Presidential Election 2012: Major players

 

This week, America will decide which candidate is better at both representing the American public and protecting it’s interests in the world.

While there are more than one hundred political parties in the United States, the largest and most powerful parties are the Democrats and the Republicans. Both parties have put forth their selections for President and Vice President, and the long, gaffe-filled campaign trail is almost over.

While you may have heard rumors and misconceptions about the candidates from both your peers and sources of news, both parties have put forth good candidates. However, as the voter (or perhaps soon to be voter), you deserve to know your candidates.

MITT ROMNEY

The Republicans have selected Mitt Romney to be their presidential candidate. Romney promises to reduce federal spending, create a 20% tax cut for every division of social class (Lower,middle,upper), keep judeo-christian beliefs alive in our society, de-regulate corporations, and grow the middle class. Romney’s economic plan is given credit due to the fact that he managed Bain Capital for many years, and allowed it to become a very lucrative company. However, Romney also has many weak points in his plans and in his overall ability to be a president.

BAIN CAPITAL ACCUSATIONS 

Mitt Romney has managed Bain for many years, but it is rumored that Bain became so lucrative due to the fact that Bain bought out smaller businesses, outsourced jobs to China, and treated many of their workers poorly. When asked about Bain’s business record, Romney said he “Retroactively retired.” This has produced much scrutiny from both Democrats and Republicans, but may be ultimately irrelevant in the election.

FOREIGN POLICY SHORTCOMINGS 

Another flaw in Mitt Romney’s ability to be president is his blatant absence of both people skills and foreign policy experience. Romney frequently offends many of our closest allies. Just recently, he said Obama’s policies would lead us to an economy along the lines of Italy. The Italian prime minister later told Romney that Italy was doing very well, and that he should mind what he says when speaking about the US’s allies.

Other examples of Romney’s foreign policy includes funding the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting the Iranian back dictator in Syria. The FSA has many Sunni extremist elements, and is remarkably unstable. Is throwing money and weapons to these people really a good idea? Romney has also taken a hyper-agressive approach regarding Iran and the People’s Republic of China. While some support United States aggression, it would ultimately be detrimental to our standing among nations and would sink us deeper into an economic recession.

ROMNEY’S ECONOMIC ISSUES

Romney has also refused to acknowledge critical flaws in his economic policy, something that is all near and dear to us. Romney wants to cut multiple federal aid programs and trim other federal branches, but his campaign refuses to tell the American public what exactly his plan is. This reluctance to tell the American people what his plan is has drawn much concern from most Americans, who already live with economic woes just around the corner.

The final comment regarding economics involves footage from a leaked tape from a closed doors Romney donor meeting, in which Romney says that “47% of Americans are takers, and feel they are entitled to food, medicine, and housing. Those are the people who we are fighting against.” This has drawn outcries of rage from many people, and does not bode well with many people on federal aid programs.

PANDERING & SOCIAL ISSUES 

Romney has been called out on his pandering to many extremist groups; such as the Tea Party, Birthers, and the Religious Right. Romney has jumped back and forth on regards to the Women’s right to choose, Homosexual marriage, and many other social issues.

IMMIGRATION

Romney has praised Arizona’s immigration policy that is often regarded as blatantly racist. The Arizonian law allows for law enforcers to pull over or interrogate anyone who they think may be an illegal immigrant.

Romney supports self deportation, or the process of making life so bad for illegal immigrants in the US, that they would go back home. Romney endorses a much tougher policy regarding illegal immigrants and their children here in the US. Romney was against the DREAM act, which would allow for children of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship via college education or military service.

OPINION OF OVERALL CANDIDATE

To sum Romney up, I’d say he is the traditionalist candidate, who supports older US policies in regards to economics, foreign relations, and social issues.

BARACK OBAMA

The Democratic party is trying to keep Barack Obama, our current president, in office. Obama has been under much criticism during his first term in regards to failed promises and failure to eliminate the US’s economic woes. Obama supports a revitalization of the American middle class by giving the middle class tax cuts, eliminating the Bush tax cuts (Which lowered taxes on the richest people in the US, the “Job Creators”), giving small business owners more flexibility, encouraging US companies to stay in the US, and reduce overall spending.

Obama also wishes to create an affordable healthcare system available for all Americans. Obama wishes to continue to have strong alliances around the world, be competitive with China, maintain peace with Iran (but still sanction them), and keep the US a respected superpower. Obama has also ended the war in Iraq, given veterans more aid programs, and allowed for homosexuals to serve in the armed forces. Obama has given support of a woman’s right to choose, endorsed the idea of Homosexual marriage and equal rights for homosexuals, and separation of a politician’s individual faith from public policy.

OBAMA’S FAILURES 

Obama has failed to deliver on a number of issues, however. Obama wanted to close Guantanamo bay, a prison facility in Cuba (that is owned by the US), reduce the federal deficit to pre-Bush levels, end the war in Afghanistan, and failed to pass real immigrations reform. Obama fails to effectively implement polices, or be more forceful in fighting for Democratic policy advancement.

OBAMA’S DISAGREEABLE POLICIES 

Obama has implemented a policy of drone strikes in Pakistan and other part of the Middle East. While these strikes do prevent US soldier deaths, the countries we bomb begin to think of us as the “monsters in the sky who use robots to bomb our people.” We become dehumanized in their eyes, and they become much more inclined to assault us in the future. Obama has mismanaged the implementation of healthcare, and has yet to fix many problems with the mandate.

 

OPINION ON OBAMA

In my opinion, Obama has his share of shortcomings, but in regards to economics; he has only had four years to fix problems that grew over an eight year period. I strongly condemn the aggressive international drone strikes, continuation of support for dictators around the world, and failure of transparency. However, I do support many initiatives in regards to social issues, and economic regulation.

 

CONCLUSION: VOTE.

Regardless of which candidate you support, I encourage you to vote in this presidential election, for it impacts you, your family, and perhaps the next generation.

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