Earlier I stated why I AM voting for Obama, and you can check my timeline for my reasoning.
Now I’ll say why I am NOT voting for Romney, but note that I am not voting AGAINST. I am simply going to give the reasons why Romney could not get my vote.
First, though, understand that I do not care about Romney’s religious beliefs—or Obama’s beliefs. We have a principle in America that with the free exercise of religion, that we don’t require belief in any specific church; in fact, we say a man can believe or not believe as he will and still be a citizen, an elected official, or even President.
What I DO care about, deeply, is that Christians are abandoning their core principles and theology in order to support Romney. I simply do not care at all that you support Romney and you are a Christian—that is your right. I DO care that Christians are abandoning their core theological beliefs about Jesus Christ in order to accommodate the religious beliefs of the Mormon church.
Like I said, that Romney is a Mormon is, to me, irrelevant and uninteresting. I’m not voting based upon a man sharing my religious beliefs, and as an American, I shouldn’t.
What I suspect is that a lot of Christians DO vote this way, and are trying to fit the Mormon theology into their own, and in doing so they are abandoning a core teaching about the nature of Jesus Christ. I’ve said elsewhere this is the most dismaying thing about Christians’ support for Romney. But this essay isn’t about that.
My reasons for not voting for Romney come down to the following principles:
* Romney’s action as a businessman have destroyed American businesses, American employees, and American lives
* Romney’s actions as a governor were ineffective, divisive, partisan, and reckless
* Romney statements as a candidate have been thoroughly unreliable, with every position on every issue being malleable depending upon the audience
* Romney’s core principles of action consistently revolve around core issue that overwhelming favor his own economic interests at the expense of all others
* Romney sees people as economic units and not as humans worthy of dignity and respect
Now let me develop my thesis:
ROMNEY’S ACTION AS A BUSINESSMAN HAVE DESTROYED AMERICAN BUSINESSES, AMERICAN EMPLOYEES, AND AMERICAN LIVES
It is no secret that Romney trumpets his business credentials, that he has made money. But he has done so by destroying working businesses, destroying the economics of ordinary people, and skimming the best from a company before abandoning it.
Take for example KB Toys, an ordinary business. Through a series of entirely legal methods, Romney and his company, Bain, came in with a very small amount of cash and a large amount of borrowed cash and gained control of KB Toys. (Entirely legal.) Once in charge, Romney and his company then loaded up KB Toys with an enormous amount of debt to pay back himself and his investors, then Romney and his company abandoned KB Toys to let it handle its new load of unnecessary debt. Romney and his company made off with hundreds of millions of dollars in essentially free money. KB Toys struggled for a few years, then collapsed. Hundreds of ordinary employees were then left without jobs, careers, or even the decency of a severance paycheck.
It’s well-known that Romney and his company has thrived by sending business overseas, which again is entirely legal.
But for a man who claims to be a job creator and someone who claims to want to create jobs, his actions have shown that he is much more interested in his own finances at the expense of ordinary people in America.
Remember, he is the one who urged Detroit to “go bankrupt,” which would have thrown thousands of employees out of work. The only ones to profit from that would be those who’d sweep in to consume the carcasses of the car makers. I leave it as an exercise to the reader who those people would be.
ROMNEY’S ACTIONS AS A GOVERNOR WERE INEFFECTIVE, DIVISIVE, PARTISAN, AND RECKLESS
Romney claims to have been a bipartisan governor are false. While he was governor, he vetoed over 800 bills submitted by the legislature, with nearly 90% of his vetoes being overridden, often by unanimous votes. This isn’t bipartisanship unless you think that Republicans and Democrats in the legislature voting to override his vetoes is bipartisan.
His signature accomplishment as governor, health care reform, was inserted into his official government portrait he paid for. It was the basis for the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (“Obamacare”) and yet he has run away from it because (in my opinion) it was proposed by the Democrats. An honest man would support his own creation even if it was supported by his political opponents; indeed, a leader would _use_ this to accomplish his goals. As Reagan himself said, “You can get a lot accomplished if you don’t want to take credit.” It’s my belief that Romney’s actions about his own health care plan show that he is unable to govern or to lead; indeed, that by opposing his own plan he is reckless with American lives and the American economy.
ROMNEY STATEMENTS AS A CANDIDATE HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY UNRELIABLE, WITH EVERY POSITION ON EVERY ISSUE BEING MALLEABLE DEPENDING UPON THE AUDIENCE
On key issues, Romney has been both for and against, often changing positions from one extreme to another and back again, sometimes on the same day or within a few minutes.
It’s almost irrelevant to talk about the positions, but he has been both for and against abortion access, gay marriage, acting on climate change—you name it, he’s been for or against it.
Now, every good person would, upon gaining more information, change his mind. That’s understandable.
What’s not understandable is that he changes his stated beliefs so frequently in order to curry favor with his current audience.
His statement about the “47% who wouldn’t vote for him no matter what” is an example. To the rich white donors, he said, in effect, “I’m with you poor oppressed wealthy people against those lazy grifters and takers.” When it came out that he had been recorded, he changed his tune and said he was for “every American.”
I’d have more respect for a man who said simply, “Look, I can’t get every vote, and some people won’t vote for me no matter what” rather than “I never said that, meant that, and I was misquoted.”
Like the weather, if you don’t like a Romney position, wait a few moments.
