I am about to speak blasphemy, so to those with sensitive ears I say: stop reading now.
I have found myself in the odd circumstance this election season of going back and forth from wanting a Mitt Romney victory to wanting, dare I say it, a Barack Obama victory. It’s true. But let me explain.
When I say “going back and forth,” these phases of back-and-forth would last a day or so, and I never actually would have voted for Obama, even if on Election Day I found myself in a pro-Obama phase. And when I say “pro-Obama,” I do not mean I have ever supported his policies, but simply that I sometimes did want him to win.
The primary reason for this was that because of Obama’s policies, economists almost unanimously predict another collapse in the economy no matter who becomes president. Well, I strongly preferred Obama inherit his own fiasco and be blamed for the second collapse than Romney inherit his fiasco and be blamed for the second collapse. Because while I thought Romney would certainly slow down this foretold economic downturn, I did not think he would be able to stop it. In my pessimistic view, you see, we have already gone over the edge.
I also saw that while Obama has divided the country more than it’s been in half a century, he has also managed to unite conservatives, or rather energize them. Conservatives are still, as they were in the pre-Obama years, the majority, but they are no longer a silent one. They now stand up against Republicans and Democrats alike in the name of principle. Obama has even managed to convert some lifelong, hardliner Democrats into newly self-proclaimed Reaganites. He has woken up the country, or at least much of it. This is a good thing. Imagine, I thought, how much more good, at least in this regard, a second Obama term would do.
Then that thought is always immediately followed by, “Of course, by that time, America as we’ve known it will forever be gone, so what good would that do?”
Another reason I wanted Obama to win was purely ego-driven: I so desperately looked forward to rubbing it in his supporters’ faces, as few remaining as there would doubtless be after suffering another four years under his rule, that they were wrong about his abilities. But that should never be a motivating factor in life. (It is tempting, though, is it not?)
Then I saw Romney’s debate performance—Romney, who it is widely accepted is a moderate—and was stunned at how very Reaganesque, how positively historical, he sounded, and I began to think that there was hope after all, hope that maybe, just maybe, Romney will be able to do more than simply slow the sinking of this ship, and be able to carry out plugging the holes. I don’t know where I heard it, but someone said that Reagan, even after joining the Republican Party, was only a moderate, but that after being surrounded by conservatives and hearing their ideas, he became one of them. I wonder if this is what is happening to Mitt Romney.
As we saw in 2008, hope is not a plan and it leads to many unwise decisions, such as the decision to vote for it. So I won’t be so optimistic as to say Romney can do anything more than slow the sinking. But of course I am most definitely, without hesitation, going to cast my vote for him on November 6. I would not be able to live with it on my conscience that I helped Obama destroy America, whether I helped actively, by voting for him, or passively, by sitting out the election or voting third party.