Putting aside party loyalty, it is not an easy choice for America today as her people vote for the man to head the most difficult presidency of recent times.
It was, to me, extraordinary to hear a young American woman speaking last night with fervour and anger about President Obama’s intention to ban military assault rifles from domestic use, saying she had two in her home and was not prepared to give them up, which was why she was voting for Romney. It epitomised the mood and subjectivity of this unique presidential election, where, as I wrote yesterday, the choice between character, policy and values between the candidates is so clear.
It has been a personal, judgmental election too, where racism has played a big part and unkind, untrue assertions about their opponent have been made on both sides. There is a sense of desperation now as election day is here, and if Mitt Romney fails to become president, there will be not just disappointment but fury among Republicans, and it could be ugly. A defeat for Obama will leave Democrats, particularly the poor, in anxiety if not fear for an even bleaker future. The candidates have been caricatured, undeservedly, into bogeymen and whoever wins will face a tough tenure both because of the nation’s impoverished state and their image.
Recent years have been hard for many Americans and so it is natural for them to choose a president who will work in their best interests. I have listened to many interviews in recent weeks, and have noticed that, despite this, a number of people spoke about putting the needs of their country first above personal considerations, and I sense there is a thread of national pride that runs through the States and a desire to see them thrive once again. One day they will, but it will take strong leadership, drive and vision for this to be achieved soon. Time will tell if the man elected in 2012 will be the one to do this.
I wish America well in her choice today: it will affect us all.