May: A Better Republican Candidate Assessment/The Three I Oppose
Well to me, it’s better than any other I’ve seen. I’ve watched them all as completely as you can from outside their inner circle (in other words, by public lights. And I don’t, as many even supposed “experts” do, toss out an assessment of a candidate based on stories initially promulgated by people who are for some reason opposed to him or her.
I will discuss all of the announced and potential Republican candidates and the factors I see involved in their actual or potential candidacy as one who makes a diversion of watching such individuals and their situation in society. Obviously, these are my personal observations and will disturb others who disagree, and I’m well aware of that. I only ask that you be aware that I watch these individuals, America’s values and its current situation very carefully. And you may disagree, but I guarantee you that I care most about the welfare of America and am being as honest as I can be. I could live with the others, though I have favorites. But I will list three candidates that I strongly oppose. I had written four, and only one I have a personal aversion to. But Trump said he isn’t going to run, so maybe that’ll save me some scorn. But I would support these three if they are nominated, but with great sadness, as America is in a precarious position such as it has not seen since The Civil War. And now is no time for a mere placeholder like most of our presidents have been.
We need a real leader with a vision of American principles who can rouse and move the American masses; as much as possible across parties and other divisions. I believe that has become much more difficult, as people are most commonly moved by anger at groups not their own. If you have read much of what I’ve written before, you’ll know that I’m very pessimistic about America’s prospects as it stands. But, I’m not looking for a candidate who evinces only pessimism. This person has to WIN. So I want a potential winner who will say, “It’s dark and it may be tough, but we can get out by reasserting and reestablishing American principle. I would like to see more drastic changes than he proposed, but Rep. Paul Ryan did something like this when he said, “We’ll have to restructure entitlements over the long-term, because if we don’t, we are heading for calamity.” And, he presents it with an optimistic smile: It’s a dire situation, but we can escape calamity if we will do THIS…NOW. I think these four either can’t or won’t revive fundamental American principle. I don’t think they have even a shot of reviving a terribly ailing America as its President. We have seen an avid following expressed for three of them, so I expect darts. But aside from my opposition, I tend to think none of them will be nominated in any case. I had said Trump didn’t look serious, had no history of the things he was saying, showed no philosophical framework or coherence, and that I still thought he wouldn’t run. And he isn’t. And, I don’t feel like a genius for being right about that. So to continue:
There is much I like about Ron Paul. He is scrupulous about The Constitution, which is very important; it should be an essential. It is fantastic to hear a representative in Washington talk about and vote in favor of fiscal wisdom and propriety and sound monetary policy. And no one is as clear about this as Paul. I even believe that America has long been overextended around the world. It’s one thing to retain a force in an area for a decade or even two, after a great conflict. But, we have had a large presence in some places around the world for 40-50-60 years and more, and have not asked people to walk on their own. And we should retract our forces as much as possible. I understand that we are not able to intervene at every injustice around the world; especially in our current sad state. I even believe that that there is what is called “blowback” from our interventions around the world, especially from a rabid ideology like radical Islamism. That’s no surprise. But, I don’t believe that blowback is the only threat and we can be safe by burying our heads in the sand. I think that’s fantasy. Even if our own peace and safety were our only concern, such an idea of “safety” is something of a world gone by, as jets flying into and collapsing perhaps the two largest commercial buildings in the world, killing thousands of people, aptly demonstrates.
I also think there are moral concerns in a world that we can quickly circle, and transmit images and sound pretty much immediately. If we can’t do everything, we must strategically weigh the situation and the costs and consider what we should and can do. But, when Paul is asked about the horrible things that nature and men prevail on one another and what we should do about it, and he shakes his head and shrugs, I am left stone cold, like I’m listening to another species. It’s like when I listen to him talk about fiscal and monetary policy, I’m walking barefoot through plush grass on a beautiful day. And then we arrive at what is to me a steep cliff. I won’t go there. We should only put our incredible service men at risk when necessary and prudent. But, I won’t shrug at the abuse and misery on non-American people. Ron Paul is a former Air Force man and a patriot. I’m not worried about him defending an assaulted America. He supported the action in Afghanistan after 9/11. But, it was too late for 3000 Americans and a huge piece of American structure and commerce. The whole point of Bush’s policy shift was to confront threats while they were bred. I’ve long said that it’s difficult to imagine my children’s generation passing without seeing the detonation of a nuclear device in a city; probably an American one if we don’t collapse as a power before then. I understand Paul’s sense of the American founders’ counsel to avoid foreign adventures and entanglements. But that was another world. Paul’s no doubt vigorous response could be too late for hundreds of thousands or millions of people. I’m very libertarian relative to the federal government, but if that kind of dangerous fantasy and human indifference is what is counted as libertarian, I’m not that, and the walk is over.
