After all of the political ads, debates and endless media coverage of mess-ups from all sides; from the primaries, which seemed to begin a year ago, to this last sprint before the election, I am welcoming the end of this campaign season. The disgusting rhetoric has been spewed from all sides of the political spectrum. I’ve learned to tune it out, and, instead, try to focus on the candidates and their policies. As a disclaimer, I do not identify with a single political party, and I do not believe in partisanship.
In January of 2009, we all watched history made as President Barack Obama was inaugurated. Obama was a younger man then, and the path behind him was paved by struggle and achievements. He embodied then, and still does, the American dream. It seems that many people have become caught up in our current political climate and forgotten the beginning of his term. The wrinkles that he acquired after stepping into office were accompanied by the issues and problems that affected state of the nation that he walked into.
As is the presidential duty, Obama had to deal with the burdens of his predecessor, including an economic downturn and two wars. No one in his or her right mind would equate this to an excuse for him to underperform, or a scapegoat for all of the nation’s current problems. However, it’s fundamental to evaluating the president’s performance to remember where many of the issues he faces began. It is even more crucial now to compare that performance to what Romney’s past performance shows, and what his plans say.
Obama has seen the unemployment rate drop over a one year period at the highest rate since 1995. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the economy, as stated on the president’ s website.
The president’s stances on social issues will place him on the right side of history. He supports immigration reform, has put forth at least part of the DREAM Act into legislation and repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He also promised to take troops out of Iraq and he did.
It is easy for many people to focus on his shortcomings and ignore the majority of his successes, like those mentioned, which have helped the progress of this nation.
I don’t think Obama has been the perfect president, and I do think that we have a lot of room to grow, but I’m not naïve enough to base my opinion of a politician’s performance on the promises he made during the election. The president is a leader. He may be the face of the government and representative of this nation, but he is not the government.
We pride ourselves on a system of democracy that allows us to put the best candidate into office, and for him to work within a network of checks and balances that limit his power.
I agree with some critics of the president on that his way with words should not be used to judge his ability as a president, and so I will not judge Romney on his lack thereof.
However, the records and actions that both put forth have shown time and again that Romney does not have what it takes to be president of the United States. I have no doubt that he is a charitable and good person and elections bring out the worst in all, but Romney does not possess the demeanor that I believe a president should possess.
This is obvious in that his values and policies are ever flexible depending on whatever will help him win. In debates and in ads, we are forced to believe that Romney was incredibly successful in his term as governor, but, in reality, his accusations of President Obama’s performance, and his own proclaimed achievements, leave out many key facts, which can be found from non-partisan fact-checkers.
With the foundation that Obama has laid, the country will only be able to move forward. He deserves another four years to help that foundation flourish and to make an impact on the state of politics in this nation.