I’m eagerly awaiting the presidential debates, the first one scheduled for Oct. 3. I would hope they will bring some clarity to the campaign, particularly on the GOP side. I mean I know they hate Obama, but that is hardly a reason for me or anyone else to vote for Mitt Romney.
Romney is vague on so much. He’s going to repeal Obamacare. He’s going to save parts of it. His campaign says, no, whoops, he’s going to repeal all of it (he really ought to consult with his advisors before he says anything). And it seems to be a leap in logic that he is against Obamacare when he was essentially the architect of it with his own Massachusetts plan when he was governor there.
And then there is this assumption that we are all supposed to buy into that Romney is some kind of economic guru because he supposedly pulled some economic miracle and saved the Olympics when they were in Salt Lake City and that he started from nothing (hardly) and became a millionaire, some say billionaire, when he and some friends developed something called Bain Capital. Well there are a whole lot of rich businessmen but that in and of itself does not qualify them or mean that they would be a good president.
I do think, though, that Romney could have an opening in the area of balancing the budget — I’ll get back to that.
We don’t know much about how Romney would handle foreign policy. And while at a time of economic crisis at home the concentration among the electorate is no doubt on domestic affairs, we have seen via the events over this past week (and ongoing) that what happens in the world has consequences. The Islamist (or so-called Islamist) extremists are out there and will use anything, such as a hate film produced by a scoundrel, to attack us and raise general havoc (the ambassador and three staffers killed in Libya; riots all over the Islamic world, and even Australia (this just in from CNN)? Yikes! Demonstrators in Australia are said to be chanting: “Obama we like Osama…” and calling for the beheading of anyone who insults their prophet. As I said in my previous post, while sometimes good old-fashioned pre-World War II isolationism appeals to me, it does not work because we depend upon world trade and always have since the founding of the U.S.
Oh I hate to say this, but maybe George W. Bush was correct in that we are in a perpetual war with extremist Islam (I wish I had a better name for it; I hate to denigrate anyone‘s religion, but the bad guys hide behind the veil of Islam). If we just simply ignored things, the extremists would take over and then have power to really threaten us, economically and physically.
But how we handle this seemingly perpetual war is the question. We cannot fight full out on multiple fronts all at the same time.
The Republicans don’t seem to have an answer. You will recall that they almost simultaneously criticized President Obama for not sending troops into Libya, when rebels began their push to depose Gaddafi, and at the same time for doing anything there. And I think I just read that Romney was one of those who had conflicting ideas at the time.
The Republicans are ambivalent about democracy when it comes to other nations. They say they promote democracy world wide, but they seem to be more comfortable with dictators (and the Democrats have been guilty of this too over the years) when they provide stability needed for business transactions and in the past to protect against communism. That is why the GOP was and is a little wary of the so-called Arab Spring (democracy movement).
And as I also said in my last post (do I ever say anything new? I try to), when you push for or support democracy in other nations you never know what you will get. You might get a weak government that is susceptible to pressure from our enemies or who outright supports our enemies.
At any rate, it is all very confusing and complex, that is why we need candidates to spell things out better.
Back to an opening for Romney:
If Mr. Romney really is the economic guru, then maybe he could lay out a plan to balance the federal budget and pay off or down the national debt. But there would need to be some specificity. I don’t think President Obama has a clear plan, except that by some wild projection that it will be done after he is gone.
It would take guts for a candidate to face the American people and tell them what has to be cut and how much they might have to pay for our nation to remain solvent — and while I am not well schooled in economics, I am sure that we cannot survive much longer with the ever-mounting red ink.
Then again, honesty, such as I will raise your taxes, does not lead to election victory: just ask Walter Mondale.