Supreme Court and the social issues

The term of president lasts four years and can be extended with voter approval to a maximum of eight years if re-elected.

Very important to consider during the next four-year term, our next president will probably appoint at least one new Supreme Court Justice. That new justice will serve until either retiring or he or she dies.

This new justice will either make the Supreme Court makeup more conservative in an already conservative leaning court, or will become more progressive if a more liberal justice is appointed.

In my mind, it is imperative the Court not move more to the right. If it does, I can envision women's rights being more restricted. I also expect there will be major setbacks for the LBGT community.

The economy will eventually get better with either a Democrat or Republican in the White House.

Social issues before the Supreme Court will be all important and will be the "overriding issue" but not the only issue with my vote for president.

Fredrick R. Ford

Walnut Creek

Obama restored our reputation

I am voting for President Barack Obama because he has restored and strengthened the reputation of the United States abroad, both with allies and with enemies.

I grew up primarily overseas in the 1960s and '70s as the child of a U.S. diplomat. Even as children, we were taught that we represented our country through our own behavior and our respect for others.

And we learned, by listening, that the United States is often seen as immature: a child on a sugar high of wealth and power, untempered by the experience of prolonged wartime within its own borders.

This perception was intensified during the Bush years.

Obama took office with the enormous task of gaining back the world's confidence and he has. He's ended the war in Iraq; set a deadline for the Afghanistan conflict; stopped state-sanctioned torture; and finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

He also has worked hard to develop relationships with world leaders. We need a president who can act boldly but understands the nuances of international affairs. Obama is that president.

Ellen O'Donnell

Castro Valley

I would never vote for current president

I have many issues riding in this presidential election, but my single overriding issue is that Mitt Romney is not Barack Obama.

I would never vote for anyone like Obama under any circumstances and I researched this very carefully before the 2008 election.

Obama is childish and immature, with an upbringing in socialism. Romney is experienced and knowledgeable and acts like an adult.

Dawn Magnussen

Brentwood

Multiple reasons to re-elect Obama

Of course, there is not one, "single, overriding issue" to guide my vote for president! Here are a few examples.

National security: President Obama got bin Laden; Mitt Romney wouldn't have tried.

Foreign policy: Obama won't start new wars; Romney easily would.

Civil rights and unions: Obama supports them; Romney and the GOP don't even grok these concepts.

Women's rights: Obama supports choice; Romney had a binder, once.

Health: Obamacares; Romney really doesn't care.

Jobs: Obama creates American jobs; Romney is offshoring them right now at the Sensata factory in Illinois.

Economy and taxation: Obama's plans are progressive and will fix the deficit by returning to recent tax rates that grew our economy under Bill Clinton.

Romney's plans are regressive and will balloon our deficit with tried and failed Bush era policies that'll give overwhelming tax cuts to the wealthy and eliminate middle-class deductions.

Religion: Obama supports their free exercise; Romney supports theocracy.

There are numerous issues which drive me to tell everyone to re-elect President Obama.

Ed Chainey

Richmond

What matters is U.S. on brink of bankruptcy

To me, there is only one overriding issue, which is that the United States is on the brink of bankruptcy. No other issue will matter if we go under.

I will put my trust in a proven business person compared to a failed community organizer who was all hype four years ago.

We cannot afford to hear the same hype for another four years.

While we are voting for the lead bullet, don't forget the ammo he will need in both houses of Congress.

Bill Pisani

Clayton

Look at the big picture above all

Simply asking this forum question points to what is disastrously wrong with this election and politics as a whole in this country.

The mere suggestion that citizens should focus their interest on one issue that overrides all other issues is what limits our good judgment, totally blurs the big picture, gives permission for us to ignore the interests of all concerned, and puts citizens at odds with one another over relatively minor, contentious issues.

Those who run the election and politics through the Big Biz/government/press/academia alliance are looking to keep citizens just engaged enough emotionally without them feeling a need to critically question the values behind the status quo, destructive policies we have permitted to be instituted.

My fellow citizens, do not remain satisfied and, thus, limited by the single, overriding, divisive issue approach. The big picture and, questioning everything in it, will yield much more truth.

Ron Greenstein

El Cerrito

Exceptionalism of U.S. first criterion

I will vote for the candidate who, in my opinion, most believes in U.S. exceptionalism and wants the United States to be No. 1 in every aspect of nationhood.

I do not want a president who wants the United States to be just another country and who believes in guilt by heredity, by group and by association.

I do not believe these concepts are enshrined in our Constitution and our tradition of jurisprudence.

Need I say more?

Edward Zawatson

Concord

Most important issue nationwide

The single, overriding issue guiding my vote for president and elected positions in Congress, the state Legislature and in local elections is the achievement of energy independence.

Unfortunately, neither major candidate for president advocates the best solution to achieve energy independence, taxing the users of the energy and the poisoners of the air we breathe: the drivers of automobiles and the military-industrial complex.

This could best be done by raising the state and federal taxes on gasoline to double the current price to about $10 per gallon, its price in nearly all the rest of the world.

No major candidate is advocating this because it's not politically correct. Federal military costs, freeways, state highways, county roads and city streets aren't free. It takes taxes.

Cleaner air resulting from infill projects and greater use of public transit will reduce health costs and lengthen lives.

Ralph Hoffmann

Walnut Creek