This endorsement is the collective opinion of the Optimist Editorial Board and should not be taken as the views of the the university. The endorsement was published on Wednesday, Oct. 24 along side guest columns from the presidents of both College Republicans and College Democrats.
Politics and elections can be overwhelming for everyone, especially college students.
For most of us, this is the first election in which we can vote, meaning we just started paying attention. With debates, political ads and countless issues, it is hard to know where to start.
It is unrealistic to expect to agree with a candidate on every issue, so from a Christian college student’s perspective, we decided three issues were of particular significance for our demographic in this election: foreign policy, health care and the national debt.
In regard to foreign policy, our belief is that the government’s job is to provide defense for Americans both at home and abroad, to work with allies to protect human rights around the world and to provide help for any countries who explicitly ask for it.
We also believe our military should move away from its history of intervention. While problems regarding gun control, gang violence and drug wars rage on our home soil, our focus often seems to be on other countries’ problems. Barack Obama has established a timeline that will remove troops from Afghanistan by 2014.
(Although in the final presidential debate, we did see Romney realign himself with this same timeline.)
During his years in office, Obama has also helped the Pentagon’s civilian intelligence staff to grow by 20 percent while cutting spending. Romney’s platform has clearly shown his intention to increase the military budget.
In 2011, our military spent $711 billion, nearly five times as much as China, which spent the second most, and equal to the next 14 countries combined. A military of this size and at this cost in the state of the economy is absurd.
The attacks of Sept. 11 could not have been prevented by large numbers of guns and troops and most Americans have never experienced war as a domestic issue. It’s clear that massive military spending is not the answer to our country’s foreign problems.
Domestically, one of the biggest issues facing Americans in this election is health care. When it comes down to it, Romneycare and Obamacare, as the respective candidates’ plans have come to be known, have many similarities. Americans can expect a change in health care either way, but where the candidates differ the most regards who will make these changes.
The work Romney has done in Massachusetts does not serve as a nationwide plan, like Obamacare, but instead as an example of what can happen when a state has the power to establish health care laws initially.
We live in one of the largest countries in the world in terms of both area and population, and it is ignorant to believe there will not be differences in beliefs throughout regions of America. But when states are given the power to choose, there is a much better chance that a majority of constituents will be happy.
In the past, we’ve seen issues like slavery, drinking age and many others decided on a state-to-state basis. In many cases, these laws become nationwide over time.
We would like to see the national government provide a basic requirement for health care that states can then tailor for their own population’s needs.
Romney’s plan allows for states to decide the best way to provide healthcare for its people, something that Obamacare wants to make nationwide.
We believe one of the biggest mistakes a voter can make is assuming a president’s policies will affect an economy as vast as our own in only four years. Many economists have hypothesized that at any point in time, our economy is actually the result of policies established multiple terms in the past.
Four years after Obama’s election, it seems many of those same Americans are ready to assume he has had “enough time” to make a mark on the economy.
Spending cuts alone will not make even a small dent on our $16 trillion debt. The government also needs to increase its revenue by spreading the tax burden equally on all classes and closing loopholes for the upperclass. Through this, and a focus on job creation, we will hopefully begin to see the economy flourishing again.
While we also agree with Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate, on all three of these issues, he has plans to diminish government to an extreme extent. However, it is important to realize that a third party brings another platform to voters and we wish we had an opportunity to hear him debate and present his perspective alongside the two dominant parties.
After establishing our stances on each of these issues and comparing them to each candidates platforms, we feel that Barack Obama is the candidate most deserving of our vote on Election Day.
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