Sunday, August 12, 2012
Who to vote for in November 2012 (August 12, 2012)
Who should Americans vote for president this November? Should they go for the incumbent whose likeability ratings are strong but whose economic record since becoming president is mixed? Or should they go for the business-minded guy, the one who is said to know how to run a business, and thus the economy, but the one who seriously lacks the common touch?
President Obama was supposed to make waves as president by bringing historical change to the country. This meant improving the economy to the satisfaction of the American people. With sorrow and regret, Obama’s supporters cannot in all honesty say he has accomplished that. They can blame it on Republican obstructionism and on a tidalwave of misinformation being disseminated by the conservative right-wing propaganda machine that is leaving bare any prospects for a rational, salutary political discourse in the country. These would be valid contentions for Obama supporters, but they wouldn’t change the fact that Obama is the president and as Harry Truman once said, the buck stops here at the White House. Someone has to be ultimately blamed—it goes with being president.
The same holds for Mitt Romney in terms of the Republican side. The campaign buck stops with him and he is currently their best hope for the presidency. But with hope like him, who needs a loser? When was the last time that a presidential aspirant emerged so disdained from within his own political party? The Republican rabble aren’t turning their back on Romney, but they are very, very reluctantly putting their time and money into his presidential campaign. For the Republican rabble, in particular the Tea Party mudslide that is inundating the party, supporting Mitt Romney is the equivalent of accepting open heart surgery when you have heartburn.
So who should Americans vote for, Obama or Romney? The nice guy with the welcoming personality but with a checkered presidential resume, or the dull, out-of-touch, socially-awkward, stuffed shirt who is ostensibly better qualified to fix the economy? But is Mitt Romney really better qualified to repair the economy simply because of his business background? It is a key edge that the Romney camp and the Republican Party are counting on for this November.
Assuming that Romney really wants to do what is best for all Americans, not just for those who are privileged enough to live in a superwealthy preserve of financial wizardry and material fantasy, is it really in our best interests to elect a man who may know a lot about making money but have little understanding about what the common folk are going through today? Can someone who lives in a lofty socio-economic bubble and who has never experienced the privations that so many Americans are experiencing today, really sit snugly with us in our modest, collective living rooms and say convincingly, I feel your pain?
There are several historical examples of wealthy men taking over the White House. It must be said therefore, that there is nothing to be said against being rich and being the president. Mitt Romney however, is not just another rich man trying to be president. He is a presidential candidate of distinction and worth, but also a candidate grounded firmly in corporate efficiency and profitability so much so that he would spend much of his time as president analyzing the balance sheet rather than resembling a chief executive who relates to average Americans and fathoms their fears and concerns.
You cannot run a country, much less a great country like America, as if it were a company. There is more to America than numbers and statistics and profits and losses. Mitt Romney may have a technical point in saying that corporations are people too—the key word there is “technical”—but Americans are people too. They are not a bunch of numerical figures to be added or subtracted like so many digits on a board. Americans are as human as humans get, with all their insecurities and imperfections.
As Romney continues to tell his story to the American people, he should take to heart that there is a distinct relationship between being a president and being a compassionate commander-in-chief to your constituents. So again, who should you vote for? If you are going to vote for Romney, make sure you know what you are getting into because he may not know himself.