Why I’m Proudly And Enthusiastically Voting For President Obama

On October 14, I was visiting a friend of mine when he showed me this YouTube footage of a man named Felix Baumgartner. Felix Baumgartner is a professional daredevil who took a “space pod” (flown by a giant balloon) up into space and then decided to take a supersonic jump from that high altitude all the way down to earth.

The jump was at an estimated 120,000 feet above the planet, high into the stratosphere.

As my friend played the video of the jump for me, we were both glued to the screen:

The video began, rather ominously, with a haunting image of a man in a space suit, sitting in a small pod, a cold and indifferent black space as his backdrop. At first, the man was shown perched in his pod, staring into an abyss below him. Out of this abyss emerged a colossal, shadowy blue giant that stared menacingly up at him, as if daring him to take the leap.

But that shadowy blue sphere was no giant: it was the earth itself, and the man was staring into every person’s worst nightmare: he was hovering 120,000 feet above the earth with absolutely nothing to support him.

As my friend and I watched this momentous event unfold, the man did the inconceivable: he climbed out of the space pod and jumped—flinging himself rapidly down into the abyss, down toward the colossal, shadowy, blue sphere below.

In the next few frames, the video displayed a tiny speck, barely resembling a man. That speck was tumbling, twirling, falling, and rocketing to the earth at lightning fast speeds.

For the next few minutes, my friend and I watched as this white spec made its way through the earth’s atmosphere and back towards the earth.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the man’s fall was disrupted by a parachute that split out of his back. The parachute instantly slowed down the man’s trajectory.

As I watched, I let out a brief sigh of relief–but my anxiety was still present. The man still hadn’t landed yet; and, for several more minutes, my friend and I kept wondering how far off the ground he was. It was never clear how close the man was to the ground–up until a moment before he finally stuck the landing.

At last, the man had ended his supersonic jump from space by landing safely on the earth’s surface, on his feet no less.

For several days afterward, the country seemed all abuzz over this daredevil’s harrowing stunt. It was as if we were all thrilled to discover that there were still human beings alive who were courageous enough to pull off such tremendous feats.

But no sooner had the country been enchanted by this intergalactic daredevil sideshow, before we were all dragged back into the muck that is the current presidential election. Now, suddenly, America was forced to recall a different kind of supersonic free-fall.

America’s Supersonic Free-fall

Four years ago was a terrifying time in American history.

The country was then led by a man who, very much like Felix the Daredevil, had led us up high into the stratosphere–and had us stuck there, staring down into a horrifying, shadowy abyss. America’s then leader was a man who openly and bluntly ruled over only half of the country. He didn’t even try to be bipartisan—he actively tried to be as bitterly and cynically partisan and divisive as possible. That leader openly and proudly promoted an amendment that would insert discrimination into the constitution. That leader led us into an unnecessary war on false pretenses, without a way to pay for it—raising our national debt to stratospheric levels. That leader led a pitiful and shockingly inadequate response to one of the worst national disastrous in U.S. history. That leader’s diplomatic policies angered most of the world and turned the international community against us, until it seemed as if there were not many countries left who didn’t hate America. That leader helped remove tough regulations so that Wall Street’s greed could run rampant. That leader removed his focus from the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th and instead put all of our military’s energy on a war nobody wanted, and on a country that never attacked us.

Finally, as if all of this wasn’t enough, right before he left, that leader left us with one of the biggest economic upheavals in history. True, the crisis itself cannot be blamed on him entirely, but for eight years it seemed as if President Bush’s missteps had tumbled every domino that had ever been erected by his predecessors—so that by the time the crisis hit, it was as if this was the last domino that needed to be toppled before a switch activated the trick mechanism that sent us free-falling down toward the abyss–the very abyss we had been staring down into for the past 8 years.

This was the dire picture facing us four years ago.

America Landing

But, today, we are not where we were four years ago.

After the supersonic free-fall of 2008, President Obama activated the “parachute” in order to save us from our inevitable demise: that “parachute” was the stimulus and the bailout that saved the entire U.S. auto industry.

Today’s leader is one that, despite an opposition party openly and outspokenly bent on his failure, managed to pass healthcare reform, a bill to regulate the banks and Wall Street, the repeal of a discriminatory policy against gay men and women in the military, a bill that forces companies to give women equal pay for equal work, and more.

Today’s leader is one who has been so successful in foreign policy that his current political opponent could only hope to co-opt this foreign policy in order to look half as presidential as his opponent.

