La Opinion, the biggest Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S., has endorsed President Obama for re-election, saying that on November 6, “there is no clearer choice for Hispanic voters than to re-elect President Barack Obama.”
Comparing President Obama with Mitt Romney on economic plans, La Opinion says:
The president’s vision is inclusive, forward-looking and promotes growth without leaving people behind. The former governor’s vision is divisive and his proposals are the same that have led to a huge wealth gap.
And as to familiar complaints about President Obama’s lack of accomplishments, La Opinion disagrees:
During his first term, Obama rolled up his sleeves at all fronts. He worked to bandage a nation on the brink of a financial collapse triggered by the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. Obama also delivered on key commitments: He brought U.S. troops home from Iraq and oversaw the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the face of fierce opposition, the President managed to pass a health care bill that will extend benefits to many in our community. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, adds nine million Latinos currently without coverage to the health care rolls – a life-saving boost for a community that suffers the highest uninsured rates in the country. The very idea of repealing this law, which Romney proposed, is nonsense.
The endorsement takes special note of the difference between President Obama Mitt Romney on issues of women’s reproductive health:
With Romney, women are at risk of losing access to important services in employer-provided health insurance, like the option to make decisions about their bodies and health.
And, as one should expect from a newspaper that serves the Hispanic community, La Opinion evaluates President Obama in terms of his how he has and will help that demographic group:
Unemployment remains above the national average for Hispanics. However, since February 2009, this rate dropped from 11.1% to 9.9%. Obama has taken critical steps, such as investing billions of dollars in community colleges and job training programs that help Latinos access better jobs.
The President recognizes the needs of our community and the brilliance of the sons and daughter we put forward. His historic appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is the brightest example of this.
The editorial, like so many endorsements this election season, also expresses some disappointment in President Obama’s first term, especially regarding immigration reform, while acknowledging that Republican obstructionism has been a major roadblock:
Obama deserves a second term. The price of not casting a vote for him would be great.
In 2008, the vast majority of Hispanics backed then Senator Obama for president. Much of this support was based on the promise that he would deliver sensible and humane immigration reform. We are greatly disappointed in this unfulfilled commitment. Yet, we also recognize that Republicans did nothing to help the matter. And we still believe that reform is far more likely under an Obama presidency, not a Romney Administration.
The biggest disappointment was immigration. The ambitious promise to have comprehensive reform in year one collided against the economic emergency and then the political realities in Congress. What is unjustifiable was the federal government’s improvised implementation of the Secure Communities program, which undermined the original principle of public safety. Among the good things is counting on the recent Deferred Action decision, which at least gives peace of mind to millions of young people.
Mitt Romney, by contrast, offers little for the immigrant community:
…the Romney alternative is self-deportation and state laws like Arizona’s, in which undocumented immigrants are seen as a danger instead of as contributors.
The blunt reality is that Romney has not worked to gain the trust of Latinos. Left up to Romney, Justice Sotomayor would not be sitting on the Supreme Court. The Republican candidate has said that given the chance, he would have voted against her nomination.
With a candidate, campaign and party that have failed to engage Hispanics, one can only wonder whether a binder of Latinos would even be on a shelf at the White House under their reign.
And President Obama, says La Opinion, is a President for all Americans:
The nation, in all of its diversity and economic disparities, needs a commander in chief who is president of all. We need a president who is consistent and who will wrestle with the toughest issues.
Obama has the mettle, vision and record that bode well not only for Latinos but also for future of our nation.
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.