The presidential debates are over, and we’re winding down the last few days before the election on Nov. 6. The candidates are crisscrossing the nation, hitting the very limited barrage of swing states that remain, seven now according to NBC News, and those of us here, enshrined in reality, are ready for it to be over with.
Indeed, the never-ending parade of television ads are blitzing the airways, and constant 24-hour news coverage of what each candidate had for dinner is sure to anger one group of voters while securing 0.3 percent for another.
Facebook is lit up with people on all sides of all debates making last ditch pleas as to why others in their lives should vote one way or another, oftentimes citing a single issue that is of the very most importance to them. In fact, it’s these singular wedge issues that seem to even dominate the very news coverage we watch and the very television ads put before us.
It seems too often the Republican nominee for president, Gov. Mitt Romney, thinks the most important issue is the economy and all other issues shouldn’t matter. And to that, I take a pause and wonder how anybody can get away with saying something so naive?
After the comments made by Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Murdock regarding a female becoming pregnant when raped as being “God’s plan,” on Oct. 24, I think taking a look at singular wedge issues one more time may be necessary.
Tell the 18-year-old college student who just found out she’s pregnant because of one bad choice that the economy should be the most important issue to her this election, never mind the fact that if Romney wins, his administration will seek ways to outlaw abortion.
Tell the gay couple living in metro Detroit, who have been together for 20 years, the economy is the absolute most important thing in this election, never mind the fact that if Romney is elected, he believes not only marriage should stay between a man and a woman, but that civil unions that offer the same rights as marriage should also be outlawed.
Tell the undergraduate student going to Eastern Michigan University who just accepted a Pell Grant that the economy is the most important issue, never mind the fact that should Romney get elected, he will give control of the student loan program back to private banks, thereby eliminating the $60 billion saved under President Barack Obama’s plan that was diverted to the Pell Grant Program.
The point of the matter is that nobody should be judged for making a decision one way or another on how they are going to vote. The economy is absolutely important, and it may be the most important issue to you. But, to somebody else, marriage equality, environmental protection, abortion rights or even gun control may be the number one factor for them.
I find it absolutely abhorrent that a presidential candidate seeks to dismiss those around the country who raise questions about such issues as somehow less important and not deserving of his attention.