“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt”

Bertrand Russell

As voters continue to desert the Republican and Democratic parties (44% of registered voters are independents, unaffiliated or belong to third parties), the extreme activists of the major parties effectively select their nominees.   In some states, as few as 20,000 voters dictate a state’s nominating votes at the nominating conventions; which have become little more than taxpayer-funded (more than $36 million in 2012) extravaganzas with preordained results.

After suffering through these Republican and Democratic infomercials few minds were changed and it appears just 13% of the electorate in nine or ten battleground states will decide the election and future of our country.

Barak Obama is clearly more likeable and is at ease and friendly in front of crowds.   Yet, likeability and competence are vastly different attributes!

Mitt Romney brings a wealth of successful business experience, a quality tragically lacking in the Obama White House; although running a business and governing require vastly different skills.

Obama touts his creation and saving jobs (many of which pay far less than the ones which were lost), but at what cost per job.  His Administration’s ill-advised billion dollar investments in Solyndra and other alternative energy failures scream that politics rather than prudent business underwriting were prime motivators.  Where the auto industry bailouts were concerned, US taxpayers stand to lose billions as the government unloads the stock it acquired for equity investments made in GM and Chrysler.

As a private equity executive, Romney found ways to identify companies with legitimate promise, albeit some investments failed.  While he’d clearly staff his Administration with successful, business-savvy executives who would demand thoughtful due diligence and strict scrutiny before dispensing funds to the private sector, such formulas are no guarantee that he can turn around our flagging unemployment; and create 12,000,000 private-sector jobs in four years is wishful thinking.

Internationally, Romney’s ticket lacks any credible experience while Obama’s accomplishments are questionable and his open mic comments to Russia’s president create serious concerns.

As neither man is willing or capable of making the material cuts in both domestic and defense spending, revising and simplifying the tax code, eliminating many popular tax breaks/loopholes and increasing some taxes as recommended by the Simpson-Bowles Commission, balancing the budget will be impossible and the federal deficit will remain a malignant cancer on our economy.

Romney’s promise to repeal the Patient Affordable Care Act, which contains many extremely popular provisions, is meaningless rhetoric, as winning the GOP White House controlling Congress is wishful thinking.  Yet, while it potentially cuts healthcare costs in the short run, Obamacare is projected to cost billions more over time than the President is willing to acknowledge.

On social issues, the GOP platform panders to the most conservative elements of its base and is out-of-sync with the majority of Americans.  For a party which professes a commitment to Constitutional principles and getting government out of peoples’ the lives, its platform with respect to women’s reproductive rights, gay rights, prayer in school and even flag burning as an exercise of free speech are justified on a religious creed not all Americans subscribe to but might delight radical Madrassa Imams.

In a brilliant stroke of campaign class-warfare genius, President Obama has carefully timed his “evolving” opinions on many issues to segment, target and sway different voting constituencies, hoping to woo them on single issues, gambling they will ignore the results of his many failed programs and broken promises.

He continues to pander to unions (rather than support every free Americans’ right to a job without being coerced to join any organization) and the education establishment (where teachers resist evaluations and demand expensive benefits while studies demonstrate there is no correlation between money spent and improving student performance) while his minions disingenuously scream, “Racism” when people attack him, when, for the vast majority, it is his policies they resent.

If “Hope and Change” for Americans equates to an honest leader who will oversee a fiscally-sound economy, strong national defense, secure borders, quality education for children, commitment to leave people alone where personal behaviors which do not impinge on the rights of others and will vigorously protect their constitutionally-guaranteed liberties neither President Obama nor Governor Romney are worthy of their vote!