They’re down to the last few days, and now the world watches and waits to learn what America’s decision will be on Election Day, November 6. Will our neighbours to the south extend the 2008 Election Day ‘miracle’ that made Barack Obama the first African-American president in the White House by giving him a second term in office? Or will Republican shape-shifter Mitt Romney convince enough voters to give him the job?
And, how will the hurricane that has just devastated huge areas of the country affect the outcome? We remember the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and how slow the federal government’s response was. The Obama administration seems to be on the ball. Even staunch Romney surrogate, New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, has been singing the President’s praises over his handling of the crisis. Will this help him?
After the Bush administration drained the coffers on controversial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, after the junk mortgages fiasco that led to a banking crisis, and after American manufacturers shipped jobs off to low-wage jurisdictions, especially China, jobs that previously put American blue-collar workers into the middle class, Americans want a quick fix.
Many are unhappy that Obama did not in four years reverse the damage of eight years of the George W. Bush administration. Then there are the estimated 95 per cent of Black voters who backed him in 2008, many of whom believed that a Black president would put in place programs to redress the racial inequities they have faced for generations.
But this is a troubled condition in the American psyche that no single Black president could possibly legislate away, certainly not in one term. Yet, initiatives such as the financial bailout to help the automotive industry, which employs many African-Americans, could be considered to have had an impact on that particular segment of the American population.
Interestingly, the U.S. economy is now showing signs of growth; the national unemployment rate is currently below eight per cent and the housing sector is picking up. So it would be more than a shame if America elected Romney and he then was able to take credit for the groundwork laid by the Obama administration. Someone has already suggested that it would be called the Romney recovery.
We are very interested in the U.S. elections, and not just because of President Obama. What happens to the American economy matters to us here. Americans may be surprised at how much interest the rest of the world has in their presidential decisions, but America is the world leader, politically, militarily and economically. Who Americans choose will have an effect on the rest of us to one extent or another. And, although some may criticize aspects of the President’s foreign policy approach, he has helped the U.S. regain respect and status on the world stage.
When the U.S. automotive industry is healthy, for example, we, especially here in Ontario, benefit tremendously. This province’s number one export market is the U.S. and among our top exports are motor vehicles and parts. All that should really matter to us is that the U.S. economy is doing well. But we also care who is heading the government there.
We like Obama. He has managed to forge ahead despite the avowed goal of the Republicans to block his every initiative and make him a one-term president.
Obama is not making rosy, pie-in-the sky promises; he keeps saying recovery needs time and that’s what he’s asking for. And, despite what his opponents say, we believe he has been good for America. We can’t help but wonder how John McCain and Sarah Palin would have handled the economic disaster with which the country was faced when Obama came into office.
We want to see America do well. And we believe its chances are better with President Obama. For what it’s worth, we endorse him as President of the U.S. for the next four years.