Watters: Romney’s mixed message is alienating this voter

Arabella Watters

Despite my quasi-conservative leanings in terms of the economy, gay marriage rights are something that I fervently support. In terms of social policy, this issue is the one I feel the most passionate about. I cannot fathom how the government thinks it is its place to regulate issues of sexuality; it is neither its jurisdiction nor its prerogative to decide who has the right to marry whom. I don’t want to delve into theology or religion, but I don’t know when exactly the government decided to try and control the personal facets of people’s lives.

It is no secret that California is definitively a “blue” state. As liberal as they come, my home state prides itself on pushing boundaries in social policy, which is why it is frustrating and surprising that California has yet to solidify a law legalizing gay marriage. Even more perturbing is the fact that current Republican candidate Mitt Romney himself dedicated $10,000 in 2008 to the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) hoping to repeal the state law allowing for marriage. For native Californians Proposition 8 is familiar, if not somewhat notorious.

Romney’s donation to NOM remained hidden from the public until last week, at which time the Human Rights Campaign uncovered it, as well as a record of Romney’s payment from a private IRS account.

There are two things that I find innately wrong with this information. It proves Romney’s offensive lack of transparency and it also makes me question my loyalty as a potential voter.

Throughout this blistering campaign trail and turbulent election year, I have tried to ignore Romney’s mercurial nature. As a candidate who bills himself as a Republican, but in the past has leaned toward being a moderate, it seemed to be his privilege to remain ambiguously middling on some issues.

Unfortuntely, for me as a voter, Romney’s constant attempts to cater to all audiences leaves me dubious. I don’t trust President Obama with our economy for another four years, yet I’m doubtful about the social sacrifices I would have to make as a citizen under Romney. It is particularly unsettling to me to realize that Romney is contributing in the fight against an issue I feel so strongly about.

The swinging nature of his social stances does not evoke confidence. Although his views on gay marriage rights have long been nebulous, I never really thought that Romney had a stake in trying to take away rights concerning marriage.

In the nature of politics, it is justifiable and only vaguely acceptable if a politician declares a stance on an issue but doesn’t take much action. As long as Romney kept his homophobia to himself, I wasn’t as alarmed. However, I don’t know if I can get behind a candidate who is contributing to making my state just that much less tolerant.

In this election a good candidate is hard to come by. I respect and agree with a lot of Romney’s platform, but it feels as if this issue could make or break it for me as a voter. Romney is trying to please every single voting demographic. It is impossible to appease every voter and their viewpoints; it makes me wonder exactly what Romney himself really believes in.

For me, Romney would be a much more reliable and concrete candidate if only he could present his own perspective instead of everybody else’s. However, that dream seems fairly utopian on a campaign trail where being as two-faced as possible is the only goal.

By trying to wear every face of the Republican party, Romney is drawing himself far too thin.

At this point, I don’t know exactly who I’m going to vote for.

Although I find it easy to find my beliefs and stick with them, the lines in the proverbial political sand are getting increasingly blurry. Romney may not know what he believes, but know that no matter what is endorsed by any candidate, I stand firmly on the side of marriage equality and won’t let my opinions get lost in the fray.

Arabella Watters is a Weinberg freshman. She can be reached at [email protected]