Salary: $400,000 per year • Term: Four years • Tasks: As chief executive of the federal government, the president enforces laws, court rulings and treaties. He crafts the country’s budget, appoints federal officials, develops policy, and approves or vetoes decisions made by Congress. He also has the power to grant pardons. As commander in chief, he oversees the nation’s armed forces. The president is the only person in the United States who can choose to use nuclear weapons.
Let's start by talking about the third-party candidates. The Green Party's Jill Stein and the New Mexico Independent Party's Rocky Anderson are in line with our values. But we remain unconvinced that the drastic solutions they offer could be implemented when the country's so far behind their vision. The Constitution Party's Virgil Goode, on the other hand, is paranoid and xenophobic. Those are not good traits for a leader. It's hard to pretend that America isn't a part of the greater world, and the world is ever-smaller by the day.
Libertarian Gary Johnson's got a lot of great ideas. And he's right when he says many people are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But we think he goes too far in the cuts he's proposing. Johnson promises to slash Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. He objects to the Affordable Care Act. Axing social programs in times like these is a bad idea that could harm a lot of people.
Johnson’s not great on conservation of the environment, either. His proposed solution of penalizing polluters but not imposing strict regulations smacks of standard GOP fare. It’s important to note that as our governor, Johnson held the record for vetoing the most bills that came out of the Legislature. That kind of obstructionist, partisan b.s. is not going to get us anywhere. A big part of the problem in our country today is that politically motivated representatives and senators can't reach compromises. We're stuck. A Johnson presidency won't help.
But good for him for being against the war and supporting common sense drug policy reform. There is no better cure for trouble at our southern border. Legalizing weed could go a long way in improving life for people in Mexico, too.
Mitt Romney's just not an option. He's changed his positions so many times, you wouldn't really know who you're electing. It's frightening that a candidate this terrible has made it so far. The best thing about him, for most of his supporters, is that he's not Obama. The "I'm not the other guy" approach didn't pan out for John Kerry and the Dems in 2004. Let's hope it doesn't work today.
President Obama has done a lot to fix the problems created by President Bush and worked to advance civil rights and boost the economy in our country. While Republicans often talk a good pro-business game, they're not really talking about you. They're talking mega corporations. Obama has proven he can help small businesses and working class families. His approach of growing the economy from the middle out (instead of by just hoping the bigwigs allow some to trickle down) makes sense. All that he accomplished he managed with a hostile Congress doing its best to thwart his efforts.
Among the president's failures: We're still at war in Afghanistan. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is still open. Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act despite his "serious reservations" about how it allows the feds to detain—indefinitely, without trial—citizens suspected of terrorism.
While there's a lot left to do (and while we hope he rectifies some of his errors) we'd love to see Obama thrive in a second term with a more supportive Congress. This is the kind of healing this country has to do before it can handle an idealist president like Johnson, Stein or Anderson.