I’m being interviewed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on NBC about my new book: Sex, Politics, Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America, and how critical thinking will impact the presidential election. In 2008, America voted with emotion to elect an unqualified man to run the country, the result of which has been economic disaster. What will happen this year? Will you vote with your heart or head? Watch this short video I shot at NBC studios in Charlotte, NC and I’ll look forward to your comments.  Steve Siebold (2:41)

To see my interview on NBC, click on this link: http://www.wcnc.com/charlotte-today/Sex-Politics-Religion-168382796.html

Watch on YOUTUBE

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Steve
steve@mentaltoughnessblog.com

70 thoughts on “Romney vs. Obama and Critical Thinking”

  1. Our country is led by a 2 headed monster called the Democrats and Republicans. They both believe in and promote bigger government, more taxes and spending, world policing or (imperialism) and more regulation. The mudslinging, bickering and arguing is a distraction from what is really going on which is the gradual loss of our freedoms. They are both traveling the same road which leads to depression, probably war and dictatorship. This is not rocket science. It has happened in many other countries and throughout history already.

    However, it is during such times of rapid change that new fortunes are made. During a depression, assets do not disappear but they do change hands. Who wins the election almost does not matter. Perhaps in the degree or speed of the coming changes but certainly not in the final outcomes.

    As Baron Rothschild said during the French revolution. The time to buy is when blood is running in the streets. He was already a rich banker but he did buy and became a magnitude of order richer.

    That time is coming to America. Be ready.

  2. Every semi-decent salesman will tell you: People make decisions emotionally and justify them logically. Some are just better at the second part than others are. However I have not seen anything out of either party that does not promote free markets and less government involvement, except for the possible exception of the Balanced Budget Act during Clinton’s years. Then the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed (which was more a free corporation than free market move in retrospect) also under Clinton. Then we got involved in not one but two wars under the Republicans. Then the repeal of Glass-Steagall came back to bite us in the ass in 07-08 and the already massive increase in spending was married to a ridiculous bailout and stimulus package (I used mine to get more financial education.) Then the political malfeasance and unpopularity of the Republicans put Barack Obama in office, and first he passed another stimulus package, then went to work fighting for the Obamanation (oops I mean abomination) that is Obamacare. Obama is a Big Government Democrat, and Mitt Romney is a Big Goverment Republican. That is why I will be voting for Ron Paul in November.

  3. Hi,

    I just heard Bill Clinton and to me his speech was filled with critical, experienced thinking. I really was veering towards the Romney-Ryan ticket and then began seeing that so much of what they were saying did not seem to stand up to fact checking (which I think would be a basis for critical thinking). So I am beginning to think that reelecting Obama is better for the future of America and the people. You see, it’s one thing to prefer small government and less involvement with individual problems but our generation supports mercy, and in its simplest form mercy means making sure people get a fair shake to become independent. I am against all the welfare that’s grown over the years, but one way to start to stop that growth and make it diminish is to encourage people and provide them with tools for making themselves valuable to society and to themselves. And things like education opportunities and health care fo their families (so they don’t have to be consumed with that in lieu of making their own lives productive) is what will get my vote.

    Best,

    Humbler Acts

  4. There is very little critical thinking here. It’s mostly emotionally charged opinion, and the only thing more emotional than politics is religion. I admire Steve for being an independant thinker who won’t be bound by party lines. Critical thinking means you vote for the common sense candidate. I disagree with Steve’s Dem/Rep analysis. Neither is small gov’t, they all have to pay back their constituants, which is partially why gov’t is broken. I disagree that Obama was elected on emotion. You could equally say that people voted against him because of emotion.

    Steve, you are an expert in public speaking. What did you think of Michelle Obama’s speech? How did Ann Romney’s compare? I believe public speaking has a major role in getting out the vote, and votes win elections not opinions.

    Motivation wins the day, and no one should be so arrogant to say their opinion of gov’t is worth anything more than two cents.

  5. Not voting for Romney based on logic. He is a sexist. His party represents the oppression of women’s rights. If their beliefs and values were held up in law they would strip a woman’s right to choose and send us back to the stone ages.

