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The Remaining 2012 Election Debate Will Have Some Surprises
Surprises in store, but for who?
And you thought all the issues have already been discussed? Balderdash!
It has all boiled down to the two man race for the leadership of America in the next four years. Willard Mitt Romney the Republican candidate, and Barack Hussein Obama the beleaguered incumbent seeking a second term.
While there will have been only three of the televised national debates between the two men, many Americans think the issues are already quite clear, I am predicting some surprises.
The Republicans' nominating process was protracted and nasty. A slew of Republicans thought they had a shot at the nomination, and were convinced that the Democrats are vulnerable this year, particularly President Obama and the Congress with its 10% approval rating. One by one the several candidates fell by the wayside as a better organized and funded Romney Campaign scuttled their boats
It finally came down to a contest, such as it was, between a poorly organized and poorly funded Rick Santorum, who by April 10th had announced the suspension of his campaign, versus the Romney steamroller. Santorum hung on as long as he could with supporters supporting him until his campaign's suspension. Newt Gingrich who expected a momentary jump in his chances, had already cut his travel, staff, and his scheduled appearances.
With all of the issues raised in those GOP primaries, how could there be anything left to debate when the Romney Campaign took on Candidate Obama?
Let me list a few you may not have thought of, and which the two candidates may not have thought too much about either:
Despite a drop in the levels of violent crime in America, more law enforcement personnel are getting killed lately. Gangs are proliferating with street gangs literally in tacit control of some parts of America's major cities, pushing drugs, prostitution, protection threats, arson, and rival killings, as well as links to foreign gangs and drug syndicates. Romney is immune to charges that he is responsible, President Obama is not. It became a subject only touched on in the debates.
Romney seemed vulnerable on the issue of foreign policy, for lack of visible foreign policy experience, but his opponent will have to defend his very visible foreign policy record and what he has done to make the world a safer place for Americans. While he has supported the war in Afghanistan, looked across the DMZ in Korea, and gave a rousing speech in Egypt early in his presidency, if anything the world is less safe for Americans traveling abroad and seeking to bring a better balance to America's huge trade deficits. European allies are in a financial crisis, Japan feels under increasing threats from North Korea and an expanding China, while Thailand and the Philippines are dealing with their own in-country terrorists. India and Pakistan are still one hostile act away from nuclear war. President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, from very early in his presidency, now has a weight of irony attached to it. You can expect the Romney Campaign to point to every deficiency in the final debate between the two candidates, including Obama's frustrations in handling Iran's nuclear concerns which trouble the U.S. and Israel, as well as the Syrian dictator's brutal killings of fellow Syrians.
The Still Growing National Debt
If there is one loose boulder which can crush the Democrats across the board during the 2012 Election, it has to be their handling of the still growing National Debt. Romney's strength is that Republicans feel he can lead them in doing a better job to secure a future in which the National Debt is not an increasingly heavy drag on every social program the United States has been so proud of in the past, but cannot sustain concurrent with the growing debt the Democrats seemingly ignore. Candidate Obama seems bent on turning it into a "haves and have nots" issue which the Republicans will point out is not in keeping with the American spirit of individualism coupled with a fraying national safety net. The growing debt is also handicapping our muscle power in foreign policy.
The weak employment outlook is one Candidate Obama has long hoped would resolve itself before any national debates with Romney, while Romney has long contended that Obama's efforts to get Americans back to work were doomed to failure because of Obama's clear lack of any leadership experience in the private sector. The debates took place with continuing high unemployment well above 7% and possibly remaining as high as 8%+, and Romney (as well as other Republican candidates for Congress) will argue that from 2009 to 2011 Obama and the Democrats controlled the Congress and the White House and failed miserably in making the solid efforts needed to get Americans back to work, while given similar control of Congress and the White House they will have the leadership and know how to solve what Obama and the Democrats haven't. (For a fine article on the 7 million Americans working multiple jobs, while even some of those are on the edge from paycheck to paycheck click here: http://aufait.hubpages.com/hub/Working-2-or-More-Jobs The lack of quality jobs available in the USA is driving some of our talented workers overseas to better paying jobs. While this is not a major foreign policy issue, foreign policy affects their security abroad.
Going into the televised debates between Romney and Obama, Americans have just come through a summer and fall in which gas prices have fluctuated higher during the peak travel seasons, including getting students back to universities they find harder and harder to afford. For an America which has long powered its industries and all its infrastructure on an abundance of reasonably priced energy these shocks to the system were current events for the debates, and we are still not energy independent from the turmoil of the Middle East.
The Military and Veterans
Continuing heavy demands on America's all volunteer military dispatched overseas in response to international objectives, only to come home to higher than national rates of unemployment, will be termed a national disgrace. That along with an insufficient response to PTSD and a generally decaying health system for veterans, have made the military and veterans a hot issue for the debates. Veterans are among groups seriously affected in the housing market collapse, and diminished retirement funds. Multiple combat tours, and the lack of available civilian jobs for those leaving the services are combining to weaken our military.
Reforming The Tax Code
Corporate and individual taxes still provide funding for our overseas foreign policy from our participation in the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, to direct foreign aid at a time when Russia and China handcuff the United Nations. Without tax reform our international goals and policies are similarly handcuffed (including the needs for greater security of our embassies and consulates in foreign countries where they are likely terrorist targets.
Reforms in public education are needed to insure the needed numbers of quality teachers, quality and safe schools with the resources to make our public education the best in the world. Romney will argue that our present system of public education gets failing grades, and that to remain a Super Power and compete in all areas of international life, we need to invest more heavily in education. A detailed study of public education will be cited which asserts that our poor educational system is a threat to our national security as all manner of scientific, biological, and cyber threats proliferate and our schools and schools' performance deteriorate.
World Trade Balance
Will be called for to gain a better balance of exports to imports and end the drain on dollars going overseas and not coming back except in the form of foreign loans with interest. This debate topic will be coupled by Republicans to the lowering of America's credit rating under the Obama Administration which means those interest rates will be higher in the future, if something isn't done to correct the National Debt and the trade imbalance.
Terrorism, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, NATO, China, Russia
The foreign policy debate will touch on all these problem areas and a final 90-minutes debate is hardly enough time to meaningfully cover this country's foreign policy challenges.
Yes, there are surprises in store, and we are likely to hear the expression more than once that the years ahead will have "good news, and bad news" while we listen carefully to see whose vision of the future offers the best chances for the future we want to see for ourselves, our families, all Americans, and our struggling allies.
© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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