In a country with an unemployment rate hovering around 8% and an ever growing deficit problem, it is important for this election to focus primarily on the issue of job creation. I will be graduating from college this year along with thousands of others around the country. I don’t want to work two part-time jobs that have nothing to do with the four years of training I just received.
The candidates from both parties need to have a comprehensive plan for job growth in America. Currently, President Obama has shown support for government programs that would put people to work fixing America’s crumbling infrastructure but is having trouble getting the plan off the ground. The presumed GOP candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, is a firm advocate for private sector job growth. The problem with his plan is that the private sector is not creating jobs. They are not hiring Americans. In fact, most of their employees reside in other countries because it’s cheaper to employ foreign labor because of tax loop holes. Therefore, tax reform and job growth go hand in hand. The corporate tax code needs to be restructured so that big businesses, and the people who own them, pay their fair share. American businesses can be given incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
Equal marriage rights have been an issue hovering around the last few presidential elections. Since 2004, six states have begun allowing same-sex marriages and this year alone California overturned Proposition 8, and Washington, Maryland, and New Jersey have all passed bills to allow same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, and possibly politically, Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has vetoed the bill. Nonetheless, gay rights are being embraced by the younger generations as homosexuals become more visible in the media.
Now is the time to discuss it on a National level. President Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and for the first time last year, national support for same-sex marriage rights increased to 53%. Since 2001, ten countries have allowed same-sex marriages including England, Canada, and Argentina. Even Mexico recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other regions. So why is it that America, a country that has always prided itself on freedom for all, can’t seem to get on board and grant this unalienable right of the pursuit of happiness, to a subgroup of citizens?
I will not vote for a candidate that believes we should move backward in time and deny rights to any American because they are not living their life a certain way. For that reason, I will never vote for Senator Rick Santorum as he has made it clear that he does not believe in basic health related rights for women. The candidates need to remember that they are not campaigning to one group of people. They need to have a more realistic idea of the current state of the country and the wants of the people they are supposed to be representing instead of pushing their personal, moral agendas.
Just as the United States has finally had enough of war in the Middle East, a whole mess of things happens in Libya, Syria, and Iran. It almost seems as if the entire world is in turmoil when you add in the economic crisis in both the U.S. and European Union. I am a bit of a pacifist and believe the entire War in Iraq was unnecessary and did more harm than good regarding our relationship with Middle Eastern countries. Not to mention the amount of money poured into a ten year war that, arguably, accomplished very little.
The U.S. needs to do more humanitarian work than military operations in the future if for no other reason that as a PR strategy. By running around policing the rest of the world and trying to impose our ideals on them makes us look like we think we’re better than everyone else. Seeing U.S. military personnel is probably intimidating and with the recent scandals involving U.S. troops desecrating the bodies of deceased Afghans as well as the burning of the Quran by NATO troops, we could use some good PR. In 2008, the U.S. spent only 0.19% of its GDP on foreign aid. That is well below the U.N. target of 0.7% and behind other countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.