As I see it, the trick for the United States is to remain the world’s super power without us pushing our weight around so much.
We certainly don’t want to lose our superpower status; our own survival (and probably that of the free world) depends on it. But we are wasting our resources and making enemies when we do not have to.
We need to be somewhere between Ron Paul’s isolationism and George W Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s militarism.
Barack Obama does not know what to do (or is afraid to make it look like we are surrendering), so he just kind of does the same as was done before — although offing Bin Laden was a good move.
Problem is, most of his GOP contenders are either hot to pick fights or respond to goading, or in the case of Paul, maybe all but disband the military as we know it.
Actually I am not sure that Paul would be for dismantling the military; but as a libertarian he sees it as a tool strictly for defense, not offense.
Paul has a surprising allure among young people.
Maybe they like the freedom and anti-war message he brings.
Former American idol star and top-rated singer Kelly Clarkson has endorsed Paul. From what I heard her say in an NPR interview, she has no clear idea of what he might stand for or maybe even specifically what she herself stands for in politics, but she likes the idea of individual freedom. I kind of winced when she said she supports his idea of “states rights”. Maybe I should not assume this, but I assumed she really does not know what that phrase came to mean (I say this because so many people are ignorant or indifferent to our own history). According to my public education, “state’s rights” was first used as code in the anti-bellum South for their right to own black people. Later it was used in an effort to resist or defy federal civil rights legislation. And these days it is used to defend conservative positions against progressive or liberal positions. That is not to say that states should not have rights. I would tend to agree that the federal government’s power should be limited to that specifically given it in the Constitution with everything else left to the states. But in our modern world and with the fact American people are so mobile, there has to be some elasticity to all of this. It is not workable nor fair for citizens to have rights in one state and be denied them in another.
I don’t think I am wandering off the point here, really, by noting that a story or stories in my local newspaper told of how local public schools are being affected by state budget cuts. Well that may be so, but local schools are under the jurisdiction of local boards and are funded in part by local taxes. The public in any district has the option to tax itself more.
The same goes for federal funding cuts to the states. Individual states have the option of taxing themselves more and in so doing would not only have more revenue for their programs but would get back control — state’s rights.
I see how the ever-reasonable and affable Jon Huntsman is seeing a timely bump in the polls on the eve of the New Hampshire primary — finally.
And Mitt Romney, still the presumptive GOP nominee, is being finally called on his dealings at Bain Capital where he looted companies and fired American workers (at least that is what I read), and did not help himself in that uncomplimentary narrative by using the phrase he “likes to be able to fire people” — albeit not quite in the context is portrayed as maybe (but maybe a Freudian slip, even so).
Rick Santorum is kind of scary with his righteousness.
The Republicans so far seem to be doing Obama a favor. They may be his biggest campaign asset.
Economies have a way of coming back, regardless of government policies. And if people feel good about that they are not apt to change leadership (although Al Gore could not ride on Bill Clinton’s success — which was not necessarily Clinton’s really, but the president gets the credit or the blame and Gore might have wound up with the blame, lucky him ).