Julius Caesar, on crossing the Rubicon, is rumored to have said “alea iacta est” – “the die is cast.” When you cross the threshold into the voting booth, both candidates may very well be thinking the same thing.
After $2 billion in combined ad spending from campaigns and SuperPACs, we go into election day not knowing who the winner will be. That makes the handful of you swing-staters who have yet to pick your candidate immensely powerful – you control the outcome, and in the end only you know how you’re going to vote. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make one last attempt to persuade you, does it?
An open letter to undecided swing-state voters:
Hello there! Many people have mocked your inability to decide on who you’ll pick for president despite astronomical amounts of spending and campaigning in your states. But unlike SNL, I’m actually glad that you’re giving time to arguably the most important decision you’ll make this year. You see, each candidate is offering a very different philosophy on how the country should be run, meaning that you’ll have to go all in with someone who may only represent half of your own values.
Mitt Romney is a turn-around man who’s spent his whole life saving or building businesses or governing a democratic state. The guy has experience and can point to an optimistic vision where America gets its strength from rugged individualism and hard work. It’s a great vision, especially if you’re someone like me who’s seen entrepreneurship up-close and personal.
Barack Obama, by contrast, has spent most of his life in academia or government – either as a Harvard law professor or congressman from Illinois. President Obama wants Americans on a more level playing field, emphasizing government spending for the poor and taxing for the rich as an equalizing force. This too is a great vision – that of a country where everyone can escape poverty and join the middle class. Except history shows that his approach usually does not work.
We can look at recent events for a guide. I’m Greek – or rather, I’m American but my family came from Greece to America a few decades ago. Google “Greek economy” or something along those lines and look at the news results you get. My country – the country of Alexander, Archimedes, Pythogoras, and Pericles – is bankrupt, starving, and radicalized.
Why? Because Greeks thought government could tax and spend the people into prosperity. Voters bought the notion hook, line, and sinker, and now they’re paying the price. When the most heated discussion in your political world is whether it would be better to get bought out by former enemies or give up your currency (as it is in Greece), you know that somewhere you went down the wrong track! And yet that’s the same track Barack Obama’s put us on for the last four years! US debt now tops 100.8% of our economy’s total value, up 40% since Obama took office. In Greece, the debt-to-economy ratio is 165%.
At the rate we’re growing our debt, I certainly hope I’m wrong when I say that in a few years, we may think the Greeks lucky to have it so good.
The truth is that tax and spend just doesn’t work. Trickle-down government does not a strong America make. Only people – people who work hard, play by the rules, and respect each other – can make a country strong. It’s people who have made it strong in the past. It’s people who will make it strong in the future. I believe in a strong America built by strong Americans, and so does Mitt Romney.
And that’s why I urge you to make him your choice. The opportunities are tremendous if you do, and the consequences simply too dire if you don’t.