I'm that guy that can't stop with the devil's advocate thing. I was told this in high school by Edward Davis, one of my best friends. He was telling me this horror story about how mean a certain girl at school was. I didn't even know her, but I was explaining how she couldn't be as bad as he was saying, and he said "Jeff, why do you always go against anything people say to you?" He went on and on. I'd never thought about it. Well I have now. I still have no idea why, but I try and temper it sometimes.
Before I tell you who I'm going to vote for... wait, I already did. Anyway, in the name of being objective, I want to get out all of the reasons why I didn't want to vote for Mitt Romney.
First and probably foremost, if I'm honest, is that I'm a Mormon white man. I absolutely hate being stereotyped, and probably 95% of Mormon white men are voting for Romney. So I don't like that immediately, and that's points for Obama in my book. Or it was until I admitted it to myself and decided it was irrelevant to the decision.
Second, I disagree with Romney and most Republicans in their views regarding illegal immigration. Being an illegal immigrant is slightly less bad in my book than driving 26 in a 25 mile an hour zone. We need more people in this country. Illegal immigrants aren't criminals. Their crime rate is less than that of citizens. They aren't a significant drain on the economy. They are people just like anyone else. Disenfranchised people. Remember that "No taxation without representation!" All of them pay some taxes in some form, and some of them (more than you'd think) pay every tax that a citizen pays, but none of them get representation. I know many of them, and if I were to make a mental list of good and bad people by judging everyone (which I think is a dumb idea), they would be spread out along the continuum just like any other group.
Third, I don't like this whole 'less taxes for the rich' thing. I don't buy Obama's line of "he'll drop taxes for the rich and increase them for the middle class" thing. No politician would do that. It would be political suicide. I do think he might reduce taxes for the wealthy though. Or I did. My problem with cutting the capital gains tax was that for the most part it's only people with extra income that invest, and might have to pay a capital gains tax, therefore it's mostly them that benefit from it. My understanding of his policy at present is that those earning less than 200,000 a year will have no capital gains tax, and those earning more would have the same (14%?) or an even higher (20%?) rate. Don't quote me on the over 200,000 per year percentages. I could be wrong.
In that same 'help the rich' vein, I don't like the whole "the rich will pay the same proportion of all taxes (60%?) that they do now" idea. A rich finance guy said that the rich are paying more now relative to the rest of the country than ever before. Maybe it was even "the 1%" pay more. The reason that this is so, is that, relatively speaking, they are making more in comparison to the rest of us than ever before. If before, the regular guy made 1 dollar for every 20 dollars earned by the 1% guy, now it's the regular guy making 1 dollar for every 70 dollars earned by the 1% guy. Of course the proportion of taxes paid by the wealthiest will go up when they're earning so much more. As it should! While the mega bucks earned by the rich are more volatile than the average guy, they are still massive.
I have no problem with distributing wealth. 150 years ago, there were factory owners and workers. The owners said 'hey, for every dollar less I pay my workers, that's a dollar more in my pocket!' And they made tons of money, while the workers made very little. I don't consider those tons of money to be earned or deserved. Anyway, this article isn't about fairness, so I'll stop now.
I'm voting for Romney for the following reasons:
I do think his business acumen will translate into a better economy. He knows how to take struggling businesses, trim off the fat, and make them profitable. Our government has some similarities to a struggling business that seem obvious to me. It's also not like a struggling business in other ways. Anyway, I like the experience in terms of reducing government waste.
Mitt Romney has some plans to reduce government spending. In any election, the candidate that talks about spending less government money than the other guy gets painted as being 'against' any group that receives government money. Any specifics are used against him or her. My biggest problem with Obama, is that every one of his four years have been one of the four years in the history of this country where the USA has increased the deficit by the most. I understand that in a growing economy, government expenditures should grow by 1-3%. But his first year (budget came from Bush) was an 18% increase, and then the spending never dropped back down. That's huge!!!
This country cannot afford to spend more than it takes in. And doing it by such large numbers, year after year after year. This is a disaster! What really upsets me is the people that say Mitt Romney's numbers don't add up. It's probably true. But at least he has a plan. It will require adjusting, but it is set up to be as painless as possible. I don't hear any plan out of President Obama at all. Just the standard "Oh, we'll take care of that 6 months from now." I don't hear any of the objective voices calling him out on that. It's just "Romney's plan is only covering 98% of what it claims to." Taking care of 98% of the problem is a lot better than taking care of 0% of the problem.
