How Will The 2012 U.S. Presidential, Congressional, and Local Elections Affect You Tangibly?

What are the most tangible, specific effects that the upcoming U.S. elections this November might have for your life. Which of your rights do you hope or worry will be affected and how specifically will this alter the course of your specific life–not just potentially, but actually, if they are?

And will your career be affected? Your choices in schooling? Your personal relationships? Your business opportunities?

In the most brass tacks ways how do you foresee what is likely to happen on the political level affecting you?

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Alex Songe

    Student loans Romney wants to force all of us who’ve switched to government servicers to switch back to banks for the student loans (which were basically free gifts to the bank for clerical work).

    Health care I’ve got a roommate who I don’t charge rent because of a medical issue…being single, doesn’t easily qualify for medicaid in this state and has to go through indigent care. If healthcare gets rolled back before 2014, things are really going to hit the fan for this person.

    This is off the top of my head. If I can remember more, I’ll be back.

  • ShowMetheData

    specific affects

    specific effects


    • Daniel Fincke

      I should have known better. Thanks.

  • dailydouq

    Social Security and Medicare. I got my first paycheck just after Medicare was passed and I’ve been paying that fee/tax in every paycheck since, same with Social Security. This is not an “entitlement” or “welfare” as this is something I’ve paid for, from every check I’ve received. It’s no different than some private plan. It was/is a contract and I’ve kept up my end of the bargain and now I expect to receive the benefits I’d already paid for. Ryan and Romney have no right to take the money I’ve already paid and give it to the rich. So whatever BS they put out about balancing the budget and needing to make “job creators” richer, they also have a trust to fulfill. And they can’t give my money to Wall Street to lose trillions like they did in 2008.

    Religion No matter how much the Repugs may pander to their base the Constitution says no established religion. They can’t violate this with sleazy moves to put prayer in schools, or fund religious groups, or cut science out of the classroom.

    Education I benefited from this and have tried to pay back through my contributions. We must have the young people get the same opportunities I did, which start through education. We need an educated electorate, to make good decisions, and to be productive and keep our economy going. Cutting Pell grants or raising interest on student loans, esp. again just to give tax cuts to the rich, denies our country the opportunity to be health and grow.

    Freedom The tea baggers are not the only ones who embrace freedom, but the Repugs and Romney can’t take freedom from one group in order to satisfy another. All of us, regardless of our background, need to support the legitimate rights of ALL citizens.

    I must be dreaming, because everything I’ve said is completely contradicted by the repuglican party platform.

  • baal

    This would be easier if Romney etal actually laid out an agenda. The TX (R) party platform, generically, is gunning for the iron ages. The FEDHOUSE has voted abortion bills pretty much non-stop and exclusive of other legislation since the session started. Without some better idea of their real goals, it’s hard to say how it filters down.

    I do know that every tax plan the (R) have floated would drive my taxes up (above median nowhere near top 2%). The slashing to infrastructure means less safe roads and bridges. The slashing to education budgets likely means more out of pocket for my child’s schooling (k12).

  • David Dunn

    To put it bluntly, I will be dead soon if RMoney wins. I’m on dialysis, which costs $250K per year. Medicare pays 80%, and I pay $2K a year out of my SSD, for coinsurance that covers the other 20%. I worked as an RN for 35 years and paid the max into SS for most of those years, so I am justly getting a return on my investment. I am barely hanging on to my average house and car, but I will go bankrupt and die if Medicare is gutted, as will many more people in my position, or a worse one.

  • John Morales

    Since I’m an Australian living in Australia, it will likely not directly affect me in any significant way — it would annoy me if the USA starts another war or triggers another global financial meltdown, though.

  • Bret

    Well, the campaigns have already ruined my enjoyment of the Olympics with political ads…

    Other than that, it’s pretty much win-win for me. If Obama wins, I’m happy. If Romney wins, I have someone to make fun of for 4 years.

  • Horace

    I hope that Obama wins, because if Romney gets the White house a lot of trendy, irritating Americans will move to Canada.

    • Bret

      No they won’t. Liberals are all talk on that, and anyone old enough to remember 2000 will know what I’m talking about.

  • Donovan

    The way the Tea Party has shed much of its original pretense and come out as having less to do with taxes and all to do with racism, anti-gay, sexism, and the defense of ignorance, I fear the local and state elections more than I do the presidential election.

    Romney is bad. Not just bad for the country, but a bad person. He will severely damage the country if elected.

    But the worst bills in the country are being passed in cities and townships, with some at the state level. In my own county, we have a super bigot running to be reinstated as sherrif. Last time he had that post he “recruited” prisoners to build his riverside mansion at the fair wage of 1 cheeseburger a day. Despite the obvious legal mess that was, the town supported him strongly. His openly racist, overtly Christian, and destably greedy smile is probably going to put him back in power, as the local tea partiers love him.