Today’s leader is one who ended the War In Iraq (as he promised) refocused the military’s might on the war in Afghanistan (as he promised) and removed the evil mastermind behind the attacks of September 11 (as he promised). He also has led the near decimation of Al Qaeda and has successfully prevented another terrorist attack from striking U.S. soil. Finally, he is bringing the longest war in American history to an end.

A recent poll suggests that nearly every country in the world (except Pakistan) overwhelmingly supports our current president’s re-election—which should be clear sign to us that the era in which the entire world was united in hatred against the U.S. is now over.

Today’s leader is steering a country that is seeing job growth (instead of job loss), the housing market returning, stocks rising again, and a growing sense of optimism that the fate of this nation is finally turning around for the better.

We, as a country, are finally seeing ground. after our supersonic free fall four years ago. For the first time in a while, we see the potential to stick a landing, and fall on our feet. We may not know how far above the earth we are at the moment, we may not know how long it will take us to get there, but we have been guided, so far, by a great leader who has given us a real shot at full recovery.

No, today’s leader is no superman. He is not perfect. He has had his defects, his missteps, and his failures.

But when I casted my vote for President Obama four years ago, I knew I was not electing a messiah or a superhero. I was electing a man.

What Makes A Great Leader?

I supported Obama way before it was the “cool” thing to do to, and I still support him today, even though it is not the “cool” thing to do anymore (as if the decision to support the leader of our country was only a matter of style, and not a matter of substance and character).

In truth, I am just as enthused and elated to support The President as ever. In fact, I am even more so, because he has proven to me that he is an exceptional leader in extraordinary times.

A great leader is no superhuman; he’s a regular human who can withstand incredibly odds.

I believe that Barack Obama is that kind of great leader; and this coming election, I proudly and, yes, enthusiastically, plan on voting for him again.

This is a monumental election, and it seems to me that it is a choice between a guy who wants to withdraw our parachute and take away our safety net just as we are about to stick a landing, or the man who has proven himself to be a great leader, and who is in the process of guiding us back to earth, landing us on our feet, and thrilling us with the idea that such a harrowing stunt could still be accomplished in this day and age.

much “Vote on November 6,”


>>> A reminder of C2C’s comments policy expressed on my FAQ page: only respectful disagreements are allowed in the comments. Any form of hate or intolerance will be removed asap. Thank you.

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28 comments on “Why I’m Proudly And Enthusiastically Voting For President Obama

  1. Beautifully and cogently said, Olin. This election should be such a no-brainer; that it isn’t, that hatred, half-truths, out right lies – not to mention a ton of unaccountable cash and voter suppression efforts – have made this close, makes me truly fear for the country.

    • Ollin says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shawn. I would normally not talk about politics, but I felt this was very important. It may lose me some followers, but I hope people realize that I respect everyone who disagrees with me and just wanted to be able to voice the way that I see things. Others have their right to do so, too, and I have allowed this in the comments below.

      • I understand, Ollin, completely. Politics is one of those very prickly subjects. I try to stay away from it in my blog, too. But I think this year, this election, is just too important. Thank you again for your eloquent words.

  2. Reblogged this on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest and commented:
    This election should be such a no-brainer; that it isn’t, that hatred, half-truths, out right lies – not to mention a ton of unaccountable cash and voter suppression efforts – Well, let’s just say they’re not good for my ulcer.

  3. Canadians would elect Obama 7:1 over the candidate. i’m one of them. Tomorrow will be interesting to the future of america. and how history views this moment in time.

  4. I respect your opinion but believe this forum is the wrong place to express political views, that is not why we follow you. A few basic facts to consider:

    1) Unemployment is substantially higher now than when the President took office
    2) You speak of Bush not having a method to pay for the war. In 8 years Bush ran up about 50% of the debt Obama ran up in 4 years.
    3) The bailout he brags on GM and Chrysler is a joke. The deal negotiated allowed the unions to recoup all their money plus profit almost immediately. We, the taxpayers, are many billions in debt that we will never recover.
    4) Bi-patisanship is important in this day and time. Although it may be unachievable an effort has to be made. If you recall at the first meeting with all Congressional leaders when the President got frustrated that not everyone was agreeing with him made the statement. “I won the election you didn’t.” From day one no effort for bi-partisanship.
    5) He has violated the Constitution by not proposing a budget since he has been in office as required.
    6) The President’s handling of Sandy is far worse than Bush’s handling of Katrina.
    7) Not to mention Bengazi and Fast & Furious he has claimed executiive priviledge on.
    8) Failure to enforce immigration laws.

