Friday, September 21, 2012

A Presidential Debate

I’ve never used my blog as a political forum.  You’ve probably been able to ascertain that freedom of speech is almost as important to me as frozen yogurt, but the only “party politics” I ever engage in on here have been along the lines of “I’m having a football party and you’re only invited if you’ll cheer for the Giants.”

But it’s hard to avoid political conversations with a Presidential election rapidly approaching.  I won’t go into all of my personal politics and defenses of them here.  I just want to make a couple of quick remarks regarding this election and then I’ll take three to five pre-approved questions from the audience that my team of writers has prepared answers for.

Number one, I am so sick of Mitt Romney being criticized for his wealth.  Why does the media keep insisting he isn’t qualified to be President because he’s too successful and out of touch with “normal” citizens?  They are essentially implying we should elect some minimum-wage earning, modestly educated, underinsured laborer to our highest office just because that person could understand us better.  Really?  Then they should nominate the assistant manager of my local Harris Teeter to be President of the United States of America.

It’s ridiculous.  Why wouldn’t we want someone who knows how to grow a business and amass a fortune?  He’s good with money and our economy is broken, seems like a good fit to me.  And you don’t have to experience unemployment to help find a solution for it.  Jonas Salk cured polio even though he’d never had it himself. 

And even if Romney didn’t care about low-income families out of a spirit of humanity or moral obligation as a leader, he would still want to improve their circumstances because it’s guys like him (multi-millionaires) who are giving up nearly 50% of their income to support the government assistance programs that sustain (and at times coddle) these citizens. 

And, yes, Romney will give rich people a tax break, because he sees the injustice of punishing people for their success.  But even with tax cuts, wealthy Americans will contribute way more to the federal budget than the rest of us.  As it should be.  If Kobe Bryant paid 15% of his annual income in taxes and I paid 15% of my annual income in taxes, he’d be giving about 4.2 million and I’d toss in another twelve dollars.  That seems fair.

Number two, I don’t want to hear Barack Obama and his peeps telling us he needs more time to make that change he promised four years ago.  Four years is a LONG time.  Maybe not long enough to fix everything, but certainly long enough to fix some things.  Four years should be enough time to instill confidence in your nation that you are definitely the right man for the job. 

This isn’t about what Obama did or didn’t do.  It isn’t even necessarily a remark on this election and Presidency.  I just think that politicians can’t ask for more time to do what they said they’d do.  The length of a Presidential term was chosen because that’s long enough to make a positive impact on our country, long enough to achieve your goals if you’re capable of achieving them.  And if you do a great job, there is the option (not right) of doing it again.  A second term is meant for repeating successes, not still trying to accomplish the first ones.

And even if a President is phenomenal and we wanted to elect him a third time, we can’t.  Because the framers of our constitution realized that our country can and will benefit from changes in leadership, from fresh ideas and perspectives.

I don’t agree with everything that Mitt Romney has said and done in his life.  And I don’t agree with everything Barack Obama has said and done in his life either.  Honestly, I don’t agree with about half of what I’ve said and done in my own life.  But I’ve seen how effective Barack Obama is as our President and I’m not very impressed. 

If this was football, and oh how I wish it were, and our team had a man at quarterback for four years and we hadn’t won very many games, wouldn’t we put in a replacement quarterback?  Maybe we didn’t even have a losing record, but we failed to make the playoffs for four consecutive years and our fans were disheartened.  We’d try out someone new at quarterback, right?  We’d probably sign some new wide receivers and safeties in the off-season too.  It would come down to who on our roster impresses us and where was there room for improvement.

But one thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t discount a potential quarterback because he had only played in Super Bowl games and never thrown a regular season pass.  Or because he didn’t know what it was like to be an offensive lineman.  It’s not his job to be an offensive lineman.  Obviously any quarterback would want his offensive line to be successful, because his success is dependent on their success, just as a President’s success is dependent on the success of American citizens. 

A quarterback understands and appreciates the role that the offensive line plays in winning a game even if he’s never been on that line himself, just like Mitt Romney can understand the need for a strong middle class and the plight of low-income families despite having never been in those positions. 

I’m sure there are legitimate arguments for why neither of these men should be President, but Mitt Romney being wealthy and successful isn’t one of them.Photobucket