From the Left: Obama re-elected
What sort of things can we expect over the next four years, now that Barack Obama has been re-elected as president? At the very least, we can see the determined expansion of his Affordable Care Act, ensuring that millions more will have access to equitable health care; at the most, we could see a forceful push on the Supreme Court to strike down the overtly bigoted Defense of Marriage Act.
Now that he no longer has the pressure of impressing the electorate, Obama can push forward and work to enact a truly progressive agenda. I expect to see another vote in Congress to pass the DREAM Act, the legislation that would have granted undocumented immigrants who were brought here as very young children a potential path to citizenship. I'm also expecting another attempt by Obama and Republican Speaker John Boehner to have a "grand bargain" that cuts federal spending while increasing taxation on the ultra-rich.
Despite what the cynics say about the president and his re-election - that the world is going to end, that we're rushing toward Grecian debt, or that we're tumbling down into socialism - I remain cautiously optimistic. There are so many challenges that lay ahead of us: domestic energy, national security, our sovereign debt, inequality, and a bloated military budget. The list goes on. As daunting as I realize that these obstacles are, I'm fully certain that they will be met. President Obama has not shirked the issues, and anyone who says otherwise is simply a cynic or naysayer. The man inherited a broken nation, and he has worked day-in and day-out to make sure that our country's best days are not behind us, but rather in front of us. We need to build on the momentum that we have and continue to heal our economy. We need to push forward and guarantee marriage, education, and health care as fundamental human rights.
But the progress that we've made isn't simply reflected in the man that New Hampshire chose to send back to the White House - very fundamental changes have taken place here, within our state's own borders. Maggie Hassan is our next governor, and I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there is finally someone in the governor's office who is not afraid to freeze tuition, restore university funding, and invest in our education system. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster will be able to fight for women's rights, equal pay and an equitable economy when they head to Congress in January.
We have done so much, America, but there is still so much more to do. We all took part in making history Tuesday, whether we voted for Mitt Romney or Obama. Our political landscape has fundamentally changed. We mustn't think that the fight ends here, however. There are so many more things that we need to accomplish, so many obstacles that need to be overcome. I have no doubt that they will be overcome, now that we have chosen to send a voice of compassion and reason back to the White House.
In 2008, we started a campaign. In 2012, it became a movement. In the coming years, we are going to be able to ride this momentous wave of hope into cultural modernity and economic stability. We did what the cynics said we could not, and we persevered. If our president works as hard the next four years as he did the lastfour , we are going to see tremendous, positive change in our country.
Dan Fournier is a pre-medical undergraduate majoring in evolutionary biology. He considers himself to be a left-wing progressive and liberty-minded individual.
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