I have not written much about the elections this year as I have in elections past. However, after Hurricane Sandy has practically destroyed my home State of New Jersey, I feel urgently prompted to speak up.
New Jersey has 127 miles of beaches. Most of my formative years were spent at the beach in Long Branch. Having been born a few blocks from the ocean, and then living my first
16 years just blocks from there, an abundance of memories swirl through
my mind. As a child, my kindergarten was across the street from the ocean. My elementary school was two blocks from the ocean. The beach is where I collected seashells, started working from 13 years old, and received my first kiss from someone who I was not related to. My family lived only blocks from the beach. The ocean, beach and boardwalk are all part of my identity. They all shaped bits of who I am.
Most of the Jersey shore is now in shambles. Hurricane Sandy made toothpicks from planks of wood that was once the boardwalk. There were photos of roller coasters swimming in the sea. So many hurricanes in the past have destroyed the boardwalk. They have been rebuilt time and again, but each time at a tremendous expense.
President Obama toured the Jersey shore with Governor Christie to assess the damage and offer financial assistance for recovery. Obama is able to provide services that are needed by the people who have had devastation.
Romney’s campaign has tried pulling a few politico moves. First of all they have asked people to donated canned goods and clothes to the Red Cross for those in need. This sounds reasonably charitable. However, they continued to solicit these items even after the Red Cross asked them to stop. The Red Cross asked for money donations in lieu of canned food and clothes for the simple reason that these would require person power to sort and distribute. Whereas if money were donated, they could buy what was needed for expedited distribution.
The other Romney “pull the wool over your eyes” attempt was really slick. The Republican campaign bought $5,000 worth of food and provided it for people to pick up, but not for themselves, but to donate to the Red Cross. This was to make the Romney relief effort look like a success whether it would have been otherwise or not. Read it for yourself here. If you read the article below, the Red Cross had to divert person-power from their real relief efforts to deal with Romney’s stunt.
Obama may not have completed all that he promised during the last election, but Americans always forget, the balance of power in our system. All candidates can promise whatever they think the public wants to hear, but it takes Congress to make it into law. Obama has not had it easy with the right wing Republicans who refuse to work across the aisle, but instead want to be kings of their own pile of power, without regard to the good of the masses.
I am proud to say that I voted for Obama. I am proud to say that I voted in the State of New Jersey.