Gary Johnson is a libertarian like Paul but discusses things from a business perspective. And he’s right about the positive product of liberty in producing prosperity, and the lack of it as suppressing it. I’m a social conservative, but I agree that most such decisions can only be managed at state and lower levels. I even agree that federal drug laws have been an expensive waste of money and humanity. That should also be more locally regulated. But Johnson’s frank low-key logic won’t likely set the world on fire. And I suspect his foreign policy inclinations would be similar to Paul’s. But, I like Paul’s military experience and constitutional emphasis better. So plug Johnson into commerce and Paul into Treasury and keep them the heck away from the oval office! I’m not terribly worried about it (Romney scares me more), but they merited discussion.
Speaking of Mitt Romney, he’d run away with it if it were about looking professional, and it seems like it is for some. Many think he’d be good for the economy because he’s rich and has experience with large organizations. That’s a complete non sequitur. It does not follow practically or logically. Set aside that the president is not intended to “run” the American economy and can’t. A president can only gum it up or help get government out of the way of the American people. But think about it: are you really concerned about the welfare of established large organizations, mostly corporations more than opportunity for the entire society? Most new efforts, innovations, jobs and FUTURE successes are created by small business entrepreneurs. What about them? Here’s an example of how Romney is on another team, however intentionally or not.
In 2008, Mike Huckabee was in favor of The Fair Tax, which after a rebate for every individual of expenses up to the poverty level, would eliminate all other taxes and replace them with a sales tax, which would leave discretion over their expenses to individuals and business efficiency rather than tax policy, and be a boom for small businesses with good ideas. Mitt Romney was not. Why not? Well, I haven’t asked him over coffee, but his corporate official supporters are already successful and pay teams of accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to use and win big breaks in the tax code and market favor. They don’t want to lose their loopholes. They don’t want instead to pay a sales tax on their luxuries. Mitt Romney is the man for established, not future, winners. And, I think Democrat mouths are watering to run against what they will easily portray as an out-of-touch Republican rich guy. And in all I’ve seen in watching him for years and closely over the entire 2008 campaign, including my state convention, I’ve gotten no sense that he fully understands and prizes the genius of our constitutional system. And we don’t even need to talk about his campaign shape-shifting or his fierce, expensive and dishonest characterizations of his opponents, particularly his closest rivals McCain and Huckabee.
I do want to defend Romney where I can. Though he’s been pragmatically driven on issues and in disparaging other Republicans, beyond his political ambition, he seems like a nice man with a nice family. Especially today, that’s not enough. Where everyone thinks he’s vulnerable is in defending Romneycare in Massachusetts. I agree in a definite sense, but not as its usually portrayed. People zoom in on the mandate: “It’s just like Obamacare.” I agree that it was imprudent, and it is having cost troubles, is restrictive of consumer liberty, and is creating problems with industry professionals and organizations. However so far, the majority of Massachusetts likes it, though I think that will change as things get worse and people leave. But even the analysts who are supposedly informed say that he hasn’t explained why ObamaCare is unconstitutional and RomneyCare isn’t. Am I the only one who sees that these analysts say things like this about politicians, even immediately after those politicians have done exactly the opposite of what the commenter is saying? It’s just an example of how perspectives quickly harden and are impenetrable by the facts.
As I was saying, I don’t think it was wise; Massachusetts is still too large a jurisdiction to effectively impose such a mandate on the public. Romney has explained exactly how ObamaCare is unconstitutional and RomneyCare is not, and state vs. federal jurisdiction in The Constitution is NO SMALL MATTER! A state mandate is not unconstitutional! Just dumb. Do you know that at the very time that The First Amendment was established saying there could be no established religion, most states had established religions? That was not prudent and now it’s gone. But, it wasn’t unconstitutional! I think RomneyCare is just another example of an administrator trying to do his customers’ business (it’s Massachusetts after all) who was not clear enough on the virtues and operation of liberty to stop and explain why Massachusetts should look for better options…or a Democrat governor.