The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 18, 2012

Dianne Slater, guest columnist: Crucial presidential decision a clear choice

What we have before us is perhaps the most important choice we will make in our lifetimes. The very future of our children and grandchildren will be determined by the outcome.

President Barack Obama has changed the face of America as we know it, and if he’s given four more years in office, our country will become one we no longer recognize.

He is a man who spends our tax dollars recklessly while having no plan to reduce the enormous national debt. He has pressed upon us a health care law that will, starting in 2014, take away all our choices, leaving us with bureaucrats — not doctors — who will decide what health care we receive. He has indulged himself and his family in luxurious vacations and parties while many people are jobless and struggling. He demands to see Mitt Romney’s financial information but refuses to release his own college transcripts.

Obama hasn’t delivered on the economy or jobs, so all he can do is campaign the way he knows best: sleazy Chicago-style. It’s the same kind of shameful and cowardly behavior Democratic Sen. Harry Reid displayed on the Senate floor when he made unsubstantiated accusations, based on an anonymous source, about Romney’s financial history.

There was also a political ad that insinuated that Romney caused the death of a woman because Bain Capital laid off her husband — six years after Romney left Bain. Obama’s campaign manager first denied having anything to do with the ad, which would be illegal, then had to admit she had conducted an interview with the man herself some six months previously when a tape of that interview surfaced.

And now we are back to pushing granny off the cliff. Paul Ryan’s plan would not affect anyone over the age of 55. The numbers don’t add up in the current plan or Obama’s plan. Hard decisions have to be made, and we need to deal with reality, not fiction.

I will grant you that Romney is a little awkward on the podium. He doesn’t have a sparkling personality, and he’s not a glib speaker. He’s not an entertainer — he doesn’t sing or dance to my knowledge. What he is, however, is an experienced and successful businessman. So he is wealthy — isn’t achieving what he has the same that we all strive for? He gave away his inherited wealth and made what he has on his own. Don’t we want somebody who knows how to do that to run this country? His experience saving the Olympics and at Bain is just what this country needs: hands-on know-how in turning around this failing mess we are in. Look at his real record, not the lies in political ads.

Paul Ryan has multiple degrees in finance and economics. That seems like a much better qualifier for president than being a community organizer. So what if Romney is a Mormon? So what if Ryan is Catholic? Have you forgotten all the flap Jack Kennedy got for being a Catholic? We are not picking a religion. We are picking a president. And, as I recall, Obama said if he couldn’t fix the economy and add jobs in his first term, he shouldn’t get a second.

Your choices: A glib, irresponsible wannabe celebrity with dreams of grandeur, who has trouble with the truth, and who has the bumbling Joe Biden as his backup. Or a less colorful but stable man with a good, old-fashioned work ethic and a proven record of success, with a partner who truly understands the financial pickle we are in and has the expertise to get us out of it.

Whoever you vote for, don’t think that your vote doesn’t count. Don’t think that because your next-door neighbor is going to vote for the other guy it cancels out your vote. To the contrary, not voting is the same as voting for the other guy. Every vote counts, and yours just may be the deciding one.

Dianne Slater lives in Joplin.

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