With the 2012 primary season all said and done save for the nominations at both the Republican and Democratic conventions, we in the U.S. are now faced with having to choose between President Barak Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the highest office in the land. So much is at stake in this election, that a careful review of both men, and what they stand for, should be considered by all voters with the utmost gravity. Starting with Romney, let's have a look at the record, their past history, and where they will most likely lead us.
The Apple That Fell Far From The Tree
Born March 12th, 1947 in Detroit Michigan, Willard Mitt Romney is the son former Chairman of the now defunct American Motors Company and former Governor of the State of Michigan, George Romney. Romney the Senior, who died in 1995, was a well liked moderate Republican Governor who boasted large approval ratings throughout his service from 1963-1969. As Governor of Michigan, George Romney implemented some of the most progressive social service programs for the poor and middle class in the country at that time. He also implemented sweeping civil rights programs and balanced the state budget by raising taxes on the most affluent companies. Education was expanded greatly during his time as Governor, but when he reached for higher office, he was swept aside by the emerging far right personified by Richard Nixon.
Mitt Romney seemed to be attempting to follow in his father's footsteps when he was a younger man. But contradiction and some controversy has always found a way to creep into his public life. For instance, even though in May 1966, Romney was part of a counter sit-in taking place against the draft at Stamford University, in July 1966, in order to avoid being drafted himself, Romney suddenly left for a thirty month tour of France to engage in the Latter Day Saints' missionary work. Receiving no less than three different types of deferments, when Romney returned to the United States his number was so high on the draft 'lottery' list that it virtually ensured that he'd never go to Vietnam.
After graduating from Harvard Law and Business School in 1975, Romney began his career as a management consultant or lobbyist at Boston Consulting Group, but within two years, was hired on by Bain and Company. Wanting something more than a mere lobbying job, Romney negotiated with his boss Bill Bain to co-found the investment equity firm Bain Capital. It is this period of his life that most mainstream media outlets don't really like to cover much, and his campaign doesn't like to talk about.
Romney's pursuit of the almighty dollar led him to become what many people see as a 'vulture capitalist.' There are empty buildings dotted across America that Mitt Romney touched and then destroyed. Buildings that represented the careers of hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans, fellow Americans that Mitt Romney could not give two figs about. Companies bought up and raped by Bain capaital, pension funds sucked dry, and empty lots left behind. Of course Romney doesn't like to talk about his time at Bain, sidestepping questions and inquiries about just how many people were put out of work by him, and how many American jobs he helped to ship overseas. Now he wants to do for the rest of us what he did during his time as owner of Bain Capital.
Romney became Governor of Massachusetts on January 2nd, 2003. During his campaign back then, he described himself as a "moderate Republican with progressive views." He backed a woman's right to abortion even as he called himself pro-life. During his tenure, Romney raised taxes on corporations by closing loopholes in Massachusetts law that allowed many to get away with paying virtually nothing. But he also raised fees on marriage, gun, and driver's licenses, as well as imposing a hike in the state's gasoline tax.
Cutting $1.6 billion dollars in state aid to cities and towns, including $700 million dollars to education, caused tuition rates to jump 63 per cent. When he tried to impose cuts to services for the poor and middle class, he was overridden by the State legislature.
But Romney's crowning achievement as Governor was to pay back the insurance industry that helped get him elected by instituting portions of what he once lambasted as "Hillarycare", and pushing through Massachusetts' so called Universal Health Care laws. Insisting that state residents be forced to purchase health care through private insurers, Romney opened up the once tightly controlled insurance industry in Massachusetts to insurers from across the country. Promising that a fund would be in place to make sure that those without means would have access to health insurance, the law was no sooner put in place when Romney started to backpedal from it. Claiming that tight fiscal times meant that the promise couldn't be fulfilled, he started immediately to cut funding for the poor to have health insurance. Romney also now tries to distance himself from his own program, and justify attacks on Obama's health care reform try by stating that just because health care reform worked in Massachusetts, doesn't mean it will work in other states.
When Romney left office, his successor, Deval Patrick, found himself scrambling to salvage the boondoggle left behind by Romney, and the people of Massachusetts do not look kindly on the mess that was bestowed on them by Romney, with many hoping for the repeal of Romneycare.
Skipping past Romney's failed 2008 presidential bid, one can see how just a few short years can change a career politician's views on just about everything. When John Kerry lost his bid to be president, it was mainly due to the 'flipflopper' tag bestowed on him by every right winger in America, and of course the now infamous 'swiftboating' debacle. But mainly it was the flipflopper argument that sunk Kerry. What then are we the public supposed to think when Mitt Romney comes along and reverses almost every position he held just a few years ago in order to appease radical elements of the Republican Party?
