Hard-line conservatives seem to think that this is the most important election ever, that somehow there’s so much more at stake than ever before. I’ve heard people echo this line of thinking on sports talk radio, on NPR and through the obvious recycling of bad ideas on Facebook. While all elections hold a degree of significance, this election might hold the distinction of being the least important election of my generation and many generations that came before me.
The last election came down to who was going to clean up after eight catastrophic years under George W. Bush. We had to pick up the pieces of our economy and restore our image throughout the world. There was a lot at stake for the 2008 election. There was a laundry list of unimaginable problems to solve for the winner of that election. The hot issue for the 2004 election was a couple of major wars and whether the country was going let Bush stay behind the wheel while steering us into oncoming traffic. That’s kind of important. And you can look back further at the major issues during past elections.
It’s not that we have less important issues going on now. The economy floundering, we are still in the process of pulling troops out of Afghanistan, and we still have terrorist cells throughout the world that want to turn us to dust. What separates this one is how much the candidates actually agree, and how much they can actually impact the issues that they do disagree on.
If you watched the third debate on foreign policy, it was basically an echo chamber. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama have the same vision for dealing with a nuclear Iran. Romney agrees with the president on how he’s dealing with Syria. Both President Obama and Romney love Israel unconditionally. And both Obama and Romney agree that using unmanned drones to take out presumed terrorists is the way to go. Neither wants to approach the subject of morality when it comes to these drones killing innocent civilians, and they don’t have to because the issue isn’t on a list of important polling topics.
The top of that list is jobs and the economy. But according to Mitt Romney, the government doesn’t create jobs and conservatives are slamming President Obama for not creating enough jobs. Mitt Romney wants to keep the Bush tax cuts; President Obama slammed the tax cuts last election and helped to reach an agreement to extend the tax cuts in 2010. Then there’s health care. The bulk of Obamacare changes kick in next year, and Romney says that the first day in office, he’ll completely repeal Obamacare. This would be a lie. Not only would he not get Congressional approval to do this, instantaneously kicking everyone off their new policies and giving all the muscle back to insurance companies would cause a riot. It wouldn’t happen.
There are obviously some clear and distinct differences between the two candidates. But to act like the world would implode if President Obama get’s reelected is nonsensical fear. The world won’t drastically change come Election Day regardless of who wins, and I’m sure some already know this because you’re reading this after the election. So whether it’s Romney or Obama, your world is not likely to come crashing down around you, unless of course you live in Afghanistan or Pakistan and you’re seeing unmanned drones overhead.