Tuesday’s the big day. Kind of like the final game in the World Series or the Super Bowl.
A lot of what goes on nationally over the next four years will hinge on who we elect President.
I’ve already voted for Obama (again) but the choice was not so clear-cut this time around.
I don’t really count myself as a Democrat these days, even though I’m registered as one. I see both political parties as becoming more and more ineffective in solving the country’s major problems, such as the national debt, and getting entangled in overseas wars.
For example, a lot of what presidential candidate Ron Paul talked about I could resonate with. Because he wasn’t kowtowing to bunches of special interests, he generally spoke his mind – highly refreshing.
I don’t expect disaster if Romney is elected. On the plus side, because he and Republicans are business-oriented, I would expect that the recovery will happen somewhat faster. On the negative side, I would expect him and the Republicans to lessen the regulation of the financial industry, putting us on the road of another Wall Street (or wherever) meltdown and recession. Even though Romney and Ryan tempered their remarks about stopping abortions, I would expect that’s what they would try to do. They would end funding of Planned Parenthood, even though abortion is only a part of the services that PP provides to women. Abortion is, in my opinion, a path a woman doesn’t take easily and is regrettable, but ending the possibility of abortion creates even more tragedy and angst and sets us back 100 or 200 years.
I think the Republicans and Romney still embrace the concept of taxing the rich less, expecting millionaires and billionaires to expand businesses, creating jobs (the “trickle-down effect”). However, when you give more money to the rich (they know how to exploit all the tax loopholes, anyway), they’re more likely to just keep it, or put in into investments, rather than expand a business that’s already making good money with the employees that are there now.
The Republicans also seek to reduce the power of unions, increasing the power of corporations. Sure, there are government-employee unions in California that have extracted excessive salary and benefits over the years, but the problem there lies with the legislature and executive branch giving in.
Where there’s conflict between the powers of corporations and the rights of individuals, I would expect that under Mr. Romney, corporations would prevail. Even now, unlimited political contributions by corporations (such as Chevron) under guise of “freedom of speech” are upsetting the balance of power.
Looking at both candidates, I don’t expect that either one will end federal deficit spending. I’m coming to think that one of the major problems with a representative democracy is that everyone has their hand in the till. Romney wants to increase military spending while Obama would tend to reduce it.
During the campaign, both candidates hardly mentioned global warming or climate change, one of the most important long-range problems facing the world. They had their heads in the sand on this issue. Also, it seemed that normalizing relations with Cuba was a hot-potato issue no one was willing to address (and lose votes in Florida).
One of the problems with Romney was his flip-flopping on the issues. Unfortunately, there’s no law saying he would have to carry out his campaign promises. He tends to promise what will win him the most votes. As governor, he helped introduce something similar to “Obamacare” in Massachusetts, and now he’s against it. He’s all for creating more jobs here, but as head of Bain Capital, he invested in companies that were sending jobs overseas.
What I like about Obama on the other hand is that, having seen him as President for four years, he’s a known quantity. We know what he stands for, how he handles foreign relations (with Hillary Clinton), how he handles the recovery (job numbers have been improving slowly but steadily), and so on. I approve of the health system overhaul (even though it was a compromise) and don’t want that progress reversed.
I was pleased that we pulled out of Iraq, but I wanted him to have us out of Afghanistan by now. I don’t like him authorizing drone strikes in other countries without their permission, and I don’t think he’s done enough to reduce government spending.
I don’t like pointing this out, but there are a good number of people in the U.S. who dislike Obama not because of his politics but because he’s part African-American. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they resent a black American president. Some have depicted him as a monkey or ape and called it funny.
Finally, looking at the billions of dollars spent on silly and mean campaign ads all across this huge country (“candidate X wants to end Medicare, kill jobs, raise your taxes, and hurt schools”), this money sure could’ve gone a long way to actually help people in need. The only people the ads helped were the advertising mediums. OK, the Postal Service DID need the revenue ….
Did you know that TV stations, big money-makers with all the campaign advertising, don’t actually own the TV channels they operate on? The channels are owned by the government, and beyond that, by you and me. Of course, with cable TV these days, actual over-the-air channels may be becoming an anachronism.