  6. Very good way of putting the question.

    Are we going to vote for a Marxist from Kenya or are we going to vote, oh we can’t vote for Ron Paul, well, what is the real option here. Neither base their actions and politics on the united States Constitution.

    Maybe we should move to Africa, at least we know that at least one of their smooth talking politicians is gone and he can’t do any damage over there.

    But again, Great question.

  7. What qualifies a man to be president? I would have thought it was the vote of country? Logic would suggest that you choose the person whose politics is most appealling not along tribal lines

  8. In response to Vicki’s post, I agree that way too many people are unemployed. Where my view may diverge, is thatI question is it a “jobs” issue oe an education and skills issue? And no one in either party is talking about this. Here’s an example: look on Craigslist and you will see tons of sales jobs available. yet how many people are willing to invest in themselves to learn how to sell effectively? sales can pay very well and offer lots of freedom and job security. Also, I heard a recent interview with an executive from Comcast and they have over 5,000 installer type positions going unfilled as they can’t find people with the necessary skills. Maybe the government should provide a “hand-up” by providing loans for skills training, like they did with Sallie Mae which was phased out in 2009 due to the crisis. Unfortnately, Vicki, changing the people probably won’t work as both parties are trying to use old solutions that have proven not to work. As an example, unemployment in NJ has risen under republican darling Christie and at 9.8%, it is one of the worst in the country. Lastly, companies have learned how to do more with less, and are sitting on record amounts of cash. They can afford to hire but don’t need to. Not sure how that can be fixed. I wish you the best in your job search.

  9. I’m voting based on jobs. Me, and the other 23 million unemployed and underemployed Americans, who have plenty of time to show up at the polls in November, and vote out the incumbents. It is going to be a massive incumbent slaughter come November. The number one issue of concern to Americans in this election is jobs. Not abortion, not same sex marriage, or any of the other smoke-screen issues the Democrats are trying so hard to use to deflect their crummy record on job creation. They say there is only around 8% unemployment. Bull. I know too many people out of work or who are underemployed for 8% to be a remotely honest number. It has to be closer to 20%. I’m tired of this administration lying to us about how they are doing such a great job creating jobs. Too little too late. Goodbye, incumbents. Have a nice life while writing your memoirs and going on speaking tours.

  10. Elections are based on emotion. That is the nature of Party Politics. Certainly there are those that employ logic over emotion in their choice, but they are the exception.

    The problem with this election is the illusion of choice. There is no choice between limited government and big government in this election. It is simply big government that focuses more resources on corporate welfare and big government that focuses more resources on welfare for the poor. A simple youtube search for the various recorded statements of either the candidate or the incumbent will bare this out. Also, look at the records of both and you will see the same. Even Obama’s Set Piece: Obamacare is a take on Romneycare that at one time Romney supported (at least until he was running for office). Finally, both big parties are doing their best to manipulate FEC rules to eliminate the minor parties so that any actual choice is eliminated.

  11. Mike – so there are no bailouts for big business? CNN disagrees:

    http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/

    and that’s before you count all of the hidden subsidies; like tax incentives, grants etc that are open to big businesses but not smaller ones.

    I suspect the corporate capture of government is also a power struggle. Some companies win, other don’t. Some of those that don’t end up retiring from the race completely as you have pointed out.

    History is replete with legislation that favours the bigger guy over the little one. The latter chapters of a book called Richistan explain how the very rich now seek political office to create an environment which continues to further their interests. Sound somewhat familiar?

    England doesn’t have it’s own Government – the UK (composed of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) does. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have governments with various levels of law making powers as well.

    We do have one political party whose funding is dominated by the unions – even their leader has recently said they aren’t going to give unions what they want. But union membership has been in massive long term decline over here for many years – and with it their political clout. For the average Briton, particularly those working in the private sector, unionisation means very little and impacts on them even less.

    I am not seeing too many unions on this list of top spending lobbyists in the US:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s

    Presumably, all of these business interests consider it a good return on investment?

