I have a dilemma. For months now, I have been swearing left and right that I wouldn’t vote for either Romney or Obama. And now, I just don’t know. Quite obviously, I would never vote for Obama. First of all, he lacked moral integrity when he promised that he would shut down Guantanamo even though anyone of his intellectual caliber would know that such a move would be impossible in the execution. Second, he has expanded executive power beyond anything that is acceptable or would be viewed as acceptable by the Framers. Consider the drone attacks that are terrorizing innocent children in Pakistan, or Obama’s unilateral declaration that all males killed by a drone will be presumed to be terrorists. Or how about the fact that Obama decided that he can secretly order the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen? Finally, whether he is primarily responsible for this or not (and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flak for this), Obama has been the president during a period of the greatest political divisiveness in our country. Do we really need four more years of that?
But up until the debate, Romney has been equally reprehensible by pandering to the Tea Party, the religious right, and the general idiots of the far right. At least Obama believes in evolution, climate change, and women’s rights. However, I think that last week’s debate gave some moderates a flicker of hope—Maybe Romney will go back to being Massachusetts Mitt. When he was moderate enough to be elected governor of a New England state that wasn’t New Hampshire. Everyone decries Romney as a terrible candidate (which he is) because he’s a flip-flopper. But, as has been proven by pretty much every single presidential campaign, presidents don’t keep their word when they become elected. I mean, it’s a function of the election process. There are no penalties and infinite benefits to saying whatever it is that the electorate wants to hear and then not performing. At this point, the only question is whether he will be better than Obama.
They’re both terrible. They both use inflammatory rhetoric against China to create a boogeyman and rile up the uninformed voter. Neither has a decent energy policy that even tries to address the suffering of coal miners or the efficiency of nuclear power. Neither has a real solution to the jobs problem. Neither has the balls to address the entitlement programs problems of Social Security and Medicare, which are dragging down our nation’s youth. Both of them have terrible Vice Presidents—fortunately, both are young and hale.
At this point, it boils down to the future of the Republican Party. Would a Romney win mean return to a more moderate party that doesn’t cater to the whims of religious die-hards? Or would a Romney win mean the continuance of a party that just doesn’t belong in a country that values civil liberties and equal rights? Would an Obama win mean the acceleration of the inevitable implosion and fracturing of the Republican Party, ushering in a new age of our political system? Or would it further entrench the Republican opposition and make them even more stubborn and subject our nation to four more years of getting nothing done? I don’t mean to turn to logical fallacy by limiting the potential outcomes—I’m sure there are many more possibilities. But I just don’t think any of those possibilities are desirable.
Lisa Wang is a 3L. Her column runs every other Thursday.
The views in opinion editorials, columns, and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of The Record.