Written by: Leon Cheong
Third-party or independent voters have been unsure as to which candidate deserves their endorsement. As a Libertarian, it would seem difficult for me to side with one of two candidates. I share the same social agenda with Democrats, but I also believe in fiscal conservatism. However, I still share the decisiveness that characterizes those who pledge themselves to a specific, singular political party. Because of Romney’s inconsistencies, I firmly believe that the country would be better off with Barack Obama in the White House for another four years.
As a libertarian, I promote a conservative economic system. Given this fact, it might be strange that I support Obama, the liberal candidate who stands for everything I am against economically. He is, however, who I believe to be the “lesser of two evils.” Although Obama has an economic policy that leaves much to be desired, he offers some degree of stability. In other words, left-winged liberalism allows for predictability, and allows preparation for foreseeable flaws. Mitt Romney on the other hand is what many people colloquially refer to as a “flip-flopper.”
Romney has shown tendencies to resemble a liberal at times. For example, Romney has opposed, and continues to oppose, the Bush tax cuts. As governor of Massachusetts, he went through primarily liberal measures, such as fee hiking, to balance the state budget. Romney also stated in 2007 at the Cable News Network (CNN) Republican debate at St. Petersburg, Florida, that he supported government ethanol and non-ethanol farm subsidies, something rather akin to what a liberal might say. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney also increased state taxes by five percent, and increased service fees (initially $200) by a whopping 900 percent. It is because of his history as governor that I doubt his current pledges to promote conservative economic reform. Romney’s plan is, blatantly put, unreliable.
This same trend is echoed in the history of Romney’s social agenda. His position on key social issues constantly migrates according to what will most benefit his campaign. As Massachusetts governor, Romney said he was in favor of gay rights and the institution of same-sex marriage. In 2004, even though he was not obligated to do so by law, he commanded state agencies to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. However, he now vocally opposes gay marriage, completely changing his stance for the sake of nomination. This occurred in his stance on abortion as well; Romney was previously pro-choice, but now claims to be pro-life.
Obama, on the other hand, became an up-front and obviously firm advocate of gay marriage and the right to abortion when he announced his position in May. Obama’s recent announcement of his support of gay marriage proves that he is not afraid to tell the truth about his true opinions on social matters, even if doing so hurts his ratings. In contrast, much of Romney’s previously liberal social policies have been “flip-flopped” and changed entirely to fit the ideals of the Republican party. This poses the question: why would anyone vote for someone who would so swiftly forfeit his principles in exchange for the presidency? To me, it is not worth the risk of voting for a candidate who’s promises leave you doubting and skeptical. In the end, Obama offers the much valued reliability, stability and experience, while his adversary can offer only his own half-hearted, empty rhetoric.