  12. Great question Steve,
    Sadly, one could discern the direction things would head if one listened carefully to what was said in 2008.
    Again sadly, the same words are in play today and I am unable to see any change in the way things are being done now.
    When in comes to the classes, one can move up or down depending on their ability to make good to great moves in their work. Flipping burgers or digging ditches will never allow a person to move up unless they take the lessons learned there and find new ways to do things. As a nation of ideas, we need more from our youth. Is our schools getting the lessons across that the best way to move up is to find a way to serve your fellowman and do a better job than anyone else.
    Does the destruction of the family unit have more to do with the loss of the “middle class” than any other one thing? When it comes to reproductive habits, other than my granddaughters, I don’t care if women want to sleep with one person or several hundred. I simply don’t understand why I am being asked to pay for the protection. Last comment in this diatribe is that I think that any man who impregnates a woman should be responsibe to the woman and the child till the child is grown. I thought that used to be to the age of 18 but it sounds like it is now the age of 26.
    Regardless of who you believe or vote for, we need to start having reasonable conversations to find that middle ground that has been lost to our politicians. I don’t think it helps when our politicians work to divide us or are so outrageous that they tell us we need to pass a 2600 page bill so we can find out what is in it.

  13. Chris,
    your assessment of the big corporation controlling the political process is not supported by facts: The Dow Jones Index of today is not the same index as 20, 30, or 50 years ago. Many of these companies have closed, without a government bail out.
    The bail out for GM was actually the opposite: The Obama forced the bankruptcy judge to violate US law: By law, bond holder are secured by the physical properties of the company. That’s why they take lower yields, as their security risk is lower. They normally get around 70 to 80% of the bankruptcy settlement. in GMs case they were forced to accept less then 15% and the majority of the assets were giving to the labor unions.
    Look at the strength of the labor movement in your own country. Even so Margaret Thatcher fought some of the unions, they are still very strong not just in England, but throughout the whole EU and EURO zone. They have as much if not more influence on the government, as by the numbers, they are a larger voting block than the corporate executives.
    Mike Jacobi

  14. Interesting as ever, Steve.

    I think you are probably right – Obama was voted in on a wave of emotion rather than hard thinking. Has it been a disaster? Not sure – arguably many of problems were sewn during the supposedly free market Bush government.

    I think you have, like we do in the UK, a corporate oligarchy dressed up to look like democracy. Big business has almost completely captured the political process. Politicians of both colours are simply puppets doing their masters’ bidding. There is no free market – if you are a big enough business, take big risks and it all goes wrong, you’ll simply get bailed out by the taxpayer while keeping any profits for yourself. All of the stuff about big government, freedom etc is simply a diversion from where the real battle for power is taking place.

    I don’t see Romney or Obama changing that.

  15. You should see the Howard Stern commentary on Stupid Obama voters. Not that I give Stern much credence, but 4 years ago they asked some people voting for Obama, while applying McCain’s policies to him, if they liked his choice of his running mate Sarah Palin, if they supported his pro-life stance, etc. They all supported McCain’s platform but planned on voting for Obama. They didn’t know what he stood for but they were voting for him anyway. That really is stupid.

  16. Mike,
    ideally, bringing education back on a local level, without federal or state government interference might help. But that also must go hand in hand with charter schools, so we have competition in education and parents have clear choices. So far about the only choice out there is home schooling, and that is often not feasible for working parents.
    So good old competition from charter schools seems to be the most achievable solution.
    Mike

  17. In my humble opinion, we should all pay attention to Darryl’s post above about the banks and the federal reserve. Very few people understand how money is issued in this country. For an education, read “Dissolving Dollars” by Alex Marchand.

  18. Mike,
    This is actually going deeper than that. You cannot get any facts any more. Every piece of news on every medium is only opinion, mixed with lots of emotions. What is the last time you actually saw a national newspaper print the text of an important speech.
    But look at the schools. The kids are only taught how they feel about themselves. There is no requirement to pass, because you really know the material. Tests get adjusted for the best possible outcome, they use the bell curve etc. Critical thinking, asking for the facts without interpretation from others is a lost art.
    Unfortunately I see the same trend in Germany. I read a daily newspaper and especially the commentary and hardly anybody can make factual statements or arguments. In school we still learned logical and arguing with emotions and only facts.
    It is going to be a long way out of this emotional state of mind of this great nation.
    Mike Jacobi

  19. Mr. Siebold,

    What scares me most about your post is that you overlook cold hard facts that have gotten this country into serious trouble. I *do* want to see Obama lay out a credible path, this week in Charlotte. He’s needs to do more than “just stop the bleeding.” He’s got to energize an anemic economy. He truly needs to make a case for a second term.

