As I watch the election unfold, I think of the last four years with President Barack Obama. I hear all of the comparisons, the blame assigned the former president, the spin media outlets put on facts and the rhetoric the campaigns use to sway voters.
In deciding my choice, there are some key factors I will use. You often hear that if you vote for Mitt Romney, you will be getting four more years of George W. Bush. This is like saying, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, she would have governed in the exact same manner as President Obama. The same can be said when Republicans champion Mr. Romney by saying how good the Ronald Reagan years were or as silly as saying that simply based on party affiliation alone, President Bill Clinton was the same as President Jimmy Carter.
The key factor that stands out for me is the lack of leadership our current president exhibits. This is a man who promised unity, yet he can't seem to unite the parties enough to accomplish even the most fundamental of tasks. For three years, we have not been able to pass a budget. You cannot say the same for President Clinton. He worked not only with Congress to obtain bipartisan support, but also included people such as Newt Gingrich to provide crucial assistance in forming the plan to right the country. You can saddle President Bush with many things, but he also worked hard to maintain a shared responsibility among both parties.
We can review the past administrations of most presidents and you will find this to be a resounding truth. Leaders are able to draw people together for the common good. While President Obama may be a good "doer" of things, time and again he has failed on this major responsibility of a being a good leader. I do not know if it is indecision that has been the cause or simply inexperience.
In tackling some of the pressing issues we face, economically, in domestic affairs, and regarding foreign policy, one thing rings true. We will need a leader who can not only unite the two major parties but also show respect for the growing independent, libertarian and tea party members who deserve consideration if we hope to find solutions that will work long term for our nation. I think you would be hard pressed to find any voter who wholly agrees with their party's platform. Likewise, you will not find legislation, when passed by mere portions of only one portion of our electorate, that is worthy of continuing our nation's history of freedom and democracy.
For this reason, Mr. Romney will get my vote this year. For the title, Leader of the Free World, often used to describe the office of the President of the United States, we need a proven leader. It is not "The Doer of the Free World," or "The Dictator of the Free World," or "The King of the Free World," but rather the "Leader."
Rani Merryman, Perry HallCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun