After Ron Paul was unsuccessful in his bid for the Republican nomination for President, I lost particular interest in the White House race this year. If the American electorate really are daft enough to re-elect the man who has racked up more debt on their credit card than all his predecessors combined, then dammit, they deserve him.
Not that Romney is the ideal candidate to succeed him, though. All I have read about the man seems to suggest that, as a political leader, he makes a good businessman. As a Republican governor of the state of Massachusetts, he was very good at working with the Democrat-controlled state legislative assembly, and achieved a lot of outcomes for his fellow Bay Staters that were broadly hailed as welcome and necessary.
The trouble is, these are far from ordinary times. The United States stands on the brink of an abyss, economic, social and moral in nature, and only the blindest followers of the incumbent (which, predictably, include large sections of the Fourth Estate) deny this most basic, arithmetic reality. What is called for now is not a compromiser, a vacillator, an accommodater. These things are, sadly, what Willard Mitt Romney appears to me to be.
What is needed is a Fighter. One who is capable of perceiving the true nature of the problem, who is prepared to do what is needed to avert the economic catastrophe that America continues, Pollyanna-like, to kick into the future in ever-shortening increments. One unafraid of making enemies. One more interested in doing what is right than doing what conventional political wisdom decrees achievable.
Can Romney be that man? I certainly hope so. It isn’t impossible. But it will mean displaying a depth of character that I have failed to notice in my (admittedly brief) reading of his history. As a creature of the corruptly “capitalist” system that allowed the current situation to develop in the first place, he seems to me to be merely one more part of the problem, rather than part of any meaningful solution.
His running mate, Ryan, is another matter. I like the cut of his jib. Despite his tender age, he has a dozen years’ worth of experience in Congress, and is well-placed to deliver a budget that at least starts to reverse the malaise that threatens to drag America from its superpower status in a continually decreasing time frame.
Which candidate would produce better outcomes for Australia? Historically, Republican administrations have been marginally better for Australia. In truth, Australian and U.S. administrations have always worked well together, regardless of the political hue of each. The Hawke Labor government got on famously with the Reagan administration. Same with the Howard coalition government and the Clinton administration. The main difference, slight though it has been, lies in Democratic support for protectionism of its unionized industries, and agricultural export subsidies. Though even these differences are likely to be overwhelmed by the date with reality America seems certain to face when the next president, whoever it is, flashes his country’s Platinum Amex card and finds it refused.
As you know, I’m drowning in work at the moment, but I’m throwing the bar open on election night from the first mainland closing times (2300 UTC, 1800 EST, 1500 PST, 0900 Wed AEDST) when I’ll be be here until a clear winner is announced. So if you’re not at a physical election night party, you’re welcome here at LibertyGibbert’s virtual one. Even if you’re not a regular commenter, I will be on hand to approve all comments. Will Brucker Bummer be saved by a freak weather event? Or will the Oath of Office next January be sworn on the Book of Mormon? Time will tell.
See you then.