As a Ron Paul supporter and a constitutional conservative, I must admit that I have not been enthusiastic about Romney’s nomination. However, I recognize that one of two men will be elected President of the United States in two days, Obama or Romney, and so I have decided to back Romney in this election. The decisive reason is that Romney is pro-life (albeit conditionally). It is my view that if a politician cannot see that a human embryo is a human person then I question his ability to see anything else. However, I have found other reasons to support Romney over Barack Obama: he supports religious liberty and traditional marriage. However, I am less certain about his economic policies – strange since this is the real strength of Romney according to conservatives. I am happy that he desires to cut taxes but I am not so sure about his commitment to cut spending. As Ron Paul said in an interview (paraphrasing), “We don’t have a taxing problem as much as a spending problem.” But, at least Romney seems to be aware of the urgency of achieving a balanced budget. So, I give him points over Obama there.
On the foreign policy front, I am find myself more in agreement with President Obama. Obama wants to end the foreign wars in order to do “nation-building at home.” Romney on the other hand seems to want to continue the same interventionist policies of the Bush Administration which are bankrupting us and earning us more enemies, especially in the Middle East. So, in this area, I am earnestly entreating Congress to prevent a Romney Administration from entangling us deeper in the Middle East with it’s commensurate costs in American blood and treasure.
So, my purpose in writing this blog is first to square my constitutional conservatism with a Romney Presidency. Secondly, I desire to persuade other liberty-loving American’s whether Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, or other third party adherents, to see Romney as a step forward in our fight for liberty though with significant caveats. Romney, if elected, will need to be persuaded or opposed by Congress on some of his policies. Most notably, is the War on Terror, which is stripping Americans’ of our constitutionally-protected rights. The Patriot Act and the 2012 NDAA violate the 4th and 6th amendments, respectively. So, without further ado, here is my comparison of certain choice positions of the two candidates.
I. Life must be protected from conception to natural death.
Romney – against abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, or threat to life of the mother; supports eliminating all federal funding of abortions both domestically and overseas.
Obama – supports the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion for any reason; supports partial-birth abortions; opposes parental notification.
II. Religious liberty
Romney – vows to rescind contraception mandate of Obamacare that violates the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Obama – continues to insist that women’s health needs override the religious conscience of Catholic institutions.
III. Same-sex marriage
Romney – opposes gay marriage; supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman; opposes discrimination of homosexuals.
Obama – supports gay marriage but doesn’t want to push for federal legislation protecting it.
IV. Balancing the Federal Budget
Romney – has not offered a target date for producing a balanced budget; Paul Ryan’s plan achieves a balanced budget by 2040; However, campaign aides for Romney are optimistic that it can be achieved by 2020 if the economy does well; Romney’s website underscores the importance of reaching one.
Obama – has offered a plan that would not produce a balanced budget anywhere in sight, even after 10 years; in the words of Obama’s campaign advisor, David Axelrod, “You can’t balance the budget in the short term, because to do that would be to ratchet down the economy.” Given the track record of this administration, the long term doesn’t look promising either.
Winner – Romney; While neither candidate has set a target date for a balanced budget, at least Romney recognizes the need to reach one. Obama doesn’t seem to mind if we ever reach one.
My Take: Ron Paul produced a line-item budget that balanced the Federal budget in three years. He did this by recognizing that our Federal government is involved in areas in which it has no constitutional authority – education, energy, housing, environment, Medicare and Medicaid, foreign aid, undeclared wars, etc. So, among other things, his plan cuts 5 federal departments, ends all foreign aid, ends unconstitutional wars, and block grants Medicare and Medicaid to the states. We need to elect members to Congress who will support these common-sense reforms if we ever hope to arrive at a balanced budget and fiscal sanity.
Romney – proposes 20% across the board income tax cut and a 25% business tax (from 35%); promises to eliminate loopholes so that the wealthy will still pay as much tax as they do now; promises to eliminate the death tax; promises to repeal Obamacare which will eliminate 95 billion from the budget each year and prevent the penalty for those individuals and families who are required to purchase health insurance but fail to do so.
Obama – wants to raise taxes on the rich (allow Bush tax cuts to expire); Obamacare penalizes individuals and families who are required to purchase health insurance but fail to do so; also raises taxes on small business (self-employment tax, investor tax, etc); raises the death tax from 35% to 45%. It is important to realize that the death tax affects small businesses because the beneficiaries of a small-business owner who dies must pay the tax on the value of the business. Many small businesses will not be able to survive the tax leading to layoffs and the business assets being sold.
VI. Corporate Welfare
Romney – supported TARP bailout; however, doesn’t support bailout of individual entities, like GM, unless entire financial system at stake.
Obama – supported TARP as Senator and then continued to support it as President; also used TARP funds to purchase GM stock to rescue auto industry.
Winner: Romney – but not by much.
VII. Foreign Policy
Romney – has criticized Obama for withdrawing troops from Iraq and for the planned 2014 withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; wants to make U.S. foreign policy more dependent on the foreign policy desires of Israel.
Obama – Fulfilled promise to end the war in Iraq (sort of – he left 16,000+ defense contractors there in the newly built U.S. Embassy in Bagdad at a cost of $750 million dollars that costs 1 billion dollars annually to operate); plans military withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014; wants to “put daylight between the U.S. and Israel.”
My Take: Our founding fathers advocated a non-interventionist foreign policy free from “foreign entanglements.” We know how government can threaten our liberty and prosperity when it interferes domestically. Why do we think Government can do no wrong when it interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, i.e. Nation-building?
VIII. War on Terror
Romney – supports Patriot Act, NDAA, the TSA (he used them to screen audience at campaign stop at the Koch Family Farm in Iowa), Gitmo and enhanced interrogation techniques (i.e. torture).
Obama – supports Patriot Act, NDAA, the TSA, Gitmo, but not enhanced interrogation techniques.
A little background is probably necessary. The Patriot Act violates our right to be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures” since when government authorities prosecute the “War on Terror” they can basically conduct searches and seizures without probable cause and without obtaining a warrant from an independent judge naming the person to be seized or the place to be searched. The NDAA codifies provisions that authorizes the President to indefinitely detain any one (including American citizens) by Military personnel (perhaps Gitmo) without being charged with a crime, without access to legal counsel, and without going to trial if the President suspects that person of being a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism. Nice huh? So much for the 5th (due process) and 6th amendments. The TSA you know. As you can see, the only difference here between Romney and Obama is that Obama doesn’t support torturing prisoners for intelligence information.
In conclusion, I believe Romney is the better choice to advance the cause of liberty and prosperity in our great country. However, I endorse him with the serious reservations I have detailed above. As Americans, we must be involved in politics, not just during presidential election campaigns but always, to ensure our elected representatives are protecting our God-given liberties. I encourage everyone to vote and to vote with careful consideration. But after you vote, please realize that our work is just beginning.