Romney now says his position on abortion is that he wants Roe v. Wade overturned. first advocating for stem cell research, he saw the error of his ways due to pressure from far right evangelicals and now says stem cell research was grounded on a false premise. Swearing he wasn't trying to take the country back to the Bush years, he turned around and hired most of Bush's people for his campaign. While implementing his health care system as Governor, he said that he loved mandates, that mandates work. Now he says mandates are against the 10th Amendment. He once declared that the minimum wage had to keep pace with inflation, but now says raising the minimum wage would cost a massive loss of jobs. And even after presiding over the largest corporate tax increase in Massachusetts' history, he now wants to cut corporate taxes across the board while decimating the social safety net. He once supported an assault weapon ban, but has since changed his mind.
On virtually every issue of importance, no one knows where Mitt Romney truly stands. He says one thing to one group of voters, then changes stances the same day to appease the more radical Tea Partiers. His massive campaign war chest is coming from Super PACS of unknown origin, with God alone knows how much money being pumped in from foreign interests
Can America afford to go back to the Bush years and replay the corporate raider gives all of our money to his rich friends fiasco? You decide.
He's The Devil, No, He's An Arab Terrorist, No, He's, Well, He's BLACK!
Virtually everyone in the country, (except Fox News watchers), knows the history of the current President of the United States, Barak Obama. Born in Hawaii on August 6th, 1961, Obama lived abroad as a child, returning to Hawaii in 1971 to live with his grandparents. Another Harvard graduate, Obama worked as a Community Organizer in Chicago, ran for the Illinois State Senate, and defeated Republican Alan Keyes to become a U.S. Senator in 2004 with 70 per cent of the vote.
Skipping right to the part when he was elected As the nation's first African American President, Obama stepped into office and right into the firestorm left behind by his Republican predecessor George Bush. An economy on the brink of total collapse, two wars raging overseas, and people losing their homes by the thousands every month would have been enough to cause most people to run screaming across the White House lawn.
Obama took office determined to end the war in Iraq and shift the burden of shutting down terrorist plots to law enforcement type of raids and rely on intelligence instead of tanks to ferret out those who would attack us. This type of planning was instrumental in bringing several plots against us to a dead stop, and led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
True to his campaign promise, he signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Act that guarantees women equal pay as men. Obama reversed Bush's ban on stem cell research stating that he believed sound science and moral values were not inconsistent.
Taking a page from Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, Obama fought a year long battle with Republicans to pass his version of Romneycare, hoping it could be a stepping stone to true Universal Health Care. The law may yet be reversed come this June by the radical right wingers that handed George Bush the Presidency. Which means it would all have to start from scratch.
Saving the American automobile industry from complete collapse, and in turn, saving at least 1 million American jobs, Obama has done a remarkable job keeping job growth steady after the disastrous last year of the Bush presidency when we were losing almost 800,000 jobs per month. 4.2 million Americans are working today due to Obama's efforts.
Many people speak out on the left saying that Obama broke his promise to close Guantanamo Bay. What they don't understand because no one has ever told them, that every time he went to Congress for the money to begin shutting down detainee operations there, he was met with a backhand. It has been this way throughout his entire three and one half years in office. Filibuster after filibuster after filibuster has been put forth by the Republicans in the Senate to block anything resembling progress, anything that would make it look as though this President knows what he's doing. Republican Mitch McConnel's stated goal is to get rid of Obama, not help this country.
Fostering mad conspiracy theories about Obama, the Republicans of today act like petulant children who are told to wait till after dinner for their ice cream. Moderates wring their hands but stay quiet out of fear of being targeted by those in the far right's insane Tea Party, and in turn, the President treads lightly to avoid the political extremists' turning whatever he does or says into a 'communist takeover'.
Which is why we need to vote the Republican Party of today out of office. They no longer represent anything we average Americans stand for. Fair play, decency, honor, compassion, and never leaving anyone behind. They stand for taking more of our money and handing it to the richest thieves in world history. Taking it until there is nothing left to take and they have it all. They stand for less education for your children, less food for everyone, more taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for more tax cuts to the wealthy, and for blocking any legislation that would help reverse the damage they have already caused.
President Obama is clearly the best hope we have over the next four years. He has proved himself capable of turning things around for the better, even in the face of far right obstructionism. How much more do you think could be accomplished were the Republicans to be relegated to the sidelines for awhile until they purge themselves of the sociopaths within their ranks? If you want a country where oil subsidies finally disappear, where food prices come down to normal, and where rich people don't get to steal from those with less with impunity, then you know what you have to do come November. Vote for the people that have YOUR interests in their minds, not the interests of corporate raiders and speculators, who would love nothing more than another crack at the pie that's left.
Is Obama perfect? Not by any means. But he's getting better, and given a second term, he can probably accomplish even greater things. On the other hand, Mitt Romney is salivating at the thought of driving his hands deep into our collective pockets and taking out everything we have. And then sticking it in his Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts while he leaves the wreckage behind. Just like he's always done his entire life...........
Just my humble opinion.