Re-electing Obama: disastrous for nation

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On the night of Jan. 11, 1989, millions of Americans turned on their television sets to say goodbye. It was a bittersweet moment as Ronald Reagan, “The Great Communicator,” spoke with pride about the unique transition the nation had undergone, one that fundamentally affected her identity in the world. His face was one that brought a smile to your own, and his voice evoked warmth and trust like an outstretched hand.  It was that night the president spoke of America as “the shining city upon a hill,” a “tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.”

The phrase “shining city on a hill” is often attributed to the Massachusetts pilgrim John Winthrop, but its origins lie in the New Testament. Depending on which Bible you are reading from, Matthew 5:14 will tell you, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.”

Reagan brought this description to its modern political prominence, and this vision of the United States as an exceptional institution guiding the rest of the world has been held by many since then. The view of the shining city in Reagan’s era can only be seen through a lens of optimism, and the economic recovery overseen by his administration saw 8.04 million private sector jobs created in 29 months, the Soviet Union begin to collapse from within, and the American spirit begin to be reborn.

My nostalgia for an era I never even experienced makes me wonder how brightly the city shines today. Has our lantern flickered? And when the flame of preeminence flickers, does it fade entirely? Thus we have a deliberate choice on Election Day — a tale of two cities from which to choose.

On the one hand, we have a man who has draped the city behind a veil of unmitigated liberalism. As president, Barack Obama promised he would halve the deficit, and yet he has increased the US Public Debt by 52 percent — that’s more than $5.5 trillion, and it’s more than any president in history has increased it. His decision to bring military intervention to Libya and let the people of Syria seek freedom on their own has outlined a devastating hypocrisy in our foreign policy, and he has failed to communicate our world mission throughout his presidency. Through Obamacare, class warfare and failed economic policies that have left unemployment chronically high, our government has only become more callous and repressive.

On the other hand is a man who sees yet another American century that gives us the opportunity to the lead the world — not the other way around. Mitt Romney is a man with true executive experience who champions individual responsibility and personal liberty. His will be a city in which health care is affordable but not forced upon us, where our military is second to none but a strength of last resort, and where the least among us, especially the unborn, are protected.

Obama’s reelection would not be so much a change to the natural business of the city as it would be tantamount to taking a wrecking ball to its centuries-old foundation and replacing it with a new one entirely. This we must not, we cannot, do.

This Election Day we have a choice between two narratives, a tale of two cities, the result of which will determine whether or not our torch fades into the past or shines with the brightness of optimism to show the world how truly exceptional we are.

 

Joe Schartz is a freshman majoring in political science and journalism. He is the SDSU College Republican recruiter and can be reached at [email protected]          jacks.sdstate.edu.