The 2012 election is one of the strangest ones in my lifetime. Generally, incumbent presidents can be expected to win without much of a contest. Only three past presidents were in trouble on the eve of an election, and most people don’t remember much or anything about the contests involving Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.
One would expect Barack Obama to be a slam dunk, as the sports enthusiasts would say. But he’s in trouble for a variety of reasons that have to do with the economy, his first debate and the unreasonable expectations of voters who chose him four years ago because they saw him as an agent of change. So for me, this election has boiled down to making an intelligent choice that reflects who I am and not just what I want the other guy to be.
I am very much a Democrat when it comes to national elections, although I voted for Ronald Reagan and quite a few other respected Republican office holders in my lifetime. At the outset of this much-too-long campaign, I thought I’d give Mitt Romney a chance. I wanted to see how an experienced businessman would translate his success into running the country. I watched him in his primary debates and read everything I could about him and his career.
I’ve tried and tried to determine what his goals were and who the real Mitt Romney is. My friends who are Romney supporters keep telling me that I shouldn’t listen to what he’s said in the past, and that I should trust him to do the right thing. Even with his daily shifting of positions, I’m assured that once he gets into the White House, Washington will once again be Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on the hill”.
There’s another way to look at presidential candidates beyond their speeches. As the father of four daughters, I have to evaluate how each candidate might impact their future. On that score, Mitt Romney is a big disappointment. In order to placate the right wing of the Republican Party, he has espoused an anti-woman philosophy. What’s wrong with equal pay for the same work done by a man?