Just before Osama bin Laden was assassinated, President Obama's approval rating was about 47 percent.
Immediately after the mission that resulted in bin Laden's death, the president's approval rating went up to about 56 percent. A few weeks later it was again down to the same 47 percent.
In other words, a dramatic success overseas resulted in only a momentary or transient change in the approval of Obama's overall efforts to govern the country. A video recently published maintains that the economy is really all that matters in our coming election.
We disagree. Foreign affairs will and should matter, at least to some degree. But it remains a very open question as to which candidate or party will best manage our foreign affairs in the future. Making proposals for how we deal with the world at large in the coming years should be an important part of the debate before the national election.
Foreign affairs have a direct and major effect on our own economy. Wars cost money, yet failure to fight some wars can cost far more than simply money. Who best among our current choices can make the correct decisions for America in the next four years?
In the meantime, we will listen very carefully, not to the sound bites, but to foreign policy proposals from both President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
In foreign affairs, previous decisions put us where we are today in the real world — not a world of "what if" we had done something different. Foreign events force decisions for the future and will chart difference courses, sometimes unpredictable courses.
When difficult international events occur, it is very important that America has the leadership needed to deal with such events, realistically, pragmatically and, for sure, effectively.
It is part of the responsibility of every American citizen to make such decisions for themselves before they vote in November 2012.
The Joplin Globe, Joplin, Mo.