    My fear and prediction is that liberals might hold what we have in the White House, but we stand to and probably will lose in the local elections.

  • Pen

    Foreign Policy and foreign perception of the USA

    If Romney get elected I expect a deterioration in America’s relations with the rest of the world. I anticipate that we’ll be back in the Bush era om that one before long. It’s clear that Romney isn’t capable of opening his mouth safely in public, and it will only take some kind of international incident or tension to set him off. Obama certainly has improved the public image of the country and made it more comfortable to be an American or to be associated with America outside the country, not to mention probably making the world a safer place. He tends to over-react less and he’s usually coherent and non-insulting.

    What’s Good for America

    I think America’s best hope for an improved standard of living lie with the left(ish)-wing, but it rather depends on the country getting behind that, rather than thinking they’re done once they’ve voted as seemed to be the case in 2008.

    PS. I’m not American but I have no compunctions at all about having an opinion. I seem to have found myself in the position of being taxed without representation!

    • Pen

      …made it more comfortable to be an American or to be associated with America outside the country, not to mention probably making the world a safer place.

      Just to make it clearer, since you asked us to be tangible – this was a significant factor in my life and that of my family, and the arrival of Obama was definitely a burden lifted.

  • Brian

    No effect. Both parties in my country are craven and will give away our freedoms to whichever party of the military industrial complex that runs the US feins democratic assent. In short, Australia is the 51st US state, short any constitutional protections of its citizens and will have bases with US marines and nuclear subs, without it being put before the people, because we don’t stand up to bullies who call themselves friends and happily render our citizens to the US illegally or at least allegally.

    • Horace

      The main effect that the election will have on Canadians is the state of the US economy. Because of geography and Mulroney (Tory Prime Minister from 83 to 83) and his free trade deal our economy is chained to the US one. It is in our interests to have a strong US economy. It is also in our interests to be less dependant on the US economy and diversify our trade.

      Romney worries me because his party will do nothing to raise taxes. With the federal deficit what it is there is no way to get the economy fixed without more government revenue. Romney did balance the Mass budget though, so he may be more sensible than he pretends to be.

      I like Romney’s position on immigration, although it does not go far enough. US working class wages have been decreasing and unemployment increasing; a major reason for that is masses of unskilled labour arriving from Mexico and points south of there. What is interesting is that both left wingers and right wingers are reluctant to speak out about the need for immigration reduction (McCain was disgusting). Canada is even worse. In the UK and Europe though there are elements of both the left and right that see the need to cut immigration (Milliband made a recent speach on this). Romney is the only one on the left or right in the states who seems to understand this.

      On the other hand you can argue that if the US continues to allow mass immigration which improverishes the masses and provides their ruling classes with obedient servants it is not Canada’s problem. In the short term this is true; in the long term I don’t think that this kind of society is stable and it’s problems may seep over the border.

      Obama is good for us as he is stopping/delaying the Keystone pipeline. This will make it easier politically to get a pipeline built from the Alberta tar sands to the Pacific. We need to diversify our economy so this is good news for us.

      He does not seem to take the national debt as seriously as Romney does; although both sides seem more interested in using the issue as ammunition than in solving it (I get my opinion from Nassim Nicholas Taleb on this one).

      Obama has also shown himself ungrateful to the Brits for their support in Iraq/Afghanistan when it comes to international matters. He did not back them up over the Falklands. So we would not get any favours from Obama for helping the Americans in Afghanistan. Then again, we probably don’t need as many of these international diplomatic favours as the Brits do.

      I would say that Romney is marginally better for Canada. Too close to call for sure though.

    • David Dunn

      Do you seriously think that RMoney’s public stance on immigration would determine his actions if he were to be elected?? No republican would ever act to decrease the flood of cheap labor coming into the USA, because the businesses that rely on it would have a fit. Besides that, the presence of undocumented workers artificially suppreses the job market, and thereby keeps wages low, all of which benefits the rich corporations. The republicans have never really supported or enforced the one thing that would reduce illegal immigration–fining and imprisoning business owners who employ illegals. No, it’s the poor Messicans’ fault for being poor and trying to survive, not the almighty “Job-Creators’”.

  • Horace


    you could be right, but I have some faith that Romney is honest about this issue as it was the one issue that he was more right wing than any of the other Republican candidates.

    I don’t think that the Democrats will ever do anything about illegal immigration as once naturalized, immigrants from Latin American would vote Democrat.

    Mass immigration is supported by elements of both the left (who want leftist voters) and the right (who want low wages and high unemployment to keep labour in line). Successful opposition to it will need someone who can talk to both the left and the right.

    I agree with you about fining or imprisoning the employers.