This opinion piece was written by Cal Poly Democrats President Kayla Clark

I speak for the Cal Poly Democrats when I say we endorse President Barack Obama in this election against Governor Mitt Romney. There are several reasons behind this endorsement, starting with education, then health, women’s rights, the economy and foreign policy. On all these accounts President Obama has a clear track record of advocacy for the middle class, students and women. He has been steadfast in his message, accountable in his delivery and successful in his administration.

As a student attending a public university, with many people on student loans, the mass psychological disconnect between Obama [should this say Romney?] and students’ benefits never fails to shock me. Democratic leadership champions low student loan rates (reduced rate extension), education funding (such as Proposition 30 on a more regional level) and education equality (like the Dream Act). Republican leadership has fought tooth and nail against such educational policy. Educational policy is one of the most tangible reasons to support President Obama. A tuition rise (like what will happen if Proposition 30 fails), student loan increase, legitimization of migrant family students and other educational issues like these are policies myself and my peers can see in our everyday life. Mitt Romney’s education plan focuses far more on privatization, and Republicans were strongly against the Dream Act and student loan rate extension.

Next, there is the sincere concern that Republican leadership would roll back advances in healthcare and reproductive rights.  Romney has already promised to undo Obamacare, an important piece of legislation that allows young adults like us to be covered by insurance until age 26. Obamacare was an overdue reform of the broken American healthcare system. I fear healthcare would become even more dysfunctional if Romney were elected; we would regress. Furthermore, on the topic of health, a sharp distinction between the candidates is their policy towards reproductive rights. Obama has been consistently pro-choice and pro-contraception. Romney, on the other hand, has gone from a moderate pro-choice to pro-life. I assume this is because he is spoon-feeding voters what they want to hear. An unreliable and ethically questionable candidate cannot be trusted in issues as serious as a woman’s right to have control over her body.

Obama’s economic plan is that of a solid, moderate, progressive Democrat. He is advocating for the middle class; phrases such as “the economy builds from the middle out, not the top down,” may be overused, but they ring true. I am strongly behind President Obama’s tax plan and economic vision and strongly against loopholes for the super rich or inequitable taxation for the struggling poor.

As for foreign policy, Obama is clearly superior. Romney has blundered his way through the diplomacy required of a campaign, offending several nations. In this era of global trade and security, insulting Russia, China and Britain is unacceptable behavior. Obama has effectively repaired our image abroad, and acted swiftly and effectively in military policy. I frankly do not trust Romney with the role of Commander in Chief or head diplomat of the United States. For all these reasons, and many more, I firmly endorse Barack Obama in this election.

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