Last week, following Mitt Romney’s closing speech, I shut my television off with a tired sigh. The Oct. 3 debate, which focused on domestic policy, was a continuation of the speeches, advertisements and statements previously made throughout the 2012 campaign season. This is all well- except there comes a certain point when one wonders if the candidates will ever move past lame appeals to the middle class and touch on issues outside the socio-economic box. I reached this point at the conclusion of the first debate.
Both Romney and President Barack Obama have made strides in terms of persuading the middle class that his policy will assist the middle class the most. Romney claims that for the last four years the middle class has “been buried, they’re just being crushed.” Obama says that he wants to “create ladders of opportunity” for the American people and, presumably, the middle class. They each bash their opponent’s plan for the middle class; Romney says that Obama is taking their money and Obama says that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class (which Romney disputed during the debate).
These appeals are emotional and inspiring, but they are quickly growing trite. This nation has repeatedly heard each candidate’s view on the current state of the middle class and what should be done to help them out. Almost any somewhat politically-informed voter, at this point, can recite each candidate’s stance on the middle class.
While improving the lives of those in the middle class is a pressing issue that many voters care about, there comes a point where enough is enough. Repetition can only get a candidate so far. Even the middle class will soon grow tired of hearing the same thing repeated over and over again. The candidates have each made their point and that should be good enough for the middle class. Although it’s understandable that this class, which makes up the majority of American citizens, would primarily care about what each candidate would do for them, it’s reasonable to say that they are interested in more than only that in this election.
If the candidates want to persuade undecided voters to vote for them, then they need to dip their feet into new waters. Romney and Obama should emphasize their differences in more controversial areas- specifically, social issues that often strike a chord within voters. The candidates views on abortion, climate change, education and more are vastly different. It’s time for them to move past the middle class and focus on fresher topics.
Natalie Barman / Opinion Editor