Author: Lucy Feickert
It’s time for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to end their attack ads and face issues important to American citizens. Tonight’s presidential debate in Denver, CO forces the candidates to own up to their ideas and positions without the luxury of editing or knowing exactly what they will say or be asked. Hopefully, the candidates will be able to accurately articulate their ideas and outline their goals for the United States.
The chief concern for voters in this election is the economy. Though blame has been put on former President George W. Bush for the recession’s onset, Obama must make a convincing case that his plan is better for the U.S. economy than Romney’s. He continues to urge people to look at his actions that prevented the U.S. from falling into greater economic turmoil, such as the jobs created and saved from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Despite Obama’s efforts, Romney has often stated that Obama has failed to bring about economic progress. Though Romney generally disapproves of how President Obama has handled the economy, he has not clearly outlined his own plan of how to supplement federal funds lost in his proposed tax cuts, how he would create jobs or balance the budget. Debate questions about the economy will push the candidates to outline their respective plans for the country, allowing citizens to understand their intentions and be able to make decisions about what they feel will be best for the nation’s future.
On separate note, voters must also remember that oration and personal composure are not as vital as the content addressed during a debate. Obama is known to be an excellent orator, experienced from both his last presidential campaign and his four years in office. Romney has had practice this past year in presidential primary debates, as well as in his work experience in the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts. Clearly both candidates have experience and skill in public speaking, but regardless of how well either candidate speaks, they both need to say something of substance in order to inform the American people. They need to speak about how they will handle the economy and job creation, what they will do for healthcare and clean energy, and why they are qualified to deal with the issues facing the United States today.
For the integrity of the democratic process in America, in which voters have the ability to make informed decisions, this debate and those that follow need to be truthful to each candidates’ political agendas. Obama and Romney both must focus on their platforms and goals, not on tearing each other down. Throughout the presidential race, both sides of the aisle have released multiple ads attacking the opposition because of small things said, not exclusively because of their plans or ideas about America’s future. Even though politics is, in the end, a zero-sum game, it is important for the preservation of democracy that voters choose a candidate because of their ideas, not because of a distaste for their opponent.
Lucy Feickert is an undeclared first-year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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