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Commentary: Shame on our candidates

Illustration by Jacob Bogdanoff

Illustration by Jacob Bogdanoff

Alex Forbess, Editorial Director

Alex Forbess, Editorial Director

I was selfish; forgive me for being so blind last week. Sometimes politics puts me in a bad mood.

Last week’s column was used as a way to vent about the endless, repetitive acts I have seen from President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Even though it still irritates that it is sometimes difficult to pay attention to these puppets, I diverted the clutter and paid close attention to what they said.

Yes, things could have gone much better, and I still meant what I said about the broken promises Obama made. But after watching the final presidential debate, the summary was clear: he is a flip-flopping hypocrite and Obama made sure the nation saw it. Obama, you had me at Romney investing in oil companies from China.

There were so many scenarios where Romney flipped a switch and agreed with the president. He approves Obama’s strategy of tracking down Osama Bin Laden despite suggesting the president ask Pakistan’s permission to enter country.

He said that he would not duplicate the military action in Iraq despite saying a few weeks ago the United States needs to send more troops.

Before the roasting begins, let us congratulate Romney for giving the nation a broad, yet still vague, plan of what he will do to reform American foreign policy. Within the Middle East, he plans to promote further education, create civil societies and, gender equality.

Romney plans to promote education abroad, a man who promotes a poor educational reform on Obama mentioned when people were asking Romney about education, he replied by saying that he will not change class sizes because it is irrelevant to students’ learning skills.

According to the public center of public education, students gain more achievements when enrolled in a reduced classroom. What is great is that the more time students spend in reduced classrooms, the benefits and knowledge they receive will last longer.

It is difficult for me to imagine Romney promoting gender equality abroad, following the story of how he found “binders full of women” as it was a clear tool to divert from answering the question. When moderator Bob Schieffer, the best out of all moderators controlling the chaos, asked Romney what is America’s role in the world, he said it is to promote human rights and human dignity.

Romney, during your involvement in Bain Capital, do you remember GS Industries, a company you gained control of in 1993? When you took over, workers were skeptic of your intention so they demanded if the company were to shutdown, they would be promised guarantee health insurance and pensions, something they have been working hard before your presence.

Like the great salesman you are, as it can be seen in the debates with that smirk smile, you promised and put everyone at ease. Of course, you did declare the company to go bankrupt in 2000, killing all 750 jobs, and stripped away their coverage.

Appalling, yes, but there is more. With the sudden shock, workers were scrambling to find health insurance that will cover them.

Unfortunately, many of them would not expect to cover them since most of the experienced workers were suffering from asbestosis, a degenerative respiratory condition that manifests into mesothelioma, an incurable cancer in the lungs.

I understand you are not the cause of their misfortune but you took away their medication to reduce the damage – human dignity, right.

One final act made me lose full respect of Romney, when Schieffer brought up a hypothetical scenario: If the prime minister of Israel said that they were ready to bomb Iran, what would the United States do?

Romney’s response: let us not get into hypothetical scenarios. For someone who believes Iran is four years closer of building a nuclear bomb, people might have been curious to know what he will do if the time came.

While Obama was reinstating that more diplomatic pressure needs to be inputting to avoid this scenario, he made Romney look like Two-Face that he endorses that strategy. A few years ago, Romney said that is something he will never do.

There it is everyone, we have seen the full – well, vaguely full – picture of both candidates. Eleven days until the election: be informed and watch out for the flip-flopping car salesmen.

Alex Forbess, a senior journalism major, is editorial director for the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at For more information on Bain Capital’s involvement with GS Industries and its workers, visit

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