Here's a pretty good rundown, point by point, of the several of the significant choices between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, in the form of ten questions. Whatever decision a person makes, they're pretty starkly worded, so coming up with a personal response ought not be hard (with the exception, perhaps, of question #10.) The article includes useful discussion of each. The questions, without the commentary, are:
1. How full is the economic glass?
2. Who will be tougher on China? .
3. Should tax rates be cut for the wealthiest and for capital gains?
4. Should responsibility for Medicaid and other programs be turned over entirely to the states?
5. Should Medicare offer a voucher option?
6. Should Obamacare be abolished?
7. Should Social Security be converted into a private-investment program?
8. Who is best (for you) on the social issues of abortion, contraception and gay rights?
9. Was the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler a good idea?
10. Who can end the gridlock in Washington?
When, as I wrote, the Des Moines Register endorses Romney, choosing a Republican for the first time in forty years, and does so for economic reasons (while expressing fears of social regression!), I find myself wondering whether I've stringed and quantummed my way into another universe. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just seeing everything wrong, my sense of being able to apprehend reality and to evaluate data is no more than self-deception. Maybe Mitt Romney isn't a liar, hasn't changed positions on every one of the most important issues of the day. Could it be that he really acted in a bipartisan way in Massachusetts?
Would he have saved the auto industry like Obama did, as he now claims? Maybe his budget plans do add up, and can be accomplished while maintaining the infrastructure necessary to a functioning society. Perhaps it'd be fine if we became a theocratic plutocracy, where moneyed interests pull all the strings and keep the rest of us happy by letting us (and by "us" I mean "them") enact biblical law on all things other than whatever it is that lets megacorporations keep their money and run the show. Or maybe there's actually no one in Congress trying to make it happen.
Being open-minded, I have to consider the possibility that I've been wrong about everything, and that Fox "news" and RWS™distortions and dissembling aren't outright Bolshevik-like propagandizing at all, but sources of truth and reason. The view of Barack Obama they've created -- the Communist Socialist Nazi America-hating gay Kenyan Muslim terrorist-enabler -- is the accurate one; and my view of him -- a moderate, left-wing-disappointing compromiser, a rescuer (if a little slowly) of the economy and of the auto industry, a promise-keeping ender of a bad war and initiator of very middle-of-the-road (conservative, actually) health-care reform, a believer in women's rights and same-sex equality as moral issues -- is just plain wrong.
Or, at least, I have to get used to the idea that it doesn't matter one way or the other whether I'm right or not. Because the other view is winning the argument.