The primary is over, the general is supposedly in full swing but I have not yet seen any coherent explanation from anyone why they intend to vote for Romney. "Anyone but Obama" doesn't really count. It's the intellectual equivalent of saying "I just don't like that guy." I get that there are voters who give it about that much thought. I can't engage them - well, I could, but I am not a dating service. (Unless, of course, Charlize Theron is looking for some dinner talk.)
Now if someone was able to factually or intellectually deconstruct Obama and demonstrate he is not American or he is a communist or that he hates America, that might count. I mean, first do no harm, would seem at least as reasonable a bar to set for the president as it is for a physician. But just saying, "He's a Socialist! Solyndra! Lying African!" are not intellectually stable arguments for "vote for Romney."
-I am glad we have not invaded Iran or North Korea. I've come to wish we had not invaded Iraq and wanted a sensible ending. I wanted al-Qaeda and bin Laden killed. I wanted direct, sensible confrontation with the Somali pirates. Check, check check and check.
- While we are waiting for comprehensive tax reform we need to make the income tax more fair/progressive . It should be more like it was - fewer and fewer people paying it until no one pays it at all. The way to start is to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the highest earners who benefit the most from public spending.
- Our military involvement in Libya was just right. LIkewise, our (apparent) avoidance of military involvement in Syria.
- The Ryan plan, which Romney now says he supports*, ends Medicare, TRICARE and the Department of Veterans Affairs health care as we know them.
* (not to get all Marty McFly, but I honestly cannot recall whether Romney was against this in the past or will be in the future).
- I trust Obama: not that he'll do or not do whatever I want (though I believe he is way more likely to do more of what I would want and far less likely to do what I don't want) , but I know what he will do Romney is a mystery. Is there a single political position he was not for before he was against or against before he was for? And I mean, of course, besides he wants the job.
- I don't trust the LDS/Mormon church, perhaps because I don't understand it. I do not care about the clothes or access to the temple. Likewise I don't generally care about separate planets and universes, though I worry about elected officials who claim special understanding about God's will, which is not uniquely Mormon. But it was officially racist until the 1978, You could look it up -- but not on Wikipedia -- it's been scrubbed. Rev. Wright doesn't bother me - I don't care about angry black theology from the South Side of Chicago.
When I think about the U.S. future:
- I hope it remains unnecessary to invade Iran or N Korea and that Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the middle east can find peace without us.
- I hope deficit reduction is more about innovation and GDP growth than austerity. (US GDP growth has been stronger and more consistent when our Gini coefficient has been smaller like 1932- 1972, and much worse when it's been larger like 1973 to now. I.e., too much of the GDP gain is going to too few.)
- I hope educational opportunities improve and are less dependent on zip code than aptitude and hard work. (I like the Swiss model for higher ed, and a standards and performance based core curriculum for P-10).
These three lead me to support Obama.
- I hope China allows their currency to float more.
Big edge to Obama until Romney releases his tax returns (what's he hiding?) because we may find out that Romney's personal wealth is far more closely tied to parts of the world outside the U.S. (Why the banks in the Caymans? Switzerland? Why did he sign over those investments to Mrs. Romney the day before he became MA Governor? Seriously, bank accounts in the Caymans?) Ultimately, I think the US President has less chance to get the yuan float than Warren Buffet, Nigeria (oil), Australia (uranium) or whatever Chinese politburo sees to the exchange and runs their banks.
I know Obama is not a communist or a socialist. I was not present at his birth, but in my heart I know he is just as American as anyone. Tax rates have not gone up - if anything they have gone down since 2009.
I know the Senate has not passed a budget - don't care.
I know the ACA process was imperfect and the ACA is thousands of pages long - welcome to big league legislation - don't care. Of course the GOTP lied about ACA and death panels, sixteen thousand new armed IRS agents and free care for non citizens. I do care about that. I don't care that the parties don't get along. I do care about having a national dialogue about major issues, like ACA. And now we have been and can continue.
In the end, and I hope after my rational, intellectual side assesses the above - I like Obama. Make fun of the "beer summit" all you want - I liked it. It's the kind of thing I would do. All the public news out of the G20 was spot on. The drone assassins - can we get some more bad guys? OBL- dead. Chrysler - alive and well. Stimulus was too small - sure Solyndra failed, but Tea Garden didn't. The only thing I didn't like about Cash for Clunkers was I kept my clunker (and blew the head gasket four months later).