This year we – the voters – get the fun of a Presidential election. In 2012, the choice is between the incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and the Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Though I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t mind citing who I voted for in the prior presidential elections. In 2000 I didn’t vote (and I couldn’t tell you why – I honestly don’t remember), in 2004 I voted for George W. Bush, and in 2008 I voted for Obama. The reason I voted for Bush in 2004 is because he was the right man for the job at that time and his competition (Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts) just wasn’t the man to be President. Similarly, the reason that I voted for Obama was because he was the right man for the job. The difference between my vote for Obama and my vote for Bush was that Bush was ready for the job and Obama was a little green under the collar. However, I thought that with the cast of characters surrounding Obama (Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, etc) that he would be able to cobble together a decent first year, learn about executive leadership while on the job, and then have an outstanding second, third, and fourth years in office.
As an independent observer, I can’t honestly say that the past four years have been good ones for Obama or for the country.
The root of the problem for the last four years is an executive leadership team (headed up by Obama) who refuse to take blame for the bad things going on in the country. They point to prior administrations and say the bad things are their fault, not the fault of the current administration. That argument may have worked during the first days, weeks, and months of the administration, but at some point you bought the farm and its lack of crops is your fault. Obama and his advisors don’t seem to get that simple fact of management – that at some point you can no longer point behind you and say, “This is all their fault.”
So I look at a guy like Obama – a guy who doesn’t understand leadership and doesn’t understand the economy and there’s no way I can see myself voting for him again. His Presidency will go down as one of the most mediocre, if not fiscally atrocious, ones in the modern era.
And then I turn and look at a guy like Mitt Romney and I want to put my fist through the wall.
Really, Republicans? Really? This is the guy you chose to run against Obama? Good grief.
When I look at Romney I see what the man is – a very rich, northeastern businessman who dabbled in politics for a little while and has been running for President since 2007. He made a ton of money as an investor before he became a politician and that doesn’t bother me at all. Good for him. I hope everyone has an opportunity in their lives to make the type of money that Romney made. Granted, not everyone will seize that opportunity or even be presented with that type of opportunity in the first place, but I don’t begrudge anybody on this planet their success or their natural environment. In other words, if you’re born into a rich family like Romney, then I don’t hold that against you. If you choose to flaunt that wealth like it’s your own (think Paris Hilton and the crew of morons that she hangs around with), then I think you deserve the near-unanimous scorn that you get from the public.
Romney might have been born into money, but he made a ton more money on his own and I don’t hate him for that success.
What I find absolutely shocking, though, is that the Republican power brokers decided to make this man the presidential nominee when his core life experience doesn’t speak – at all – to the group of Americans who are most upset with the Obama administration. If you look at the folks out there who are disenfranchised by and upset with Obama’s performance, then you’d see that they are mostly middle class people who live in the heartland of American. Sure, some of the liberal-leaning people from the far West and East Coasts are also fed up with Obama’s inability to lead and fundamental dislike of the capitalist economy, but you can’t talk to the fringes of the disenfranchised and expect that to ignite the type of fire that can throw a sitting President out of office. And that’s what the Republicans did by selecting Romney – they chose a guy whose life experience is cut from a different cloth than the type of people who want Obama out of office. They chose a rich guy who has absolutely no idea what it’s like to struggle financially, what it’s like to not be able to find a job, what it’s like to have seemingly insurmountable bills piling up week after week, month after month.
Did the Republicans have to pick a “common man” to be their nominee in order to beat Obama? Not necessarily. They should have, however, picked a guy who at least speaks to the common man’s experience in America. That’s not Mitt Romney. At all.
The bottom line is – do you think Romney would be a better leader than Obama and I think the answer is a simple, unenthusiastic “yes.” The man was a wild success as a businessman/investor and a good executive-level politician. That’s it. He’s got the charisma of a wet noodle and is about as endearing as a bruise that won’t go away.
Where that leaves me this November is in an uncertain place. In good conscience, I can’t vote for Obama again. Aside from lying during the campaign (remember the line that no one making less than $250,000 would see their taxes go up? Yeah – then we got the myriad hidden taxes to pay for his healthcare law… liar), he’s just not grounded in the realities of this economy. However, my gut tells me that Romney isn’t the right man for the job. He has no connection to the disgruntled voter base and simply doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a regular, working class or struggling person in today’s America.
It’s a shame that there isn’t a strong third party in America because this is the election where they’d see major success. You have the Libertarian party running former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, but they aren’t given any coverage by the media. There’s always the chance that a guy like Ron Paul could launch an independent candidacy and challenge both Obama and Romney, but that would just about secure the reelection of Obama and I don’t think Paul wants to do that at all. Or, you could just not vote this time around, but I prefer to actually vote because you get a chance to vote for the “undercard” including state and local elections (where, I think, a person’s votes actually matter).
Not sure who I’ll vote for this November, but a third party looks more exciting than either of the big two candidates. All I know for sure is that I absolutely cannot vote for Obama again.