What is the lesson of this presidential election? As a father of teens, I find it difficult to explain why this election appears to be so close. Is the answer as simple as President Barack Obama has a talent for delivering a speech, while former Gov. Mitt Romney comes across as a stiff, successful businessman with a geeky economist running mate? It certainly can’t be that Obama is running on his record.
It was easy to understand the excitement in 2008 for a candidate who preached hope and change. Four years ago, Americans embraced Obama, who unabashedly spewed forth promises to cut unemployment and the deficit, strengthen the economy and bring Americans together. Obama, with majorities in both houses of Congress, began to implement his policies. Four years later, the country stands on the brink of true economic chaos. Unemployment is more than 8 percent, with real unemployment likely more than double that figure. The administration has added more than 50 percent to its inherited debt – an additional $5 trillion on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Median income is down, one in six Americans lives in poverty, women and minorities have been disproportionately hurt, and Americans are more divided than before Obama took office.
Is the lesson of this election that substance does not matter? Is blaming others acceptable in absolving yourself from your own failures? Obama has shredded President Harry Truman’s motto, “The buck stops here,” and replaced it with “Pass the buck.”
Obama set his own bar by which we should measure the success of his presidency. He failed by his own standards. It is my sincere hope that Americans will stand up and fire politicians who don’t take responsibility for their own failures. Government growth does not equal economic growth, the reality is that it destroys the economy and kills individual liberty. At this perilous time in our history, it may not be such a bad idea to give a stiff, successful businessman and a geeky economist a chance to put America on a stronger economic path. We know the alternative and it is potentially catastrophic.