(THE GLOBE AND MAIL) — If Barack Obama loses the election, my friend Jim will be one reason why.
Four years ago, Jim voted enthusiastically for hope and change. This year, he’s voting for Mitt Romney. “I like Romney,” he says. “When folks saw and listened to him right next to Obama, he looked and spoke more like a president than Obama did.”
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Up here in Canada, a large majority of us still belong to the Obama tribe. If Americans were smart enough to think like us, Barack Obama would win by a margin of at least three to one. We can’t fathom why fair-minded people would vote for Mitt Romney. Most of my Canadian friends believe that Romney voters are either callous capitalists or dupes and fools – mouth-breathing Tea Partiers, country-club Republicans, closet racists, or working-class types who’ve been tricked into voting against their own interests.
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Jim is none of these. He was thrilled to help elect the first black president. He choked up at the inauguration. He believes that universal health care is a moral imperative. He thinks the Bush regime’s reckless misadventures in foreign lands were total disasters. He believes in a decent safety net and sensible business regulation. But President Obama isn’t the postpartisan, centrist bridge-builder he told us he would be. “Obama is, in fact, a lefty, and given a free hand we really would become a debt-laden, sinking, entitlement-heavy, socialist basket case,” Jim says.