A few days ago I saw a lawn sign in my neighborhood. It read, “It’s not an election. It’s an emergency.” I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment that sign expressed.
I have had the opportunity to speak with many of my fellow citizens about how they determine who deserves their vote for President of the United States. Many of those had a single issue which they cited as the basis for their selection. Some of them were focused on economic issues, others on social issues. I’m sure that you can fill in the blanks as to the specifics.
Generally speaking, I think that voting on the basis of only one issue to the exclusion of everything else is naïve and self-serving. And it is with some amount of chagrin that I admit that is how I made my decision to cast my vote.
My single issue was this: “How do I assess the integrity of the candidates running for office?”
The question of a candidate’s race should not be an issue – but unfortunately it is for many voters. Were it not that President Obama is perceived as a black man, I am confident in saying that he would be defeated in this election by a margin which would rival the late Sen. George McGovern’s trouncing in 1972 when he received only 17 electoral votes and failed to carry his home state of South Dakota.
And I find that remarkable because the two men were so tremendously different. If you remember Sen. McGovern, he was a voice of principle, descrying the War in Vietnam at a time when it enjoyed the popular support of most Americans. His opposition to the war was in large measure reflected in the poor showing he made in the election. But McGovern stood by what he believed – much to his credit.
By contrast, I don’t view President Obama as a man who has his anchor attached to any principle or set of them. I have seen him vacillate on so many issues that it is hard to know where he stands at any given moment. The only thing that he now promises us is that if re-elected, he is going to continue on the same course he has already plotted. But where has that course led us if not to the brink of the abyss?
Based on his record, had President Obama been Captain of the Titanic, there would have been no survivors.
This is not a recent change – one due to the onerous burden of being President. It is reflective of his political career as an Illinois State Senator and as a member of the U. S. Senate. It is a record of mediocrity and indifference and perhaps is a continuation of his scholastic achievements as well. Would that be the reason that his transcripts are such a well-guarded secret?
And mediocrity is the credo to which he asks us to rally and support with our votes. Is that all we want? Is that what you want – to be average? Or do you have the vision to be exceptional – or at least to make the attempt and be able to say at the end of the day, “Well, I gave it a shot.”
But the biggest problem I see with the President’s lack of integrity, is that America is rapidly becoming a country where those who try to make a real difference and make something of themselves, helping others along the way, are looked down upon and scorned – particularly if they succeed. That may be Mitt Romney’s greatest flaw in the minds of those who are determined to enforce the “average” on all of us.
The men who founded this country were anything but average. They were thinkers and they were people who applied the sound principles of common sense to their decisions. They were guided in their judgments by what they believed to be in the best interests of this new country that they had founded. And what they founded became an example of what could be achieved when people with different interests and backgrounds banded together to support a common cause.
Mitt Romney is not flawless. None of us is. But since I had only two realistic choices from which to select I opted to vote for him, I might add, with enthusiasm. His track record speaks on its own.
He was inclusive and able to work with members of both parties as Governor of Massachusetts – and we need inclusion in America. He brings strong values about family to the table – and we need a good example for our far too many single-parent homes. He has exhibited personal generosity and commitment to those he met who were in need. In essence, I think he is a decent human being – and I would prefer having someone of that caliber in the White House.
I began writing this blog in October, 2011, long before we knew who would be the candidate to oppose President Obama. Three years into the President’s term it was apparent to me that virtually anyone else would have done better. An additional year has done nothing but entrench me further in that opinion.
I am sorry to make that statement because I want whoever is President to succeed, not so that we may praise him for his genius, but because I want America and its people to succeed. I am not willing to accept “mediocrity as the norm”. I think higher of myself – and I think better of you.
Ameri-can – but will we? We’ll see how many people committed to the principles which established the greatest nation on earth are still living here on November 6th.