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| week SIX

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James Crouch & Meg Drewett


Romney and Obama go head-to-head Photo:

Alex Carden stands up in defence of Mitt Romney IT has become pretty clear that the British public aren’t big fans of Mitt Romney, but why do we dislike him so? It may be down to a general British centre-left stance, that is distasteful of the unashamed American right-wing tradition. Of course, the Democrats in the US are also far more right-wing than our politics is used to, but coupled with frequent bashing of the Republicans in political drama exported from the US and our own secular allergy to the religious aspect of neo-conservatives, it is easy to paint a demonic picture of Republicans in general, which tars Mr Romney too. Plus the guy is a Mormon, which is quite freaky to a nation that still views Roman Catholics as suspiciously exotic. But Mitt Romney is not necessarily the Republican Party. Frequently presidential candidates are at odds with their party leadership thanks to the constitutional insulation of one from the other. And it may be only now that we have seen the debates that we are beginning to separate the man from the party and examine him, and finding that there are some genuine reasons why Romney should be considered for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“The appearance of a highly pro-business administration may calm markets and convince people to begin investing again” Economics is the key battleground for the election and this is where Mr Romney is strongest. Much as we dislike him, his economic policies are not absurd, far from it. The US deficit will struggle to accommodate a further quantitive easing stimulus that could push the US out of its recession and the Democrat tax-and-spend approach may very well be the worst possible approach; increased taxes on the rich are unlikely to provide the boost that the economy needs or go anywhere even near clearing the deficit, and may possibly dry up much needed private-sector investment. Bear in mind that even the French, traditionally far more left-wing in taxation policy, are terrified of the effects of President Hollande’s new ‘combat budget’ with its massive top-tier taxes. Even if Romney’s policies do not directly stimulate the economy, then just

the appearance of a highly pro-business administration in the White House may calm markets and convince people to begin investing again. In social terms, I do disagree fundamentally with many GOP policies. And with a recession-based fearful swing to the right (almost always the electoral pattern in times of uncertainty) likely to allow Republicans to retain control of Congress, it is almost definite that a Republican Congress and a Republican President will end up passing legislation or enforcing repeals that will incense the left, and with good reason. But with the future of the world’s largest economy still far from steady, it may be necessary for the US to endure some social pain, if not backtracking, in return for strong government that can act quickly and avoid the gridlock that has halted much of President Obama’s agenda. While such a move would be unpalatable if not repulsive to many, we must bear in mind that Americans and the world would have far more damage to worry about following further collapse of the US economy than the Republican party could ever do.


In support of Barack Obama, Robert J Harris’ vote is going to the incumbent THE race for President has well and truly heated up between the candidates over the past month, and in between the verbal mud-slinging it can sometimes be difficult to find hard facts amongst all the rhetoric. Yes, there has not been as much change as some had hoped for, and yes the original hysteria from the 2008 election is essentially dead, but in all reason Obama remains the only rational choice for the Presidency in 2012. Obama’s public image may be more tarnished than it once was, but in comparison, the Romney campaign suffers from the problem of acting like a oneman gaff-machine rather than a welloiled political engine. The first blow came when Ron Paul, the ‘runner up’ of the Republican nominations, failed to give his backing to Romney after he ended his active campaigning back on the

14 May. When such a key and experienced Republican refuses to endorse the national representative of his own Party, it certainly does not do any favours for a man who hopes to win the presidency come November. On top of this, many Americans will certainly remember how Romney’s world tour resulted

“The President has continuously maintained a strong message on all fronts, with a clear plan of action for the American economy” in a string of controversial statements ranging from questioning the readiness of London for the Olympic Games to outright insulting Palestinians during his trip to Israel, definitely more Sacha Baron Cohen than Presidential contender. Meanwhile, Obama has the chance to build upon the efforts made during his first term, be it the regular dialogue maintained between his administration and the rising economic power houses of India and China, or indeed his more moderate approach to on-going conflicts

in the Middle-East. With the American withdrawal from Iraq completed in December of last year, the President has also outlined his intentions for US withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, an issue Governor Romney has yet to set any concrete plans for. Perhaps the most unnerving thing about Romney and his running-mate Paul Ryan is how, if successful, there could be a large setback in the rights of women across the United States. By choosing Ryan as his partner, Romney has subscribed to Ryan’s archaic and fierce opposition to abortion. Over the years, Ryan has co-sponsored 38 antiabortion bills, including those where no exceptions are made for victims of rape and women in need of an emergency abortion to save their lives. It is not out of the question that a win for Romney could mean that justices who are staunch opponents of the pro-choice movement could be selected to the Supreme Court and lead to strict guidelines being put in place. With such a large percentage of women listing abortion as one of their chief concerns, it would be surprising if Romney has not already alienated a substantial number of female voters. On the other hand, during his first term, Obama has demonstrated his respect for the choice of women when going through unwanted pregnancy. This and his stance as the first President to openly support gay marriage clearly shows that, for the social conditions in America to improve further, a vote for the Democrats is the only clear option. Flip-flopping is a problem which has continuously dogged Romney throughout his campaign. While many politicians have flip-flopped at one time or another, Romney seems to be on some sort of mission to challenge his original position on subjects such as healthcare, taxes and public spending. This is so regular that several hilarious YouTube videos have been produced showing Romney debating himself using clips from presidential and republican debates. This is where Obama’s plans become all the more important. The President has continuously maintained a strong message on all fronts, with a clear plan of action for the American economy. The Clinton years have shown us that strengthening the economy from the middle through improving infrastructure and long-term growth, is a prosperous formula, whereas the Bush government has demonstrated the follies of a trickle-down system. When Americans go out to vote on 6 November, there is surely only one candidate deserving of the Presidency.

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2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

Profile for exepose