The great Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Well, I’m skipping the bandaids and gauze tonight.
I’m a Mormon. I’m a non-partisan, common sense, fiscal conservative. I was born in Washington, but grew to adulthood in Utah. I now live in a swing state.
And tonight I read a tweet that broke my heart. “@jayfeely: Foxnews just called Ohio for Obama which means President Obama has won reelection.”
Four years ago I was a college student, working part time and attending school full time. I had a scholarship and student loans. I watched as Barack Obama was sworn into office from the student lounge at my college. It was a historic event that I won’t forget during my lifetime.
But the four years that have passed since that day have done so in stark contrast to the pageantry of Obama’s 2009 Inauguration. Unemployment has held steadily; businesses are afraid to grow. The United States has gone through a historic recession, greater than any economic downturn in nearly a century. Families are struggling to survive (even without the frills they once bought on credit cards) and young adults face a future as bleak as any in memory. The new normal feels frighteningly un-normal.
Now, you may think I’m under the delusion that these “tough economic times” were brought on by Barack Obama. I’m not. I know full well that the storm clouds of today’s American economic climate were gathering long before Obama’s election, and broke well before he was sworn in. He had a tough task, I get it.
But last night we had a chance to elect a President who has a track record of turning deficits into surpluses, and we didn’t.
My first introduction to the name Mitt Romney came somewhere around the year 2000. I was living in Salt Lake City and full-scale preparations were being made to host the 2002 Winter Olympic games. At the time I knew of a scandal involving the Olympics and bribery. I later learned of an organizing committee near financial ruin. I knew that Mitt Romney, a businessman with little to no history of working with non-profits, took over as SLOC President and turned a mess into one of the greatest events I’ve ever been a part of.
For three weeks straight in early 2002, I performed at the Olympic medals plaza in downtown Salt Lake. I met hundreds of volunteers, saw thousands of spectators, and rubbed elbows with celebrities and athletes. The games were masterfully orchestrated and flawlessly executed. I knew Mitt Romney had something to do with that. At the time, I was not even cognizant of the fact that Romney shared my religious faith.
Fast forward to last night. I know a lot more now about Willard Romney than I did in 2002. I know about his personal life. I know about his mission to France. I know about his political stances and policies, not all of which I agree with (in whole or in part.) And I know that America needs him right now.
In the past few months we as Americans have heard and spoken a lot about what we think the government should and should not pay for. May I suggest that since the government is over $16,000,000,000,000 in debt (and counting,) that they really should not be paying for anything. Like, anything. Have you ever known someone that was so heavily in debt that they just moved back to their parents’ house to save money on rent and food until they could pay off their loans/credit cards? Yeah, that’s the state our government is in.
The alarming part is that the debt is STILL CONTINUING TO GROW. Is that Obama’s fault? No, not completely. But does anyone in America realistically expect Obama to come out with even ONE balanced budget over the next four years? I don’t. I can’t imagine anyone else does.
And last night we had a chance to elect Mitt Romney, a man who had made a career out of turning deficits (and debt) into surpluses and assets. This is a guy who would shock me by carrying a deficit in even one of the next four years. But we went with “the other guy.”
Every so often I feel like maybe I’m taking crazy pills, that I’m nuts and everyone else is normal. But on a night like tonight I feel like I might be the only sane one.
Please don’t, for one second, think that I’m blind to the needs of Americans who chose Obama because of certain policies which will not have a widespread effect on the economy. For those women who feel that matters touching abortion are solely their prerogative, I’m sorry that you don’t feel you have the support of Mitt Romney in this very controversial issue. For those who have a same sex preference and want to have all the benefits that “straight” couples have, I’m sorry you feel that Mitt Romney is making you a second class citizen. But for the sake of America, think of the gigantic, enormous, (insert expletive here) financial hole the government is in! Is your right to abort a child really more important than belonging to a country whose Government actually owns money?? (We own none. Zero. We have more debt than any other country in this entire world.)
It shouldn’t come as such a shock to me. I’ve known for a long time that prudence is a word rarely used and not generally understood in America. It’s been said that, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” I guess, for that reason, we’re content to allow our government to continue to spend money on things we could exist without but would prefer not to.
I don’t know where this country is going, but I don’t like the direction we’re headed (many would agree, Democrat and Republican alike.) But last night we had a chance…