By Gates McGavick ’15 and Evan Long ’14
In this presidential race, one of the few things that both Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama have agreed upon is that this election represents a fundamental choice between policy, experience, views, but above all, two men. We truly believe that a vote for Mitt Romney is the right choice, and that another four years of Barack Obama would be a disaster.
We’ll start with the President, but first we must make an important point: Barack Obama is not a bad person. He has the same goals as Gov. Romney does — prosperity, equality, and so on. However, under his leadership, the past four years have starkly illustrated that President Obama is in over his head. The big government that he champions is inefficient, overreaching, and full of loopholes for every regulation.
The President’s policies have failed to stimulate the economic recovery he promised. It’s unreasonable to expect the crisis of ’08 to be fixed in four years, but it is reasonable to expect clear progress. Instead, we find ourselves only recently dropping to 7.8% unemployment with a dismal housing market. Furthermore, Obama has verbally and legislatively attacked success and slandered Corporate America instead of incorporating it as an important part of the free market system. In Romney’s words, “Is it really any surprise that a president who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery in recent history?”
Apart from the economic woes of his term, Obama’s foreign policy has been lacking. It’s true that it was on his orders that Osama bin Laden and Qaddafi were killed. However, he has failed in many other areas in foreign policy. When Russia rattled its sabers in 2009, he promptly cancelled plans to install missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland because Russia objected that the missile defense system was a “threat to her [Russia’s] security.”
The allies agreed to build the defense system and convinced the public that the defense system was a good idea. President Obama betrayed Eastern Europe in a shameful and cowardly move. There’s a difference between respecting other countries and acting as a doormat. The President has failed to distinguish this difference. You may say Mitt Romney has no foreign policy experience. Neither did Obama when he was elected.
The national debt has increased by almost $5 trillion during Obama’s term. While it’s true that much of our total debt was accrued by President George W. Bush, this president has incurred more debt in 4 years than Bush did in 8. A significant part of that debt has resulted from ‘sugar-high economics,’ or, putting quick money in Americans’ pockets to encourage spending. It’s clear that while unions and especially government jobs were protected, the private sector—the heart of our economy—took a hit. Either way, the debt is on the books, something that Obama promised wouldn’t happen.
It’s true that all presidents make promises they can’t really keep. If Gov. Romney is elected, he probably won’t come through on every promise. However, we believe he will do a better job than Obama. Barack Obama promised to decrease the deficit by 50%. Result: he increased it by more than 33%. Obama promised that the stimulus would keep unemployment far below 8%. Result: after 4 years and a massive stimulus package, the unemployment rate has stayed around 8%. Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay. Result: he didn’t. Obama promised to reform immigration. Result: he spent the money and time needed to do so championing an unpopular health care law.
Obama has not only failed to keep promises but has also made next to no progress. This President has had four years in the highest office in the world (two of those years with a supportive, Democratic congress) to fix these problems, and he hasn’t fixed them. America is not helpless. Our President is helpless, and it is time for a change.
Typically an incumbent president can run on his record, but the fact that his campaign has so far only attacked Romney is perhaps the most damning evidence against Obama. Obama has carefully built a small lead through vicious personal attacks designed to make the average voter turn away from Gov. Romney. Most of the attacks focus on Romney’s history at Bain Capital, a large private equity firm that the governor started in the 80’s. Obama’s ads show us that he has nothing to say in support of himself or his own policies. Obama ran on hope and change. Now he’s hoping to change the subject.
After four years of an approximately 48-50% approval rating, it’s easy to forget that President Obama was elected in a landslide. The governor himself said it best at the RNC- “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
The main reason we believe that the governor is uniquely well suited to be President at this time is his sterling business background. Although Obama would hate to admit it, Bain has not only become a huge economic success, but also has invested in many large start-up companies, and created thousands of jobs while saving many more from bankruptcy. Staples and Sports Authority, both household names, started with money from Bain. It’s true that as Bain succeeded, so did Romney, and he is now worth $230 million dollars – money earned from his own efforts and risks. Whether you think that’s wrong or not is your decision, but I think it’s an impressive testament to the payoffs of hard work in the free market system.
It is true that when Bain took over companies, there were some layoffs. But that is a common occurrence in any sphere of the business world, and success cannot be made without tough decisions. Painting Mitt Romney as evil for ordering layoffs to save companies is not only wrong; it’s ridiculous. Obama is pointing at Mitt Romney’s business history as the debt passes 16 trillion dollars and more Americans are in poverty than ever before. Romney has found tremendous success in business, and has a brilliant economic mind. You would be hard pressed to find a more qualified man to lead us out of economic despair.
Romney does have a tendency to change positions, especially his views on the health care system. Colloquially referred to as Romneycare, his health care system was similar to Obamacare. Since the Obama label made the system seem liberal, Romney has distanced himself from it. Some look to this as ‘flip-flopping’, and as evidence that Romney doesn’t have clear, strong political beliefs. I disagree. Romneycare was passed in the Mass. State Legislature by a vote of 154-2. It was clearly what the state wanted. Obamacare has an approval rating of 49%, and 26 out of 50 states sued the government about it. The majority does not want Obamacare.
Romney’s belief in Romneycare stemmed from knowing what was best for his state at the time. His current stance against Obamacare stems from statistics: universal health care across the country is not popular. Some would call it flip- flopping. We would call it having your constituents’ best interests at heart.
Mitt Romney’s record is good overall, but not perfect. He’s made mistakes along the way, and things at Bain didn’t always work. Sometimes the plants closed and workers were laid off. But he took risks. He created a business, and yes, Mr. President, he built it.
The Governor’s policy shows that he is committed to protecting our allies and fostering a strong image of America. Mitt Romney’s mastery of economics, strong leadership as evidenced by his career in the public and private sector, and commitment to his voters make him a fine candidate.