Election 2012: The Results Are Sure To Have Problems
The personality contest of Election 2012 told us little about 2013-2017.
What did we learn from Election 2012 about America's future?
Neither candidate for the presidency in Election 2012 gave us a clear picture of what their path forward is going to be. That fact alone creates problems the winner is going to have a very difficult time dealing with.
Election 2012 devolved into a personality contest, with each campaign contending that the other candidate has personality flaws. It was framed as follows, vote for "flip flop" or vote for "failure."
One candidate (Governor Romney) promised "12,000,000 new, quality jobs in the next four years" but didn't say how he proposed to accomplish that goal. Nobody asked the other candidate (President Obama) if he thought that he could also create "12,000,000 new, quality jobs in the next four years."
If either candidate had a plan for doing that, or better, no plan was offered, and even if the eventual winner can and will create those "new, quality jobs" that would still leave some 11,000,000 unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans looking, wishing, and increasingly desperate.
Neither candidate spelled out a concrete plan for actually balancing the budget in the next four years. Neither candidate spelled out how he plans to pay down the out-of-control National Debt which is over $16.2 trillion dollars and growing. Neither candidate spelled out the issues he is willing to compromise on to achieve a new spirit of bipartisanship at the top.
There are so many unaddressed aspects of what should be a new national agenda, we are left with the personality we elected, but with no clearly defined agenda for the years 2013-2017.
It will be extremely hard, if not impossible, to exercise national leadership without a clear agenda, much less a mandate Americans will feel they have agreed to by voting for the winner.
The winner's State of the Union Speech at the start of the new Congress and administration will show the aftermath of the very bitter campaign strategies of Election 2012, and that will be evident to every American who listens and watches the speech, as one side of the assembled legislators applaud and the other remains silent on their key policy differences.
Will those seated legislators be any different than those elected to the previous House and Senate which had public approval ratings below 10%? If not, the lines were already drawn even before the bitterness of Election 2012, and the distasteful stalemate will be resumed; one in which Executive Orders tend to replace properly democratic legislation and laws.
If both the Republicans and the Democrats could have agreed that Election 2012 allowed Americans to choose between two capable and proven leaders, perhaps their policy differences and agendas could have been discussed, so that American voters could have made clear their own willingness to be led down a particular path ahead.
As it is, the winner has already been tarred and feathered as flawed, and he will have to win the public's confidence in some other way, starting from scratch, and in an even deeper hole than the previous winner found waiting for him in 2008.
Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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