Though much of the current chatter around political circles is centered on the economy and President Barack Obama’s performance on fixing it, presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign has struggled to stay on message to hammer home the president’s performance in his first term.
Many political pundits agree that one of the main reasons Romney has not been able to keep the economy message going is because of his far-right conservative stances on social issues that are affecting many voters.
Romney has dramatically harmed his campaign with the general electorate by his continued radicalized stance on three high-priority social issues of our time: woman’s rights, marriage equality and immigration.
Because Romney has been running for office for six years, he has had the unfortunate predicament of having to run two primary campaigns against challengers who are more to the right than he is. And because he’s had to fend off these challengers and win the votes of the Tea Party to secure the nomination, he now finds himself in a more radicalized conservative spot than he probably would prefer.
A quick glimpse at his website shouts “smaller, smarter, simpler government,” with regards to government regulation. What it doesn’t cover is his stance on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. According to an interview he gave with evangelist Mike Huckabee of Fox News, Romney said he supports a federal constitutional amendment that would define personhood as starting at conception.
The constitutional amendment would also ban the most popular form of birth control, the pill, which is one many Eastern Michigan University women may use.
Despite his response on 60 Minutes last month when he indicated he was in favor of abortion exceptions being made in cases of protecting the mother’s health, his staff issued a revised statement to NPR that said Romney does not support this exception. And his running mate Paul Ryan makes no room in his stance on abortion for any exception of rape, incest or the health of the mother. Simply put, the Romney-Ryan ticket supports no instances when abortion should be legal.
Romney is just as radical on issues of marriage equality. He supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, and believes that the current Defense of Marriage Act should be enforced. While this particular stance may not make him radical, he also stated this year, “I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” according to a May article by Luke Johnson of The Huffington Post. Romney does not believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered Americans are entitled to the same equal rights under the law.
Lastly, Romney’s stance on immigration reform is almost laughable. He supports a concept called “self-deportation,” which states undocumented immigrants who are here illegally should choose to go back to their home countries if we make it harder for them to find work in America.
Self-deportation actually has its roots from two Mexican-American satirists who coined the phrase in 1994, attacking a then-Californian ballot initiative to prohibit illegal immigrants from using state-run hospitals. Despite the phrase being used for comedy-purposes, Romney actually offers it as a real immigration idea.
While the economy may be an important issue, these social issues have helped shape the state of the current race and will continue to have an effect on voters’ choices as early voting begins and we move into the last leg of the campaign season.