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Opinion: Single-Issue Voting Is Wrong In These Multi-Issue Times

The Right Politics

During this election cycle in 2012, like no other time one can remember, Americans tend to be talking about voting due to one single issue or another. Whether it be the Sandra Fluke issue of free contraceptives, the fact that one candidate is Mormon or whatever, the position on same-sex marriage, the non-release of President Obama’s academic records, repealing the health care law, sustaining the health care law – or many, many other issues, it appears as though many Americans are focusing their attention on one single issue rather than looking at the entire picture of what a candidate has to offer America in the next four years.

Of course, we have unfortunately even heard the extremely racist reason by one Hollywood star who publicly stated that he votes for the candidate who looks most like him – and then generalized that we all vote that way. And, race is obviously playing a role when you have, according to a recent Gallup Poll, nearly all African-Americans voting for President Obama.

It’s been reported that Latinos are overwhelmingly siding with President Obama over GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney as well due to the immigration issue. This is incredibly confusing to many people as Obama promised to have an immigration policy in place within his first year in office – and the nation is still waiting for it. It never happened. There have been quick temporary fixes leading up to Obama’s reelection, but nothing in stone – as they say.

To make it more confusing, Romney has agreed to Obama’s quick fix for now. Yet, the polls show that Latinos are still siding with Obama even though there is no stark difference yet between the two candidates – other than the same campaign rhetoric that was heard from Obama four years ago. There is still no immigration policy.

It is somewhat disturbing to hear people blurt out one single issue as they proclaim to have hitched their vote to one candidate or the other. While a woman may blurt out that she’s voting for Obama because of the abortion issue, she admits she was totally disgusted when the Democrats dropped God from their platform at the Convention – until the backlash settled in. Or, someone else may say they are voting for Obama because of his most recent flip-flopped opinion on same-sex marriage – which is a complete 180 degree turn from what he was saying four years ago – though the person admits the economy is in the basement and he blames Obama’s failed economics for being out of work for nearly a year.

What’s with ignoring the economy and the job market for the sake of a single social issue which a candidate has changed his mind about in the past? There’s nothing that says the candidate who says what a single-issue voter wants to hear today will be what they’re promoting in the future? We’ve seen that over the past four years.

How many times do some single-issue voters need to be made the fool before they start looking at the whole picture and voting for America and not just for a single promise made today that may be gone the day after the votes are tallied?

Consider the economy, the job market, the recent horrendous occurrences in the Middle East before voting for a person because of his race, his social-issue promises, or any other rather selfish reasons.

You’ll be glad you did.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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