Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why I am voting for Barack Obama

I apologize. The title of this post is a little misleading: it implies I haven't voted yet. That is not true. I sent in my mail-in ballot last week, so the proper title should be "Why I voted for Barack Obama." I chose to use the slightly misleading title because the more truthful one might make it seem like I voted in 2008, which I did not since I was only 16. So, yes. I voted for Barack Obama and no amount of comments trying to sway me the other way would do anything (not that they would if I hadn't voted yet).

You may or may not be aware of this, but when George W. Bush was running for President, many voters said they were voting for him because "He seemed like the kind of guy I could have a beer with." No, Barack Obama is not the "kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with," although I admittedly would not be against that. Instead, Barack Obama is like the favorite high school teacher I had who would do anything to see me succeed. 

Let me explain.

I honestly and thoroughly believe Barack Obama wants to see me, Kelby, succeed in life and in this country. He doesn't want to see me have to move to Canada or Europe to find a good job I can excel in and access to health care. We all had that teacher in high school, middle school, college, wherever, who wanted nothing more than to see you succeed. No matter how badly you screwed up, they were never really disappointed in you and never doubted you. They were the one who showed you that you had the tools and capability to succeed. They never gave you permission to fail. They truly cared about you and gave you extra help when and if you needed it, and you were grateful for that. Remember that time you were given an opportunity to turn in extra credit to raise your grade that wasn't the best because of a bad test? That wasn't a handout; it was a hand up.

This is what Barack Obama is to me. 

Barack Obama wants me to succeed. He doesn't want me to fall behind because of variables I cannot control, like my gender and social class. I didn't choose to be a woman. I sure as hell did not choose to be lower-middle class, borderline impoverished. These are just two things that count against me in this country. You may try to deny that, but this is the reality that I live in.

President Barack Obama signed into law on January 29, 2009, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. Barack Obama believes that I have a right to equal pay for equal work, that I should not be paid less than a man for the same and equal work simply because I am a woman.

Barack Obama signed a bill to raise and increase the number federal Pell Grants for college students, making college more affordable for hundreds of thousands of American students. 

Possibly the biggest reasons I support Barack Obama are his health care policies. He signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which insures over 11 million of America's children. Four million of those were previously uninsured. His Affordable Care Act prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage of applicants with pre-existing conditions and prevents insurance companies from dropping a person's coverage when they get sick. I fully support this because my best friend has a pre-existing condition, Crohn's Disease. Crohn's is a genetic disease, therefore there was no way to prevent it happening to my friend. My friend is only 21 years old and has bi-monthly transfusions to treat her condition, and will have to continue these treatments for the rest of her life. Each treatment costs approximately $20,000 without insurance. Because of Obamacare, her health insurance cannot drop her nor can they put a lifetime cap on her benefits. 

Barack Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell, which now allows gay and lesbian members of our military to serve openly. I want my gay and lesbian friends to have the same opportunities for happiness and love and Barack Obama supports equal rights, including marriage rights, to same-sex couples. 

Barack Obama respects and protects women's rights to their own bodies and their own health choices. This includes access to contraception, affordable breast cancer screenings, putting and end to health insurance companies charging a woman more for the same services they provide to men, and a woman's choice about whether or not to carry out a pregnancy. 

Many people think this election is only about the economy. Those people need to see the reality of what is really going on. I truly do not understand how anyone can put money above the rights and health of others. Too many Americans vote without being truly informed. Please properly inform yourself. I've provided a few links for you to inform yourself. Vote for Obama, vote for Romney, vote for someone else. I really don't care. Just vote informed. 

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

If you're still in doubt about what President Obama has done during his presidency, check out this website and learn new things. Or check this out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Getting to know me

If you're going to be reading my blog, which will inevitably include some very personal thoughts and reflections, you should know a little bit about me.
Hi! I'm Kelby. I'm twenty-years-old and a current junior in college. I'm an aspiring journalist and enjoy discussion gender issues in my free time. So I guess it comes to no surprise I'm a Journalism major with a minor in Gender Studies. I am also a lover of photo journalism, so expect to see a lot of my photos.
I have a very love-hate relationship with writing. I've been writing for as long as I've known how and I usually enjoy writing. Last semester, I took a class that required so much reading and writing on top of all my other schoolwork that I began to despise writing. That is, until I handed in my final writing portfolio for that class. I think somehow through learning to hate something I had always loved, I was finally able to really appreciate my writing and not just love the act of writing, but love what is written. 
I've also began to notice that I have (what I think is) a very distinct and unique writing style. I use a lot of simple and fragmented sentences, usually for emphasis. I use a whole lot of commas, which I believe makes up for my dislike of the Oxford comma. Sometimes I'm straight to the point, yet other times it takes me quite a while to get to my point. Sometimes I don't even know what my point is until I get to it or give up on finding it. 
I'm awful at keeping to a schedule or plan. I'll probably at one point or another say that I plan on posting twice a week, but I'm going to be honest and say that is very unlikely. Something or another will come up time and again, and I'll forget. I know this from fifteen years of experience with keeping journals and having pen pals. I just hope that I'll finally stick to my word and write.