Mitt Romney would be a step backwards

by Elizabeth Reeves

Mitt Romney, the charismatic former governor of Massachusetts, is running for Republican Presidential candidate yet again in the 2012 elections. With a squeaky-clean image, charismatic speaking skills, business and entrepreneurial success as CEO of Bain Capitol, why wouldn’t conservative voters be attracted to his obvious intellect and charm? Well, voters, don’t let his Wikipedia-worthy biography fool you. Take a look at his flip-flop voting records and prepare yourself for why Mitt Romney should never be elected president.

Romney’s shifts on key issues are not new. Yet they have played only an insignificant role in the eight-person GOP nominating contest thus far, to the dismay of many Democrats. Shifting political positions to climb to the top of the Republican primary candidacy race is both untruthful and unethical. What does that say about his reliability should he succeed into the presidential seat?  I don’t trust anyone who changes his core beliefs based on the demographic of an audience.

Romney’s eagerness to win the GOP election is contributing to his lack of honesty. What should be a great strength, the ability to build a consensus from diverging factions, has proven to be his biggest weakness as he modifies his opinion based on his audience. He appears to be a professional people-pleaser, which has caused him to flip-flop on his stances.

Romney devised a TV campaign ad that quoted President Barack Obama out of context, which further shows his inability to direct and guide the success of our country. Romney’s first ad of the campaign quotes President Obama out of context in what the Romney campaign called a deliberate attempt to show that President Obama “doesn’t want to talk about the economy.”

In the ad, President Obama is quoted stating, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” What Romney’s ad didn’t show is that when President Obama made that statement, he was actually quoting an aide to John McCain. Romney is willing to manipulate any piece of given information in order to get what he wants, even when the information is coming directly from the president himself. Now that’s a man I don’t trust.

Romney at times has favored legalized abortion, a ban on assault weapons and a pathway to legal status for some illegal immigrants. He has since rejected those views. He also takes a harder line than before on government stimulus programs and bank bailouts. According to statements released by the Associated Press, Romney’s health care initiative in Massachusetts required residents to obtain medical insurance, but he rejects the notion that it was a model for Obama’s national plan enacted last year. If you ask me, Romney is a politician in conflict with himself, and that is not an appropriate state to be in to effectively advise a country. It’s the responsibility of independent voters to ensure this man does not get into office.

Romney generally answers accusations of flip-flopping by diminishing his shifts or calling them “old news.” The new Democratic National Committee ad shows an undated video clip of him discussing abortion and saying, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.” In early 2007, Romney said he changed his view on abortion yet again, flipping from pro-choice to pro-life. While I don’t hold it against him if he modified his views, I question whether it was in regard to being enlightened or whether it was simply a political move, therefore, I will hold his ulterior motives against him.

Does that sound fishy to you? Regardless of where you stand, if he is flip-flopping his views now, who’s to say he won’t be changing when in office? Romney is worth a quarter of a billion dollars. What does a man who has millions of dollars know about struggling in this economy? Relate-ability factor: zero.  Does he have a sharp political mind? I’m sure you don’t get this far in an election without being politically intelligent. But a man of the people, he is not.

It’s no secret Romney is a practicing Mormon. What this means for the American people is that he has very conservative opinions on most issues and extreme religious influences on his decisions concerning how the nation should be managed. Romney’s difference in religion means that he does not share a common creed and his decisions will be influenced by his Mormon ideals, specifically, matters of social equality.

Ladies, Romney’s motives are relevant to you. His right-wing conservatism in addition to his conservative Mormon values makes for a possible regression in social division where women would be subordinate. In order for our society to function correctly, women need their voice to be heard and need the right to make decisions on their own accord without having conservative laws imposed upon them, in my opinion this includes Romney’s extreme pro-life stance. Conservative family roles of Mormonism encourage women to stay within the home, and that value on top of his opposition to abortion limits the role that women would have outside of the home. Romney even went as far as calling the American government “a liberal lion” that he is determined to fight.

On the hot-button issues, Romney currently is endorsing pro-life, strong family values and the death penalty, while opposing same-sex marriage benefits. Romney, as of June 2011, believed that we should stay active in the war in Afghanistan and opposes access to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants while endorsing stricter immigration policies and an extension of the Mexico-America border fence. Romney supports Second Amendment rights which allows American citizens the right to bear arms, but also desires bans on assault weapons. Contradictory? I think yes. Please Romney, pick a side. Also, in regard to environmental issues, he believes that individual states should designate individual emissions standards rather than setting national standards that all states must comply with. On education, Romney encourages the No Child Left Behind act and supports abolishing the federal Department of Education. As of 2011, according to an Associated Press press release, Romney claimed that America needed a conservative businessman to produce economic recovery, emphasizing that corporations are people. What does this tell us as voters? Romney is in support of Corporate America — I’m just going to let you take it from there.

In a nutshell, today Romney is anti-gay, pro-gun and pro-social structure like it’s 1950 (not sure what his opinions will be tomorrow). In a world that is consistently moving forward and developing, why would we ever elect someone who is trying to take us so far back?

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