How many voters in the upcoming presidential election will have given serious attention to the major issues facing this country and how will this affect for whom they vote? Will the majority of voters merely vote the party line whether this favors every Democratic candidate or every Republican candidate?
There are very serious issues at stake, issues that could and probably will affect every citizen in the country in one way or another.
The national debt and how Washington officials may decide to tackle this monster are likely to affect Lawrence. For example, federal funds may be cut that have been directed toward student aid at Kansas University, and the city may lose funding from the state because of cutbacks in money the state has been receiving from Washington. The city has many costly road projects in the planning stage and these could be reduced, delayed or possibly eliminated. Federal grants or research grants to KU could be trimmed or eliminated. Any program or activity in Lawrence that receives federal fiscal assistance, and many state programs, all could be reduced substantially because of major reductions in federal spending. New tax policies also could color private giving to KU, which has played such an important role in the university’s success.
It’s likely a high percentage of voters are numb about the election because campaigning to win the 2012 presidential election has been going on, in one way or another, since the day after Barack Obama won the election in November 2008. His aides and political strategists have been working since that time on his re-election, and most every action and policy he has endorsed probably has been reviewed and tested to see how it will play with voters and affect his political popularity.
Following Sen. John McCain’s defeat, Republican hopefuls began jockeying for position and prominence in their races for the GOP presidential nomination. The public has been saturated with campaign messages and partisan ads making the 2012 election the most costly in this country’s history. It’s almost obscene how much money — approaching $2 billion — has been spent by both parties.
The saying “to the victor belong the spoils” certainly applies to political elections with winners able to staff thousands of well-paying jobs, muscle through legislation that may be more favorable to those who supported their candidacy and many others ways of rewarding party faithful.
But the saying “to the victor belong the spoils” should be modified or expanded to say “to the victor belong the spoils AND the responsibility and obligation to do what is in the best interests of the country.”
This nation has become so deeply divided that Congress is deadlocked, and, consequently, the country is stalemated, standing still rather than getting stronger.
There are terribly important issues before the voters. The dangers and consequences of the ever-growing national debt cannot be overstated. This situation, no matter how it is addressed, will affect every American in one way or another.
There is no more important issue. President Obama promised to cut the debt in half during his first term in office. Sadly, it has increased by $6 trillion to the present $16 trillion-plus figure. If there is any chance to control and reduce this dangerous debt, challenger Romney or President Obama will have to initiate new and effective programs that are sure to be tough and painful and will affect every citizen.
Do voters consider this when entering the voting both? If so, which candidate do they believe can get the job done? Obama’s record over the past three years is bad, very bad. Romney’s is untested at the national level.
Millions of Americans rely on federal aid in one form or another. Millions don’t pay any income taxes. Have they become so dependent on this aid and so fearful of losing it through cutbacks or new legislation that might be necessary to rein in the national debt that they will decide to vote for Obama and four more years of his failed policies?
Do voters believe Romney’s policies can create 12 million new jobs in four years, initiate the necessary cuts in federal government spending and get Americans to be energy independent — all combining to help reduce the national debt?
The debt matter touches all other issues facing this country and, at some time, it has to be addressed through serious actions by the White House and Congress with the support of the majority of Americans.
Which candidate, Obama or Romney, has the record and first-hand experience in business that is so critical for our country? And which candidate has the record and experience of working with differing legislative interests to win bipartisan support for badly needed legislation?
Obama and his strategists have been unable to negotiate, and, as a result, there is a crippling standoff in Congress. He has been unable to work or forge a working relationship with the Republican majority in the House. There has been little reaching across the aisle by Sen. President Harry Reid or Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney was able to pass legislation he favored even with Democrats enjoying more than an 80 percent majority in the state legislature. Would he be able to develop a similar relationship with Congress if he were elected? No one knows for sure, but he did it in Massachusetts, and he certainly has the business background and experience Obama lacks.
Again, will voters vote a straight party line or will they vote for what they think is in the best interests of their country?