Two juxtaposed images of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on the 4th of November, 2012 as they campaign in a last-minute rush to persuade undecided voters.
Two juxtaposed images of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on the 4th of November, 2012 as they campaign in a last-minute rush to persuade undecided voters.

In a hesitant endorsement of Barack Obama, The Economist magazine wrote that “for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”

I feel an enormous amount of pity for the average American voter, forced both by guilt and by popular opinion to vote for two faces of the same coin, and I wouldn’t begrudge the enormous section of the American population that refuses to vote year-on-year.

Stepping up to the booth, they face a choice between a former lawyer whose disregard for due process puts the security of the Western world at risk, or a morally-dubious former executive beholden to the fringe elements of the Republican party.

The Economist is right for pinpointing Romney’s lack of consistency and policies devoid of detail.

He’s an enigma on so many issues; the only real policy that came to light was during the debates: closing tax avoidance loopholes. But he wouldn’t specify which ones, or how. Why? Because he is a chronic tax-avoider himself.

Romney, in recent months on the campaign trail, has failed to move to the centre thanks to some woeful gaffes on abortion from Republican candidates across the board: Todd Akin (at least three times), Richard Mourdock, and Joe Walsh.

These stunning examples of belligerence have failed to overturn the notion that Republicans, moderate or not, wish to send women back to the Dark Ages.

The magazine also fails to point out that Romney is a figurehead and example for the kind of morally-reputable business practice that led the global economy in to its present chaos: outsourcing, blackmail, and gambling with other people’s money.

Simply because Romney is a rich businessman – the very platform he is running on – does not make him a good businessman.

On the other hand, for a former civil rights and constitutional lawyer, Barack Obama has performed impeccably in ensuring that vast inequalities within US society have increased, and anti-American sentiment spreads throughout the Middle East through terror campaigns.

While it is fantastic that Wall Street and the American auto industry have rebounded - big business profits have recently exceeded pre-crash levels –that relative curve has not been represented amongst a growth in wealth for the majority of the American population.

There is no doubt that the middle class in the U.S. – a middle class that fuelled vast periods of stability and growth – has been crushed within the last few decades under the pressures of outsourcing and predatory lending, yet neither Obama nor Romney are adept at tackling this critical issues head-on.

In many ways, Obama’s handling of the Benghazi embassy attack is endemic and representative of a belligerent attitude towards national sovereignty and anti-US sentiment overseas.

Obama’ White House conjured up an excuse from thin air, despite evidence and reports to the contrary, to explain systemic security failings at the Benghazi embassy. It has since emerged that there was no protest, but a pre-planned assault with military weapons.

He lied to the American people, and to the world, and there is no excuse for that.

I would agree with, and almost pity, the average American vote who decides to stay home today.

They’re faced with an impossible choice, but when push comes to shove, Barack Obama really is the lesser evil.

Better the devil you know, right?


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