    However, it seems to me that the following statement is more emotion than fact: “In 2008, America voted with emotion to elect an unqualified man to run the country, the result of which has been economic disaster.” Here’s why:

    1. You solely blame Obama for world-wide economic recession, when in fact, America has fared better than any other country in the world during this world-wide recession.

    2. America’s credit rating was downgraded because of House Republican obstructionism over the Bush tax cuts in August 2011.

    3. You accuse Obama and Democrats of being “big government” when his predecessor got us into two very expensive wars. You can make a case for the war in Afghanistan, but why doesn’t a wasted war in Iraq doesn’t count as “big government?”

    4. Is “big government” your code word for “protect the Bush tax cuts?” Why can’t you admit that you want to protect the “Bush Tax Cuts” because you personally benefit from them? The numbers/charts don’t lie. You got a great tax break during robust economic times — but those cuts combined with exorbitant defense spending are part of the problem. Hard data, not emotion, shows that the Bush tax cuts and wars will account for nearly half of the public debt by 2019. http://www.tax-us.info/2012/07/09/charts/.

    I didn’t hear any concrete plans or vision during the RNC last week. Clint Eastwood speaking to an empty chair was just cringeworthy. Romney didn’t make his case and seems to be running on “I’m not Barack Obama.” Voting because you hate Barack Obama is your right, but again, it’s emotion based. I’m still hearing vague promises to go back to the policies that led to economic crisis. In fact, I gotta be honest that I’m having trouble really understanding what Romney stands for because he keeps changing.

    Mr. Sieblold, I was disappointed in this blog post which seems to be based on emotion, or trying to generate coverage through controversy, or just blatantly partisan when I think we need voices that can really share a mental toughness way of thinking in America.

  20. Head & Heart…

    Common Sense: Thomas Paine
    Self Reliance: R.W. Emerson

    I wonder how many Americans have read these essays.
    I wonder how many Americans can still read?

  21. Interesting points, Darryl. There will always be debt as that is how money is issued by the privately owned federal reserve to our government. “Dissolving Dollars” by Alex Marchand is required reading. Very few people understand how money is issued in our country.

  22. Wrong question. The president does not run the country. The banks do. It does not matter who is voted into office. If the guy in the office opposes what the banks want, he will get shot. Case in point: Reagan, JFK, James Garfield & William McKinley, Abraham Lincoln and of course Andrew Jackson. Not one president since JFK dared opposed the banks. Not one.

    If this sounds strange to you, then it may be too late. A quote from Thomas Jefferson … the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”

    The federal reserve is privately owned and the owners live in Europe.They want to crash the US economy. Payback for our fathers for leaving Europe where the bankers lost of lot of money and control when people left and immigrated here.

  23. I completely agree with your analysis. The question is: Can the government do better than the free market in supplying goods and services? Do we want to pay 60% to 100% of our income in taxes and have the government run our lives or do we want to have lower taxes and make our own decisions and enjoy a free market? I think the answer is obvious. If socialism/communism had proven to be successful in other countries, I would take a different position. I work hard as a small business owner, but would fire my employees and live on the dole if I had to hand over all of my money to the government. I can never understand why people hate businesses so much when they provide millions of people in America the opportunity to have jobs and a livelihood. The only reasonable option is to vote for Romney.

