Ben Marcus
Ben Marcus' latest book is The Flame Alphabet.

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REASON 68: I am voting for Obama because the rest of the world measures us by our president.

Whether we like it or not, we have come to be known by how our government conducts itself overseas. And it purely sucks to be hated by the entire world, despised for values and greed that we do not subscribe to. But it doesn’t just suck. It is deeply dangerous, because that hatred will take monstrous shapes, which will return to us, swiftly, in ways we can never predict. It is simply too dangerous to elect a president who behaves with arrogance and indifference, who pushes a supposed American agenda that is really just the vicious, violent accumulation of power and money. It is, aside from being unconscionable and immoral, deeply dangerous to violate the human rights of people around the world. Even if, for perverted reasons, you feel the need to control other people and force your ideology upon them, it’s just not safe. It has terrible repercussions. Controlling others through force simply offers no rewards. Fighting terrorism is not about individual battles: it is about behaving with responsibility and grace and respect toward the world at large. We gather natural allies, we earn the respect of the world, and thereby its allegiance and protection, if we do not force our will upon others, if we do not use our might for personal gain.

Obama understands that America does not exist in a vacuum and that advanced weaponry and economic leverage do not permit us to violate human rights. Obama is sensitive, intelligent, empathetic. He thinks on his feet, he speaks well, he listens, he works. To control the mightiest military in the world is a tremendous responsibility. I do not want to entrust that job to someone like Romney who, in a debate, will cheerfully lie about what he believes in, just to get elected. That kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Ben Marcus
 New York, New York

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