Chris Musk Journal Contributor
The Presidential debate on October 3 was quite a surprise to everyone as both candidates appeared in an unexpected light. Romney impressed both parties, with even liberal media claiming he did well afterwards, while Obama held his ground albeit rusty. Obviously, Romney has had more recent debating experience coming out of the primaries, but the overall remembrance of Obama’s 2008 debates loomed.
It has been established that both Governor Romney and President Obama are rumored to have told lies in this debate. I don’t think anyone is shocked from these accusations. The debate’s moderator, Jim Lehrer, was quite entertaining with his occasional jokes and failure to keep both candidates under control as far as speaking within the time limit and not allowing for interruptions.
I was troubled by both candidates’ remarks on how they believe there is a sustainable future in Social Security for my generation (people of ages 16-24.) Neither revealed any plan as to how they would keep it afloat. The highest growing population in the United States right now is seniors (or people who are retired) and the highest unemployment rate among age groups is my generation, which in July 2012 had an unemployment rate of 49.8 percent. The unemployment rate for the entire United States as of September 2012 is 7.8 percent. I’m not saying that Social Security is 100 percent doomed for my generation, but it is safe to say that we may need to give up part of our income to people that will actually promise us a return on our investment one day.
Obama and Romney both seemed very strong and ran into a great amount of common ground on environmental issues. Both stand behind clean coal, which I have always thought of as an oxymoron, and expanding nuclear power. Obama has done a significant job with the automobile industry, having them promise to make all cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Romney wants to repeal the Clean Air Act, which was enacted in 1970 and amended again in 1977 and 1990. I do not know why Romney would want to deregulate the control on how much hazardous air pollutants are released into our atmosphere. Maybe he is one of those Republicans who denies global warming and thinks there is no individual responsibility for cleaning up the Earth.
Obama has done a pretty good job as president of the United States over the last four years. No doubt about it, these four years have been some of the hardest times America has ever seen, with our country holding the highest debt ever recorded by any nation in the history of mankind (currently residing at roughly $16 trillion.) It is true Obama walked into office with most of this debt already in place, and inherited the mess that was left for him to take over. Nonetheless, he has definitely spent and contributed to our debt.
Some people tend to forget how bad things were when Obama became president, blaming him for things that happened under Bush’s presidency. President Obama does not deserve the full criticism by any means. Remember this though; the legislation to have our troops removed from Iraq by January 2012 was signed by President Bush and the Prime Minister of Iraq in the very end of Bush’s second term. Obama was simply in office while the event took place and is trying to take the credit.
By the end of the first debate it was clear that Romney had stepped his game up, more so than opposition thought was possible. In contrast to Obama’s exceptional public speaking skills, he seemed like a scratched CD repeating the same part over and over again until you want to throw it out your car window. I give a round of applause to both men for stepping up to the plate in trying to resolve this country’s issues, as it is a tremendous task for any human being.
Obama will appear stronger in the next debate now that he knows exactly what he’s up against. I’m sure Romney still feels high as a kite with his first performance, as he should, with the media declaring a “defeat” of Obama despite speaking four minutes less. God could not help Jim Lehrer, and our ears, in getting these two men to speak within cohesive time limits.