I am going to vote for Barack Obama. Strangely, I am not dependent on any government assistance of a kind that Mr. Romney denigrates, nor do I see myself through any prism of victimhood. And as for my taxes, well, I already know that I pay at a realized rate at least twice as high as the rate paid by Mr. Romney. Yet I stand among that 47 percent. Many, many other Americans with the same criteria do as well. My support for Mr. Obama and my opposition to Mr. Romney was, until this moment, premised on the idea that I believe more in one man’s vision of the American experiment and much less so in the other. It has exactly nothing to do with my own personal standing. My support isn’t predicated on any perceived benefit to me. My opposition isn’t predicated on any perceived threat. Although this may be an incredible and perverse notion for Mr. Romney to contemplate, my political positions do not follow from simple self-interest. At points, as a function of citizenship itself, I feel obliged to contemplate something larger than myself, something that might benefit others more than me, something that might require collective sacrifice of a kind associated with great nations and great societies. And if my vote results in a higher tax rate for myself and others in my income bracket, that’s certainly understandable given the current level of societal need and the fact that American tax rates are at their lowest ebb in modern times. I need to pay more, and so do many other fortunate Americans who have had the benefit of an economic system and infrastructure that allowed such opportunities to amass wealth in the first place. How much more? Well, that question is premised on another: What does my country require from all of us — proportionally — to sustain itself as a first-rate society? What does it demand of all Americans, but in particular, those of us who have gained affluence in that society?