Presidential Candidates Not Speaking the Same Language
It's not just budget arithmetic that separates President
Here are just some of the ways the two contenders see the meaning of words differently:
To Obama, privacy is an essential right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution that keeps government out of Americans' personal lives. It protects women from having the government dictate whether they can have an abortion or access birth control. To Romney, it's what you cling to when you don't want to release more tax returns.
Obama views adding 30 million people to the rolls of the insured, increasing the solvency of
For Obama, freedom is not having the emergency room be your only option for medical care. Romney sees freedom as not having to buy health insurance under an individual mandate, unless you live in
Obama thinks Big Bird is the beloved character on
In Obama's worldview, the safety net is what government provides to undergird the economic security of average people. These programs reduce the stress of life in an uncertain world and include just what you'd expect:
Obama thinks that pluralism contributes to the strength and vigor of our nation. Romney believes it's something in an investment portfolio.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
One of Obama's signature achievements was to allow gay and lesbian armed forces members to serve openly by repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Romney built his campaign around a different kind of don't ask, don't tell. Don't ask how he'll cut taxes 20 percent without impacting the deficit or enriching the rich -- he's not telling. Just like he's mum about his money stashed in the
Obama thinks they are businesspeople who don't outsource American jobs overseas or take over companies just to "harvest them at a significant profit." Romney thinks job creators are the millionaires and billionaires who should pay a smaller percentage of their income in federal income taxes than
A Just Society:
Obama says the "basic bargain at the heart of America's story" is that everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules -- obviously referring to how out-of-whack that bargain is today. Romney accepted his party's nomination by holding up America's free enterprise system as a model "dedicated to creating tomorrow's prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today's." In other words, keep your hands off my wealth.
Those are the competing views at stake in this election. It's hard to have a conversation when you don't speak the same language.
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