Barack Hussein Obama is a patriot who loves the United States of America.
And so is Mitt Romney.
Granted, a person willing to step into the Presidential limelight is a steaming cauldron of egotism, ambition, drive and energy. He must be a narcissist of the highest order, willing to have every aspect of his life inspected. He must be a Sysyphus, willing to push a huge load up a tall hill while raptors eat his liver, riven by the knowledge he will have to do it again and again, until after an eternity plus one day, the Fates tire of his agony and grant him a moment's peace.
My view of Mr. Obama's four year tenure as POTUS is dim. He had a chance to remake the banking industry and failed. His stimulus policy was tentative, originally done on the cheap and then piled up more massive debts than ever. He had a chance to reestablish the power of the presidency, lost in the Nixon days, but proved too reflective and self-absorbed. One cannot say he failed in his campaign promises because he never really promised anything.
Mr. Obama did change somethings. He uses the automated drone armada as an extension of American foreign policy. In so doing he probably saved a number of American military casualties. He was in office when our military found Osama Bin Laden and killed the old Saudi terrorist/pornographer.
He is a patriot, who loves and respects America. President Obama believes in large government, federally centered, massive and intimately involved in every aspect of American life. His changing stance on same-sex union shows his ability to evolve and his tendency to get dragged along by his Vice President. The selection of this Vice President and Mr. Obama's willingness to have Joe Biden drag him into battles better left unfought may prove to be Mr. Obama's biggest error and the one that costs him the White House.
Of course, that is part of aintsobad's bias. I am opposed to same-sex unions, call them marriage or whatever else you wish.
Mr. Romney, born to privilege, made a pile of money in business. He used every legal tactic at his disposal to amass and protect his wealth. He does keep a great deal of money overseas, where he is not susceptible to the kind of taxes you pay.
Mr. Romney probably believes in smaller government. In Massachusetts, Mr. Romney instituted a form of health care that outstrips Ameri-Care, the affordable health care act. He did so out of a deep pragmatism, secure in his knowledge that health care costs were out of control in his state and that a disproportionately small number of consumers were paying for the expenses of those who would not pay for themselves. Romney-care has helped Massachusetts, by most accounts, but has failed in the one thing he intended it to do. Romney-care has not measurably slowed the rising cost of health care delivery in the state.
Mr. Romney did write (or, at least, published under his name) a long op-ed in USA Today, urging President Obama to use the Massachusetts model as the law of the land in the USA. He denied doing so, using a rhetorical form of the old vaudeville schtick, "Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?"
Mr. Romney is a Centrist, Establishment Republican, ala Robert Taft or Dwight Eisenhower. He is a pragmatist, pro-business. He is a doer, not a deep thinker. As CEO of the USA, his will can be easily thwarted by the pettifogging Congress. He may have to do things incrementally rather than take the bold steps America needs right now. Crisis may help him take two steps forward for every step back but he is in a mess if he gets the top spot.
Mr. Romney should be running against Mr. Obama's record, not his birth certificate. And, Mr. Romney may have a problem Mr. Lincoln hated in his generals. Mr. Romney may be just plain unlucky. How else does one explain Todd Akin and a hurricane in a two week span when Mr. Romney should be the high-fiving center of attention at his own coronation?
And both men, along with Rep. Ryan and VP Biden are decent persons, patriots who love America. They divide along systemic lines. If a voter is going to vote against Mr. Obama because he is black, this is just wrong. If a voter will vote against Mr. Romney because he is, of all things, a Mormon, this is just wrong. Neither gentleman is running for the position of First Buddy or Pastor of the Nation.
Neither President Obama nor Governor Romney should be lionized in comparison to his opponent. Neither of the men should be villified, either. We get to vote and we should vote. If hate guides the ballot, or fear, we will get more hate and more fear. Hate and fear cloud the mind. The troika of hate, fear and anger make their bearer act less intelligently.
If we ever needed clear thinking for our nation, we need it now. If we can cleanse our mind and heart of hate, we might dismiss the trite and so disempower the media. If we can put aside fear we could possibly avoid the cliche. Resolve anger; we will open our good national heart to the unpredictable.
Tomorrow: The Next Southern Baptist to be President of the United States.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.