Sunday, August 19, 2012

What am I voting for......?

I hate politics.  I hate the way savvy political operatives effectively frame the debate to appeal to my most powerful emotions - fear and greed.

The Obama and Romney campaigns - have explained in great detail what is wrong with their respective opponents but both have failed to provide simple, compelling plans, utilizing the resources at hand to solve the real problems of our time.  I hear each campaign scream - don't vote for the other guy - he's bad; vote for me - I am better.  But I need something more - I need someone to tell me why I should trust them to lead my country.  I need one of the candidates to make me feel they have the foresight, competence, trustworthiness, and inspirational leadership necessary to create real progress over the next four years.  I havent' seen it yet - have you?

Here is where I stand at the moment.

I can't figure out why I should give President Obama another chance; he hasn't told me what will change to solve my view of our nation's greatest problems: an unsustainable national debt, a weak economy, a failing education system, a global view that my country is in decline, a yearly budget deficit, a general frustration with our political leaders, and too many good people unemployed or under employed.  I see the President as a world class rhetorician that has the ability to connect with people.  I haven't seen effective leadership across the spectrum of his duties as President of the United States during the past four years to warrant a vote of confidence.

Mitt Romney has pointed out the President's shortcomings but he hasn't convinced me that he has the leadership qualities to galvanize other leaders sufficiently to solve the issues at hand.  He seems intelligent and has succeeded as a Governor and as a business man but he doesn't quite grab me.  He doesn't inspire me to change my habits.  He hasn't offered many new solutions.  I wonder if he can really do the job or if he was simply the best guy the Republicans could put forth against a vulnerable incumbent.

The message I hear at the moment from the Obama campaign is that - Romney is a bad guy because he's rich and he's going to give his rich buddies breaks which will harm everybody else.  What I hear from Romney's side is that Obama is a total failure and has made all of our nation's problems worse.

Neither case is completely true.  However, simple sensational sound bites galvanize voter's positions and allows them to choose a side.  It is an effective and smart way to get elected - prey on voter's fears. But when the votes are counted - who will have the leadership qualities to make a real and lasting difference?

I don't know.

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