This is the time where I sit down and say who I voted for and why.
Since most of you are going to scroll down for the answer anyway, I'll save you the trouble: I voted for President Barack Obama to continue to lead the United States of America.
Ultimately for me, the decision came down to having more equal rights.
Last night Ari asked me, "What makes America great?" A fantastic question and we had a lot of discussion about it. Ultimately, the answer for me is opportunity. People come here because they want a change, they want the American Dream, they want something and believe that the US can offer it. Freedom, jobs, a better government, whatever the reason is.
Even those of us born here are blessed with a country that has more opportunity per square mile than most of the world. Yes, I realize that these days the western world is pretty equivalent, but it's still a theme here in this country -- and an idea that I embrace wholeheartedly.
And yet, Mitt Romney has explicitly stated that he wishes to take away some of the opportunities that are available here. He wants to take away things that we already have, and ensure we don't get things we've been trying to get! He wants to perpetuate the privilege divide that he and I, as white cisgendered males, have enjoyed for all of our lives.
- Romney wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.
- Romney supports the Defense of Marriage Act.
These two points alone, regardless of everything else, make Romney an untenable candidate for me. These points alone have dictated that I must not vote for Romney today. If what I say about opportunity is true, and I believe it is, then there is no way I can support a candidate who would take away the rights my friends have fought for -- the rights that they still fight for. I don't want to take steps backwards.
Every election is always difficult for me. I think that there are a lot of compelling reasons to choose the Republican party. I generally prefer their stance on almost every other issue, honestly -- but when it comes to the opportunity that this country (the country that I love!) affords to the people I care about? You can sign me up for the man who has stood up in front of this nation, while still President, and said:
"when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." --President Barack Obama
Whatever else he might be, whatever else the Democrats might support, I think that it's important that my friends and family be afforded the same opportunity that I am.
President Obama has made a stand for more equal rights. President Obama has made a stand for what he believes in, regardless of how it might affect his re-election campaign. I respect that.
My name is Mark Smith, and I voted for more equal rights. I voted for Obama.