Four years ago, I was an enthusiastic Obama voter. Come Tuesday, I’ll be a chastened Obama voter — but an Obama voter nonetheless.
Civil liberties-minded liberals have reason to be disappointed in this president. He has built up the imperial presidency bequeathed him by George W. Bush, adding some new wrinkles of his own. Americans do not leave an electronic footprint that is not collected, in some fashion, by the federal government. Obama has given himself the power to assassinate citizens suspected of terrorism. It’s uncertain whether we’re more secure; it is likely we’re less free.
So why vote for Obama? Because Romney would be worse.
Romney, with his memorable talk of “double Gitmo,” would probably continue fortifying the security leviathan Bush and Obama have built since 9/11.
Along the way, it seems more likely that a President Romney would get us in a shooting war with Iran.
It seems more likely that a President Romney would appoint Supreme Court justices who would undermine the rights and freedoms of women to control their own reproductive health, or who would turn a cold shoulder to the rights and freedoms of gay and lesbian Americans to make their own families.
It seems more likely that a President Romney — a man so vocal in private about his disdain for the poorest 47 percent of the population — would undermine and dismantle safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the name of reducing the deficit, all while cutting taxes for his rich friends.
And despite a week that saw a massive hurricane hit the East Coast, it seems more likely that a President Romney would be less than dedicated to preserving and strengthening federal agencies that assist states and cities in recovering from such disasters.
President Obama is imperfect. President Romney might be a disaster.
It’s an easy choice to make.
Joel Mathis is a writer in Philadelphia