Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
In a blog post for Politics365, Dr. Wilmer Leon speaks on the policies being debated by President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Dr. Leon, an expert in Political Science, says that both of these men are more focused on personal attacks and rhetoric than on policies that actually make a difference. In fact, he says that some of their points of contention are as old as the country itself:
The fundamental debate of the 2012 election is nothing new. The debate of how much power to give the national government goes as far back as theConstitutional Convention of 1787. The Federalists argued for a real division of power between the national and state governments. They wanted a centralization of power in a strong national government. The Anti-Federalists feared a tyrannical national government and argued for greater localized power with stronger state governments. A stronger national government meant order and uniformity but required higher taxes to support it. Stronger state governments would protect the rights of the individual by keeping decision making closer to those who would bedirectly impacted by them.
Dr. Leon then says that the state of the economy today calls for a more evolved conversation, since the issues being faced by the American people are not much different from those of the Great Depression. He says that the matters of racial and economic inequality should be more important than petty issues, such as Romney’s tax returns and Swiss bank accounts. He also says that President Obama is not touting his record when it comes to job creation and is instead being reactive to Romney’s attacks and avoiding the jobs issue altogether.
In 2012 Americans find themselves facing financial problems similar to those of the Great Depression. America also finds itself facing record home foreclosures, racial disparities in home ownership, racial disparities in wealth accumulation, disproportionate levels of incarceration based on race and 8.2 percent unemployment. All issues similar to the ills that the Great Society was enacted to address. According to Bread for the World, “We live in the world’s wealthiest nation. Yet 15.1 percent of people living in the United States live in poverty… More than 48 million Americans—including 16.2 million children—live in these households.”
In the 2012 presidential race Mitt Romney and President Obama have not focused their campaigns on articulating these issues and providing real solutions to these problems. They are too busy engaging in the politics of personal attacks and character assassination, not the politics of policy.
Dr. Leon says that the American people should take the lead in rejecting rhetoric over real policy discussions. He says that we have a right to demand that our presidential candidates are addressing real issues, and that if we wait for too long, we’re going to get a set of debates that amount to very little when it comes to truly impacting the state of this country.
The point is, as Americans watch the ads and listen to the rhetoric, real debate about real issues is not taking place. Romney’s not telling Americans what he stands for; he just talks about what he’s against. Meanwhile the president is allowing himself to be defined by his adversaries, instead of standing behind a productive first term. The President is not campaigning to win; he’s campaigning not to lose while the American people continue to suffer.
To read more of Dr. Leon’s thoughts, you can visit here. He makes very strong points in his article, but there is also the question of whether or not both presidential candidates are optimizing by discussing the issues that are going to get them elected, rather than the ones that matter the most. Although President Obama has seen steady job creation, the poor jobs numbers don’t produce a favorable response from his constituents. Every month, when the weak numbers come in, President Obama appears to be trying to explain them away, to no avail. Perhaps by keeping Romney on the defensive, President Obama can then maintain an advantage when it comes to public perception, which is all that matters when you’re trying to get votes.