Dear American Voter

Dear American Voter,

I have been following your political process intently since the 2008 election, when a junior Senator from Illinois was elected President. You may know him as your current President, Barack Obama. I enjoyed his soaring oratory and felt that of the two major choices on offer then, he would make the better President by far, though he had no executive experience.

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It has been four years since I was cheering in my living room for his election, perhaps more ardently than some Americans. I was elated that I could finally listen to a thoughtful, even-tempered and calm man speak as America’s President for the next four years. I will readily admit that he has not been a perfect President, not by a long shot. I do not agree with all the actions he has taken but that is not what I would like to discuss here.

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In the past few weeks, I have been watching the presidential debates to see how the Republican candidate, Mr Romney, measures when put up against the incumbent. I had been following the Republican primary process and it did seem inevitable that the Governor would eventually clinch the nomination. Most of the characters he was running against did not seem like serious candidates for the highest office in the land. As widely predicted, Mr Romney won the primary and was nominated to face Mr Obama. I had also read that Mr Romney had a reputation for being a ‘flip-flopper’, i.e., someone who changes their policy positions for political gain. Then again, politicians tend to do things for political gain so that was not surprising.

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Mr Romney’s campaign, however, seemed to lie with reckless abandon. He repeated widely debunked claims about welfare reform, healthcare, foreign policy wherever he went. His campaign also refused to release his tax returns and specific plans on issues like tax policy. I was even more surprised that the press did not seem to think of all this as disqualifying traits for a President. It has even come to the point where it is accepted as common knowledge that he is not going to release his returns, a tradition which has been honoured by candidates from both parties from decades. Your candidates for unelected office have their tax returns prodded but you’re okay with one of the richest presidential candidate ever refusing to release them? What’s the point of having so much political media when they do not do their actual job but instead spend their time inviting two opposing points to argue pointlessly without end? The political media spends all its time waiting for a gaffe from any politician, so that they can analyse it, A GAFFE! Anyway, let’s focus on the debates, where most Americans would have seen the two men together for the first time.

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In the first debate, the Governer was widely seen as being the victor although the substance of his answers left much to be desired. The President seemed unprepared for Mr Romney’s abrupt shift on almost every policy he had been campaigning on for more than a year and seemed reluctant to call him out. Fact checkers had a field day with Romney’s comments the next day, but nobody seemed to care much about the fact that they had just been lied to on national television. Mr Romney confidently rattled off his talking points and dominated the debate stylistically next to a tired looking President. All that mattered was that when people were paying attention, he said whatever he felt would get him votes even if they contradicted his recent positions.

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The second debate saw a much more energised President taking the game to Mr Romney and dominating in terms of style and substance. It was yet another debate filled with a case of severe Romnesia. The positions that he had taken throughout the campaign suddenly seemed to count for nothing.If it got him votes, he said it. For example, reiterating that his tax plan would lower rates on everyone but by closing some undefined loopholes affecting only higher income people, the plan would be revenue neutral! All the cookies with none of the fat!

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The third debate was a rout and the President easily crushed Mr Romney on his home turf of foreign policy. In fact, it didn’t feel like much of a debate as the Gov. implied that he agreed with every action the President had taken vis a vis foreign affairs. He just felt that he would have done the same things better and with more leadership. It was weird to see a peace-loving Mitt, since his foreign policy advisers are mostly neoconservatives from the 2nd Bush Administration. His previously hawkish stance on foreign affairs disappeared before our very eyes. He whitewashed his views for the war weary American public when they were watching. Watching this debate, I saw a man who didn’t really care much for foreign policy and was content to rattle off whatever came to his mind. In my opinion, this is a disturbing trait to have in any President, especially the Commander-in-Chief of the planet’s most powerful military with access to advisers who brought us all 2 wars. Mr Romney did not project an air of confidence that he had a sufficient grasp of world affairs beyond what he memorised for the debate. He seemed flustered at times when discussing matters in detail, matters he might not have a prepared talking point for. This cannot be an acceptable quality in a President who will be dealing with foreign affairs on a daily basis, whose decisions tend to affect world events greatly.

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I readily admit I am biased towards President Obama but this does not mean I cannot see positives in the Republican point of view or candidates. There are were sane candidates like Jon Huntsman, but sanity seemed to gain no traction with the GOP. Mitt Romney captured the nomination by attrition, outlasting the other nutcases who each took turns to be a joint-frontrunner. Mr Romney repositioned himself as some sort of moderate Republican just in time for a national television audience, perfect time for an Etch-a-Sketch.

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It would be possible to respect Mr Romney if he was a severely conservative politician, even if one did not agree with his views. The problem is that it is impossible to know what exactly his core principles and views are, he has been all over the map on every issue possible It seems like he will literally say whatever it takes to get elected, prior statements be damned. Behind closed doors, he tells his donors that he does not need worry about 47% of Americans then on television, he tells everyone that he loves them. When he ran for office in Massachusetts, he had one set of principles, in the GOP primaries, he had a different set of principles, in a room of donors, he had a different set of principles and now he has yet another set. Simply put, he panders to the audience in front of him at any one time. But if you had to take a guess as to which was his actual set of beliefs, would it be the sets that he holds when in public view or behind closed doors?

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How, why would you vote for such a person? Is it because he will get your economy back on track? The truth is that the current guy seems to be doing that, albeit slowly, with no help from the other side of the aisle whatsoever.The current guy who has been bastardized by the right at every opportunity, yet still remains dignified.

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Why would you condone what the Republicans have been doing for four years by stonewalling legislation which could have boosted the economy? Why would you reward the intransigence of  party which decided to block everything the President would attempt, even before he was inaugurated? Why would you elect a man who does not seem to have any core principles and lies brazenly to your face? How can you blame all your problems on the President and not acknowledge the severity of crisis he inherited? How can you expect him to fully dig you out of a hole that was decades in the digging, within 4 years? How can you believe Mr Romney’s unsubstantiated claims so easily? Is it a desire to see Mitt as President or a desire to just get Barack out of the White House?!

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If Obama was a Republican, I honestly believe that you would have re-elected him by acclamation and saved the hundreds of millions wasted on campaign spending, just for taking out OBL. You have a thoughtful,caring intellectual you can trust in the White House and desire to replace him with an entitled lying shape-shifter. When the world looks at you seriously considering replacing President Obama with Mitt Romney, we are astounded and cannot believe you would do such a stupid thing. Then we remember who you elected twice.

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An observer from Not-America( yes, there is such a place)
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