“O” Is The Center

Today the Country votes.  Unless there is a tie or legal high jinx keep the final decision up in the air for weeks or months to come, talk show hosts and their habitual guests will be out of mindless things to say.  Oh (pun), it will be wonderful to once again know there is more in the world than two campaigns.

For those who prefer centrist leadership, there is a clear choice.  Consider these points

Deficit/Debt.  There are two big considerations facing any President trying trying to restore fiscal soundness to the US.  (1) The appearance of fairness will enable whatever the plan may be to become broadly acceptable.  This means tax cuts favoring the already wealth, increases in defense spending, and singular focus on entitlements as the route to spending decreases are poor choices.  (2) The rate of change and consistency of purpose will make or break any deficit reduction plan.  A too rapid deficit reduction will surely stall the economy and too slow an implementation will result in backwards motion as new deficits pile onto the debt.  Which candidate has proposed tax cuts and ending social security and Medicare?

Health Care.  The Affordable Care Act is hardly a perfect piece of legislation.  It is noble in that it provides a path to insurance for millions previously denied coverage.  But its attack upon costs and reliance upon employers dooms the ACA to a marginal status.  Is the right path to return to the time that pre-existing conditions ruled the way?  Is it fair for some to game the system and enter the insurance pool only when they are likely to require costly medical care (and then have this cost past onto other Americans)?  The US may be years away from realizing just how foolish out current health care delivery system really is.  Regardless, the “you’re on your own” approach seems hardly in the center.

Economic growth.  The US economy was on steroids in the years leading up to the 2007 crash.  An unrestrained housing bubble fueled a vast number of jobs.  Overshadowing housing was the financial sector where every street corner had a commercial bank.  Stealthy behind these banks which were offering fantastic saving programs and easy to get loans (got a heart beat, here’s some money), were extremely questionable ethics.  The financial sector seemed oblivious to any ethical violations when they repackaged subprime mortgages into fancy mortgage back securities and derivatives.  But financial institutions were not content with that.  These blue suiters would even bet against the instruments they were selling to investors while knowing that they could not cover losses if something went wrong with those securities or derivatives.  Who wants less regulations?  Who wants to free businesses to operate as they think best?

Individual freedoms.  This is a catch all for immigration reform, women’s rights, full recognition of gays and lesbians, and religious freedom.  Who will appoint Supreme Court Justices who favor over turning past Supreme Court decisions?  Who has said he would repeal legislation on equal pay?  Who favors taking away the benefits of marriage from homosexuals?  And who would enable religions under the flag of “religious freedom” to impose their religious views on others?

There is no one deciding factor in this election.  For sure many will cast their vote for Mitt Romney because they believe his policies will create jobs and in turn help them.  Others may vote for Mitt because they stand on the right side of individual freedoms.  And for still others, the lessons of history are lost.

There is no way to know with certainty whether Barack Obama will be successful if granted a second term.  The same is true for a Mitt Romney Presidency.  Events unknown at this time usually make or break a presidency.

What is unmistakable is that “O” lies closer to the center “R”.

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