Today is Election Day, when we have the capacity to practice our constitutional right to elect legislative representatives, vote for new laws and, most importantly, electing a leader of the free world.
Given the power that is bestowed upon the electorate, we must think long and hard before entering the ballot box. Should we re-elect the current incumbent, President Barack Obama, or should we elect Gov. Mitt Romney? Through the lenses of ideologies, experiences and gaffes, I find that a Romney presidency would be devastating for the nation.
During the Republican primaries and the general election, Romney has made it quite clear where he stands on crucial issues. He supports a tax plan that cuts taxes for the richest Americans, while increasing them for the middle and lower classes. He vowed to scrap Obamacare on day one of his first term, potentially leaving Americans to fend for themselves against the unregulated insurance companies. Romney follows the “drill-baby-drill” mantra, while attacking initiatives to fight climate change. His endorsements for certain social views on women and gender roles could reverse much of the progress we have made. These views seem to date back to a time when women had little ability to have economic mobility or have agency in society. The progression of gay rights that we have seen during the Obama presidency would be ground to a halt as well.
What about his professional history, though? As the CEO of Bain Capital, Romney reorganized businesses, laying off and outsourcing workers, while gaining heavily from the fail-safe deals that the businesses really had no choice but to accept, if they didn’t want to fail. He has also hidden the last decade of his tax returns, a precedent set by his father, George Romney, and from what we do know about his taxes, he took advantage of the system by storing money overseas and going through the capital gains loophole, paying far less of a percentage than what even the poorest Americans pay in taxes. Finally, as governor of Massachusetts, he proposed cuts to several government services, from aid to children and poor families to cancer and AIDS research to the protection of the mentally ill.
Finally, let us not forget about Romney’s campaign “gaffes,” the statements that clearly expose him for where he truly stands. Should we really place the same legitimacy for corporations as we do for people? Do 47 percent of Americans mooch upon the government? Is it enjoyable to fire people? Unfortunately, Romney may believe in these
When examining the ideology, experiences and gaffes of Romney, I find that he is not the best candidate for the presidency. The recovery that we began to see after the era of fiscal irresponsibility and a lack of financial regulation would utterly disappear. Improvements in education, health care and the social safety net would be thrown out as well. We would begin to see the implementation of a Medicare “voucher” system, where seniors would get a small stipend to find an anti-recession-proof safety net. Ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments that strip away basic freedoms that should be enjoyed by all Americans, such as Minnesota’s marriage amendment and voter ID amendment would have more legitimacy with a Republican president.
The electorate has a clear choice today. After reviewing the implications of a Romney presidency, I find that it is absolutely imperative that Obama gets re-elected to a second term.