By Lauren Brown
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—election season! I’m a registered Independent voter, as I’m not one to immediately take sides in any issue or blindly follow an opinion without first becoming informed. However, as a female student who will soon be facing student loans and health care concerns upon graduation, the Democratic Party, and President Barack Obama, most accurately represent and advocate for the issues that concern me as a voter now, and in the future. For instance, though obtaining health care will be a concern in the future, thanks to Obama I don’t have to worry about that immediately after leaving Union because of the Affordable Care Act which allows me to remain on my parents’ health insurance until the age of 26, for which I am extremely grateful. I am a junkie for all things political, so I made sure to see what issues are fueling the Republican campaign, and made it a point to watch both conventions.
With one of the most conservative Republican parties in decades, the women’s rights issues that have been hotly contested for ages are finally coming to light. Instead of defending the rights of women, the Republican Party has made it clear that women are not their priority when it comes to issues such as reproductive rights and pay equality. The Democratic Party, however, has asserted (especially with the strategic move of using important female political figures, including Sandra Fluke as a keynote speaker) that they will fight to ensure that women are treated as equals, both in the workplace and when it comes to their healthcare and reproductive rights.
Michelle Obama and Ann Romney both made compelling speeches about who, they believe, their husbands are as men and as leaders; however, Michelle’s delivery more effectively conveyed the struggles that both she and Barack have endured, and tied these experiences to the policies that Obama has implemented as president. Michelle mentioned their student loans, which were higher than their mortgage, and then pointed out that Barack has fought hard to increase student aid. I didn’t hear that same quality of testimony from Ann Romney, although she tells a similar (although, in my opinion, not as believable) story.
One of the DNC’s keynote speakers, Bill Clinton, in my opinion, presented a perfect speech on Wednesday night. Clocking in at nearly an hour and combining hard facts with an inspirational message, his words didn’t feel stale, dull, or long-winded. I hung onto every word of that speech although it was very heavy in policy and factual evidence; despite this, Clinton was able to present the information and rally the crowd without belittling or boring them. Plus, I was relieved that someone in the Democratic Party was finally able to answer the question “are we better off than we were four years ago?” The answer, according to Bill Clinton, is yes we are. Job creation is certainly one of Obama’s primary concerns, and has been an historical focus for the Democratic Party. Clinton emphasized that since 1961, Democratic presidents have created almost double the number of jobs that Republican presidents have created while in office: 42 million versus 24 million jobs, respectively.
Furthermore, Democrats accomplished this despite holding the presidency for four fewer years than Republicans.
Clinton summarized the entire platform of the Democratic party on Wednesday night when he said, “We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think ‘we’re all in this together’ is a better philosophy than ‘you’re on your own’.”
Overall, the DNC was very effective at spreading a message of hope, change and perseverance that helped to combat the finger-pointing and name-calling that resulted from the RNC.
While the Republicans spent a lot of their time spreading a message about what’s wrong with this country, the Democrats spent their energy pointing out what’s right. The Democratic National Convention presented a strong platform interspersed with even stronger and more inspirational speakers (who could forget Michelle’s rousing speech?) to ensure what I hope to be a second term for Obama. The Democrats provide a voice and advocate for a large portion of America, whether we are discriminated against because of race, gender, social class or sexual orientation. It’s a sad fact that discrimination and inequality still exist today, but the Democratic Party is working to rectify this and their ideals strive to bring the country together instead of tearing it apart. For this reason, among many others, I will be voting for President Obama in November.