Thinking Through the 2012 Election

It may be happening. Quite exciting. You and I may be witnessing an incredible shift in the American electorate:

Americans are starting to think.

Seriously, I was having my doubts. The most perplexing thing to witness in the past four years was an unyielding loyalty toward media soundbites, not thoughtful policy analysis. Blind following has obvious consequences, and today’s struggles – domestically, internationally and economically – reflect this.

Oh, maybe you think I’m in the wrong? Or I should just shut up and talk about other things? Sorry, while it may be a bit overplayed, I agree with the sentiment that this IS the most important election of our lifetime. We’re deciding the course we want to go as a nation, and all people (that includes you, my friend, do not dodge this moment in history) need to think and choose wisely. 

If you disagree, I know what you’re thinking. I’m the blind follower. Okay, scoff away at my expense. But entertain me for a moment with a bulleted list of important issues that are on my voting card:

  • Peace. Obama entered office with the honor of the Nobel Peace Prize. He has since led America into twice the wars we were in and has fulfilled none of his peace promises. And the Middle East is exploding.
  • Jobs. Obama entered office promising unemployment under 6%. It has yet to make it even close, and today the Administration wants the electorate to get excited over 7.8%.
  • Economy. Obama’s $760 billion tarp fund was supposed to stimulate the economy. Very few (are there any?) success stories have surfaced, but fraud and bankruptcy from countless tarp recipients are too many to count.
  • Small Business. Wall Street seems to be doing okay with banks “too big to fail” being propped up by the spendthrift administration. Meanwhile, small businesses (I’m one of them) struggle to maintain. That is backwards.
  • Foreign Policy. An Ambassador is dead, and we’re being told it was because of a b-grade movie wacko radical in California. The Administration jumped the gun on blame, because I believe they don’t want to take it.
  • Corruption. Fast & Furious, Solandra, failure to enforce federal law, voter fraud, Pelosi shopping sprees, way too many golf games, grounded and seized drone in Iran…should I go on?
  • Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe all three of these have weathered these past four years.

There is just no excuse for the performance of the last four years. And if any of your rebuttals to my short bulleted list includes blaming the previous administration, you’re just parroting the administration’s line. You should rethink your conclusions, because they don’t make much sense anymore.

In fact, I’d argue this sentiment:

If you are still stumping for Obama, it is because you have NOT given much thought to this year’s election.

This election cycle is different than 2008. People aren’t as swayed at smooth talking and clever “hopey changey” talk. We were wound up in a marketing campaign back then; now we’re keener, smarter shoppers. We’re frustrated with the economy and the shift in American policy. And as long as we think through our electoral choice, I believe Romney/Ryan will be in the White House for the next four years.

Agree? Share this article, especially with those that don’t.
Disagree? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to think them through with you.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • RickStevens

    As a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I understand what it is like to blindly follow someone without allowing the concepts of logic and rationale to come into play. However, that is the exact definition of a fan(atic): a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal. While this is not unusual in the world of sports or entertainment, it is a fairly new phenomenon in the world of politics. I cannot remember a time in this country when a leader could run on promises, break those promises immediately and, depending on the pollster and the accuracy of their sampling, be in a statistically even race for retaining their elected position. It is as if we’ve taken to making politicians into celebrities (Roman Empire, anyone) rather than seeing them as the elected representatives within our republic. It seems as though now, if you criticize one nominee or the other, you’re labeled as a “hater” or, if the person has a different skin tone, a “racist”. Intellectual debate on important issues has devolved into a shouting match with the “winner” being able to say “liar, liar pants on fire” the loudest. How did we get to this point? I think it can be traced back to when the media stopped being the watch dog and started being the lap dog. We are in a unique position in this world…we get to choose who our elected representative leader is for the country. I can think of very little that should produce more thought than voting for a leader…and unfortunately, I see too often that it comes down to who the audience thinks should be the next Ameriocan Idol.

    • You hit on something I believe so strongly in: thoughtful debate. I’m setting up live blogging of the VP debates now, hoping to bring thought into the middle of the ad hominems and soundbites. More on that tomorrow morning!

      “Fan of the Cubs”…that’s really funny, Rick.

      • RickStevens

        I’m just saying…anyone who roots for a team that hasn’t won a championship in 104 years and who hasn’t even played in a championship series for 67 years has no logic or rationale on which to base their loyalty. Remember, this comes from years of experience. 🙂

  • Just Rachel

    Can you please tell everyone what the other wars are that the President started? I’m having trouble figuring out what your talking about.