  24. I have been looking at all the comments from both sides, and find them hard to understand. I grew up in communist East Berlin, were my stepfather was tortured and had a mock trial and conviction. Afterwards we lived in a refugee camp with three families in one room. We had neither TV nor phone until I was 17 years old. Savings were 0, we barely made it paycheck to paycheck. My wife grew up in Malaysia in the rain forest. Her father died when she was 7. The mother had to care of 13 children, with a little bit of pension money. All she ate was rice most days, and there wasn’t even enough of that.
    America at this point of time is the only country, which is not fully socialist yet, or run by dictators, like the rest of the world. If America steps down as the leader of the free world, who would you like to fill that vacuum: Russia, China, Europe, South America? Do any of them have a higher moral standing than we?
    Have you actually studied what caused the last recession, and who was actually in charge? Any appropriations bill, according to the constitution, must originate in the House of Congress, needs approval by the Senate and then gets signed by the President. The last 2 years of Bush’s presidency, he had a democratic house and senate.
    Started under Carter and reinforced under Clinton (and used by Obama in his time as a lawyer) was the Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks (and was federally enforced) to give loans to minorities and high credit risk. Of the 160+ clients of Obama’s law suit against banks, only 2 still own their houses.
    Barney Frank and Chris Dodd refused to look into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae under Bush, saying all is fine. Congress was the only one who had authority over these two entities.
    These statements are facts and you can research them yourself.
    After you have asserted these facts, then add your emotions and condemn them or praise them.
    As a proud US citizen by choice, but having been brought up with the desire for precise facts (yes, this is typical German), then the interpretation can be debated.
    Most statements above from both sides are emotional opinions, but not facts. And without facts, there is no critical thinking.

  25. Thank you for having the courage to be so clear.
    Thank you for getting this idea out there in your own way.
    Yep, this time we can simplify (things are never that simple, really)
    will it be big government or not?
    Thanks for being tough.

  26. I am so glad that you are not afraid of controversy and you always seem to bring out the best and worst in people. That is what I like about you. If anyone, from either side were to create a decision tree, a scientific approach that smart business, military planners and even presidents use to create clear choices, the down and dirty choices would be clear and you presented them well. Thank you for always being on the edge and not worrying about loosing a few “friends”.

  27. Funny how Stephen and the other liberals are so very nervous this time around. Unqualified can be defined as one who submits a budget and receives zero point zero votes in the US Senate — OUCH! Critical thinking not emotion was the consideration.

  28. Last point! Some of you are so disrespectful. He is your president who was elected by the people and will win again! Also how in the world do you guys think 4 years is enough time to turn this economy around. We had a surplus when Bill Clinton was in office so don’t act like this is Our president’s fault. I don’t see how you could possibly think this economy will turn around in 4yr’s if Romney is elected when he flip flops on everything. I don’t like to play the race card but many people call the president names because he is a black man. You don’t even put president in front of his name. In my opinion he is the most educated president we have ever had.

  29. I am very surprised at your statement as well. Especially when you call the president unqualified. That is a joke. If he isn’t qualified what was George Bush. The country is not in a worse place. I am on the front line and watched as seniors struggle to pay for health care. I understand the importance of being able to get health care for pre-existing conditions. I watch many of my republican friends ask for their unemployment benefits to be extended. And it’s just not about health care. I think about my little cousins who are suffering because their father was killed in Iraq. A war that has never been justified. How much money did we spend on the war daily? Our schools are closing because of a lack of funding. Why? To put money into other programs that benefit the wealthy. I have nothing against wealth let me make that clear. I am on my way to becoming wealthy but not at the expense of poor people. Republicans never speak on policy that’s a joke to me. They complain but rarely offer solutions. I was a fan of yours but I don’t know. I don’t mind a person having other opinions but when you try to advance a political agenda that’s a different story. You lost friends today!

  30. Great job Steve, this post has shown more than any other how very smart and capable people can turn to emotion when confronted with politics. The main problem here is the psychological principle of “framing” — the notion that when people make decisions without enough deliberation, consultation and information, they are easily influenced by superficial forms and irrelevant details of presentation or wording. Many people make their voting decisions, and clearly their posting comments with old or faulty information. As a social scientists who cannot get enough of watching the human response, please keep up the great work.

