If someone you know tells you they are voting for Mitt Romney because “he isn’t Obama,” then you need to push back. We all need to push back. We need to challenge reasoning like this because, well, it’s not a valid reason at all. If someone said to me they are voting for Romney because “he isn’t Obama,” then I would ask:
You know that’s not really a valid reason, right? For example: I don’t like walnuts, but that doesn’t mean I automatically like: (insert other food item here). For the “he isn’t Obama” reasoning to at least have some validity, there would need to be specifics for why “he isn’t Obama” is the preference. I’m talking concrete things that make Romney the better choice. I’m talking real policies where you know Obama is further away from your values than Romney. Otherwise you are participating in an age-old American ritual of voting anti-incumbent because it feels good to vote dissent. But to be sure, voting dissent has nothing to do with policy. It has nothing to do with who is better for the country. It has nothing to do with who would help the disenfranchised in our society. And it has nothing to do with fighting for equal rights for all citizens. But maybe I’ve made the mistake of presuming these things are important to you.
I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume these issues do matter to you.
You do know that 30 years of trickle-down economic theory has proven a colossal failure, right? — This is what Mitt Romney supports.
You do know that it is not businesses who are timid in this economy, it is the middle class, right? — Mitt Romney wants most of his proposed tax cuts to go to the wealthy “job creators.”
You are aware that Medicare and Social Security have kept tens of millions of Americans out of poverty, right? — Mitt Romney believes these very successful government programs should be privatized.
This entire critique doesn’t serve to raise President Obama to the level of stellar candidate, he definitely has much room for improvement, but Mitt Romney wholeheartedly believes in trickle-down economic theory even though we have 30+ years of proof that it doesn’t work. Whether it’s deliberate or not, Mitt Romney supports policies that would harm the poor and the middle class.
Add in Romney’s lack of support for marriage equality, or that he would not have supported lifting the ban on gays in the military and you have a candidate who also shows he is not interested in equal rights for all.
Now let’s go big picture on this conversation and bring the Republican Party into focus. The modern Republican Party has moved so far to the right, it would be alarming if they were in near total control of government. They essentially want to privatize everything, things like Social Security, Medicare, and the Postal Service.
This is just wrong.
The reason some things should be public and not private is because some things should be important enough that profits are not the biggest motivating factor. Public services should not be viewed through the lens of corporate and shareholder profits. If you privatize public services, there will be people left behind because it’s not profitable to serve them anymore. We are a wealthy nation. It would be nice if we could stop picking on the poor and disenfranchised to solve all our problems before we can do something like raise the top tax bracket by four points.
These are just a few reasons to vote for President Obama over Mitt Romney, and people are free to disagree, but what people cannot do is question whether I have a solid set of reasons for my choice on November 6th. Obviously you can continue to support Romney, that is your prerogative, but if your rationale for voting for Romney is “he’s not Obama,” you open yourself up to questioning.
David K. Sutton is the founder of leftcall.com. — The Left Call goes beyond the mainstream media false equivalence machine and adds a much-needed liberal voice to important political and social issues.