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Asahi, Japan

The Fight Against Focusing
Inward During the American
Presidential Race

By Editorial

The future leader of America needs to show their position in taking responsibility because the country has so much influence on the international community.

Translated By Kenny Nagata

16 April 2012

Edited by Janie Boschma

Japan - Asahi - Original Article (Japanese)

The candidate for the Republican Party, this year’s opposition party, looks certain to be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The issues that will stand out in November’s general election against Democratic President Barack Obama are the economic recovery and improvement in unemployment. There is reason for concern that the strongest points will bring the focus to American domestic issues.

What we have seen in the selection of the Republican candidate has been an insistence on financial “small government,” the strengthening of religious values and the deepening fracture between the moderates and conservatives.

Due to the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sluggish economy has directly impacted their lives.

In opposition to Obama's path of “big government” that used government money to fix the economy, the grassroots tea party wielded great influence in the midterm elections two years ago demanding financial and tax reductions.

This time the conservative appeal is not the major factor.

Romney is not liked by the tea party or by conservative Christian evangelicals who stress religious values.

Romney has been criticized that his health care plan as governor was used as the template for the Obama administration's federal health care plan. Romney's previous approval of abortion, gay marriage, and the fact that he is a Mormon, a religion that is considered a heresy among conservatives, has made its impact.

The beneficiary of the conservatives is former Sen. Rick Santorum, whose approval rating was low before the search for a candidate began.

Santorum, pushing “family values,” fought diligently for the religious conservatives and got second place. However, Romney also focused fiscally on “small government,” and received a different type of enthusiasm from the tea party. There was a limit to their support and they decided to pull back.

From now on, the key for Romney is to fix the divide between him and the conservatives to see if he can bundle up their support. However, there is a danger of separating himself from the moderates and independents if he heeds the conservatives and pushes towards radicalization.

Obama is not on solid ground either. He is muddling through a budget deficit and the unemployment rate is still high. The rising gas price is also an ingredient for worry.

Last fall in America, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that criticized the gap between rich and poor began to swell. Obama called for increasing taxes on the rich to point out the issue, but can that alone make us feel what the potential is for the future once again?

While this is a fight full of weaknesses between two people, it is imperative to not only turn your eyes to domestic issues.

Along with the crisis in Europe and democratization in the Middle East, the world is drastically changing. The future leader of America needs to show their position in taking responsibility because their country has so much influence on the international community.



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