Editorial: Vote for Romney in Saturday Republican caucus

After Missouri’s embarrassing primary election fiasco in February, when it hosted a “beauty pageant” because the state government failed to comply with Republican National Committee rules, the time for the state GOP caucus has at last arrived.

Although it's true the caucus results will not be officially binding and delegates will not technically have to follow public will, Missouri will be in the national spotlight again, and February’s primary might have given presidential candidate Rick Santorum a significant boost in the race. We urge students to fulfill their democratic duties and vote. Students and citizens should have their voices heard in some way rather than risk the result of poor voter turnout in our state.

When you do vote in the Republican caucus, The Maneater editorial board believes you should vote for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Before we explain our reasons, we must make it clear this is not an endorsement for Romney to win the presidency. Simply put, out of the remaining Republican candidates, we believe he's the best option for the Republican nomination.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney is a candidate with experience and a proven track record, who is much more moderate than his fellow GOP candidates. Although today he’s changed his views to be more conservative, Romney initially ran for governor of Massachusetts as a more moderate Republican, saying “…I’m not a partisan Republican...I’m someone who is moderate, and my views are progressive.”

When he won, Romney even enacted legislation requiring individuals to buy health insurance if not provided by their employers. He managed to serve as a Republican governor in a historically democratic state, while making compromises to enact moderate solutions to the state’s problems, such as the mandated healthcare. Additionally, he has much experience in business; he even helped the Winter Olympics recover from a bribery scandal to host a successful 2002 Olympic Games.

Romney’s experience and, more importantly, his apparent ability to embrace a moderate governing approach and see both sides of an issue, are key factors that put him miles ahead of his GOP competitors.

However, it seems as if Romney downplays being a moderate, and it's problematic that he’s seemed to change his views from his former days as governor. It’s time that Romney embraces non-partisanship and sticks to concrete viewpoints on issues.

On the other hand, it's great that Romney seems to take such a subjective approach, and ultimately it might be better that he is able to change his viewpoints based on popular demand if necessary. This is preferable to a stubborn president who would enact measures completely unpopular with the American people.

When it comes to social issues concerning our collegiate demographic, Romney has, in other words, insulted us the least. We might not agree with some of his stances on issues such as abortion and birth control, he has said fewer — if any — inflammatory and raucous statements than the other candidates. He hasn’t called President Barack Obama a “snob” for wanting all Americans to receive education beyond high school, or been accused of extra-marital affairs while preaching family values. Nor are Romney’s views and political rhetoric as idealistic, unconventional or implausible as Ron Paul’s.

While Paul represents the libertarian ideology with zeal, he caters to a small segment of American society, most of whom do not share all of his views. Yet he’s often too erratic for us to envision him acting in a professional manner in important government business or diplomatic interactions.

Gingrich’s approach to economic, foreign and social policies are similar to Romney’s, but much too extreme. Romney’s approach is, again, more moderate. Additionally, Gingrich has developed a reputation that does not bode well for him sticking to his moral code. 
Santorum has managed to all but alienate college students with his odd, ultra-conservative ideals. Santorum does, however, take time to conduct his presidential campaign in an old-fashioned way by speaking at local coffee shops and town squares. But if Santorum were to win the Republican nomination, he would surely be unable to defeat Obama because he would alienate Republican voters who do not share his ultra-conservative views.

Meanwhile, the majority of college students today are too ideologically centered to be swayed by extreme viewpoints, and are likely to appreciate Romney’s relatively level-headed personality. A recent Gallup poll found that if the election were held today, Romney and Obama would nearly tie, and if Romney wins the Republican nomination, it would surely enhance the presidential race. We do believe that, though Romney is bursting to show his conservative guns now, if he wins the presidential race, he will be a president willing to embrace compromise and practical, moderate government actions.

If you are a registered Republican, vote for Mitt Romney in Saturday’s caucus here in Boone County. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the best Republican candidate left in the race.

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