As we discussed in our assignment, “Modern Presidential Roles”, according to Clinton Rossiter, the president of the United States possesses many roles and responsibilities, including those of Chief of State, Chief executive, Commander in chief of the army, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, voice of the people, protector of the peace, manager of prosperity, and world leader. Among these, is an important, yet controversial role, the “manager of prosperity”. With today’s current economic crisis, questions arise about what the extent of a president’s action should be in order to maintain a capitalist society and democracy. So, how does this affect voting? People of the United States will vote for the candidate whom they think will be the best leader of the nation and the best manager of the economy. And, today, there is a current argument that the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, is not capable of managing the prosperity of the nation because of his personal socioeconomic status.
Yes, many voters today do believe that Obama should be the next president due to the proposed incapability of Mitt Romney to command the economy. Mitt Romney, as stated in many news casts, such as that of USA Today, “The former Massachusetts governor, has disclosed only the broad outlines of his wealth, putting it somewhere from $190 million to $250 million”, which, makes him about “50 times richer than Obama” (1). Thus, this may cause a particular problem with voters. Having a candidate with this vast amount of money, many would doubt his concept of the dollar and his ability to ascertain the value of money. To him, $10,000 dollars is just a sum, with smaller value, but, to many citizens of America, this amount of money is very significant and most likely more than they will ever see. According to a Gallup poll, “Fifty percent of Americans say they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in President Barack Obama to do the right thing for the economy or to recommend the right thing for the economy, while only 42 percent say that about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney”. Thus, Americans are more trusting of the democratic candidate than the republican one.
This situation, however, is even more significant due to our current, insurmountable economic debt. Our government is drowning in debt, with around 15,700,000,000,000 stacking high on our dues. With all of this, our nation has our economic situation as a priority in their minds, and, therefore, this crisis will heavily affect the voters’ decisions. The people of America have two “modern presidential roles” in mind when they are making their decision as to who the president should be: the “manager of prosperity” and the “voice of the people”. The American people want a president that can best relate to their needs in the economy, and, with the great wealth of Mitt Romney, it is likely many citizens would choose Obama for this role. They also want someone who would vie for their needs economically, one who is indicative of the greater population of the United States, and would be their “spokesman” of economic standards. In accordance with these “modern presidential roles”, it is predicted that in the area of economic development, Barack Obama is the preferred candidate.
“A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election” (Bill Vaughn). But how can this be? Our founding fathers strived to provide for us a nation that was “by the people, for the people”(Abraham Lincoln). Yet, it is apparent today that Americans are too lazy to have their say in the government. This lack of voting spurs an amalgam of problems for our nation including misrepresentation, inaccurate votes, and an unfair advantage to some candidates and bills to be passed. The reasons this lack of voter participation persists includes the possible negative role of the media in influencing the population, the change in current lifestyle of Americans, and the attitudinal change that has occurred among the citizens of the United States, all problems that can and should be solved.
First of all, the negative influence of the current media has caused many to choose not to vote or participate in certain roles of citizenship due to their adverse reactions to the media broadcasts. One cannot take a stroll about town without encountering some sort of advertisement, radio broadcast, or other forms of media influence. With all of this, the minds of the public can’t avoid the overwhelming slur of opinions and information that is fed to them. Yet, although the media can be beneficial for the spread of informative facts about the candidates and current affairs, it can also be a curse by spreading false information about a candidate’s personal life or political beliefs . An example of this is an occurrence with Barack Obama during the 2008 election. The media had spread false information that Obama was not a natural born citizen of the United States because his birth certificate did “not appear to be an authentic certificate”(1). This media calamity caused many to question the citizenship of Obama, and, even with the release of his legal birth certificate, people today still have doubt(1). Situations like this one seem to discourage citizens from voting for certain candidates, or from even voting at all, sparking lack of voter problems as well.
Next, lifestyle changes among Americans have changed the dynamic of American life, creating a shift into a “busier” schedule for many. This “shift” has caused many to declare themselves “too busy” and become too distracted by all of the outlets of technology and entertainment today. Every minute of an American’s life is filled, whether it is with eating, socializing, surfing the web, moving from point a to b, watching television, working, exercising, or others. Americans are constantly busy with all of their day to day activities, so when do they have time to vote? Americans seem to be too distracted by all of the opportunities the technological and social world has to provide, finding themselves without a spare minute to go and vote. Overall, because of the vast difference in our society today compared to that of 50 years ago, citizens currently feel less inclined to vote due to their busy schedules and constant distractions.
Among the lifestyle changes, Americans have also undergone attitudinal changes, causing them to choose not to vote. Americans have become less and less confident in their government due to the problems throughout the years. According to a survey done by the New York Times, of a “poll of 1,017 adults, conducted in early September… 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed”(2), a very significant amount. The diminishing economy, the failure of some bills and laws to be passed, and other mishaps of the government make many doubt the effectiveness of the government. People are wary of the democratic government and some believe a different system would be beneficial for America. Due to these beliefs, many American citizens have chosen not to vote or take part in the democratic process, causing a rise in non-voters and therefore a rise in misrepresentation, unfair advantages and disadvantages, and other effects.
Set Excuses Aside and Vote Proud Today!
The effects of the absence of many voters due to many of the reasons discussed above can be very critical to the United States government. Being a government based upon the democratic belief of representation for all, the United States government depends on the votes of the people to accurately judge how the nation should be governed and what laws should be passed. Without a population of voters that are indicative of the entire nation, the democracy in America could possibly fail. Many people who did not or could not vote would be underrepresented and would be more inclined to have issues with the way the government was making decisions. Voting is a crucial responsibility for all Americans and should be practiced by all in order to create a nation represented “by the people, for the people”(Abraham Lincoln).
(1) Powell, Kimberly. “Is Barack Obama Really a U.S. Citizen?”. Genealogy. 30 Aug. 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2012.<http://genealogy.about.com/b/2008/08/30/is-barack-obama-really-a-us-citizen.htmhttp://>.
(2) Rampbell, Catherine. “Losing Faith in Government.” New York Times. 26 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2012.<http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/losing-faith-in-government/>