- Here's issues important to me, in no particular order:
- The Economy: Obama built a floor under the Great Recession, rescued the American auto industry, and saved our banks from their follies. Imagine what would have happened if Citibank and Bank of America had failed (they should have). Republicans advocate letting the free market work. ATMs wouldn't be working, and credit cards would be for the very few. The next great depression.
- The Budget: Obama has grown the federal budget less than any president in decades. Even Forbes says so. He was given enormous deficits (caused by two tax cuts and two unfunded wars, mostly). He hasn't fixed this, but he hasn't made it (much) worse. Republicans advocate more of the Bush policies that got us into this mess.
- Reproductive Rights: I'm very troubled by abortion. I can't imagine what a woman goes through when she has to make a decision where abortion is an option. However, I believe that the decision is the woman's alone, with her medical provider, the father (if in the picture), and whomever else she invites into the decision. Gov't needs to be hands off. Always. Obama agrees, Republicans do not.
- Ending all discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation: Obama ended "don't ask, don't tell." Forward, passing the Federal Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and supporting marriage equality are very important to me. Obama agrees. The Republicans not only disagree but are completely hostile to ending discrimination.
- Health Care. Our health care system is broken. It is too expensive and too litigious. Healthcare insurance is corrupt. Big Pharma is too interested in expensive sustained-use drugs (think Viagra) than disease cure (new antibiotics). No one should die or go broke because of a curable or manageable medical condition. Yet too much money is being spent prolonging death, and too many children don't get preventative health care. Healthcare is going to bankrupt us as a nation. Obama is trying to find a solution. He hasn't found it yet. The solution is definitely not having uninsured folks go to the emergency room.
- War and National Defense: Obama got us out of Iraq, a war that shouldn't have been. Obama prosecuted the war in Afghanistan, a war that was allowed to fester, and the end is in sight. And he "got" Osama bin Laden. And we don't need to start a war with Iran. And we need to "right-size" our military, canceling weapons systems no one wants and closing bases we don't need. We can't afford to have our defense spending larger than the next 10 countries combined?
- The Supreme Court: The next president is going to appoint 2 or 3 justices to the US Supreme Court. Do I want more Clarence Thomas or Anton Scalias? Scare me..