Romney A Bad Choice For Oklahomans

Image of Oklahoman screen shot screen shot shows glaring contradiction.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is the wrong choice for the vast majority of Oklahomans, but there’s no doubt the candidate will win here by a wide margin in November.

What that victory will mean, to state the obvious, is that Oklahomans in droves will be voting against their own financial interests in what has become a four-year contradictory and perplexing ritual much discussed, investigated and berated through the years. They will also be voting against a sitting Democratic president, who clearly does represent the financial interests of the majority of Oklahomans and who has done a solid job in adverse circumstances created by a Republican presidential administration.

Even single-issue voters—the vocal anti-abortion, gun-rights and anti-Obamacare folks in Oklahoma—can take little solace in voting for Romney, who has supported abortion rights for women in the past, who has not distinguished himself as a particularly strong advocate of the National Rifle Association’s agenda and whose Romneycare in Massachusetts was the inspiration of Obamacare If it’s only about abortion, guns and Obamacare for particular GOP voters here, then Romney’s candidacy should hardly inspire much enthusiasm, and those issues essentially become a wash between the two candidates. Once you factor in Romney’s open dismissal of Oklahomans who don’t pay federal income tax, including seniors who live solely on meager Social Security payments, then the choice is clear. President Barack Obama will best represent the interests of a majority of residents here.

Again, I realize Romney will win the state’s electoral votes, and I know that trying to make a counter-argument against his candidacy and urging support for Obama will be construed by many on the right or left here as futile. But there’s the glaring historical error to continuously note as a vast majority of Oklahomans will once again vote against their obvious personal fiscal interests to support the self-serving agenda of extremely wealthy people (it can't get clearer than this election), and there’s a huge need for more published and sustained counter-arguments to the ultra-conservative, pro-Romney claims made by the corporate media here, primarily on the editorial page of The Oklahoman.

Here then are three reasons Oklahoman should vote for Obama:

  • Obama has done a good job as president and for Oklahomans in particular. Undoubtedly, this will seem counter-intuitive to many Oklahoma residents, but it’s true. Obama’s stimulus program saved thousands of jobs in the state during an economic crisis he inherited from former President George W. Bush. These were not just teaching and state employee job but also jobs in private companies that directly or indirectly received stimulus money. (For example, Republican Markwayne Mullin, a candidate for the District 2 Congressional seat here in Oklahoma, received stimulus money for his companies.) The Affordable Care Act has allowed 49,000 young Oklahomans to stay on their parents’ policies and allowed senior citizens here to save more than $4 million collectively on costs for medicine. Obama has reduced taxes for middle-class Oklahomans. Despite the blatant false assertions of The Oklahoman, Obama has not increased federal spending as much as his predecessors in the White House dating back to President Ronald Reagan in 1982. The idea that Obama is an out-of-control spender is as false as the notion that he created the national deficit. Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush, for example. One reason these facts don’t get through here are the blatant contradictions (or lies) on the editorial page of The Oklahoman. Note the above screen shot (Sept. 24, 2012) on, which shows the juxtaposition of an editorial cartoon claiming media bias in favor of Obama just below a link to a shoddy series of articles published initially in The Washington Examiner that heavily criticize Obama. Surely, Oklahomans can see through this obvious contradiction and propaganda. The fact remains that Obama has been a solid president the past four years for Oklahoma residents despite the myths, outright lies and contradictions presented on an almost daily basis by the state’s largest newspaper.

  • Romney doesn’t like a lot of red-state residents, and Oklahoma is definitely a red state. Yes, really, it’s true. There’s absolutely no way else to describe it after a video surfaced showing Romney dismissing 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who won’t take personal responsibility for their lives. Of course, Romney was referring to the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax, the majority of which are either seniors or workers who don’t make a lot of money but who do pay payroll and other taxes. Red states account for the bulk of people who don’t pay federal income tax. In Oklahoma, 36 to 37 percent of people don’t pay federal income tax. The state was also recently ranked by an economic site as the 10th poorest in the nation, with a rising poverty rate despite a low unemployment rate. Do Oklahoma middle-class residents, who pay or don’t pay federal income taxes, believe Romney will represent their interests even though his vague economic plans include huge tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the state and country? Romney thinks thousands upon thousands of people here in Oklahoma are “irresponsible,” and that includes mothers and father sleeping in Medicaid beds in nursing homes throughout the state. His selection of vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan shows his willingness to consider huge cuts in Social Security and Medicare. In the end, Romney’s brazen and craven remarks should disqualify him from serving as president. Oklahomans, compared to people in a majority of other states, will end up suffering the most from Romney's arrogant, class-oriented philosophy if he’s elected.

  • What will Romney do? Shhh. It’s a secret. No one knows exactly what Romney will do as president because he has held about every political position you can hold on the era’s most debated cultural topics and because, well, he’s not saying much, except that he will cut taxes for rich people and do away with as many federal regulations as he can. What does that mean for middle-class Oklahomans? Well, it could mean this: You will lose the mortgage deduction for your house. Now, Romney hasn’t said that specifically, but he hasn’t ruled it out. Experts who have considered his vague tax-cut plan note it’s mathematically impossible without huge cuts in deductions, and the mortgage deduction would have to be a prime target. Do you think he will cut deductions for the rich? Oklahomans should be wary of Romney’s failure to put forth specific economic plans, especially given the fact he considers so many of us here to be irresponsible people who won’t “care for their lives.”

The loss of the mortgage deduction, higher taxes on the poor, middle-class and maybe even seniors, a loss of medical access and much higher health costs, big cuts in Medicare and Social Security, these are the possible results of a Romney presidency. Romney is the wrong choice for Oklahomans. Obama is clearly the candidate who will do the most good for the most Oklahomans.