    Patrick

  31. I voted for Hope and Change. Was not expecting the Change I got and the Hope is he is not re-elected!

  32. I respect your views on this topic. I agree we cannot use emotion to elect the next President and also the next Congress people. We cannot use emotion to vote in bills because they make us feel safer, whether they do or not.
    I listened to Mr Romney’s speech and it was loaded with emotions. Longing for a past America, which is a fairy tale for most of us, but still it hits home for many who think of a better time. Let’s see. the 60’s where pretty violent, the 70′ where about Nixon’s deceit and gas shortages, the 80’s were about a recession, 90’s about war in Iraq, and the 2000’s were about 9/11 and the war. Well, I am not sure when we had those great times as these things have happened in my lifetime.
    Currently I am living the best life I have ever lived, so I cannot see all this negativity. I believe we can blame Congress, the President, and even God, but if you really want to know who failed you, look in the mirror and there will be your answer. When I started taking responsibility for my life, my life became much better lived.

  33. With all due respect, Steve, you display a lack of critical thinking when you say that one party is for smaller government and a free market economy. Let’s face it: both parties are for big government in some areas and small government in some areas. Both parties historically have spent money like drunken soldiers (no offense intended), just in very different areas. A belief in a free market economy? Hardly considering the benefit of the tax code (hello carried interest) and corporate welfare. And Romney is talking tough on Iran and Syria. Soulds like too more potential wars on a credit card. Hardly small government in action.

    I am already sick and tired of Mitt and Paul telling me I am not better off than I was four years ago. I am FAR better off.

    All that said, I am an independent and critical thinking tells me that neither party has it right. It seems no one has a new idea; it’s all the same old same old.

  34. You hit the nail on the head. About 4 years ago people got on the Obama bandwagon and voted for him with emotions rather than critical thinking. The media and Hollywood are responsible for blinding the America people. Nearly the whole world was mesmerized by his charm except a few people like me. I am a Canadian and I didn’t have to vote for him. So I could use my critical thinking. How can you vote for a man who has no past experience in any executive or leadership position, except as a community organizer? When selecting a person for a leadership role you have to look at his resume.

    Obama is an idealogue. When you look at his past associations…Bill Aires, Rev. Wright, socialists and communists, they are really scary. I was born in a communist country, grew up in a socialist country, and now I am very happy and grateful that I live in Canada. Majority of people in the world admire the USA for their freedom and entrepreneurship, not the tyranny and oppression of the Soviet Union, China, and other communist countries. If you look at the European style socialists, it’s a also a failure. The US has become the leader of the modern world by their spirits of self determination and innovation, why in the world would they want to copy the failures of Communists and Socialists? Socialism suppresses innovation and entrpreneurship by making people dependent on the government and become an entitlement society. Look at Europe. Greece is the prime example. They are all going bankrupt. People from all over the world want to go to the US to live the ‘American Dream’, and to escape from the very system which Obama wants to adopt.

    The past 4 years hasn’t worked out very well for the US. A lot of people would argue that it could have been worse, but I think it could have been much better had it not been for Obama and his socialist leanings. Even Hillary Clinton would have been better. I hope this time around the Americans will vote with their brains rather than their hearts.

  35. Steve,

    I am surprise at your statement… “America voted with emotion to elect an unqualified man to run the country, the result of which has been economic disaster.”

    I would expect an educated self-proclaimed critical thinker to be smart enough to dig in and “get the real facts” before making such an ignorant statement like that.

    I understand each side has their agenda about who is doing things correctly versus incorrectly.

    I too would like to challenge you to put Romney’s RNC speech side by side with Obama’s DNC speech (and Obama has not done his DNC speech as I am typing this to you yet) so you can see the difference between the two. But, like Dave above…I doubt you will have the courage to actually respond to either of us.

    By the way, I personally have had the opportunity to spend several hours with Mitt over the years while Mitt was at Bain Capital. He is a very intelligent man and a decent person. I think he would do a good solid job as President. Now, here’s the interesting statement…I also believe that Obama has done an awesome job given the cards he was dealt.

    If we didn’t have the “Do Nothing Congress” in place, Obama would have been able to accomplish a lot more. The Republicans have done everything in their power to block Obama legislative efforts. Here’s what I would like to see… I would like to see Obama have another 4 years to put us on the correct course…which I am confident that he can do that…

    Then, I would like to see Mitt run again in 2016 provided he doesn’t still have his archaic views about women and women’s rights and then, I think the country would benefit with a leader like him.

