Lariat Letters: Look past exaggerations and stereotypes on Election Day

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are stepping up their rhetoric as Election Day grows nearer, and so are their supporters.

As a close follower of current events and politics, I have seen and heard many different viewpoints of President Obama and Governor Romney.

Unfortunately, I have also seen a disturbing amount of misinformed exaggerations and stereotypes of both candidates, which only distract from the important campaign issues and paint a different picture than what reality has already proven: In positions of leadership, Obama and Romney have governed as moderates, and not as extremists.

President Obama, for example, is frequently called a socialist and a naïve peacemaker.

First, the president is not a socialist.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,” and “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property.”

Our country’s economic system under Obama is hardly representative of this definition. Of course, “ObamaCare” now mandates health insurance, but people often forget that ObamaCare still allows people to choose which insurance they want — a far cry from European socialism.

Secondly, the president is not a naïve peacemaker singing “kumbaya” around a United Nations campfire. In fact, President Obama is quite the opposite.

He has already used more drones to target and kill terrorists than President George W. Bush during his eight years in office. He also took the War on Terror to Pakistan, a sovereign country (and our ally), in the middle of the night and eliminated Osama bin Laden and his associates.

Mitt Romney has not escaped extreme labels either. Liberals often label him greedy, unconcerned about the poor, and a sexist bent on world domination by the male gender.

Governor Romney is certainly not greedy.

Despite the fact that he pays a lower tax rate than Warren Buffet’s secretary, Mr. Romney donated 29.4 percent of his income to charity in 2011, giving $4,020,772 out of the $13,696,951 he took in.

While Governor of Massachusetts, he signed legislation that helped lower-income families afford healthcare, and oversaw the best public schools in the country, which helped underprivileged children develop their skills and rise out of poverty.

Mr. Romney’s sexist label is laughable as well.

While serving as Governor, Romney’s state of Massachusetts led the country in the ratio of women holding top spots in state administration.

Romney has also defied many in his party by previously supporting a woman’s right to an abortion, and now taking a moderate pro-life stance, which allows for abortion in cases of rape and incest.

This race should be about the differences in policy between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

When going to vote on Election Day, I urge you to look past exaggerations and stereotypes.

When you wake up the next morning, you will still live in the greatest country on earth with a democratically-elected President that will need all of our support to push through these tough times, regardless of who wins.

Andrew Figliuzzi

Senior, international studies

Boca Raton, Fla.

Former President of the

Baylor College Republicans