As a whole, the 2012 presidential election can be hard to follow. If I were eligible to vote, I’d break down deciding issues into two main segments: social policy and economic policy. Challenger Mitt Romney is a better choice than incumbent Barack Obama due to his superior economic policies and past record combined with social policies on either side that have little actual impact.
The most important issue to me is the country’s economic health. In recent debates, polls show that 67 percent of independent voters think that Romney would be better for the country’s economy.
By the measure of Obama’s own promises, the last four years of fiscal policy have constituted failure. He promised to cut the national debt in half—rather, it has increased by trillions. He promised to decrease unemployment and create jobs, and has used the low unemployment rate of 7.8 percent to claim success. However, this number only accounts for Americans who are actively searching for jobs. According to “The Economist,” the percentage of able citizens who are not employed has gone up from eight to 11 percent during Obama’s presidency. Long-term unemployment, or the percentage of Americans unlikely to find a job in the coming years, has hovered near an all-time high.
In contrast, Romney’s years as governor of Massachusetts and Chief Executive Officer of Bain Capital have proved successful. At Bain, he created jobs by revitalizing failing businesses. According to Steven N. Kaplan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago, even a conservative estimate credits Romney’s time with Bain with thousands of jobs. When Romney was governor, he added more jobs during his four years in office than were added during those of both his predecessor and successor. He reduced unemployment from 5.6 to 4.7 percent—without rasing taxes. It follows that, in terms of fiscal policy, Romney is the superior candidate.
This leaves Obama supporters with one last line of defense: social policy. We hear full-throated claims of social justice for women and people who are gay on both sides. Obama has made it clear that he supports gay marriage—Romney has not. Obama has made it clear that he agrees with a woman’s right to choose—Romney only supports abortion rights under certain conditions. Democrats commonly state this to claim moral superiority for Obama. However, regardless of whether voters are pro-choice or pro-life, against or in favor of gay marriage, it should not play a role when determining who to vote for. There has never been a piece of legislation that depended on the president’s signature to condemn or uphold either of the two key social issues. Rather, this jurisdiction lies with the Supreme Court and in individual state governments. It is irrelevant if one believes in a given side of the two leading social issues—when it comes to determining a the man who will become America’s next Commander-in-Chief, it should hold no sway the—president’s stance simply does not matter.
Because Obama’s record does not condemns his fiscal policy, and Romney’s history promotes his candidacy, it is clear that Mitt Romney is the more capable candidate. Since social policy is largely out of the president’s control, and Romney’s economic past gives his stances credence, Romney is preferable to me as a presidential candidate and should be preferable to America.