    I won’t go on because I’m sure I won’t change anyone’s mind. If anyone doubts any of the statements I made I will be glad to provide news articles to back them up.

    Again I respect anyone’s right to vote for whoever they choose but let’s keep this blog focused on the reason we are here. Thanks for allowing me to vent.

    • Ollin says:

      I appreciate, Wayne, that you are respectful of me and don’t try to instill the fear of death in me to prove you point.

      I don’t like to talk about politics, neither do I intend to make it habit. (This is probably the last time I address it.) But this election is far too important. I would have regretted it terribly if I had not made my case.

    • Emma Dee says:

      I just want to point out that there is no balanced budget provision in the U.S. Constitution. Many states have such provisions but the federal government is not constitutionally obligated to balance a budget. Among other inaccuracies in the list above, #6 is just plain wrong. Look up “balanced budget amendment” on Wikipedia for details.

      I too respect other people’s beliefs and opinions but the rampant spreading of misinformation is not good for this country. People need to vote based on facts, and that is happening less and less as the cable news networks and other media outets increasingly propagate lies.

      If you think there should be a balanced budget provision, then I respect that. But to say President Obama is violating the Constitution with regards to budget is unacceptable because it’s just not true.

      • If you were referring to my comment about the budget please note that I said submit a budget which is required, At no point did I say it had to be a “balanced budget.” If you were referring to someone else’s comment my apologies.

        • Emma Dee says:

          You said, and I quote, “He has violated the Constitution by not proposing a budget since he has been in office as required.”

          He is not required by the Constitution to propose a budget so he has not violated the Constitution. Additionally, Obama did propose a budget but it wasn’t passed. So the statement above is entirely incorrect.

          It took me all of about seven minutes to look these facts up and confirm them. You can visit whitehouse.gov to see the president’s proposed budgets for yourself. The Wikipedia entry for “2011 U.S. federal budget” provides links to the actual budget he proposed that year along with a detailed description of what actually happened with the budget that year.

          These facts are indisputable.

          Also, in my previous comment, I referred to list item #6. I meant #5.

          • First you never addressed the fact I never said “balanced budget” and that I was spreading misinformation.

            As for the budget please see below:

            The U.S. Constitution (Article I, section 9, clause 7) states that “[n]o money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

            Each year, the President of the United States submits his budget request to Congress for the following fiscal year as required by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Current law (31 U.S.C. § 1105(a)) requires the president to submit a budget no earlier than the first Monday in January, and no later than the first Monday in February. Typically, presidents submit budgets on the first Monday in February. The budget submission has been delayed, however, in some new presidents’ first year when the previous president belonged to a different party.

            As for the President not submitting a budget I stand corrected the budgets have been submitted. Of course when you have a budget voted down 97-0 you have to ask did the President really submit a legitimate budget since not one of his own party supported it and he knew before he submitted it it would not pass. I also think the following stats show to me the President hasn’t been as responsible as he should in fixing our fiscal crisis.

            •First President to deliver three budgets late in just one term. President Obama has delivered all of his fiscal year (FY) budgets—except FY 2011—late.
            •First President to deliver two budgets late in a row. President Obama delivered both the FY 2012 and the FY 2013 budgets after deadline.
            •First President to take an extra 98 days to deliver his transition year budget. While a President’s first-year budget submission is delayed for practical reasons—there is not enough time between entering office and the budget deadline—President Obama’s first budget was delivered more than 30 days later than any other President’s budget.

            I guess neither of us will change the others mind so we will have to agree to disagree.

            Hopefully we will know tomorrow who will be leading us for the next few years.

            • Emma Dee says:

              I wasn’t trying to engage in a political discussion about the president’s performance. I was merely pointing out the statement you made regarding the budget and the Constitution was incorrect and since I suspected you weren’t aware of that, I thought I’d share some information. I realize you were originally talking about proposing a budget (not balancing it). I only mentioned “balanced budget” because that is the name of the article where I found the relevant information.

              Thanks for being civil in this discussion. I appreciate your open-mindedness and willingness to exchange information and ideas.

  5. I am all for Obama, and honestly, after some of the stuff I’ve seen about Romney, I don’t get how anyone could vote for him.

  6. I read your blog all the time. No longer. The first half of your post was great, then you ended with half-truths and Obama campaign BS. I came to your site for writing inspiration, not to be ambushed by the same political crap I see on TV.

