October 2012

Cast Your Ballot on November 6 for Ironworker Values

The economy is the most important issue for many ironworkers in this election. Barack Obama has shown resolute leadership in steering our country out of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. He has pushed for a visionary jobs bill to create more American manufacturing jobs, rebuild our aging bridges, and fix our crumbling infrastructure. He did this in the face of vicious political opposition, and made his compassion for working families felt every step of the way. The president stands for decisive action to put Americans back to work. But this election is about more than just the economy.

The 2012 election presents Americans with a choice of values. More than anything else, values determine our personal and national character. As ironworkers, we share a set of values we can be proud of. We believe people should be rewarded for hard work and loyalty. We never forget those less fortunate than us, and do what we can to help those who stumble to get back on their feet. We want every generation to have more opportunities than the last. We don't back away from challenges and pass the buck on to others, but meet adversity head on. We honor the sacrifice of those who have given so much to serve and defend us. We build strong communities to ensure these values last after we are gone.

These aren't just ironworker values, these are American values, and they form the bedrock of our society. President Obama shares them, as has every president in our history. But now, for the first time, Americans are being offered a different set of values in an election. The Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket holds a worldview that is fundamentally different from that of most Americans. Their moral compass would steer our country into unfamiliar waters. We can't afford to go to the polls this November without understanding Romney and Ryan's values.

We can see these values from their policies and actions. Romney's self-interested tax plan would save him and his fellow millionaires more money than most of us see in a lifetime, while shifting more of the burden on those who have less. He has promised to weaken communities by attacking unions and rolling back prevailing wage laws. He made his fortune by closing businesses and shipping jobs overseas, showing callous disregard for the workers affected by his actions. Paul Ryan is no better. His budget would cut off funding for job-creating construction projects while leaving veterans and seniors to fend for themselves.

These actions reflect a selfish doctrine that holds that the rich and powerful should have free reign to trample everyone beneath them. It unapologetically favors society's elites over regular, hardworking Americans. America, however, is better than that. We have faced every national crisis by banding together, not drifting apart. Everyone needs to pay their fair share to fix our economy. These are the values that made America strong, and we cannot abandon them in our time of need.

Cast your ballot on November 6 for someone who shares our values. President Obama's greatest strength is his moral character, which has guided him through four turbulent years in office. He has not forgotten working families during these trials and tribulations, instead fighting for their interests against a Congress dominated by the rich and powerful. Vote for integrity, compassion and faith in the common man. Vote Obama.