We have once again arrived at what some may call their most favorite time, election time. Personally, I prefer to call it the messiest time. As the election draws closer, our candidates are pulling out all the stops and sharpening their rhetoric. And now the "War of Words" begins in earnest.
To get into the spirit of things, I felt it would be appropriate to do a little mudslinging of my own. Before I begin, I would like to prequalify my remarks by saying I am in no way anti-government. However, what I am is anti-BS. With that said let me begin.
It is only fitting that I begin with the incumbent, Barack Hussein Obama, aka "The Preezy of the United Steezy." Not only is Obama the very first African American president in U.S. history, he is also the first one to "slow-jam the news" on national television. Obama is a skilled and engaging orator and apparently an accomplished singer as well. You have to give it to him, what he may lack with foreign policy he makes up for with swag. Unfortunately swag does not a good president make.
Though Obama entered into his administration during one of the worst economic downturns in history, his tenure has still not been without its own issues. Among these is a controversial and highly unpopular heath care package. Dubbed "Obamacare," this policy has done much to divide the country. Though this new approach has its pros, it appears the cons may outweigh them.
In all fairness to our commander in chief, pretty much all health care reform proposals tend to meet with tough opposition. The one thing that can be held against him however, are his broken promises to the people. There are a few promises I remember vividly. One was his promise to close down Gitmo. Nearly four years later it seems to be business as usual with no end in sight. Another was his word that he would not use signing statements to usurp the authority of Congress. Since then, Obama has issued more than a dozen.
Obama ran on the platform of "Change you can believe in." When viewed in the light of the situation at that time, this was a pretty appealing slogan, however, when viewed in its purest form, what did this really mean? Enter the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Now, instead of "change you can believe in," it seems more like "chains you can believe in".
The next catchphrase was "Yes we can!" Once again, when viewed in its native form, exactly what were we all saying yes we could do? Were we saying yes to higher fuel prices? How about a higher all-around cost of living? Where we saying yes to indefinite detention for citizens, or to the opening of the floodgates to illegal immigrants? Yes, we did get change and we can all believe it, but have things changed for the better or for the worse? Always remember, the devil is in the details.
Next we have Willard Mitt Romney. While his name may inspire visions of horn-rimmed glasses and pocket protectors, Romney is actually a successful businessman. He is a man well-versed in the art of making money. His net worth is reportedly estimated at nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. It would seem that a man in command of that kind of fortune could not have amassed such wealth by being careless with his spending. One would think Romney would be the man with the plan to balance our staggering budget. Apparently he believes so, too, because he is definitely making his bid for the Oval Office. One would think that now our worries are over and this is our man, but... not so fast says the Obama camp.
According to the Democrats, Romney is far from the man to entrust our livelihoods with, let alone our tax dollars. The Dems say that Romney will no doubt lead us unerringly back to the Stone-Age, or as VP Joe Biden put it, we'll all be back in chains. Incidently, the GOP seized on the moment to accuse Biden of racism for making such a politically incorrect statement. OK! While Joe Biden may not be the epitome of subtlety, let's give the guy a little credit. Surely he wouldn't set his own president up for failure. Would he? Well, would he?
If you are expecting an answer from me, I defer my opinion until we can see what other gaffes Biden makes. Just remember, politics make for strange bedfellows.
And now I must move on to the more serious issues here, and it is that of the people. That's right... us! You see, we are the ones who will have to endure the hardships if we choose unwisely. Then again, do we really have much of a choice? If you take the campaign rhetoric at face value, it would appear that neither candidate is worth the paper they write their carefully crafted, cleverly worded speeches on.
Furthermore, what about the poor and the disenfranchised? What does who gets elected mean to the homeless? Is it as important to the tens of thousands of unemployed as finding work?
Each side argues over which is more in touch with society. The Dems say the GOP is out of sync with reality, and the GOP fires back with more of the same, with each accusing the other of shennanigans in a never-ending loop of meaningless gibberish. Meanwhile the deficit grows larger and other problems get bigger as well.
With all the fanfare and hoopla now associated with presidential elections, it appears to be more of a commercial production than a process through which we select our most important leader. It seems that somewhere in the wash of celebrity endorsements, catchy campaign slogans, and flashy campaign commercials bashing the opponent, the real issues are lost.
Finally after the smoke clears and a president is elected, then, and only then, can we begin our renewed count of broken promises until we begin the cycle all over four years from now. Maybe one day, our elected officials will put aside partisanship and actually accomplish something meaningful where it really counts.
If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.