I don’t know what will really happen when I get into the voting booth (well, when I fill out my absentee ballot at home) next November, but as of now I am inclined to look for a third option even though I realize that is probably a vote for the guy I don’t really want to win. I am not impressed with either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. But then again, so far Romney has neither said nor indicated anything that would make me think he would be better than the incumbent president.
It’s a little dismaying to say the least that Romney appears to be falling back on the Richard Nixon Southern Strategy, that is take advantage of the deep reservoir of racism and fear among the white populace and the suspicion of intellectualism and science. But as I understand it Romney feels forced to do this because the thought is that he has to capture the majority of the white vote or he does not win. Minorities and the poor or less well off are not inclined to like his politics. Romney used to be a moderate and in his heart I am relatively sure he still is, but he has wanted the presidency for so long that he just feels a man has got to do what he has to do.
I guess Romney has also had to embrace the anti-abortion cause and keep the illegal workers out cause for the same reasons mentioned above. Ironically, it is often Republican businessmen who hire illegal workers. And ironically it is those who decry government intrusion on our personal lives who speak out the loudest on what women can do to control the reproduction process (well we know one almost sure method, but that does not seem acceptable).
While I think the Republicans have a point on out-of-control government spending (but they are just as much to blame) I have to disagree with them on the notion that government is always bad and never gets anything right. We have to have government for civilization and those who criticize it so heavily would not know what to do if we did not have it to keep the peace and protect us from foreign invaders, educate the populace (yeah, there is private education but if all those who could not afford it just went stupid we’d be in a heck of a fix), build roads (okay maybe the Ron Pauls want every street and highway a private toll road), provide health and safety oversight (as in contaminated food recalls and water purity regulations and enforcement), and the courts, and probably most important of all to the haves, keeping records of who owns what, and so on.
Also the big bad government keeps those Social Security checks and Medicare payments coming and neither Republicans nor Democrats dare mess too much with that, despite some dangerous rhetoric from the GOP side.
But again, I think the Republicans have a point in that you just can’t keep spending more money than you take in and that the only way to control out-of-control spending is to cut back on the overall spending.
It seems to me that if there is to be any kind of government stimulus, though, either in the form of direct subsidies or tax breaks, it ought to be for industry, preferably with the emphasis, but not limited to, heavy industry. Agriculture also needs to be promoted. It is our remaining strength area in production. Unfortunately, over the years ag subsidies have gotten out of control and therefore have gotten a bad name. But we do need to have some kind of minimum protection of this valuable endeavor. We are fortunate to have the natural resources and area to support it and should make the most of it.
To hear the Republicans tell it, everyone who gets food stamps or other public assistance drives a Cadillac to go pick them up. There area always cases of fraud, but we all know that is not the norm. Public assistance is out of hand because for one reason cutbacks in spending have stripped welfare departments of the resources for checking up on their clients (we used to say “recipients”). Also, job training programs are always being cut back. Actually, industry should be taxed specifically to pay for job training programs and then able-bodied folks on assistance should be required to take part in these programs to get assistance. End of story on that one.
And just as the Bible says: there will always be the poor among us. And we know there will always be the unemployed. In fact, with the lighting advance of technology that continues to displace human workers this will continue to be a vexing problem. I personally think that workers would do well to invest in their own form of unemployment insurance, either through some private investment means and/or some alternative (legal one that is) to the regular job. People growing up today are going to need to be multi-skilled no doubt. And maybe workers should pay part of the premium for their government unemployment insurance. As of now, employers are taxed for that (it probably should be both).
But the one thing that really bothers me in choosing between tweedle dee and tweedle dum is that neither candidate gives me the hope that the U.S. will extricate itself from the wars and militaristic intrigues (drone attacks) that are draining our economy and killing off or maiming for life a portion of our population and making us look ugly in the eyes of the world. Don’t get me wrong. I am in support of a strong defense, offense, not so much, with the exception that once committed to a justified war of self defense, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Maybe the coming debates between Obama and Romney will bring things more clearly into focus.
In my original version of this post I used quote marks on the Bible passage, but have now omitted them since it was not necessarily exact word for word, just the idea. So in the interest of accuracy and to avoid contextual confusion or argument I omit the quote marks.