For and Against


I am voting for Romney and against Obama. (Not that anyone should care, especially. But opinion-giving is part of what I do.) I thought I would list my reasons. I will not list all of them, but some of them — certainly the basics.

I will first say why I will vote for Romney. And then say why I’ll vote against O. Here we go.

I’m voting for Romney because

He’s a good and decent man (as far as I can tell). An exceptionally good and decent man. (Though politics brings out elbows, to be sure. So does business.)

He understands the economy. He’s a free-marketeer. He understands the importance of employers. He has ample business experience — useful in a president, especially now.

When he says, “The economy is in my wheelhouse,” I believe that. I don’t think it’s merely a boast. During the primaries, he often said, “I’ll get that done.” Meaning the solving of some problem. “I’ll get that done.” I believe it.

He is a “turnaround artist,” and this country is in sore need of a turnaround. As my colleague Kevin Williamson says, no one has ever been sorry he hired Mitt Romney to do a job.

He is against abortion. He wasn’t always, apparently. I believe he is now. The testimony of Mary Ann Glendon, about his tenure in Massachusetts, is important. (Glendon is a professor of law at Harvard, and a leading opponent of abortion.)

He would certainly not have taxpayers pay for abortions, as Obama is.

Romney would respect the rule of law, I think. He’s very ambitious: Anyone who runs for president is. But I don’t think he’s power-mad. I think he would respect the rule of law — process; the Constitution.

I believe he’s serious — actually serious — about entitlement reform. (As George W. Bush was. But it’s hard to be as bold as Bush, on Social Security and other matters.)

I like his running mate, Congressman Ryan, a lot.

Romney appreciates the rightful position of America in the world. That is, I think he has a good understanding of what America’s position ought to be. He is not ready to accept American decline, at home or abroad. He certainly would not welcome that decline. He understands America to be a force for good. He appreciates, I think, that decline is a choice, not an inevitability. And he chooses against.

He knows the importance of Israel. He knows its vulnerability. He wants to do something about it.

He would confront Iran. He would not flinch before it. I think he knows the folly of appeasement — the horrible consequences that so often flow from appeasement.

While properly “realistic,” he appreciates democracy and human rights. And knows that America can, and should, be helpful in furthering those things.

At the end of the 1984 vice-presidential debate, George Bush said, “I can’t tell you what a joy it is to serve with a president who will not apologize for the United States of America.” Geraldine Ferraro had the most perplexed look on her face. I knew exactly what Bush meant. I believe Romney would be the same kind of president.

That does not mean he’d be arrogant, about America. We’re not perfect (as I spend almost every day writing). But we do a lot of good in the world.

He would cancel Obama’s softness on the Castros — the kinder, gentler approach that has yielded absolutely nothing. (An American aid worker, Alan Gross, has been held hostage in Cuba for three years.)

He would not be pushed around by the U.N. He would not crave the approval of the U.N. He would recognize the Human Rights Council for the sham it is.

He would pursue missile defense, which Obama has stalled.

He appreciates the helpfulness of a market — of competitiveness — in health care.

He does not think that transferring certain responsibilities from the federal government to the states is some moral abdication.

He has a sensible view of the environment: He wants to be a good steward, but at the same time is not an earth-worshiper. He does not think that man is automatically a rapist of the earth. I have a feeling he thinks the earth should actually serve man — which is heresy today, of course.

He is willing to unleash American energy — or “legalize American energy,” in Michele Bachmann’s phrase.

He is not beholden to the teachers’ unions. When he thinks of education, he thinks of young people, students — not unions.

He does not go in for divisiveness. He doesn’t hate. He grants the humanity of the other side (even if the other side is unwilling to do the same).

I like that he’s religious. There are plenty of wicked religious people, and plenty of saintly secular people. But I count his religious outlook and devotion as a good.

I love — love — that he was willing to tell a left-wing heckler, “Corporations are people, my friend” — which they are. He calmly explained why. One of the best things I have ever seen in a campaign. (Watch it here.)

I like his occasional goofiness, his squareness. His 1950s language, which the Left loves to mock and revile. Makes me admire Mitt all the more.

In office, he would talk plainly. He would not call the War on Terror “overseas contingency operations,” or terrorism “man-made disaster.”

I think he’s the right man at the right time. A turnaround artist who ought to be hired by us, the people, to turn us around, before it’s too late.