My sentiments following the 2012 Presidential Election

Ashley Calvani | Online Editor

I have become more concerned at the self-righteousness of some people than the results of the 2012 Presidential Election. If you are really about respect and open-mindedness like you say you are, please take the time to consider my educated opinion.

Let me start off by getting it out of the way. I am Republican. I’ve grown up in a Republican family. I am part of the upper middle class, I am not gay, and I will not need loans to go to college. That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t studied the economy of the lower class, that I don’t fully 100% support gay rights, and that I don’t watch my friends struggle with the idea of affording college.

I am a moderate. I don’t personally agree with Romney’s stance on all of the issues, especially the social ones. I think there should be a middle ground for cases concerning abortion, for example.

Does it matter what I am? I love and respect both conservatives and liberals. I talked with my good friend, a liberal, the other day, about their point of view. It was the most enlightening and wonderful discussion I’ve ever been a part of, because I took the time to see his side and he took the time to see mine. He was also arguing with facts.

Here is what I can’t stand. On Twitter, Facebook, and in the halls, people claiming things that aren’t true, and condemning everyone else to ignorance if they disagree. Both conservatives and liberals. So let me dispel some of the rumors.

On Twitter, I saw some say that Republicans are blaming the debt on Obama. They then went on to say that a Republican was the one who handed him the debt. I agree. George W. Bush did in fact hand over the country to Obama in a recession and in debt. Bush used China as a credit card and now we are paying for it. It is interesting to me, though, that the debt has increased an extra 5 trillion dollars under President Obama. Is it fair to pin the entire blame on his policies? No. But he has done absolutely nothing to help with his spending. Obama believed a stimulus was the only way to get out of the recession. I think he is wrong. We cannot be spending money we don’t have, no matter how bad of a recession we are in.

Mitt Romney, a clearly wealthy man with an impressive background in business and economics, believes that we can’t keep ourselves in China’s grasp, and we can’t let them take advantage of us. China has manipulated the value of their currency so that the Yuan is worth less than the American dollar, creating incentive to outsource jobs and mass competition for goods. Romney is going to not only cut federal spending, but also demand that China play by the rules. His plan was to immediately cut non-security government agencies by 5%, cap federal spending below 20% of the economy, and give states responsibility that they can implement more effectively.

And while Obama’s stimulus package may have created some jobs and lessened the blow of the recession, the unemployment number that has decreased under him contains so many nuances that it is hard to say if Obama’s policy helped create a significant number of jobs at all.

Without jobs, how can we expect Americans to pay for their insurance and health care? We can’t. Which is why we needed Obama care. Many Americans feel like Romney would have taken away their health insurance when he replaced Obama care with common-sense health care reforms. He was going to restore the $716 billion in Obama care cuts to Medicare to strength the program for future beneficiaries. Romney wasn’t going to deny health insurance to Americans who couldn’t afford it. He was, instead, going to open it up to the private sector, which allows small businesses to grow and create the healthy competition that any capitalistic country thrives on.

As for education, I believe Romney’s businesslike approach is wrong. Allowing for competition so that charter schools could thrive and serve as role models for public schools won’t work, just because public schools will never have the money and resources to eventually catch up. If we are talking higher education—Obama has certainly made helping students pay back college loans a priority, and I respect that.

I do not think he should make it so easy to do everything. I believe in welfare. I believe in helping those who need it. I am appalled at how many people are cheating the system, though. Reforms must be made.

But reforms aren’t made easily. We have to look at the fact that no matter which candidate won presidency, they still have to go through Congress to get policies enacted. People say that four years is not enough time to show that Obama’s policies have helped, and I disagree. There is a reason the term was made four years. I do think, however, that our elected officials in Congress need to work on compromising because things aren’t getting done at the rate we need.

We need change. We are not moving forward, as Obama’s campaign would suggest. I don’t think Romney and Ryan were the perfect comeback team. I didn’t address all the nuances, all the issues. I barely scratched the surface.

I do think, however, that we need to take a look at our priorities. The biggest arguments I have seen from classmates for Obama are gay rights and debt. I talked about debt. And as for gay rights, I truly believe that no president should have a say in who you can love. But I also think when we have to decide between making our country more economically sound, getting out of debt, creating jobs, and if we are allowed to officially be married to someone we love, there is a clear answer.

Please don’t assume I’m against gay marriage because I am a conservative. Please don’t tell me I’m disrespectful. I am still confused, like everyone is. Politics are hard. I have tried my best to gather information from unbiased sources. I have built a website dedicated to providing that information, and also providing people’s and students’ opinions that are on both side of the spectrum. So please don’t tweet and tell me I’m ignorant. My name is Ashley Calvani, and if I were 18 this year, I would have voted Romney/Ryan, but there is more to me than that.

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