Watchdog ads, debates, press releases and outrageous accusations are in the air as the primary elections reach their peak. For people into politics, the next year is going to be exciting. For those who hate politics, this next year is going to be a confusing overload of political ads and messages.
I am the president of College Republicans here at OWU, and I want to start by saying that nothing I say represents the view of College Republicans; the OWU chapter, the state chapter, or the national organization. College Republicans is not about telling members what to believe, it is about meeting together and being aware of the current events and issues so that members can draw their own conclusions.
The Republican Party has a massive internal battle between the moderates, who generally tend to support Mitt Romney, and conservatives, who generally tend to support Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul will always be hanging around, since he has the money to spend and the Libertarians to support him.
The Arizona Republican Debate, which was held on Wednesday, brought up many different kinds of issues, ranging from the economy, border control, social issues and international affairs. All of these topics certainly have their place in the debates, but my problem comes down to what the main focus tends to be in these debates.
Most Republicans want Obamacare repealed. Every candidate keeps saying why they want to repeal it, but the fact is that there is a good chance the Supreme Court will declare it unconstitutional before a candidate even gets to debate health care with Obama.
Also, some states, including Ohio, voted against Obamacare, so it will not go into law in those states anyway. My point with this is that candidates need to stop the thunderous speeches ending with, “and I will REPEAL Obamacare!” because chances are, they will not even have to.
Now this does not mean that I am against all government programs, because I’m not. I think that some governmental programs are good for the country. However, I do not want everything being regulated to the extent that has been proposed this past year. In the end, I believe that decisions regarding some of the regulation should be left up to the states.
International affairs, I feel, are not getting enough attention. I think every candidate needs to ask himself what he would do if he is woken up in the middle of the night to a phone call saying a massive war has broken out, and one of our allies is involved.
Worse yet, they need to think what they would do if our country was attacked. Virtually any country at any time could decide to snap and wage war, especially countries with unstable governments like North Korea and Iran.
Now I know the common argument, that we need to figure out things domestically first before we get involved in anything. However, the weaker Obama continues to make our military and the more he pulls us out of countries, the less prepared we will be if something does happen. We have no control as to when something happens, but we must have a president who is capable of handling the situation if something does happen.
While I think it is difficult for any candidate to answer exactly how he would deal with an attack on an ally or our country itself, I believe that the two front runners, Santorum and Romney, are better capable of handling an international issue than Obama.
Economically, I am tired of hearing what Obama has done wrong. I am ready to hear what the Republican candidates are going to do about it. It does not matter to me as much how the candidates voted in the past in Congress or what they passed in their states, because the situations in the country are always changing. I want to see them stop looking in the past, and telling me what they will do now. While the debt issue will not likely go away in one presidency, it is a problem that has not been fixed and needs to be talked about more.
Another issue I think needs to be considered is working together as parties. Yes, I know that Republicans have been increasingly guilty of filibustering every bill until it dies. I do think that compromise needs to become a word used more often in Congress.
It used to be that the most liberal Republican was more liberal than the most conservative Democrat. What was wrong with that? Our government could get more things done if the extremely conservative and extremely liberal congressmen would relax a little and strike a compromise.
I firmly believe in standing up for your values and your beliefs, but I think that it is time Republicans and Democrats work together to advance our nation, rather than working against each other and bringing it to a standstill.
The intense bickering between the parties probably has something to do with the bickering within the party. The more moderate Republicans try to bring in the independent vote, the more conservative other Republicans, especially the Tea Party, try to push. This has led to the nasty political campaign where the moderate-leaning Romney has been the target of conservative candidates such as Santorum and Gingrich.
To moderate and conservative Republicans, I say that we need to remember that we all are in the same party with the same mission of getting Obama out of office.
At the end of the day, only one thing matters to Republicans in this upcoming election: defeat Barack Obama. Santorum and Romney are in the lead, and I believe they both could do a better job as president than Obama.
While I have some personal feelings as to who I want to be nominated to presidency, if the Republicans take control of the White House, I will be happy.