Re-elect the president
Since the nation's voters began to seriously consider Republican Mitt Romney for president late last month, we all should now ask ourselves, do Americans feel lucky?
Yes, a quote from Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry when the actor was much younger and didn't go around debating empty chairs, but the scene is eerily similar. In the film, the bad guy has to decide whether Harry has one more bullet left in his .44 Magnum, and he opts not to take the chance.
In this election year, Mitt Romney is the gamble he and the Republicans are asking the nation to take. There are a number of reasons why that would be a fool's choice for the great majority of citizens, and another reason why 100 percent of the nation would suffer.
The latter reason is that we have just gone through four years of a president learning the ropes of the office with Barack Obama, and he now seems to know how to handle himself, his administration, Congress and foreign leaders. Mr. Romney would take us right back to the drawing board -- amid a sluggish economy and multiple foreign challenges needing both a firm and experienced approach.
On foreign affairs alone, Mr. Romney has shown himself to be a bumbling novice who tends to stick his foot in his mouth and alienate foreign leaders, people and governments. Perhaps he would learn the ropes in four years, but who knows unless we live through it -- assuming, of course, that there is no war to end all wars.
Concerning the economy, the dominant issue in this and most campaigns, luck is not even a possibility for most of us. All anyone has to know about Mitt Romney is that he was a founder and once the CEO of Bain Capital, one of the most mercenary leverage buyout firms of the buyout heyday during the 1980s and ‘90s.
In fact, Bain and its leader are credited with innovations that took the company buyouts of the past to a new level -- one that primarily benefited Bain owners while saddling struggling companies with debt that destroyed some or crippled them further.
In other words, the takeover process Bain used involved putting a relatively small amount down for control of a struggling company and then borrowing heavily during the days of easy credit, then finding a way to pay Bain principals millions while leaving the company saddled with debt.
As described in well-researched and sickening detail in a long article in Rolling Stone in August, this technique was the opposite of a traditional takeover, which might involve layoffs and belt tightening but little added debt burden for a weakened company while attempts were made to turn it around.
Of course, that traditional process, which might have saved the company and its jobs, would not have provided instant massive profits for the takeover firm.
So, America, despite the job-creating image the Romney campaign has tried to project, do we really want a man with this kind of background in the White House? Not unless you happen to be super-wealthy and absolutely unconcerned about the future prospects of the lower 99 percent -- your fellow citizens.
Barack Obama, a former community organizer on the streets in Chicago, a job he did not have to seek out and which did not make him millions, is on that basis alone a far better choice.
In his first term, he has made mistakes and underestimated what it took to get things done in Washington, but he now seems on the verge of a successful second term.
The president would be the safest bet on Nov. 6 for all Americans.
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