Counterpunch: Romney would be a dangerous leader
Mitt Romney should not be president, period. To suggest so is to flagrantly ignore the long list of gaffes, missteps, and contradictions that have characterised Romney’s campaign, and to further ignore the dangerous and destructive force that both he and the Republican Party represents. Romney’s substance consists of nothing more than scapegoats, bad policy and poor charisma.
Conservatives have heavily criticised “the liberal media” for portraying Romney as an extremist, but how much of that is true?
Take women’s reproductive rights, for example. Romney has flip-flopped on the issue of abortion since 1994, ranging from completely pro-choice, to completely anti-choice, and now he lies somewhere in-between.
He’s promised to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides many services other than abortions for both men and women, such as cancer screenings and STI testing.
He’s also promised to overturn Roe vs Wade, which would be a major blow to women’s reproductive autonomy.
These promises by themselves might not seem so extreme, but when put into perspective with the rest of Romney’s party, it paints a slightly darker picture.
Rep Todd Akin infamously claimed that if it was “legitimate” rape, a woman could not become pregnant - thus supporting the abhorrent notion the abortion in the case of rape is never necessary.
Clayton Williams suggested that, “If it is inevitable, [women] should just relax and enjoy it”, while Rick Santorum sensitively proposed that women “Make the best of a bad situation”.
Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, also co-signed a bill that would have implemented forced vaginal ultrasounds, and co-sponsored a bill that would give fetuses full legal rights from conception, giving legal basis for charging abortion providers and the women who have them as murderers.
Reproductive rights aside, Romney’s economic policies are even less helpful. Romney’s tax plan of keeping the 2001-2010 tax cuts for individuals and corporations has been proven faulty, as it would reduce federal income by trillions over the next decade.
The blanket 20 per cent decrease has almost everyone wondering (both critics and the Tax Policy Centre alike) how Romney’s government would make enough money to shake off the staggering deficit that America inherited from President Bush.
Romney and Ryan have frequently cited “six independent studies” that prove the legitimacy of their tax plan, which are in fact nothing more than blog posts and articles written by people with ties to Romney - but Americans are supposed to take it on faith that Romney can simultaneously lift America out of an appalling financial situation while decreasing taxes for everyone.
Romney has a lot to answer for, particularly when the Republican party that he would lead has consistently blocked legislation forwarded by Obama that would do exactly what they themselves have promised to do.
Republicans have repeatedly blocked legislation that would have seen hundreds of millions go toward building and repairing infrastructure, hiring teachers, and implementing new transportation projects.
Infamously, Republicans have blocked the string of policies known as The American Jobs Act for an entire year, despite the fact that it is estimated that the legislation could have created up to 2.6 million jobs, protected 1.6 million current jobs and boosted the GDP by 1.5 per cent.
Beyond his obviously flawed policies and obstructionist practices, Romney has made a long series of gaffes that are absurd embarrassments.
The notorious video leaked by Mother Jones is a sore reminder that Romney doesn’t actually care for the middle class, the 47 per cent of people who “won’t take responsibility for their actions”.
In 2008, he penned an article for The New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, and then proceeded to claim almost farcically during his campaign that he was a bigger supporter of the auto-industry than Obama.
In what is a horrendously poor example of foreign diplomacy, Romney has made China one of his favourite scapegoats (right after people who receive benefits), and has repeatedly labeled China a “currency manipulator” which steals American jobs.
This is while Sensata, a subsidiary of Romney’s Bain Capital, is currently in the process of out-sourcing jobs to China.
This is to say nothing of Romney’s position on civil rights. Romney has donated several million dollars to the Church of Latter Day Saints annually for the past several years, an organisation that has poured similar millions into oppressing civil rights for homosexuals, and who up until 1978 believed that black people were the devil.
When Romney was younger, he once held a flamboyant classmate down and forcefully cut the boy’s hair, after having taunted him about it for a prolonged time - a mostly ignored incident which toes the line of gay bashing.
Add to this his memorable quotes, such as “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me”, “Corporations are people” and “I’m not concerned about the very poor - we have a safety net there”, and what do you have?
Is he the exemplary human being that the Republicans would have you vote for, or is he a person of dubious character, questionable morality, and ulterior motives?
Romney is nothing short of a sore embarrassment to the United States, as shown by a recent opinion poll by the BBC that shows an overwhelming majority of support for President Obama.
Romney has survived his tumultuous and often laughable campaign by utilising his skills as a businessman and rhetorician, and by playing on the fears and anxieties of an entire country for his own benefit.
He promises security, wealth, and a stronger United States - what American doesn’t want that? But the fact remains that Romney’s policies literally do not add up, and electing him would be something that Americans would sorely regret.
Josh’s Twitter: @jakalope242
He also blogs at: wristwatchesareneat.com
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