OPINION: Though Romney outperformed in debate, he failed to capture my vote

To me, it is—frankly—surprising that anyone is undecided in this election.

It is no secret that President Barack Obama had a lackluster debate performance on the night of Wednesday, Sept. 3. The president’s performance in the debate was flat from the beginning: Romney continued to shove the president’s assertions—especially the $5 trillion tax—back down his throat, dismissing Obama’s claims as being unsubstantiated or misleading. Rather than retorting by resurfacing the wealth of gaffes in Romney’s recent past, Obama kept his tail between his legs and his eyes focused on the lectern. I was disappointed, to say the least. I found the outcome of the debate and the reactions of the viewers somewhat surprising. I found the general public’s reaction to the debate dissatisfying because Romney won a debate by being the better jerk and the more forceful speaker. But, according to the media pundits, Romney “won!” He won the debate, sure—but he didn’t win it for the right reasons. Winning something because you are a breath of fresh air is different than winning something because of your innovative ideas.   

So who is this a win for? Romney receiving a boost in the polls and, therefore, being that much closer to the White House is certainly not a “win” for the American people. Sure, you may be able to win a debate by delivering the talking points with a feisty “umph,” but you do not win informed voters by spouting out incomplete or inaccurate information. In fact, the jobs report came out quite recently—it showed that the president, since his first day in office, has created jobs. The employment rate has dropped below 8 percent, reaching 7.8 percent for the first time in four years. And yet Romney stands on the stage and talks about how bad the recovery is? Of course, it is not like Romney would notice the affects of a recovery since he swims in an oasis of money.

After the president’s speech at Mason on Friday, Sept. 5, it was clear why he is the better choice. Obama has greater integrity than Mitt Romney. I find it frustrating that moderate Republicans are dismissed by much of the conservative base, only because I always felt as if I treaded the thin line between liberal Republican and conservative Democrat. Romney knows that he must capture the conservative base—that is why he has gone back on many of his original stances as governor of Massachusetts, presenting himself as both an economic and social conservative. The fact is Romney’s claims of conservatism simply do not match up with his history. Not surprisingly, there are many fewer social conservatives within the Democratic Party than within the Republican Party, but that is certainly not to say there are no Republicans who are also pro-choice or support varying degrees of marriage equality, the latter issue being one which most Americans are now supportive of. If people voted for the candidate and not for the party, they would be able to better determine which politician actually shares their point of view.

 So, while I do not agree with some of the president’s policies--notably his use of drones, I am proud of him. I do not find it difficult to say that I am proud to have Barack Obama as a president. This president has done his best to put our country back on track after the terrible train wreck which preceded his administration, and he is doing a reasonable job. So, regardless of whether you like Obama or not, after the recent announcement that unemployment is at its lowest point since Obama took office, four more years of him would be far less traumatic than four years of Romney.

Opinions expressed in this column are solely the beliefs of the writer. 

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