I understand the argument for Mitt Romney. He understands business. He’s a smart guy. The theory is that if he gets elected, he will be able to run a government that’s more favorable toward businesses, thus more favorable to private sector job creation.
I don’t think he’s a bigot or a misogynist who wants to disenfranchise women or gay people. Most people who are pro-life take their position from the idea that human life is sacred and should be protected at any stage, not because they believe that women shouldn’t be responsible for their own health decisions. The problem is that the former way of thinking serves as a breeding ground for the latter. Regardless of his flipping, Mitt Romney has run an ardently pro-life campaign and would act accordingly in office. So when the supreme court justices who are coming up on retirement need to be replaced, he would nominate pro-life successors. A woman’s ability to effectively plan a family is her greatest weapon against preventing the kind of cyclical poverty that trickles down through generations. Nobody likes abortions, and of course adoption is a beautiful and wonderful thing. But if at-risk women are forced to have children they can’t afford to raise (or God forgive, illegally terminate the pregnancy), entitlement spending will grow and those at-risk children will be more likely to have unplanned children of their own. I love this story about Melinda Gates’ work on the issue overseas. Pro-life advocates would be better off pushing for better sex education. Pretending that abortion is a social issue and not an economic one is short-sighted to say the least. And what will the consequences be for a 16 year old who gets an abortion if SCOTUS overrules Roe v Wade be? What about an adult? It won’t be cheap for law enforcement, courts and correctional facilities to accommodate a new crime.
A lot of Romney’s endorsements cite his bipartisan work in Massachusetts as an example of his willingness to reach across the aisle and secure effective compromise. He and this guy, Dr. Robert Moffit, who works at THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION - a CONSERVATIVE think tank, crafted the health law there. Even though Romney has since flip-flopped on his claim that his plan could serve as a model for the nation, I do respect what he says about every state being able to craft a specific plan for their needs. No, the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect but the way the health insurance industry currently works in this country is inherently corrupt (which is a whole separate conversation) and the bill provides much needed reforms to keep these corporations in check. Romney has said he wants to keep one of the more popular aspects of the law, covering patients with pre-existing conditions. The law is trickier than that, and cherry picking the pre-existing conditions part of it might result in higher costs to everyone.
Also, we’re one of the only developed nations without universal healthcare. Also, ACA is uniquely American, relying on the private sector instead of socialized medicine. Also, when people can’t afford primary care, they still go to the ER when the problem becomes intolerable, they leave their ER bills unpaid, a cost that gets passed on to insured patients. Less unpaid medical bills means lower insurance costs for everyone. Pretty simple. The law needs some work. It’s a fixer-upper. But the long term effects of it will be as much a boon to the economy and middle class savings as anything.
One of the weirdest things about Mitt Romney’s stint in Mass. was that he didn’t run for a second term. Low approval ratings. Lack of republican support. Wanting to be president really, really bad. This isn’t really a policy reason, but the guy just seems like he wants to be president just for the sake of being president. I don’t trust his motives or his character on this.
There’s no doubt that voters need to emphasize fiscal responsibility as the debt rises and endangers our future and adds uncertainty to our economic climate, however steadily it currently chugs along. Obama should have done more with the findings of the Simpson-Bowles commission. Paul Ryan shouldn’t have voted against it. John Boehner is equally culpable. The theory among republicans - the one I assume they have in mind when they do things like sign a pledge to lobbyist Grover Norquist to never raise taxes, ever (“Only a Sith deals in absolutes”) - is that increasing taxes on the very wealthy takes that money out of the economy, thereby slowing the recovery. Sounds understandable. Except that the stock market is doing quite well and the richest of the rich are as rich as ever. If these guys wanted to create jobs, they could. Maybe they’re just uncertain about the deficit that they could help reduce by paying a little bit more in taxes. After all, the Bush tax cuts were intended to end at the end of the year anyway. Romney is extraordinarily vague about how he will reduce rates by 20% across the board, reduce the deficit and keep the economy going. I could post a bunch of links, but google “fiscal cliff” and make up your own mind about the complicated ramifications of going off of it or not. Regardless, congress and the president will be forced to make some serious decisions about taxes and entitlement reform. Obama is closer to the center on this issue, acknowledging that spending needs to be cut but taxes increased at least a little on those who can afford it. Romney stands pretty far to the right, with only the unclear offer of closing unspecified tax loopholes.
Foreign policy is the area where Obama’s effectiveness as a communicator will be most needed. Romney is very good friends with Netanyahu, who has been openly campaigning for him and seems to be chomping at the bit for military action against Iran. Regardless of your feelings about Israel and their occupation of Palestine, we haven’t dropped our support for them, not in the least.
I support Barack Obama for president, but not without conditions.
- He needs to sit down with congressional republicans and build better relationships with them.
- He needs to end his war on whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.
- He needs to end the drone program, if only for the dangerous precedents it’s setting.
- He needs to come up with a very specific tax model that will raise revenues without taking too much out of economy. What about something like raising taxes on high earners but lowering it on capital gains to spur investment in American companies?
- He needs to be vigilant in addressing unsustainable entitlement spending. These programs and bureaucracies can and should be streamlined. An emphasis on charitable giving by individuals should be made and examples set by all politicians to make up for shortcomings that will no doubt be left by spending cuts. Social programs should be designed to help people get out of poverty, not help them stay in it. Cutting Pell grants like Paul Ryan wants to do will make social mobility that much harder for those who want better lives.
- End the criminalization of individual drug use.
I’m going to vote for Barack Obama because he is the presidential candidate whose policies are closer to the center. He is far from perfect and he needs to be watched and pressured heavily by the American public to make the right choices for our future. His stimulus bill saved us from a second Great Depression. Saving General Motors kept even more Americans from becoming unemployed during a time when credit markets were frozen and traditional bankruptcy wasn’t an option. Getting us out of Iraq and setting a timetable for Afghanistan helped America focus on the real post 9/11 issue of finding Osama Bin Laden. Passing the Affordable Care Act which will put health insurance in reach of 30 million Americans. Mitt Romney is a fine businessman who loves his family and his country. Although I believe he is at heart a moderate, I believe that Romney’s promises were too right of center to be good for America at a point when we desperately need reason to prevail over ideology to continue being the greatest nation there is.
Mostly I hope Obama appoints reasonable SCOTUS justices who will overturn Citizens United and reforming campaign finance rules, keeping us from ever having to live through another election cycle as awful as this one.