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COMMENTARY- Thoughts About the Coming Election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andres Chavez   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:15

When I was assigned to do a story on the upcoming election, I thought of doing an analytical essay. Discuss the polls, look at how the campaigns are doing in the swing states and factors that could influence the election. But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to that. There are things about this election that really bother me and this is my chance to express them.

This election is a watershed election. Americans are being presented with two different roads to follow into the future. President Obama inherited the worst economy since the great depression. When he took office, the economy was losing half a million jobs a year and the stock market was in the low 6,000s and the auto industry was about to collapse.

President Obama passed a stimulus program, instituted Wall Street reforms and provided loans to the auto industry which allowed them to restructure and rebuild. Today, there have been 22 months of uninterrupted private sector job growth, the stock market is around 13,000 and the auto industry is robust and hiring new workers. The economy is still not where President Obama wants it to be and there are far too many people out of work but it is headed in the right direction, President Obama says and that's why he should get four more years to finish the job. He is well known to the American public, a devoted father and husband.

Republicans say that the economy has improved despite President Obama policies. His is a failed Presidency. He is a nice guy but not up to the job. The way to grow the economy is to reduce taxes, especially on the job creators --the rich,-- roll back regulations, get government out of the way and let the private sector thrive. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's basically the same policy that George W. Bush followed. Republican candidate Mitt Romney was highly successful in the private sector, Governor of Massachusetts, a devoted father and husband.

Politically, who is Mitt Romney? Is he the moderate Governor who supported a woman's right to choose? The right wing ideologue who said he'd a sign a personhood bill that would outlaw not only abortion but most forms of contraception? Or the peacenik who showed up at the third Presidential debate, repudiated all of the policy positions he held just the week before and supported President Obama's foreign policy in total? Romney may take what ever position seems to get votes, but he as been very consistent about one thing. He doesn't tell the truth,

While it's a truism in politics that politicians lie, or at least slant the truth in their favor, I have never seen, in 52 years of following politics, such out right lying as practiced by Mitt Romney. He takes statements out of context. His very first campaign ad showed Obama saying, "If we run on the economy, we'll lose." Obama was quoting John McCain from the 2008 campaign, not making a statement about his own campaign. Yet Romney never retracted the ad. The "you didn't build it"statement is another example of something taken out of context. If you have seen the whole video clip, it's clear that Obama is referring to the infrastructure, things like the highway system, which no private company built. It was built by federal and state governments for the benefit of all of the people. Not only did Romney not retract this, the Republicans built their whole convention around this theme.

There is the outright lie that Obama wants to do away with the work requirement for welfare. The President has never said, written or proposed any such thing or anything close to it. The exception was offered to the states, at the request of several Republican governors, to try a different approach than what was outlined in the guidelines. In order to get the exception, that states had to guarantee that they would increase employment by 20 percent.

There is the concerted effort by the right wing and Republicans to de-legitimize President Obama: The birther nonsense, a more than 40 percent of Republicans believe that the President wasn't born in the United States. Now The Donald (Trump) is offering $5,000,000 to charity if President Obama will produce his student records and passport application. If it weren't so insulting, it would be laughable. Being editor of the Harvard Law Review isn't enough to show your academic prowess.

Newt Gingrich characterized President Obama as "the food stamp President." Another Republican said the President was "lazy." Romney has suggested that Obama is incompetent, or least over his head. What do you think that's code for? Romney surrogate John Sununu said that the President needs to learn "how to be an American."

All of this, and believe that it is concerted effort by Republicans and the right wing, is to portray President Obama as "the other," foreign, not one of "us." Outside the right wing, Republican circles, the American public has not embraced those views. That Republicans keep doing it shows that they are practicing a technique known as "The Big Lie."

Perfected in Germany in the 30s and used by the Soviet Union throughout its history, it means that if you keep repeating a lie long enough, people will begin to believe that it is true. Republicans and right wingers practicing it in the second decade of the 21st Century is, as Daffy Duck would say, "Despicable."

The most bothersome about Romney is that he doesn't care. He has never acknowledged or retracted any of these falsehoods. In fact, when confronted with proof of these falsehoods, a senior Romney spokesman said, "We're not going to let fact checkers run our campaign." In other words, the truth loses if it doesn't fit the Romney's campaign's needs.

One more example, at a recent campaign rally, Romney said he read an article that Jeep was closing a plant and moving those jobs to China. He would fight this. What the article actually said was that Chrysler was considering opening a plant in China. The Chrysler Corporation issued a statement saying they weren't closing the U.S. plant, they were expanding it and hiring new workers. Romney's reaction? He took out a TV ad to repeat the lie. When confronted again, he bought radio ads to spread the lie even further.

Look at his budget proposals. He promises tax cuts, expanded defense spending, protecting medicare and social security but provides no details about he's going to pay for it without increasing the deficit. The details are what make or break the budget. It's like buying a car, the salesman tells you he's making you a really good deal but won't tell you any of the financial details until you sign the contract. That wouldn't work for me. When it comes to choosing a President, I think it won't work for the American people either.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:25