Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 4, 2012

HOPKINS: A few reasons I'm for Romney

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — You may have read in Saturday’s edition of the US&J the editorial board’s endorsement of Barack Obama for a second term in the White House. Our editorial board is a democracy, where the majority rules.

I was not among the majority on that decision, and if the decision were mine alone, the newspaper’s endorsement would have been for Mitt Romney.

My reasons for supporting Romney — and opposing Obama, for that matter — are a mix of local and national issues. Here’s just a few:

• If anyone in this region has an ounce of compassion for retired Delphi workers, he will not cast a vote for Barack Obama. The man threw tens of thousands of retired Delphi workers — and their families — under the bus all for the cause of appeasing auto worker union leaders in Detroit, and assure he’d get the union vote.

Remember, GM was under no obligation to buy out Delphi’s unionized pensioners, but it did, under Obama’s guidance. The non-union white collar workers were left behind, hung out to dry. Most of the Delphi workers at whom Obama thumbed his nose are in Ohio. If Romney wins that state by a close count, mark it a win for Delphi workers.

Many in the Republican party have called for the Obama administration to come clean on exactly how this deal went down, and there are four House committees demanding full disclosure. They’re being denied by the administration, especially Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

This from the “transparent” government promised by the president. Transparent only when it benefits him, one would presume.

• Romney supports construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport oil to the Gulf Coast and its refineries. I understand the need for green, renewable energy, and it should continue to be developed into a realistically affordable product. In the mean time, let’s continue to use what we have and can produce cheaply.

Refineries are manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing is a good thing in this country. Environmental risks? There was squawking about that when the Alaska pipeline was built, too.

• Then there’s the health care plan that was essentially forced upon us. Do we need health care reform? Absolutely.

However, we do not need a reform bill that was passed without being read by Congress, after being told by Obama — or “Dear Leader” as some of my most critical right-leaning friends call him — that they can look at it after it’s been passed and tweak it.

Huh? That’s like signing the mortgage or car loan without reading the fine print. It shouldn’t be done.

President Obama loved to tout that his plan would be “budget neutral.” That’s because the congressional budget office can only look at these plans at face value. They cannot consider the what-ifs” that were predicted by the right and are beginning to happen, such as businesses bailing out on offering health care plans in favor of the government option. That’s a major skew.

• Some are afraid of Romney’s stance on foreign affairs. Here’s what I like about him: He recognizes there’s a danger with Russia and its egomaniacal president Vladimir Putin. He’s unflinching on the Middle East, whereas Obama, after being handed pretty much a win in Iraq he seems like he’s letting it go to hell. Afghanistan? The “good” war in 2008 has turned into “end it now.” Nothing about winning. End it.

I don’t think the United States is perceived as the power she used to be, and nothing in the past four years has helped improve our long tradition as a global power. Romney, I believe, can restore some of that. He certainly won’t pine for “mutual respect” with a radical government such as in Iran, where girls get stoned to death for being raped.

Some will argue that President Obama has been unable to get anything done in four years because many in the GOP publicly stated that they main goal was to make sure Obama doesn’t get re-elected. A fair point, until you remember back in 2010 Obama called on his supporters to “punish our enemies,” when referring to Republicans. Americans as enemies? Nice talk. Some in the Tea party pull this crap, too.

And Romney, I’m sure, won’t call Hugo Chavez a “friend.”

Still, Obama had two years working with both a Democrat-controlled House and Senate. He STILL couldn’t achieve anything, which is why in 2010 we saw the number of Democrats in the Senate drop from 58 to 51. In the House, it was far worse as the GOP took control, netting 63 additional seats, the largest gain in a House midterm election since 1938.

Mitt Romney knows how to turn around businesses. And we can use that in the United States right now. He’s right for the United States. Romney gets my personal endorsement.

John J. Hopkins is the managing editor of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. His column appears on Sundays. Contact Mr. Hopkins at john.hopkins@lockportjournal.com.

John J. Hopkins is the managing editor of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. His column appears on Sundays. Contact Mr. Hopkins at john.hopkins@lockportjournal.com.