Thursday, November 1, 2012

Closing Arguments: Part 2

In the first post discussing my final considerations in voting for Mitt Romney, I discussed the case against Barack Obama.  In this, the second part, I will discuss the positive case for Mitt Romney.

In many ways, Mitt Romney is a blank slate, even to this day.  He Governed in Massachusetts as a moderate, "reach-across-the-aisle" Republican.  He lent his name to RomneyCare, the Massachusetts socialized health care plan.

So why would a Dedicated Tenther vote for Mitt Romney?

Largely it is because I am a Dedicated Tenther, and Mitt Romney's performances in the debates, as well as his stump speeches, lead me to believe he is also a Tenther, if not as dedicated as I am to that cause.

When he ran in 2008, Mitt Romney was already discussing RomneyCare in terms of the 10th Amendment.  He understood then that people in other states didn't like it, and was promising not to force it on the rest of the states.  As a candidate this time around he has claimed, loud and often, that he would immediately waive the requirements of ObamaCare for all 50 States.  He can do that on his on recognizance, with no input from Congress at all.  He has then also said that he would pursue "Repeal and Replace."  The "Replace" part of that makes me a little nervous, but the Repeal is absolutely necessary.

One of the solutions that his running-mate, Paul Ryan, suggested to fix Medicaid, and one that Mr. Romney seems to have accepted, is the idea of block-grants to the States for them to run their own Medicaid programs.  This is not quite as good, philosophically, as doing away with it all together, but it may be the most realistic Conservative solution.

Similarly, unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney has put forth plans, at least in general terms, for fixing both Medicare and Social Security.  Here I want to make a point that is often overlooked.  Republicans are often attacked for wanting to "end" or "privatize" Medicare and Social Security.  While it is true we believe that private solutions are probably much better than Government solutions, there is another question that never gets asked: what is the Democrats' plan?  They never seem to have an answer for that.  At least Mr. Romney is willing to lead and put forth a plan.

In short, everything Mr. Obama is fiscally, Mr. Romney is not.  The reverse is also true.

Socially, I believe that Mr. Romney and I share much of the same space.  That is this: shut up about social issues.  But, if you're going to make social issues into political issues, we're both coming down on the side of social conservatism.  I do not believe that Mitt Romney will particularly pursue the reimplementation of Don't Ask Don't Tell.  I do think, given the chance, he would continue to defend DOMA.  I do think, if people made homosexuality in the military a big issue, he would side with social conservatives.

Regarding foreign policy, I do not know how Mitt Romney will pursue his course, or how he will direct our nation.  I do know two things.  I know he would not leave our personnel to die in an under-defended diplomatic mission just to further his own political goals.  I also know that he's listening to at least some of the right people.  Among those is former Ambassador John Bolton.

Ultimately, however, the question comes down to character.  During the primaries, I did not trust that Mitt Romney was the kind of man I wanted to be President.  He had not made that case to me.  The truth his, he has never made that case for himself, but those around him have.  They have told stories of his character, his patience, and his charity.  They have told the stories of the things he did when he thought no one would notice.  And those stories have reassured me.

Four years ago, I drug myself to the poling place to vote for John McCain.  It was painful, and I didn't want to do it, but I did.  In 5 days, I will walk into my poling place with a song in my heart and vote for Mitt Romney for President.

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