Why I’m Switching from Obama to Romney in 2012
by Tim Crowley | University of Notre Dame
In 2008, I was a newly anointed 18-year-old, and I began to focus more seriously on worldly concerns. A lot was happening on the national level with the presidential election, and I quickly became a supporter of then-Senator Barack Obama. He was easy to like, and my naiveté played a large role. As peers began asking my opinion of the race, I was happy to regurgitate the latest news from Obama’s campaign. It all seemed to make sense. As time passed, my opinion became the same as those who spoke on Obama’s behalf- I thought it wise, at the time, to at least have something to say versus nothing at all. My own critical thinking was lacking.
Four years later, as I approach my 23rd birthday, I look at things in a different light. I have acquired a job in New York City within the financial world; I pay closer attention to the actions of world leaders, super-national institutions and the movements of various markets; and, while I believe President Obama has done a good job managing our economy, I do not believe his policies are headed in the right direction.
Obama’s State of the Union address was extremely optimistic and provided hope for those Americans struggling in these tough times. It is hard to disagree with what the President said: He promised many things that seem beneficial. Yet, I believe his promises are empty. He is trying to emulate the welfare-states of our European allies, but Europe is slowly realizing that even they cannot afford their welfare state.
Yes, ObamaCare helps many people. It helps them ride the system. I’ve come to develop a philosophy centered on retaining what you earn. I do not believe in free handouts — economics (which I’m majoring in) teaches that there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” I invested a lot of time to acquire a good job with full benefits, and I am frustrated when I hear stories of people who live off of the system, a system that takes away their incentive to work. Furthermore, once started down this path, you only get more and more reliant on it.
Also concerning is our accumulated debt, which is awful to hold onto. Adding more debt does prima-facie help our immediate situation. It will boost confidence until the next payment is due. But I do not believe this is the solution; we are only denying the inevitable. Business operates in cycles, and we cannot avoid one segment of the cycle by throwing money at it. We must let capitalism work, on its own. Downturns provide opportunities and the necessary incentives for people to take advantage of them and achieve true growth.
Do people expect to continue to grow as a hegemonic power without ever experiencing a sharp economic downturn? Why do we protect every business with the assumption that they are the most efficient possible operation? Nothing is ever perfect- we are always working on strengthening our current situation. By protecting the status quo through social welfare policies and bailouts, we only delay the inevitable and set up a sharper decline.
We need to let America’s spirit, inspiration and motivation take its course. Adding more debt to an already sluggish economy would be detrimental to future growth. The Republicans have articulated this point throughout their debates.
As of today, my support rests with the Republicans in the 2012 election. They’ve come to stress the points that I now think are most pertinent.
Ron Paul brings up many good points, except for his stance on foreign policy. I do not believe isolationism is a viable solution to our problems in a world that is so intertwined.
I don’t trust Newt Gingrich. He is always ‘spinning’ facts in his favor. Take, for example, his explanation of the “historian” role he held for Freddie Mac. I believe he was, as Mitt Romney pointed out, a highly paid influence peddler, and not a “historian.” Furthermore, he says some flat-out ridiculous things. I can’t decide which is more ludicrous; that Newt would have a colony on the Moon or that it would be achieved in his second term.
I am neutral with regard to Rick Santorum. I believe he did extremely well in the debates, especially as such an underdog, but I do not think he has gained enough momentum to matter.
I believe Mitt Romney, the most likely nominee by far, has the strongest chance to defeat President Obama in the 2012 election. He has shown that he can withstand attacks on his personal life and business. He understands the economy — and, most importantly, I trust him. As a young graduate and a former Obama supporter, I’ll be voting for him come November 2012.Tim Crowley is a guest NGJ Contributor and a senior at the University of Notre Dame.