As I prepare to vote, I look to the American constitution to determine how I should vote. The President of the United States is our chief executive in a central government. Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney will swear to defend the Constitution and both men are honorable and will intend to keep their word.
The question is who is fit to do so? Let’s look at the over-arching purpose for the federal government:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.The Constitution says our government exists to establish justice.
Our Constitution argues that our government should promote domestic tranquility.
President Obama has failed, sometimes through no fault of his own, to forge bipartisan consensus. When his party controlled both the legislature and the presidency, it pressed for major legislation, such as Obamacare, rejected by the vast majority of most Americans. They paid no heed to elections, such as the one for the Senate in Massachusetts, that were warnings and overreached.
Mr. Romney has a record in Massachusetts of being able to work with the opposition party. We need such an executive temper in office.
Of course running for office, both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have made partisan arguments. We know, however, that given the power Mr. Obama chose his signature legislation to be a program that has roiled the nation. Mr. Romney will repeal and replace this legislation with healthcare help that will unite most of us.
Our government is to provide for the common defense.
Mr. Obama inherited wars that had ceased to have public support. He is winding those wars down and has kept the United States safe from domestic terrorism.
However, at the same time, Mr. Obama has given no clear overarching foreign policy. He has mostly reacted to global events. It is too early to judge his handling of the Arab Spring, but the early returns are not promising.
Mr. Obama has global cachet, but this has not helped in dealing with China and India, rising powers. In fact, our relationship with India is worse than it was under his predecessor.
Mr. Obama has also allowed our naval power to slip to unacceptable levels.
There is no reason to think Mr. Romney will change the good Mr. Obama has done in foreign policy, but every reason to think he will have a larger foreign policy vision. He will be more forceful in standing up to foes such as Iran. More important, he has a global economic vision that the President lacks.
Peace in this age will come when we strengthen fair economic ties with powers such as India and China. Mr. Romney shows a better grasp of this than Mr. Obama.
The Constitution empowers the government to promote the general welfare.
Mr. Obama has harmed the poor and the weak. Government spending continues to burden us with debt and social programs too often continue a culture of dependency. Most of us are worse off at the end of his term, than the start.
It is time for a change.
Mr. Obama has used the bully pulpit to promote some good ideas. Mrs. Obama has been an excellent first lady. Sadly, however, he has also used it to promote the culture of death and has done little to reverse dependency on government.
At the end of his term by almost every measure the poor are worse off than they were at the beginning. He has presented little vision for a new approach to the economy or to the general welfare. Things might get better in his second term, but by his own standards at the start of his term, Mr. Obama has failed.
On the other hand, Mr. Romney represents a form of Republicanism that accepts a social safety net for the poor, but is also open to innovation. He has an economic plan that will provide more jobs, the best form of economic welfare. More important, Mr. Romney is not beholden to the libertine values of so many of Mr. Obama’s supporters and is a position to encourage traditional values.
Mr. Obama lives well, but empowers those who do not. Mr. Romney will help the deserving, but seek bipartisan solutions to get those harmed by the system out of it.
Our government is to promote the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity.
It is good to have a job.
Economic prosperity, absent the last four years, is important.
Mr. Romney is best for jobs and prosperity, but there are greater goods than those of the wallet.
Our Constitution exists fundamentally to promote liberty. Real liberty is not the right to virtue, but the unimpeded ability to do what is good, true, and beautiful. Mr. Romney understands the limits to government and the balance between law and liberty.
He will not institute rights to vice, but will also not limit the ability of good people to pursue charity as their conscience demands.
Some good things cannot be done safely by government. Our liberty demands strong rights and powers to states, families, churches, and private organizations. Mr. Romney’s record shows he has more respect for this balance than Mr. Obama.
Both are charitable men, but Mr. Romney’s first impulse is to help himself and Mr. Obama’s is to get the government to help. With an already bloated government, Mr. Obama’s impulse is dangerous. Health care should be universal, but Obamacare places too much of the responsibility and power in the hands of government, imperiling our liberty.
He endangers our liberty by placing too much of our reliance in the central government.
Every day for the past four years, I have prayed for our President. Mr. Obama inherited difficult times, but for half his term had his program enacted by Congress. The stimulus went too far and did not deliver the prosperity he promised. National debt, bad under President Bush, has grown worse. President Obama betrayed his traditional Christian voters by changing his views on marriage at the end of his term. He passed a healthcare plan that is convoluted and leads religious institutions like my university at risk of being destroyed.
He has, however, done some that is good. We faced the danger of a greater recession, but this was avoided. Early in his term, the President, who did not need to do so, reached out to some conservatives and Republicans. His foreign policy has had successes, including the death of Bin Laden. The world, however, seems less safe than when he took office and his handling of allies such as Israel and crisis like Libya is worrisome.
The good done will continue under Mr. Romney, but with deeper resolve to support our allies and project strength to our foes. Romney will not undermine marriage or attack the rights of unborn children. He will not put religious hospitals, social services, and educational institutions in peril. He is a charitable man who will care for the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, but not in ways that limit their social mobility and harm their character.
Most important, Mr. Romney offers a chance for a new economic direction. He will be in a better position to pursue a bipartisan solution to the budget crisis, an opportunity Mr. Obama wasted. Mr. Romney is a moderate man by nature and will govern seeking consensus, but without betraying the constitutional core.
Mr. Obama is a decent man in his private life, but it is time that he return to that life to which he is so eminently qualified. The troubles of the times were beyond his talents and experience. Fortunately, we peacefully can change course and send Mr. Obama to a dignified retirement.
Mr. Romney is fit for the burden of these difficult times. He has energy and a program for renewing the constitutional role for government.
Our constitution was:
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.
Now once again we renew that covenant and vote in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and twelve, secure our right to do so does not come from either candidate but from the Lord God.
Now is the time that the loyal opposition can hope for constitutional change by voting for Mitt Romney: for justice, for peace, for safety, for happiness, for the blessings of liberty.