Election Day arrives Tuesday, and while its easy to empathize with the video clip of the little girl crying over too much politics, we hope the distaste of campaigns wont dissuade anyone from voting.
Our communities, states and nation need thoughtful, independent thinkers, with an ability to compromise and work for the betterment of all.
Among the many compelling races, a handful are especially important. Our picks for hot races:
We prefer Barack Obama, a measured leader who has successfully repaired Americas world reputation, is committed to pulling troops out of Afghanistan by 2014, and supports increased investments in education, research, green energy and infrastructure upgrades to keep America globally competitive.
He favors immigration reform, recognizes climate change, respects gays and lesbians, and offers a balanced fiscal approach of spending cuts and tax increases for those who can afford to pay a little more.
The Affordable Care Act offers a start at accessible health care for all, and we look forward to its implementation and refinement over the next four years. Republican Mitt Romney threatens to repeal the act on Day One, a move that would set back Americans access to affordable insurance and again create tremendous uncertainties about what might replace it, if anything.
And we much prefer Obama filling future Supreme Court openings. The anti-abortion views of Romney and running mate Paul Ryan risk nominations of anti-choice judges who could deny women the right to private medical decisions.
Romneys chameleon-like policy positions on so many issues raise doubts about what he truly believes, and his private comments about the 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders exposes a man not friendly to the struggling middle class. America has a much more compassionate, moderate option: Obama.
Missouris U.S. Senate race
A vote for Claire McCaskill spares the state the embarrassment of elevating a pariah of the GOP, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin. It also returns a smart and productive senator to Washington.
McCaskill has earned another term to continue her diligent work rooting out corruption in government contracting, especially waste and fraud in military contracts. Shes well-versed in what Missouri needs, hews to a commendable anti-earmark philosophy, and respects the rights of women for pay equity and access to contraception and abortion.
Akin not only floated a crazy idea of legitimate rape victims possessing the power to avoid pregnancy, he wants to outlaw abortion without exception and opposes pay equity, federally subsidized lunches for low-income schoolchildren, grants for college students and minimum wage protections. His lack of compassion and respect for science is shocking. Give McCaskill a return ticket to the Senate.
Missouris Proposition B
Theres no good reason for Missouri to have the lowest cigarette tax in the nation. Its especially unsupportable when education and health care needs are so great. A 73-cent boost in the tax brings Missouri in line with its neighbors, helps schools and colleges and would discourage smoking. Whats not to like? Vote yes.
Missouri Secretary of State
The states chief elections officer must be a person of utmost integrity, committed to expanding the right to vote to as many citizens as possible. For those reasons we support Missouri Rep. Jason Kander of Kansas City for this increasingly important office. A lawyer and former Army captain, Kander has made a career of battling corruption and fighting for ethics reform in government.
His opponent, GOP state Rep. Shane Schoeller, is too cozy with St. Louis multimillionare Rex Sinquefield, who needs a friendly secretary of state to advance his frequent ballot initiatives. Schoeller openly supports restrictions on voting, and has traveled the state with Kris Kobach, the controversial Kansas secretary of state and anti-immigration lawyer. He skirted a state law intended to prevent legislators from pesonally profiting from no-bid contracts.
Kander is the best candidate to run the secretary of states office in an impartial and competent matter. Missourians deserve nothing less.