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COLUMN

Happytown: Endorsements

Read our picks for this political season, then go vote like your life depends on it

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And that's how we're voting! Now it's your turn.

FOR PRESIDENT: BARACK OBAMA

There are fewer decisions more clear than that presented by the 2012 presidential election. But even when a litany of almost-comical mistruths offered by one candidate are successfully countered with facts from the other, the race remains a toss-up coming into the Nov. 6 election. In order to understand that illogical outcome, you have to look at the core popular principles driving this election. It's difficult not to run into hyperbolic extremes, here – a pervasive racism that permeates our culture has allowed Republicans to get away with denials of our president's citizenship while reaching for dog-whistle terms like "shucking and jiving" to describe his actions. The sense of entitlement has become so brazen that it's turned the word "entitlement" into a slur against the nation's elderly and poor. Even if this is just a bad case of anti-incumbency borne of economic malaise, the lowering of the political dialogue to ill-informed grunts, lies and accusations does our country – and the office of President – a huge disservice.

Though by no means perfect, the series of calculated risks that have defined President Barack Obama's first term have brought us monumental health care reform insuring 30 million people; a stimulus that was a necessary tourniquet to the hemorrhaging of jobs; an awakening on social issues affecting women and gays; the appointments of pragmatic Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court; and the end of the war in Iraq. Among the things Pres. Obama has not accomplished – namely, the DREAM Act, which intended to allow children born of immigrants to remain vital members of American society, and the American Jobs Act, which would have funded infrastructural projects, schools and police, among others – they suffered at the hands of an obstructionist Republican Congress that wanted him out from day one.

As for Mitt Romney, his all-over-the-map pronouncements of policies for the sake of crowds has been breathtaking, to put it kindly. The fact that he even has a campaign after dismissing 47 percent of the population as bottom feeders will be studied by historians for decades. He is, at best, a lying opportunist; at worst, a reflection of this country's dirtiest little secrets. Republicans like to default to the question, "Are you a one-issue voter?" Well, if that issue is integrity (among the panoply of economic and social issues we disagree with Romney on), then yes. We are voting for President Barack Obama. As the New York Times put it, it would be "dangerous" not to.

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