    With respect to you, I sincerely expected a lot more from you…I expect you to be a leader who can see both sides…and then, form an intelligent opinion about your conclusions and views.

    Obama Supporter THIS time…potential Romney Supporter NEXT time…

    Nate Brooks

  36. Steve,

    You’re absolutely right. The difference between the two main parties is their view on the size of government. The Democrats consistently believe that the nation would work better if it had a big government; and the Republicans had believed consistently the less government is better.

    But, as far as I know, this has always been the case. The problem is that voters tend to let their emotions get in the way. Instead of asking if the candidate’s policies are good for the country, they ask if how he “performed” in the television debates, if he’s/she’s too old, if he/she has any experience.

    None of these things matter. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is precisely this pattern of voting that has put and kept the politicians, who can’t do anything but blame each other, in office.

    There isn’t a one of them in the Congress or the White House that deserves to be. The best thing that could happen in the upcoming election is for all of them to be voted out of office.

    But do you know what I think? I think that the electorate will blame the other party, and when the votes are counted, there will still be more or less the same lame and incompetent bunch up there as there is now. And whatever happens after that will still be someone else’s fault.

  37. Apparently, you see the glorification of capitalism as a logical choice in this election. Let me be clear that while I voted for Obama in 2008, I am deeply disappointed in his presidency. Since he simply followed the policies of “W” Bush, it’s hard to see how you could oppose him. There really is not a lot of difference between the two parties and candidates when it comes to the policies they will follow. Like the other Washington pols, they are bought and owned by corporate and Wall Street money. The difference is that Romney’s policies (though I’m not sure the flip-flopper has any real policies) will complete Ronald Reagan’s goal of destroying the middle class and killing off the labor movement. Conservatives have forgotten Abraham Lincolns’s statement about capital being the result of labor, not the reverse. Republican presidents in this century have increased the deficit more than Democratic presidents. There is nothing in the Romney-Ryan “budget” that will reduce the deficit. They want to pour more money into the already-bloated defense budget, give more welfare to the wealthy (tax cuts) and leave corporate tax loopholes open, while increasing taxes for the lower classes and making health care unaffordable. They also want war with Iran; I don’t. I consider myself a logical thinker. Voting for an empty-headed, flip-flopping facade is logical for me.

  38. We’ve tried President Obama’s programs for 3 1/2 years. Even though he had the majority in both houses, his plans to “fundamentally change The United States of America” have resulted in a continued week economy, higher unemployment and around half the population of the country who are desperate to replace him.

    That doesn’t even take into account his plans to force people who work hard and do well financially to support those who don’t at the point of a gun (think IRS enforcers). He jammed a tremendously unpopular health care plan down the throats of the American public and freely admits that if he can’t get Congress to do what he wants to do, he’ll use executive orders to get around them. That is not what I believe the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

    So if the President can’t do the job in four years, why should he stay in office for another four? I’m a small business owner who DID build that, and I frankly can’t afford another four years of President Obama’s policies.

    Steve, you’ve been accused of totally mouthing right-wing talking points, and I’ll undoubtedly be accused of the same. I could say the same thing about left wing talking points being put out in other responses to this blog. The point is that every thinking person in this country has his or her own point of view, and the differences in viewpoint between Democrats and Republicans are stark and unlikely to change. In November, one side will get what they want, and the other side will be tremendously disappointed. We’ll just have to see which viewpoint the majority of Americans embrace.

  39. … on the basis of results! Vision, Mission are important considerations, however practicality and results, and operating within the principles of sound monetary and fiscal policy make a whole lot of sense to me. Insurance policy and industry practices are in deep need of review and revision. I believe that if Congress cannot pass a budget as prescribed, they AND their staffs should not be paid from the Treasury. Oh, and by the way this notion that members of Congress receive special and elitist treatment and consideration in tax free benefits and entitlements requires serious review and adjustment. They should expect and experience what the balance of their constituencies enjoy; really!

