Be careful what you vote for

Nathalie Kroll, Staff Reporter

I don’t care as much about politics as I probably should, considering that I will be eighteen in a matter of months and that I will be voting soon. In the past, I’ve been able to say this isn’t my homeland, since I’m from Sweden, so I don’t need to care, but the recent midterm elections, current events and some of the choices Americans have been making are starting to get to me.

Let’s start with the hatred for President Barack Obama. Maybe because we are in Texas or maybe because he’s not aggressive enough to follow through with most of his promises, a lot of people really dislike Obama and I don’t necessarily agree.

Obama has done some good things for our country since Bush’s presidency. Unemployment was 5.8 percent in October, when it was 10 percent five years ago. Obama has created 200,000 jobs a month, outperforming Ronald Reagan. In September, CNN reported that the dollar is stronger than it’s been in years. The stock market is near record highs and oil is currently $2.55 a gallon, because imported oil is decreasing and U.S. oil production is increasing. The current inflation rate is at 1.7 percent, which is the lowest it has been in 30 years. Yet voters put the Republican party back in charge of Congress.

When Obama took office, he found that he had to clean up the Bush administration’s national security mess. After the 9/11 attacks, there was no plan in place to attack the nuclear facilities in Iran. This was one of ten messes Obama inherited following Bush. Another was the prison in Guantanamo Bay, a prison that exemplifies questionable treatment toward its prisoners, a topic of controversial debate. Obama’s attempt to close it failed, but he did pass a “no torture” law in the prison, which is currently outside of American legislation.

Obama already lacks the aggression to get things passed. After the Newtown shooting, when 20 children were murdered, Obama wanted to enact gun control legislation. This got many around here upset because you can’t just take a gun away from a Texan and expect them to be happy. The problem is that anybody of age can go into Walmart and buy a gun, so guns often fall into the hands of the wrong people. The vote on the Gun Control Bill Obama attempted to pass was short 60 votes. 60 votes was once again what was lacking when Obama was attempting to pass the Equal Pay Act, because let’s not forget that women are being paid 22 percent less than men. In 2013, for every dollar a man earned, a woman earned 78 cents. In Obama’s attempt to fix this wage gap between genders, he fell short once again lacking votes in the Senate.

In 2011, the Obama Administration defended the legalization of gay marriage throughout the country and failed once again, after its refusal to further defend the bill. It’s not that Obama isn’t trying to do good things for the country, because he is and he has been doing great things. He just doesn’t have the ability to get the important things passed in the Senate.

The midterm election itself frustrates me. Essential rights given to men are not the same given to women. When I go to work, I remember that the boy working next to me with the same experience is paid more than me. Women who work at Hobby Lobby, for example, recently had birth control taken off of their insurance covered by the company. Forty-eight other companies have the same restrictions on their workers. Call it freedom of religion, but boys can still make the decision to pick up a box of condoms from CVS for $4.49 and a woman can’t access birth control without a doctor’s visit. Without coverage from insurance, birth control runs from around $50 a month to $140 every three months. And if you somehow think that’s acceptable and fair, just let me remind you that men pay less but make 22 cents more per dollar.

I’m not saying that Obama has been the best thing that’s ever happened to this country, but he’s definitely not the worst. And the electoral decisions Americans have been making against him will only hurt us. The midterm elections this year were a mistake Americans will soon have to pay for, whether they realize it or not.