I also agree with Romney generally in terms of abortion. I believe that we were all fetuses at one time. Any of us that were aborted would not be here. All of those that were aborted are not here. I agree that there may be terrible consequences and/or suffering by some women, and I'm OK with some of the proposed exceptions to the no abortion rule. Generally however, I see no difference between killing the baby the day before it is born or the day after. I don't think a baby should be killed because she was a girl and her parents wanted a boy. I don't think a baby should be killed because it will have down syndrome. In coming years, many variables may become known about a person from when they are in the womb. Maybe Mom and Dad don't want a short child, or a red-headed child. Is it ok to kill them for it? In any case, I don't think presidents have much sway in terms of abortion law, so it doesn't really affect my vote.
I'm not sure what Romney's detailed position is on homosexual marriage. What is mine? I guess the easiest oversimplification is that I think marriage is between a man and a woman. Always has been. Always should be. I don't mind something else, like legal recognition of a relationship, including the visitation rights and many of these things that have been denied to same sex couples. I do understand the idea that my beliefs shouldn't be imposed on other people. I believe the homosexual act to be a sin. I also believe the heterosexual act outside of marriage to be a sin. Not my job to criticize or judge people who believe different than I do. Unfair legal practices, like not allowing visitation rights, need to be changed. Probably the easiest way to do this would be via civil unions that offer similar legal recognition to marriage. There have been societies where homosexuality is tolerated and even encouraged, and many others where it is prohibited. There are apparently some cultures present today where it doesn't exist. As far as I know, there has never been a culture where the same word is used for the permanent relationship of a man and a woman as for a homosexual relationship. The ideas are different. The names are different. Why do they need to be called the same thing? Not really an issue for me in this election, but oh well.
As far as other reason I go with Romney over Obama... I am a little bit upset by Obama's tactics in the election. The whole idea of so much time spent on attacks on Romney, little or no substance on what Obama will do in a second term kind of upsets me. More of the same isn't good enough for me. I can't imagine the national debt after 8 years of this. I tend to agree with Romney that most of Obama's attacks are 'small.'
I don't like the pandering done by both sides. President Obama waited until the election was coming around to take some actions to rally his constituents. The reversal and support of gay marriage, conveniently takes place at election time, and only when the public opinion polls show majority support for gay marriage proponents. The new 'don't remove certain illegal immigrants' rule went into effect years after it could have. Obama could have done this whenever he wanted. But he wanted increased energy from the Latino community, so he waited until election time. Mitt Romney does similar things, but on a much smaller scale.
I've felt that I learned just how 'liberal' the 'liberal media' is recently, watching much of the media follow the president's lead, when, after the first debate, when Romney destroyed the "uber conservative plutocrat elitist" image that the liberals had spent so long creating, they switched back to the "flip flop will say anything" Romney. I see a lot of articles devoted to how Obama probably wishes he was still facing 'severely conservative' Mitt and not the new moderate Mitt. They make a long winded assertion that Mitt Romney has flip flopped his character to win votes. This is Obama's new attack line. None of them say "Obama switches campaign strategies from painting Mitt as ultra conservative to painting him as a flip flop." Mitt Romney is talking more moderately now than in the primaries. As does every candidate in every presidential election.
For me, there are also a number of non-issues involved. I don't care about tax returns. I don't care about the recent problems in Benghazi, or who knew what when. I don't care about Obama saying "When I was president" in a debate instead of "As president." I don't care about 'binders of women.' It was a poorly worded phrase, but he has a record to be proud of regarding women in his administration. Even if much of it was due to outside influence of that women's group. Nobody made him accept their influence. I don't care about President Obama's middle name. He is not a Muslim. And even if he was, I would be OK with that. I don't believe he's trying to destroy the country, or intentionally send the USA into mediocrity.
I think president Obama has a good heart, and wants to do good for lots of people that need help. But there are limits to what we can do. I like Mitt Romney's idea of comparing every federal expense and saying "Is this important enough to borrow money from China for?" Of course the great majority of US national debt is held by US citizens, and the China bit is mostly for political points, but the point stands. I believe in helping people. I think Jesus Christ would do it if he were president. He wouldn't tow the conservative line and say that giving and serving was for individuals only and not for government. In a democracy, we are the government. Do we want to help those in need? We do. I think Mitt Romney does to. But there are limits, and he knows them better than president Obama.