Ten reasons Mitt Romeny should not be elected US President. By Lauren French
So it’s election year in the USA, and there’s probably no election more important for world politics than that of the US President. The US is the world’s only superpower and so their premier is the most powerful politician on the planet. So far I think Barack Obama has made great headway, and he’s just so cool. Mitt Romney is the antithesis of Obama and that would be catastrophic for Americans and, for the world if he were to become US President.
Firstly, and according to his own campaign website, Mitt Romney has named his election manifesto “Plan for a Stronger Middle Class”. He plans on doing this by cutting the deficit, gaining US energy independence, giving Americans the skills to succeed, trade that works for America, and championing small business. De-coding this isn’t too difficult and essentially means cutting social welfare programs and de-regulation of everything, whilst simultaneously ignoring any harm to the environment e.g. ignore climate change targets and strip-mining of the land.
It is also interesting that he says he wants to build economic ties with Latin America whilst having trade that works for America, which seems to suggest a resurgence of the implementation of Chicago economics to the economies of Latin America. This was unsuccessful the first time and resulted in abject chaos. It wouldn’t be any better now.
Secondly, Mr Romney wants to leave the re-training and skills development up to the private sector and remove government inference. If this was likely to happen then fine, it would probably work at stimulating growth. It won’t work though, because the private sector have suffered too and simply cannot afford to pick up the slack from the public sector. A successful economy needs both. His administration certainly won’t achieve it by reducing the federal workforce by 10%. That is hundreds of thousands of employees who all have to find new work.
Thirdly, Mr Romney supports the 2nd Amendment right to hold and bear arms, with no room for manoeuvre. This is a typical conservative Republican stance, and those who want gun reform are silenced because the right to weaponry is in the holiest of American legal documents, the Constitution. They completely ignore the numerous atrocities that happen on a weekly basis in the US because of the lack of gun control. They don’t seem to recognise that countries with stricter gun controls have far fewer gun-associated crimes. America really needs a president who realises that the 2nd Amendment is as regressive and outdated as the Jim Crow laws, and needs to ease in reform. Obama hasn’t tackled it yet, but at least he has said he would consider reform. He’s intelligent enough to see the problem but doesn’t want to alienate gun-wielding Americans, especially in an election year.
Fourthly, Mr Romney pledges that on the first day of being President he would repeal all of Obamacare. His reasoning is an unusual, nay, an alien concept to a Briton: he wants states to individually craft their own level playing field for competition. Competition in healthcare provision and insurance is exploitative. Universal healthcare may never happen, but American citizens deserve their basic human rights, and at least Obama is trying to reform the system.
Fifthly, Mitt wants to pump more money into the US military, build more ships for the Navy, etc. Obviously there is a war that the USA is still engaged in, but it is in the process of winding down so what could his possible reasoning be?
His official campaign website does provide a very strange justification for this: because it was American military might that defended Europe, and America was compelled to stand up for Europe and stand against communism post-World War Two. This is a complete fallacy for many reasons: one, this was nearly 70 years ago; two, he might want to check his history because Hitler declared war on the US several years prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the resulting American involvement in a ‘European’ war, so it wasn’t quite that selfless; three, democratic peace theory suggests that nothing of this magnitude will happen again, least not in Mitt Romney’s lifetime because the foes of the early twentieth century are now functioning democracies and democracies do not fight each other; and four, what is the US so afraid of that they wish to increase their arsenal when their army is bigger and more hi-tech than anyone else’s in the world. He links war with protection of democracy and representative government whilst at the same time saying that huge defence spending prevents war. This is not a reasonable justification for increased defence spending. So is he planning a war?
Sixthly, Romney’s administration would reduce subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. I suppose Mr Romney doesn’t believe arts and humanities to be important to the future of America. He isn’t alone. It is becoming increasingly fashionable to demean and undermine many academic fields unless they are mathematical or scientific, and so he is pandering to the majority of the population. A great way to win votes: tell people what they already believe.
Seventhly, as a Pro-Life (or rather anti-Choice) Romney’s administration would “eliminate” Title X Family Planning Funding. Yes, he really does want to eliminate family planning funding because he says they “benefit” abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. He would also over-turn Roe V Wade. This is many things, but mainly it would be incredibly irresponsible to remove the choice for a woman to have a safe termination. Women will not stop having abortions because generally women only have abortions when they are desperate, and pregnancies can be the result of a rape, abuse, or incest. It is more responsible to prevent children being born out of violence and suffer their entire lives. Many women will die having illegal or self-performed terminations. Planned Parenthood is not an “abortion group”. It is an organisation that promotes choice and educates people about sex and its consequences. He opposes stem cell research for similar reasons; despite that stem cell research has been a great leap forward in medical science, and it actually quite ethical, in comparison to animal testing for example.
Eighthly, Mitt wants to reduce foreign aid. This is void. Yes many Americans believe that the US gives too much foreign aid to states that don’t deserve it. This is inaccurate. The US gives far less of its GDP in foreign aid than countries with a far smaller GDP. And actually around one third of all US foreign aid goes to Israel, which they in-turn use to buy weaponry from the US. But yet again, reinforce what many of the public already believe and he may win their vote.
Ninthly, in his plan for Israel, Mitt wants to “maintain [Israel’s] strategic military edge” in the region. He continues, “The US will reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas…The US must work… to resist the campaign to delegitimize Israel… and label it the anti-Semitic poison that it is”. Romney is disregarding history: the Jews were only given Israel after WW2 because of what they went through, but the Palestinians deserve their own land too. It wasn’t the Palestinians who hi-jacked a charity flotilla and killed foreign aid workers. The US president shouldn’t condone such behaviour, and shouldn’t discourage reasonable criticisms of Israel by labelling it “anti-Semitic”.
Tenthly, he is against gay marriage because it undermines civilization. Yes, because the 50% divorce rate amongst straight couples hasn’t done enough to undermine marriage. The gay-bashing attitude of the Republican Party is wearing very thin with compassionate and logical Americans, otherwise known as voters of the Democratic Party.
Just one final consideration: Romney’s choice of Vice President. His name is Paul Ryan. He would: ban common forms of birth control, eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and he already voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. To sum up, Paul Ryan hates women. You can’t deny it. Being anti-Choice is one thing, but it is quite another to prevent women from accessing the Pill, for example. And this guy would be in charge if something were to happen to Mitt Romney. For decent American voters the choice is clear- vote Obama.