Author’s Note: I make no mistake I am, with serious reservations, voting for Obama. I tend to be on the left on social issues. This article is merely my commentary.
Mitt Romney has ran a solid campaign centered on revitalizing the stagnant U.S. economy and pulling in what is inarguably out of control spending. It should be no great surprise Mitt Romney would chose a economic policy strong running mate, Paul Ryan. This benefits the Left more than Romney supporters in the long run. Romney has already touted his economic philosophy through this entire campaign. He has promoted being a successful businessman, saving the Salt Lake City Olympics and balancing the Massachusetts budget without raising taxes. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan is fairly well known for his own budget proposal.
During the 2011 budget crisis President Obama often referred to the ‘Ryan Budget’ as something that contained more hardship for the middle class and more of the same culture of cuts for the wealthy. The Democratic Party has done much to promote Paul Ryan’s stature, in order to paint him as a friend to the wealthy and an enemy to the middle class. Paul Ryan is also a far right leaning Representative, whereas Mitt Romney was once viewed as a fairly Moderate Republican. The very real danger for Romney is he is falling into the trap that John McCain fell into, in which he tried to please Conservatives, Tea Party supporters, Evangelicals and alienated a vast majority of moderates and independents. The two groups that both parties need to court to win this election.
While the Paul Ryan ticket might serve to energize the Republican base it will also make it easy for the Obama camp to energize the Democratic base. The Human Rights Campaign (a LGBT civil rights organization) has already released a press release attacking Ryan’s record. According to HRC Ryan has voted against allowing Gay and Lesbian couples to adopt, he has voted against hate crime legislation, opposed repealing don’t ask don’t tell and against marriage equality. According to a CNN/ORC International survey listed 73% of people between 18-34 support marriage equality. The same youth base that helped Obama capture his first election. Interestingly enough a poll by NBC News and the WSJ listed nearly 50% of Republicans under the age of 35 similarly support marriage equality.
Romney (who already has voiced Anti-LGBT positions) coupled with Paul Ryan is easily in the norm of the Evangelical community but is a poor representation to the rest of America. In essence the Romney ticket is a double-down on that their economic plan and the struggling American economy will be the overriding issue of this campaign, the only real issue of this campaign.
The problem for the Romney/Ryan ticket is if the dissatisfaction over the economy doesn’t drown out the other issues, than the ticket is behind the times when it comes to social issues. It is also worth noting that the Ryan Budget did include plans to cut not only Medicaid but Medicare as well, which threatens to alienate the loyalist supporters of the Republican Party, the elderly. In the end the ticket is an opportunity for the left to openly court independents, undecided voters and socially progressive Republicans.
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