As decision day approaches in this election, I listen with empathy to the concerns of those who are still suffering from the effects of continuing financial problems. But I urge everyone to take a long look back at history and a long look forward in hope while you decide your vote.
Remember the collapse of our financial stability, along with other factors, was largely the result of two things: (1) the previous administration's war of choice with Iraq and failure to pay its massive costs; and (2) the unrestrained greed of financial institutions and the unwise borrowing they encouraged on many citizens.
When President Obama took office in 2009, he took on that collapse. If you are disappointed because of unfulfilled "promises" from his campaign, remember that huge distraction. Even so, he accomplished many steps forward - including health care reform to benefit many; tax relief for middle income people; honorably wrapping up of the wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and against Al Qaeda; and ending official discrimination against homosexual people in the military.
All of his accomplishments had to be achieved while struggling with the opposition party in Congress whose primary avowed purposes are to extend the welfare of the very wealthy and to see that the president failed. Let's not return those obstructionists to power.
Remember these facts of history as you decide how to vote.
Also, expand your hope beyond quick fixes that will not last. We are better off today than we were four years ago, even if that fact rests more on how bad things were then rather than on how good things are now. Take heart in the signs of improvement - more people with health insurance, lower unemployment, jobs being created. Re-elect Obama to continue and build on these beginnings - and give him national legislators who will enter into dialog and reach compromises that offer hope for solving our problems.
Be sure to vote for Barack Obama-Joe Biden, Tim Kaine and Andy Schmookler in this important election.
Warren Brubaker, Luray