Shallow minds we have, thinking November is about the next four years. No. This is about the remnants of our productive lives. We have two choices with no gray area. Either we preserve the pursuit of prosperity, or float from crisis to crisis like those in power.
This isn’t about the President writing two memoirs before age 40. Nearly every modern-day candidate pens a book or two. This isn’t about Obama’s college records. Three-and-a-half years is enough to grade his performance (Hint: word ends in “-ailure”).
This isn’t about Mitt Romney’s tax returns. We get it; he’s a rich guy who paid $3 million to the government in 2010. It isn’t about his offshore bank accounts. Seriously, if you had $200 million in the midst of a looming financial crisis, wouldn’t you trust the Swiss?
It simply isn’t about whether you’d have a beer (non-alcoholic for Mitt) with the guy you’ll never meet. 2012 concerns whether we’ll leave the keys with the “cool guy” driving America in drunken circles.
Our Moment In History
For Millennials, we face the decision of our lifetimes. And following Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, we have a choice. It’s stark—showcasing two divergent paths for the country we will lead.
There is a crisis in America—one that will absolutely worsen in the future. Given where we sit on disaster’s timeline, now is the pivotal moment. This is the moment in which the wrong choice will force young people to live with a mediocre chance of achieving prosperity.
Despite that choice, we’ll work hard. However, excessive government spending, monstrous regulation, and the inevitable bankruptcy of failing government programs will keep us from surpassing the success of our parents.
Though we’re seated on a bus teetering on the financial cliff, the right choice could save us (Hint: choice doesn’t end in -bama). The right decision would incentivize companies to create jobs in the United States under a competitive corporate tax rate. As of now, ours is the highest among developed nations.
The right choice would also incentivize and quicken the small business heartbeat of Main Street. Individually, it would get us out of our parents’ basements, allowing us to experience the milestones we’ve been forced to put off—like getting married and buying a home.
Obama’s Picasso and Romney’s Monet
The campaigns have painted their pictures. From the Obama campaign, we’ve seen subtle suggestions that Romney’s a racist (e.g. Virginia Senator Louise Lucas). We’ve seen an unending discussion of his tax returns and offshore accounts.
We’ve watched the media brand Romney’s wife as a clueless homemaker that wears $1,000 shirts. Never mind that Michelle Obama dawns the same at a $6,800 price point. Double standard?
With regard to Paul Ryan, the Obama campaign says he isn’t looking out for seniors and will end Medicare “as we know it”. Small detail: Medicare will end on its own by going bankrupt in about 12 years.
From Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the message has been fact-based. They’ve told the truth. Both remind us that our national debt (over $15 trillion) and deficit are out of control. America can only spend more than it takes in for so long.
And though it’s often political suicide to advocate for reductions in spending, they demand it. They also insist that Medicare be fixed before it fails. What a concept. As for economic prosperity and growth, the campaign knows where that begins—in the shop down the street, not in Washington.
Summarizing both camps, syndicated columnist George Will said: “Obama’s campaign of avoidance—say anything to avoid the subject of the country’s condition—must now reckon with Ryan’s mastery of Obama’s enormous addition to decades of governmental malpractice.”
Build a Home, or Close the Coffin
Ultimately, we’ve seen an aggressive Mitt Romney pick a lightening rod of a vice presidential candidate—showing he’s serious about tackling our crisis. Furthermore, he shows us that the days of handing Millennials the tab are over.
Young people, we share in the experience of over 16% unemployment. Many of us will graduate jobless. Though we balk, our childhood bedrooms are calling us home. Despite our desire to avoid the realization that our degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on (at least not for now), we must decide.
This election will define our productive lives. It will set the tone. We can build the home of economic prosperity or sand and stain its casket. By choosing to keep what we have, we’ll live out what we deserve. As pollster John Zogby would say, we’ll remain “college-educated, not going anywhere.”
Photo credit: Dave Merrick
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