(*This was originally written as a Column for The Star-Exponent)
Here we are again. We must choose between the “lesser of 2 evils,” Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama. Barring the equivalent of a political asteroid hitting the earth (Come on Gary Johnson) we‘ll have to pick from these 2 guys.
So why will people vote for Mitt Romney?
Basically because they are scared to death of another 4 years of the most activist president we’ve had since FDR. Barrack Obama only seeks to expand the government, has little understanding of the private sector as far as I can tell (except as a source of campaign funds,) and appears to hold a large portion of America in contempt. Remember the “clingers to guns and religion” statement from Obama of 4 years ago? There is a reason why union heavy West Virginia won’t go for Obama, and it’s not racism. At least not on the part of the folks of West Virginia.
People fear more polarization and an increased drift from the spirit of America which is embodied (at least in myth) by individualism and free enterprise. After 4 years I think it’s fair to say that this president does not exactly embrace these values.
I will state that race, despite what many claim (mostly to help their cause) has very little to do with why people will vote for Mitt Romney. It is not Obama’s race which is the issue. It is his actions and policies.
But it is hard to find anyone who will be voting for Mitt Romney because they just absolutely love Mitt Romney. This, however may be enough to get Mittens into the White House.
Why will people vote for Barrack Obama?
For many it is his race. Flat out. And I don’t blame folks for it.
If I was African American, at least in 2008, I think I might have been inclined to vote for the first potential African American president. Given my small government disposition and the fact that John McCain didn’t offer all that much contrast to Obama on that front, I might, might, have pulled the lever for Obama. But that was before the past 4 years of course.
For others it is the fear of losing benefits. Nearly 50% of American households get some kind of check each month from the federal government. People have come to depend on these checks, and they do not want them to go away. For them the safe choice is Obama, who will do everything he can to keep that income stream flowing. Even if it does kill the economy. (But that’s an issue for another time.)
For still others there is a fear that a president as liberal (in the modern American sense) as Obama won’t make it back to the White House for at least a generation and so now is the time to really push “forward” and expand the state to the maximum extent possible. Make statist hay while the sun shines.
The Obama vote is more complicated than the Romney vote. Part of the vote is pro-Obama more than it’s anti-Mitt. Still another part is not so much pro-Obama, but anti-Republican. A very small portion of the Obama vote, I believe, is anti-Mitt Romney. Romney is not a polarizing figure.
The truth is Romney is a moderate Republican. He was elected governor of Massachusetts after all.
In the end it may be that the anti-Obama anger mixed with a lack of complete hatred for Mitt Romney adds up to a GOP win in November.
Though I am no fan of Mittens (nor of Obama) by a long shot I do think that this equation best serves the country. (If we can‘t have a president who actually deal with things seriously like Ron Paul would have.)
I think Romney will depolarize things a bit. I guess that’s something.
I think that in contrast an Obama win would mean increased polarization for the country and a gloves off expansion of the state. I think as it is likely the Senate will go GOP and the House to remain GOP, Obama in his second term will expand his very controversial legislation by executive order. This is very bad for the rule of law in this country. If you think DHS is out of control now, just wait.
But hey, they are the 2 evils. So pick your poison, settle in America, and pray for the best.