Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Candidates: This Is A Choice?

I don't know about you, but frankly I am not the least happy with the Republican candidates for US President. I wouldn't let any of them take my trash to the street, and yet these individuals are supposed to be the ones to save us from Obama's "Hope and Change". Seriously, are these really the best the Republican Party has to offer? For that matter, are they the best the Conservative Movement can muster?

First off, each one is so obscenely rich as to have no real concept what working class stiffs like most us really have to do to get by. Remember Mitt Romney's off-the-cuff $10,000 dollar bet to Rick Perry? Seriously, like it's walk around pocket change. Perry said he didn't gamble and politely turned the offer down (although he has no problem with allowing illegal immigrants to attend college, and at in-state tuition rates. Sounds like a gamble to me). Cain seemed to me to offer the best choice. I mean, here's this hugely successful businessman who can speak in something other than sound bites and doesn't look like a plastic doll. Then all of a sudden these women come out of the woodwork with a sudden case of "guilt" that only by telling "their story" would sooth. Really? Who asked? Since most these trysts happened years ago, why they suddenly feel the need to go to public confessional?

Let's take Michele Bachmann...please (with apologies to Henny Youngman). Lord knows she tries, and listening to her for more than five minutes is pretty trying on my nerves. She staggers over facts that most 9th graders should know. She means well, but is that what we want in a President, someone who means well? Now I admit I like Hunstman. I don't know why. Maybe I just feel sorry for him. He can't buy attention. His stance on issues aren't bad, but he just hasn't been able to get any traction with the voters (which actually means with the media). The same can be said for Rick Santorum. Here's another guy that is struggling to get any attention whatsoever, although, now that Paul and Newt's stars are fading, he's starting to get a longer look.

Ron Paul knows the Constitution like few do (and fewer still among those in Congress). I agree with Paul's belief that American is nothing like what the Founding Fathers intended (in fact, if they could see us now, they'd pay the damn tea tax and shut up). American was supposed to be economically and socially libertarian, but the cold hard reality of the matter is that were aren't, and we aren't likely to be any time soon either. Our Founding Fathers could not have conceived of the changes that have taken place since 1790. The libertarian framework is ideal for small, mostly agrarian societies, but after 1900, those days would have to an end anyway.

However, our Founding Fathers did intend to have a small federal government with the individual states playing a much stronger role, and in that, Ron Paul is right. It's not that we need necessarily a small federal government as much as we need a more efficient federal government with more power returned to the states as originally intended. Where Paul completely loses me is on his foreign policy issues (though it is completely consistent with his libertarian views). To be brief, Paul wants to disengage from the world.

While I agree that we as Americans, need to put America's interests first, we can't simply walk away and hide in some sort of nationalistic cocoon. We do need to cut back on foreign aid and stop acting as the world's policeman. It's time for Europe to take care of Europe and for Japan to start investing in its own defenses now that Godzilla and Mothra are gone. We need to cut back or close our foreign military bases. We need to accept the fact that not everyone wants to be like Americans (not a single country, despite billions of dollars spent on nation building, has modeled their governments on ours) and that means that we need to get out of the regime-changing business. We should ensure free and fair elections and let it go at that.

As for Perry, there's really nothing else I can say about him, which is a polite as I can be. Mitt Romney is the bride no body wants to marry. Every candidate is compared to him. It's as if the Republicans are running in circle and keep coming back to the homeliest girl/boy in the room. John McCain was able to beat Mitt four years ago because he had the better record. Of course, McCain became McDud and the rest, as they say, is history imperfect. For the record, I strongly suspect Mitt would have likely been able to beat Obama.

Lastly, there is ole Newt Gingrich. Newt was the Speaker of the House during the glory days of Bill Clinton (and despite everything, he's still one of my favorite presidents). Anyone remember the "Contract with America" or the so-called "Republican Revolution"? Not much came of either. The GOP failed on both accounts, and the all powerful, finger-wagging conservative Newt got caught doing what he vilified Clinton for doing. Hypocrite. Since getting booted out of Congress, he's found employment as a lobbyist for Big Business, including the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which, in case you've forgotten, helped to put us in this economic mess). As a candidate, Newt has more baggage than a wagon train heading West. He is just as out of touch now as he was then.

All of the candidates have their flaws. The question is which, if any, can beat Obama. Personally, I don't think any can. Most candidates have one or two, and occasionally, three chinks in their armor but are otherwise pretty sound. However, it appears that none of the current crop of candidates has any armor to speak of, while the King (or President in this case) after nearly four years, still has no clothes. Politics has become more than ever the game of the super rich (the current net worth of an average member of Congress is now 2 1/2 times that of the average American while salaries of CEOs are 343 times that of a typical worker).

While it looks like Americans are again going to be forced to go to the polls holding their noses, I have to ask you: where are our real leaders America? When are we going to stop accepting mediocrity from both parties and their candidates and wake up from this illusion of choice? We need working and middle class people who understand what its like to live within a budget, cut coupons, and pull double shifts to make ends meet.

2012 Republican Candidates Bios and Issues:

The Net Worth of the Republican Presidential Candidates:

CEOs earn 343 times more than typical workers:

And One More Thing...

Finally dear readers, I would like to conclude this edition of Another Opinion, and year with a sincere "thank you" for reading. I know we're not going to agree on everything (frankly, that would be scary for both of us). The purpose of AO from the beginning has been to provoke you to think with honest content. We here at AO pride ourselves on tackling touchy issues form a independent and mostly moderate perspective. Extremism, be it from either the Left or the Right, only builds walls and that's the last thing we need in this world. We desperately need real leaders who focus on issues, not party dogma. We need people willing to stand up and say "enough" without worrying about political correctness. Political correctness in the end only breeds fear of the truth and ultimately silence.

We hope you've enjoyed our occasional book reviews, and that you'll check them out. A special "thank you" to all the publishers for sending us their books as well. It's always a pleasure! We would also like to thank all those who link to AO. We sincerely appreciate it.

As long as there is a need to encourage people to think for themselves, Another Opinion will hopefully be around. May you and yours have a happy and healthy 2012. Until the next issue, remember to stand up; speak out; and always to think for yourself!

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