2008 about Hope, 2012 about Reality

No matter where your political allegiances lie, there is no denying the impressive and historical victory of President Barack Obama in 2008.

It was a campaign that capitalized on the American people’s desire for major change, increased bipartisanship and a new kind of politics.
Unfortunately, for both Democrats and Republicans, we did not get all that was promised to us.

While the economy and unemployment are slowly improving, only about 50% of our peers in the class of 2012 found meaningful employment after graduation; not exactly the booming job market I was hoping to enter after college. Bipartisanship has essentially disintegrated and Congress has had some of the lowest approval ratings in decades.

The U.S. National Debt has ballooned to $16 trillion; no viable solutions to make our nation energy independent have panned out, and our national budget is facing a fiscal cliff that could plunge us right back into a recession.

The president and his surrogates on the campaign trail have repeatedly accused Governor Romney of being too vague in his plans for tax reform, entitlement reform, and economic growth.

I personally appreciate Governor Romney’s common sense approach. Even the most specific, detailed plans will be dismantled and reassembled by the U.S. House and Senate before ever becoming law.

It is more realistic to outline ideas and let Congress, who truly represents the American people, decide the specifics. It might not be as inspiring or sensational, but this time we need a President with real business experience and a proven history of working with both Democrats and Republicans.

We need someone who will be honest and level with the American people about the tough choices facing our country. In 2008 we had an election about rhetoric and now we need an election about reality.
On the morning of Nov. 7, we very well may have a new President elect, it will all come down to if President Obama can convince voters that this election is a choice between two different ideologies, one that is good and another that is distinctly bad; or if Governor Romney can get voters to honestly ask themselves “Am I better off than I was four years ago?” as they cast their vote.

I do not know who will win next week, but I do know that it will be a close election. Both parties have run strong campaigns; the American people are paying attention, knocking on doors and making phone calls and as cliché as this may be, that is what matters.

As a nation, we have numerous problems to confront in the next four years, but, thankfully, we have no shortage of creative solutions.

No matter how apathetic or involved in this election you are, decide which solutions you support, take the survey at Isidewith.com, and please vote.

Even with the endless onslaught of opinions about the election from parents, friends, or professors; the only one that should really matter on Nov. 6 is yours.

Sarah is a senior economics and politicial science major with internship experience in government affairs, the regional Chamber of Commerce and on Captiol Hill.