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Opinion

Mitt Romney unappealing to voters

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October 5, 2012

Despite the fact that our economy has hardly improved over the course of the past four years, President Barack Obama appears to be ahead in the 2012 presidential race.

In August the unemployment rate was at 8.1 percent. While this number appears to reflect a slight improvement compared to the numbers we have seen throughout the past year, it is deceiving. This 8.1 percent fails to take into account the number of part-time employees and citizens who have quit searching for work and are currently collecting unemployment.

No presidential incumbent since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been able to win an election with a failing economy. If this piece of history is accurate, why is President Obama still on top in this presidential race? The answer is simple: it isn’t Obama’s actions that are keeping him in the No. 1 spot. It is what his opponent, Mitt Romney, is failing to do.

The main reason Romney is such an unappealing candidate is because he lacks the character that is required to be President of the United States. The faults in his character are accurately reflected by the numerous inconsistencies existing in his platform. The most obvious disparity can be seen when it comes to the controversial issue of healthcare. Romney labels President Obama’s healthcare plan as “Obamacare” and claims that this agenda will wreak havoc for both healthcare providers and American citizens.

However, when he was governor of Massachusetts, he created and put into practice a nearly identical plan to spark healthcare reform within the state. He also belittles the healthcare bill that recently passed through Congress even though this bill isn’t what Obama or the Democrats wanted. In fact, this bill isn’t what either political party or the majority of American citizens wanted and, if anything, both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for their inability to compromise on the issue.

In addition to the issue of healthcare, Romney has also had changing views on abortion. Initially he said that he was pro-life with no exceptions and that it was against the values of the Republican Party to condone abortion for any reason. However, Romney recently took a more moderate stance on the social issue, saying that he now believes abortion should be acceptable in cases of rape and incest. This fl ip-fl opping not only confuses voters, but also suggests that if Romney is elected, it is likely that he will not stand by the ideals and values he ran on throughout his campaign.

As if Romney’s inconsistent platform is not enough, one must account for the simple fact that the average American citizen is unable to relate to him. In one Republican debate he turned to Rick Perry, offered Perry his hand, and said, “I’ll bet you $10,000!” Normally when a person makes a bet of this nature, they will bet something small such as a coffee or a dollar. Honestly, what kind of person would casually bet $10,000 on anything?

This statement alone reflects the large socioeconomic gap that exists between Romney and hundreds of thousands of American voters. However, with our economy in its current state, this gap is enough of a reason for citizens to vote against Romney this November.

Based on this information, one can conclude that President Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney in the polls solely because Romney is a terrible alternative.

If this assertion is true, it begs the question: where are all of the qualified candidates, and why won’t these people rise to the occasion? It is disheartening that as American citizens we have been reduced to voting for candidates not because of who they are, but because of who their opponents are not.

Morgan Stippel is a political science major and a professional writing minor. When she graduates from UW-River Falls, she wants to become a state prosecutor and specialize in domestic violence cases.