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Going forth with the status quo is not going to cut it for the American people who are struggling now.” With this statement, it seems like republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has hit the nail on the head. The way things are now is not working. Something needs to change. And, no, I am not referring to the vague, baseless, unsubstantiated “Hope and Change” that President Barack Obama promised in 2008.

I will be the first to admit: I was not sold on Romney at first. I thought he was uncommitted, a pretty face with a moderate attitude that would not be strong enough to make the decisions necessary to put this country back on track. These first three debates, however, have proven to me that Romney-Ryan certainly can provide the plans and leadership necessary to steer the U.S. in the right direction.

Throughout both presidential debates, I was highly impressed by many of Romney’s points. He laid out a straightforward, five-point plan in order to stimulate economic recovery. He focused on encouraging small business owners to create more jobs.

He disagrees with Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the top 3 percent of small businesses from 35 to 40 percent for the following reason: that top 3 percent employs 25 percent of Americans and 50 percent of those who work for small businesses. Romney has noted that raising taxes on that top 3 percent will discourage them from hiring and will cost 700,000 jobs.

Particularly impressive was the fact that Romney finally decided to take a strong conservative stand, saying things that many other politicians deem taboo. Regarding education, healthcare and other government programs, Romney wants to run them more efficiently at the state, instead of federal, level. Finally! I am thrilled beyond belief that someone in a position to actually make changes is publicly announcing his desire to enforce the Tenth Amendment.

Paul Ryan’s performance in the vice presidential debate was strong and encouraging, though I was semi-disappointed by his lack of specifics. I was delighted with his unabashedly pro-life answer to the abortion question and his brilliant explanation of what Obama-Biden has not done to stimulate the economy and what Romney-Ryan will do differently.

I am a registered republican, but I am an American first. I support my president, even though I happen to disagree with many of Obama’s policies. I am not in the habit of bashing him or being blindly critical. But I was unimpressed by him for one primary reason: All I hear from Obama is more of the same — the same promises, the same lofty goals and the same positive and encouraging attitude without a realistic plan to back anything up, the same recycled rhetoric that I have heard in almost every Obama speech since he began campaigning in 2008. He has yet to convince me that his leadership will result in a better America.

Is Romney undoubtedly the perfect answer for America? Quite possibly not. But considering the circumstances, I do believe that his leadership will put America back on track. Romney/Ryan 2012: a vote for freedom!

Reinhart is a member of the class of 2014.

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