It might feel good that he gets those digs in and changes his mind, but eventually, he’ll change his mind about you.
It won’t be so satisfying then, I’d imagine.
ROMNEY’S CORE PRINCIPLES OF ACTION CONSISTENTLY REVOLVE AROUND CORE ISSUE THAT OVERWHELMING FAVOR HIS OWN ECONOMIC INTERESTS AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL OTHERS
We hear that America is in an economic crisis. Spending seems to be out of control, and the free flow of cash in our economy is under attack. We can agree that unreasonable spending should be revisited, and we can disagree upon that.
But we have historic LOW rates of taxation. We have LOW inflation. We have a stumbling economy, an economy which is driven by consumer demand.
Romney’s reaction to this is to cut taxes further, especially taxes that favor his class, and especially the kinds of income earned by him and his friends. Romney’s tax cuts would inordinately reduce the taxation upon his friends, in some cases reducing the tax rate to zero.
Spending under his plan could not be cut enough to offset his tax cuts. The only place to go after the money needed to pay for his spending plan is to go to the middle class and the poor. It would increase their taxes AND their ability to spend. It would REDUCE consumer demand further.
It is simply beyond belief that people could think that they themselves, the middle class, should pay higher taxes in order to reduce the historically low tax rates upon the incredibly rich. This isn’t class warfare unless you think class warfare means to do what’s entirely not in your own economic self-interest in order to give rich people yet an easier tax burden.
There are so many cars and yachts and vacations you can buy in life. After a while, acquiring riches has no meaning.
But the reason people in America can get rich is that we not only reward hard work, we protect it and we provide a stable political, economic, and social structure which supports and rewards riches.
Rich people don’t get rich by themselves; they do so because they have the blessings of liberty and the protection of the state.
Paying for that—and paying more for that—is only right. You got rich because America provided a place to get rich. Now you must pay for that.
For an example of a place that lets you get rich but does not provide the stable economic political, economic, and social structure to create a free and open society, check out India. There are wealthy people there, and there is incredible poverty, often within a few feet of each other.
The reason we have a stable society and culture in America is because we expect everyone to pay their fair share and to contribute to the general welfare of society.
It makes no sense to expect poor people to pay more so rich people can have it just a bit easier. Very few people who are poor are poor because they don’t work hard enough or don’t contribute enough. Asking them to pay more is simply irresponsible, mean, and greed.
ROMNEY SEES PEOPLE AS ECONOMIC UNITS AND NOT AS HUMANS WORTHY OF DIGNITY AND RESPECT
As with the previous point, people have certain rights and have value outside of their economic value. People in America struggle to find jobs, find good education, find hope and support—they work hard and they expect to be rewarded. They are more than what they can produce economically, and they have value even when they cannot contribute. That’s what being “pro-life” is.
Romney’s plan not only does not value human life, it grinds poor people even further into poverty. Romney’s plans would cut the things that make it easier to be poor in America—it cuts spending on social programs such as education or health care or pensions or social security—in order to give rich people more money and to increase the spending on government programs that unduly reward his supporters, such as increased military spending. (America has a larger armed forces than the next 25 nations combined—and some 24 of those nations are our allies. Who exactly are we going to need such armed forces for?)
Grants and loans for colleges would be cut or eliminated. Education is the key way to overcome poverty and to get a middle-class or higher lifestyle, but the Governor would cut these programs.
Social Security and Medicare are on the chopping block. There are key reforms that could be made to save or extend the life of these programs, such as simply reducing the cap on Social Security taxes so that rich people simply *start* paying taxes on their income over $115K.
We have roads and bridges which are falling apart. We have a 19th Century water supply system. We have railroads which are hobbled by old technology. We have desperate need for 21st Century transportation solutions, solutions which would help ordinary workers get to their jobs with less stress and in more comfort, with less effect upon the environment.
Instead of promoting the general welfare, however, Romney’s plans would simply reward the already rich with more riches. Romney’s plans would let rich people pay even *less* in taxes.
Under Eisenhower (a Republican) we had some of the highest tax rates. I don’t think we need to go back to those tax rates. But we also started the Interstate Highway System. We built out the roads and transportation systems we still use today. We had not only the government we needed to build the most successful economy in history, we had the *will* to do so. We believed government was good, and that ordinary people mattered, and that rich people should simply pay their share.
We are still asking for the same thing. That government is good. That people matter. That rich people should pay their fair share for the blessings they have acquired due to the efforts of ALL America .
We believe that people matter, that they have worth, and that they simply DESERVE our respect and support. We believe that people who are poor or disadvantaged can not only use our help, but they can expect it. We also believe that personal charity is important, but that in many cases individuals cannot do what the government can do.
Romney’s plans simply do not include support for ordinary people. Romney’s plans do nothing to make the lives of ordinary people stable or successful. Romney’s plans destroy the ability of people to advance in life because his plans destroy access to affordable health care and education.
Now, Mr. Romney is probably not a bad man. He appears to be loved by his family and friends.
But whether he is likable or not, good-looking or not, successful or not, he is simply a disastrous choice for President, and while I am not voting *against* him, I find no reason to vote *for* him, because everything he stands for and everything he wants to do runs directly against my values and principles and hopes.
I urge every voter to think not which candidate looks best or sounds best, or even which “feels” best, but to think long-term, what is best for them and for America.