There’s a lot of fretting going on about the election, and many people are flat-out scared about the state of the union in general. On Wednesday of this week roughly half the country will be down in the dumps because their guy lost. Next Wednesday, the other half will be a nervous wreck because they’ll realize that their guy has to somehow fix a terrible economy. Both sides will continue to wonder if we’ve reached a new status quo, or if things will start to turn around. I’ve never heard so many expressions of worry and consternation over the future of our country as I’ve heard over the past six months.
Round three wasn’t a total snooze-fest, because there were a couple of lively moments, but the overall energy level for the third debate was considerably lower than the first two. Perhaps it was because the candidates were seated, or because foreign policy issues are inherently less debatable, due to the candidates’ similar stances. Whatever the reason, though, this exercise was less like a debate and more like a conversation that could have occurred over a game of shuffleboard at the Del Boca Vista Retirement Community.
After a devastating drubbing in the first debate at the hands of an ultra-aggressive Mitt Romney, Barack Obama needed a strong debate performance (1) to reassure and reenergize his base and (2) to stop the bleeding among undecided voters and independents, who are fleeing in droves to Romney. I believe Obama accomplished the first objective, but probably not the second.
What a debate! We’ve been hearing for months from the high and mighty political intelligentsia that the economy is the most important issue to the American public in this election. Frankly, it doesn’t take a political genius to reach this conclusion. The unemployment rate is sky-high, gas is expensive, the housing market is anemic, and the American people desperately want to know what the candidates plan to do about it. People are hurting. It stands to reason, therefore, that a debate focusing solely on economic issues would be very important, and I agree. In addition, this was the first Presidential debate of the 2012 election season, which carries with it great historical significance.
Let me state from the outset that I am not voting for Barack Obama. I have studied the two candidates’ positions on various important issues, and my vision for America’s future falls more in line with the vision of Mitt Romney. I believe that America’s economy will improve at a more rapid pace through implementation of the Republican ticket’s policies. I have more confidence that Mitt Romney’s foreign policy approach will improve America’s world stature and increase America’s security. Surely, then, as a Romney supporter, I must view Barack Obama with the utmost scorn and disdain, correct? As a Republican who supports “letting go of” (as Clint Eastwood would say) the sitting President, I must apply to Barack Obama all of the pejorative phrases we hear spewing from the mouths of political commentators, politicians, and, yes, even some Christians, correct? Obama hates America, he is liar, and he is a fraud.