Why Does Obama Deserve To Be Re-elected? Debate

by Sarah Parker, Obama Academy

On Friday afternoon the delegates to the One Young World 2012 Summit broke into different sessions based on their interests. One session was titled “Why does Obama deserve to be re-elected?”  Thirty-one delegates showed up to listen to a debate, but the session soon became a lively exchange of ideas. Before the debate began, a show of hands indicated that 22 supported President Obama, five opposed him, and four were undecided.

To start off the debate, we had pleasure of listening to David Given’s magnificent story. He told us about his first child, Joshua, who has Down syndrome. He talked about how the Obama healthcare reforms will help his family. He also expressed his belief that Obama was for better education, which is something that is “important to families across America” and “the basis of a strong economy.” He believes that Obama is for family growth, and supports Medicare, and public assistance. “Doesn’t matter how much money you make, public welfare is necessary.” [Obama] “is the only candidate that supports the vulnerable people.”

A delegate from Zambia was also a supporter of Obama, particularly his stimulus package. “Obama saved America in a worst case scenario.” He stated that we need a president who will have an approach other than violence when working with the Middle East. “There are peaceful ways to solve problems. America is a powerful country who negotiates and compromises to end conflict. You can’t keep peace with firearms. I don’t know what will happen to Iran if Romney wins.”

Other delegates spoke of Obama’s success in reducing unemployment and his attempts to achieve the promises he made, including “stopping two foreign wars.” One delegate stated, “America is moving away from the edge, and it was on a course to destruction. He deserves a lot of credit.” A delegate from the United Kingdom also explained how he did not support how Americans scrutinized Obama’s birth,  and people called Obama “Ozama”, as if he was from Kenya. “America doesn’t deserve Obama.”

Other positive statements held that Obama is trying to construct a social economy, giving America an economic “fresh start” and creating jobs in the process. After fact-checking on his iPhone, a Pitt student confirmed that Obama has created 5.2 million jobs.
A Hispanic delegate, the child of illegal immigrants, contested presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s promise that, if he is elected, he will remove illegal immigrants from the country. She opposed his idea by saying, “our country was founded on immigrants, and all of your ancestors were immigrants at some point or another,” she said that his idea “is scary.”  Another American delegate found some of Romney’s ideas about women, his refusal to support to Planned Parenthood, and his indecision about abortion, “unsettling”.

Interestingly, the Obama detractors were exclusively from Pittsburgh. Although their reasons were less specific, they agreed that Obama had not kept his promises. Comments suggested that, despite evidence of job growth, that Obama has actually killed jobs, increased the deficit, and “didn’t know what he was getting into.”

At the end of the session, 28 participants voiced support for Obama, with five opposed.
A delegate from an African nation, previously unaware of the American economic situation, posed two questions: “Is the economy better or worse off today?” and “Is two terms enough to fix this mess?”

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