Editor’s Note: Views expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor reflect the views of the author, not the views of The State News.
One of my roommates, Pat, isn’t someone who is very vocal about being disappointed too often. However, I vividly remember the beginning of our freshman year, when Pat was livid about losing a bumper sticker he had gotten for free. The bumper sticker, which Pat claims was stolen by one of our friends, was from the Green Party, and it read: “Make love, not war.”
The sticker is one that many students might be familiar with, and the slogan is one that a large majority of students wholeheartedly would agree with. Most people would consider themselves anti-war, as it would take a very cold, morally deficient person to actively support any sort of war.
Unfortunately, the people we have been electing to office rarely seem to share our anti-war stance. Most politicians’ policies and the ways they vote suggest they are very pro-war, regardless of party affiliation.
Although the Republican Party is known for having more war hawks than the Democratic Party, Barack Obama has been as belligerent as many Republicans have been in the past.
His foreign policy, in my opinion, overrides any positives in other issues he might have. The truth is that Obama has done little to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize he won just months into his presidency. If the leader of our country does not put the utmost importance on peace, then our president is failing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many great reasons to vote for a second term for President Obama; I am not against all of his policies. Many people support him on his opinions of various women’s rights issues, the Affordable Care Act, progressive views of same-sex marriage or his leadership through these hard times. But even if you agree with every single one of his stances listed above, I don’t believe that is enough.
Unfortunately, a vote for Barack Obama is a vote for more drone strikes in countries we are not currently fighting a war in. These strikes, which significantly have increased in quantity since our current administration took office, have killed many targets that were suspected of being involved in terrorism. In doing so, American drones have killed several hundreds of innocent women and children, including a 16-year-old American citizen who was not accused of any crime, let alone found guilty in court.
A vote for President Obama is a vote for continuing the practice of taxing American citizens so that the federal government can give foreign aid to more than half the countries of the world.
A vote for President Obama is a vote that continues our international military presence with hundreds of bases worldwide.
A vote for President Obama is a vote for a politician who signed a bill allowing the government to indefinitely detain American citizens without a trial.
A vote for President Obama is a vote that sends our bravest men and women to the opposite side of the globe for multiple tours.
A vote for President Obama is one that ignores all the promises he did not follow through on, including ending the war in Iraq on day one and closing our base at Guantanamo Bay.
A vote for President Obama is a vote for more war.
Now, before all the College Republicans start celebrating this as an endorsement of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy, anyone who watched the final debate between the two candidates can see their ideas barely differ on the most important foreign policy issues.
In fact, Gov. Romney potentially could be even more dangerous than President Obama for reasons including his refusal to cut any military spending, and his eagerness for increased pressure and sanctions on countries around the world.
The fact that our aggressive and lethal foreign policy is shared throughout both main parties is a sad indictment of our society and political culture. With another war possibly looming against a potentially nuclear Iran, it finally is time for a sensible foreign policy.
The United States has been fighting continually in wars for more than a decade, and I think it absolutely is time to stop. We seem to live in an Orwellian nation where “War is peace” turns from a fictional political slogan to a reality. Our foreign policy certainly suggests that we only feel secure when we are at war, despite having the world’s greatest military.
It is time we put our commander in chief responsible for making the next four years a little more peaceful than the last 12.
As neither of the candidates has given me any reason to believe he will make real strides toward peace, I know I absolutely am not voting for either of the main candidates next week.
I simply don’t want innocent blood on my hands.
Piotr Buniewicz is a guest columnist at The State News and an elementary education senior. Reach him at email@example.com.