  40. I agree with Dave above. Government is inefficient and inexpensive. Anything inefficient and ineffective should be kept to as small a size as possible.

    The current administration has built its value by increasing the dependence of its voting base. My hope is that they’re too lazy to get off the sofa and actually go to vote and that those of us who are concerned about the direction of this country will turn out the vote and change the party ownership of the Executive office (as well as the senate!).

  41. Steve, as someone who has a lot of respect for your work, I’d like to respond to your Critical Thinking Challenge by offering you a Critical Thinking Challenge in response: when President Obama finishes giving his speech at the DNC, I’d like you to read his speech side-by-side with Romney’s speech given at the RNC… and then tell us, using logic, which candidate is in fact logic-based and which candidate is emotion-based. Hope you’ll take me up on it!

  42. Hey Steve,

    Like you I think the two parties system is broken and I am an independent, un affiliated with either party voter.

    Right now I am looking at where we were 4 years ago and where we are now…
    and I think as a whole we are much better off, despite the Republicans best efforts to delay, derail and destroy this administration over the past 4 years.

    People have such a short memory but just 4 years ago we had two unfunded wars, the entire American auto industry about to implode and the largest economic disaster in history driven by the sub-prime/Wall Street scandals…and all of this just happened after two terms with the “Republicans” in charge! (Oh and don’t forget President Clinton left a budget surplus before Bush and the Republicans took over…which was quickly turned into a huge budget deficit!

    Where are we now?

    One war done, Osama dead, GM, Ford and Chrysler all coming back stronger, housing has stabilized and the economy is showing signs of life…

    Is it perfect? Is it moving as fast as we would like it? No not in the instant gratification society we live in…but at least the bleeding has stopped and for an unqualified leader as you call him President Obama has done a heroic job and deserves a chance to finish the turn around.

    If Mitt Romney and the Republicans get in…we get to go back to the failed policies of Reagan and Bush which in my view would be a complete and total disaster.

    Thanks for Thinking Critically about this Steve and asking great questions, we have to get past personalities and look at the facts objectively to make our best choice this November!

  43. Please explain to me how making the factual progress, of going from loosing over 800,000 jobs per month, to gaining over 200,000 jobs per month, for 29 straight months, a 1,000,000 job swing in a positive direction is a disaster? How a stock market swing from 6000 to over 13,000 is a disaster? I’m voting based on facts. We were rescued from disaster and you are deluded if you cannot see that !!!

  44. Steve, thanks for the interesting comments and the issue of emotion vs. logic should make the decision pretty clear cut. But, I think emotion is still involved. On the one hand, conservatives say they want less government, but then want to implement changes that will restrict women’s rights, implement massive changes in the medicare/health care system (now or in the future), get government involved in who can/should get married and bring back government policies that repress the rights of millions to vote. It all depends on the lens through which we view life. Fortunately, the country is not run by one man, no matter how qualified he is. Success depends on cooperation from all sides and a desire to do what’s in the best interest of all Americans, not just big corporations and the biggest contributors. This goes for Republicans/Democrats. The facts show that this country has been on a slippery slope to economic disaster for more than the last 4 years, even under the watch of so-called “qualified” men. I say we all must wake up and begin thinking for ourselves, while not allowing the main stream media to divide us further.

  45. Could not agree more…the decision this year (and every election is my contention) comes down to believing in/wanting bigger government, more government programs and more government involvement in our lives or smaller government and less government programs. It is painfully obvious that the US federal government cannot manage very well – so they should be given less responsibility, which means smaller government and less money to mess up with.

    I saw someone put it this way…on January 19, 2009, the price of gas was $1.84/gal and the national debt was about $10 trillion. 3 1/2 years later the price of gas is around $3.85 and debt is $15 trillion. I think this is the only think that people need to make note of. This may not say it all, but it says enough to lead one’s decision on who to vote for.

  46. Your statements are clearly, totally mouthing the right-wing talking points about what this election is about.

    It is just AMAZING to me how “not mentally tough” this video blog entry is. Wow. You’re just spinning like the rest of the pundits.

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