The Society discussed the question facing our nation this week with Whether Mitt Romney or Barack Obama should be the president of the United States. Mr. Dulik began the debate by asking the Society to elevate the discourse above the usual rhetoric we hear about politics. He laid out three questions for how we should evaluate the candidates for president. The first is which governing agenda is best and using the standard of tangible results cited examples of the struggles under the president making a human crisis. Second, he asked who was a better leader. Mr. Dulik gave examples of leadership in Mr. Romney’s life and the relative lack of executive leadership of President Obama. He furthered his case by looking at the campaign websites and showed that President Obama lacked big ideas. The final standard was who will move us forward. He discussed how Mr. Romney loves details and gives smart analysis because he is a nerd and that he will get the job done. Mr. Dulik closed by asking if we are happy with the direction of the nation or do we deserve better? Mr. Donovan began by putting the problems of the nation into perspective and disagreed with the Messiah complex in 2008 of the Democratic party because no president can solve all of the problems. He used examples of signing laws that made unequal pay for women illegal and the stimulus act to show what the president has accomplished. Furthermore, he referenced the fact the both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have accidentally praised the stimulus act. He cited the prevention of the collapse of the auto industry and the increase in Pell Grant funds as further examples of why we should vote for President Obama. Mr. Donovan also addressed how the Affordable Care Act took Mr. Romney’s plan in Massachusetts as a bipartisan measure and how he repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He also told of the foreign policy successes of President Obama and concluded by saying that we have come so far and that we should keep moving forward.
Luke Schafer (COL ’16) began the floor portion by speaking to Mr. Romney’s strong business experience as an asset to stimulating investment into the future. Mr. Miller responded by arguing for a second term president because they are not going to be also trying to be reelected. Vice President Arber replied that we shouldn’t vote based on sunk costs; rather, we should let the facts speak for themselves and Mr. Romney has an excellent record. Mr. Prindiville gave the example of his father being able to hire a new employee for the first time in twenty years as support for the President. Mr. Taft countered that helping small business is Mr. Romney’s strength citing the tax hike on $250,000. Ms. Wynter asked for us to consider the weakest link in US society when voting because our nation cannot function with a broken poor. Alex Zajac (COL ’15) did not believe that the facts spoke for themselves; in addition, he defended Mr. Romney because of how he would handle credit and taxes for businesses. Michael Whelan (COL ’16) asked the Society to factor in that Congress tried to block everything the President did counteracting his attempts at bipartisanship. Katherine Seder (MSB ’16) disagreed about Obamacare being bipartisan and critiqued it as being a tax citing the defibrillator tax and said this election is about jobs and Mr. Romney would increase jobs. Madeleine Ringwald (COL ’16) cited the 47% quote to criticize Mr. Romney’s view of welfare and showed how his outlook is why he is not a strong leader. Mr. Whitfield criticized US society as being too immature to make sacrifices when we need to make them. Mr. Monod responded that Mr. Romney simply says whatever he can to win and that is not leadership. Mr. Myers, an alumnus returning to the Society, responded to some of the criticisms of Mr. Romney and concluded that what the nation needs is a plan and Mr. Romney has one. Mr. Bade advocated for third party candidate Jill Stein criticizing both candidates. Mr. Spagnuolo argued for Mr. Romney because it would put Republicans to the fire on their promises of tax reform and smart fiscal policies. Mr. Edgar pointed out that the focus of the president is foreign policy and that we should support President Obama because Mr. Romney would reinstate the Global Gag Rule, preventing many people in developing countries from being able to learn about responsible and safe sex. At this point in the debate, Mr. Snow gave a speech that will surely be remembered for years to come. Referencing the size of a certain circular element of the male anatomy as the standard for evaluating the greatness of past presidents, and the most important element when deciding who to elect president, Mr. Snow concluded that of the candidates, since Ms. Clinton is not running, Mr. Romney is best endowed to govern. Mr. Snow was fined $5 for the content of his speech but, keeping his streak alive of not having to pay his fines, Mr. Petallides and Ms. Murphy both immediately and voluntarily paid the fine. Ms. Brosnihan argued for Mr. Romney’s ability to create jobs and criticized the President’s trade policies. Ms. Cleary closed the floor by saying it is not always easy to do what is right but voting for Mr. Romney is what is right because he will be able to reign in our tax money that is being spent.
Mr. Donovan began his keynote by highlighting the growth the economy has had recently as well as criticizing Mr. Romney on social issues especially on his views of gay rights. Furthermore, he pointed out that the president will most likely replace a Supreme Court justice and a liberal to conservative flip is bad considering all of the incredibly important issues that will be decided in the near future. Mr. Donovan also criticized Mr. Romney for not having a clear plan and that this election is more than just Mr. Romney vs. President Obama as the winner will believe they have a mandate from the people. He concluded that we need to send the right message and reject the conservative shift in the Republican Party and reelect President Obama. Mr Dulik began his argument about arguing that we need to talk about issues that matter, and he used the example of his mother and his future daughter to do this. He told of how his mother waited tables so that she could go to college and law school and is now a partner at a prominent law firm and that he wants his daughter to have opportunities that will only come from investments in the future. Mr. Dulik argued that we need to have good foundations to be able to have these opportunities and that these can only be achieved through bipartisanship which Mr. Romney has demonstrated he can do. He concluded that we need to be pragmatic and elect Mr. Romney because he is pushing for a plan that can benefit our nation.
The Society voted 27-33 in support of President Obama with 3 abstentions.