    • Ollin says:

      Brian: I don’t work for the Obama campaign, and the truth I speak is my own: it is the way I see it. I just want to make that clear.

    • YM says:

      Hey Brian, it’s one post.

      I would think you visit this blog for the great writing advice and great writing community Ollin’s worked so hard to build here for you, for all of us. He sacrifices time and energy to make this blog as useful and supportive for those who visit it as possible. Do you think it makes him millions? My extremely educated guess is no, it does not. He does it out of love and caring for everyone who needs the inspiration to forge forward with their own creative dreams. So, if he chooses to use the platform he’s created to write a post about something he feels very passionate about, then that’s his right. Who are you to take it from him?

      If someone’s opinion in one post makes them your enemy, then that’s truly your loss. If you don’t agree with his opinion, then disagree. You have every right! In fact, you can disagree and continue to enjoy the rest of his content freely. It’s that easy. You don’t have to be rude and aggressive. No one ambushed you. The title of this post is very clear, therefore you had the choice of whether or not to click through and read. You chose to click, you chose to read. That’s the opposite of an ambush.

      This from someone who appreciates that there is someone like Ollin out there willing to take the time to be true to himself, and help others in the process. That takes courage, a kind of courage that’s hard to come by.

  7. Emma Dee says:

    Traditionally, artists and philosophers have been vocal in politics and in shaping ideologies. To say that a writer should not discuss politics is rather odd, considering that writers are largely responsible for writing articles, books, stories, essays, and poems that reflect and influence our culture, politics included.

    Free speech has always been a distinguished American value. I find it appalling that people are coming here and suggesting that Ollin should not exercise his right to free speech. In fact, I find such comments un-American in nature.

    I do believe that expressing one’s political views in public can be a dangerous career move but it’s also one that requires courage and strength. To bash Ollin or unfollow him because he’s exercising his civic rights or because he doesn’t vote the same way you do shows nothing more than disrespect for free speech and intolerance for opposing political views.

    I, for one, applaud and support you, Ollin, for expressing your views and exercising your first amendment rights.

  8. I’m indifferent to your expressing of political opinion, but I admire how you’re able to respond in the comments while remaining rational and civilized. You made the decision, knowing that you’re losing followers, but taking a political stand requires that kind of sacrifice.

  9. Poets and writers and even musicians have served prison terms, had their careers ruined, and lost their lives over the centuries in defense of their political stances. The pen is powerful. And I’m glad it’s in the hand of someone like you who is both calm and courageous and willing to state his beliefs. And I can tell you this, I don’t think I’ve actually loved a president the way I love President Obama…for his humanity. I’m not in the habit of loving politicians, so I can understand how other artists in the past have gone to the mat for their beliefs, for their political friends, against their political foes.

    I find nothing at all offensive about your post on your support of President Obama. We’re locked into this rather hateful campaign and trying to sift through all the information for the facts about both candidates. I have watched Mr. Obama very closely over the past 4 years, and I am very happy with his results so far. And you’re right (and I do love the analogy you draw with Felix Baumgartner’s jump from 120,000 feet above the planet) that continuing with him will give us that landing we want so much.

    I applaud you as a writer, as a human being, and as a caring and compassionate man, Ollin. By now your followers should know that you don’t just write about writing, but about us as whole persons with souls. Thank you so much for being you,


    • Ollin says:

      Why thank you, Dana. Say what you will about politics, it is a important part of our whole. It has to do with our civic duty, our responsibilites to each other as citizens, we do not just owe it to ourselves, but to others to think long and hard over these great issues.

      And yes, the readers who have been with me over the years knows that I tend to go off tangent from time to time, but only when it really matters. 🙂

  10. I applaud you for taking the time to write this. I’m sure this takes a lot of ‘courage 2 create’ 😉 (Lame joke, I know)

    A lot of us in The Netherlands are watching your elections very closely. I’m pretty sure about 99.9% of the Dutch people want Obama reelected. Ofcourse we have no say in this whatsoever, but it’s kinda interesting to see that everyone in the US is so diversed over who to choose, and Europeans would know right away. But then I guess it’s easier, because it’s not our country 😉 Anyway, I think Obama has made some major improvements over the past couple of years for the USA. I don’t trust Mitt Romney one bit. I think he’s placing America back in time, rather than taking you forward. I’m hoping to see Obama win, but who knows! Good luck on voting! I’ll still love the USA regardless of the president 😉

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