he said: “Women who are happy raising families don’t have much ‘cred’ with Rosen or, for that matter, President Obama, because Rosen and Obama resonate only with those who carry the flag of the disenfranchised and abused. Anyone who thrives in an American company or American home, while proud and happy with any element of traditional American values, must be a hopeless automaton or relic of the oppressive past.” Yup, that is exactly what Rosen was saying, I’m sure.
Far from being concerned with women, of course the Right is concerned that Mitt Romney trails Obama by nearly 20 percentage points among likely women voters. And why does Obama have such a big lead among women voters? Well, as a man I don’t know that I am qualified to say, but I have a hunch it may have something to do with how Republicans have behaved with regards to issues that impact women particularly.
I found two (admittedly biased) sources detailing some of the Republican low-lights from the recent past with regards to women’s issues: Media Matters and MoveOn.org. Taking them for what they are worth, they are helpful in giving a broader picture of what types of measures Republican legislators across the country have been pushing for, (and all their sources are linked, so you can check them out for yourself). Here are just a few:
1) More than 150 Republicans signed on to a bill that would have redefined under what circumstances an institution receiving government funds could provide an abortion, replacing “rape” with “forcible rape”. With this language change, statutory rape, say a 13-year old impregnated by a 30-year-old for instance, would not qualify.
2) The Republican spending plan proposed to eliminated entirely Title X, which provides family planning for low-income Americans. And no, “family planning” is not just a code word for “abortions”, as birth control, pre-natal care, teen pregnancy prevention programs and other crucial health services are part of Title X.
3) The House GOP plan would also cut more than $750 million from food programs for low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies and children.
4) Republican lawmakers in Maryland cut Head Start funding, saying that it was not needed since mothers could just choose to stay home with their children instead. And at the federal level, Republicans cut $1 billion from the program, which could kick 200,000 low-income kids off the roles, and see some 55,000 instructors and teachers loose their jobs.
5) The Republican’s 2011 budget proposal cut $2 billion from job training programs, which are designed to help workers in low-wage, low-skill, and low-security jobs – disproportionately women – prepare for employment in growth areas.
6) Because women comprise more than two-thirds of the poor over age 65, Republican-proposed cuts in food, housing and job programs for senior citizens would disproportionately hurt elderly women.
7) The Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, signed a bill (passed along party lines) repealing the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court. "Economic security is a women's health issue," said Sara Finger, executive director of WAWH. "The salary women are paid directly affects the type and frequency of health care services they are able to access. At a time when women's health services are becoming more expensive and harder to obtain, financial stability is essential to maintain steady access."
As I said before, these are just a few examples of what types of actions Republican legislatures are taking all around the country with regards to issues that impact women the most (and I didn’t even mention the proposed laws that would force women seeking an abortion to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound first). So while we can all agree that a mother who has the ability to make a choice to stay home with her children is a good thing, I think the Republicans are going to need a lot more than a poor choice of words from a Democratic strategist to convince women they are actually on their side.
Rob posted this on the Mormons for Obama Facebook page -- in the past four years, things have changed: he upgraded his automobile to an Intrepid. This new model has a sleek design and a functional interior with an eye to the future and the real challenges ahead. That other car (a Sebring?) had too much give in the steering wheel (it could change lanes at any moment without warning!) However, it did have a nice rack on top for a dog carrier.
Today's Big News
Post by Joseph M-
Santorum made a special announcement, Romney congratulated him on his failed attempt at the nomination, and we (almost officially) got a Mormon running against Obama in the 2012 election. Utah cheered, the South groaned, and people everywhere googled the words, "Romney mom jeans." (Is anyone else sad that David Horsey left for Los Angeles when the Seattle PI shut down?)
So here we go. Orrin (Orwellian) Hatch predicts the destruction of the Mormon church by Obama and the Democrats, but seeing that I am a Democrat and support Obama, I tend to yawn and disagree. Here is a link to a short article discussing Hatch's comments and their absurdity.
But the real big news of the day is this: due to all the requests for "I'm voting for Obama" bumper stickers, we have printed more, and they are on the way. I will get the link put back up, so if you'd like to pre-order that will be possible. A note of caution however: the design is a little different, but the bumper stickers do say the exact same thing. If you would like to wait - I will post the new design on the site as soon as the stickers arrive! And in case you aren't aware of the background behind the stickers- we thought they would be a fun way to express our support for Obama. We loosely based our slogan "I'm voting for Obama, and I'm a Mormon" on Phoenix Academy's new marketing campaign for new students:
So order some stickers for your friends and family to show your support for the president!
The Periodic and Obligatory Romney Update:
Firstly, Romney has furthered his position in the race for the nomination; according to NPR, after the Wisconsin primary, he is no longer being referred to as the "likely" nominee, but the "almost certain" Republican nominee. He is taking on Obama now, and Santorum appears to be an April Fool's joke after all.
And in other news, some guy named Brett Hatch read from the Book of Mormon at a Mitt Romney campaign rally yesterday, and he followed up his reading with a doctrinal question (about racism in the Church) that Romney refused to answer. I will let you read the link below in case you didn't already see it all over the web.
Nothing new here; more of people trying to understand and define Mormons in a way that gets America to vote for someone else - (Ron Paul in this case). But I would like to add this: Mr Hatch, if you want to question Romney about racism, you might want to first look at your own candidate, dear old Mr. Paul. He had a little racist newsletter problem a few years back that you might not have heard about. Besides, there are a lot more logical reasons for Romney to lose your vote than anything written in the Book of Mormon; feel free to search this site (or the whole world wide web) to discover what some of those might be. But alas, you support Ron Paul; logic may not be your strong suit.
One interesting thing did occur after Romney refused to get into the specifics of Hatch's question: he spoke about his time serving as a bishop or stake president, (he used the term "pastor" so I can't say for sure which calling he referenced.) He used his church service to explain that he has counseled with many who were struggling in his congregation, and that therefore he is in touch with real people and real Americans.
See this article from the Huffington Post about Romney's experience as bishop.
I appreciate that serving as bishop and stake president affords one the opportunity to rub shoulders with the common man, despite someone's wealth. However, given what he is saying now, I don't know that Romney really understands everyday Americans. I acknowledge that Romney-care showed a nice mix of sensitivity for those lacking insurance and business-sense in that an individual mandate was put in place to support it. But isn't that a thing of the past? Now we have Romney saying things like, "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there." Maybe we have a whole new Romney like everyone is saying, and just as his days of health care reform are over, so are his days of being bishop. He is a shaken Etch-a-Sketch; he needs to do a little more than talk about being bishop to prove he understands everyday Americans.