Tag Archive | "2012 Presidential Election"

Mitt Romney, Our 45th President?

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Did the demeanor of the two Presidential candidates in last night’s third and final debate provide a signal as to how the individual candidates and their campaign brain trusts view the current status of the race?  To this observer, the answer is a resounding “yes!”


In most debates, the candidate trying to gain ground with the electorate is the aggressor.  In the first debate this year, that individual was Mitt Romney whose campaign, at the time, was languishing as reflected by weak poll numbers and diminished fundraising success.  Romney’s decisive victory over a seemingly detached, disinterested Obama in that first debate fueled a turnaround that dramatically altered the electoral landscape in a way unaffected by the President’s better performance in the second debate.


Last night, in the third and final debate of this Presidential campaign, Barack Obama came out swinging.  With “foreign policy” as its subject matter, the debate provided the President the opportunity to display the detailed insider knowledge that only a resident of the Oval Office can accumulate.  Romney, as has been the case with every challenger to an incumbent President, clearly did not and could not have the same level of subject matter expertise as someone who has been intimately involved for the past four years.


Yet, Romney faired reasonably well.  He agreed with the President often, with contrasts expressed in terms of degree or timing of a particular action or initiative.  The President, on the other hand, was not content to simply state his Administration’s achievements or explanations of purported failures.  Uncharacteristic of most participants that I have witnessed in Presidential debates past, Obama used each answer as an opportunity to attack either Romney’s stated position or Romney himself for purportedly changing his position on an issue.


And, it was this behavior on the part of the candidates that I found telling about last night’s debate.  It appeared to me that the Romney team had made the conscious decision that their candidate should avoid confrontation as much as possible and provide safe answers that would not be a source of significant concern to the general electorate.  The Obama team, however, seems to have decided that this was the moment for the President to “come out swinging” and “knock out” his opponent.


Pardon the sports analogy, but I’ll continue in the same vein.  In short, the President appeared to have tossed up a “Hail Mary” in a desperate attempt to retain his job while his challenger appeared to be “running out the clock.”


It is often said that “actions speak louder than words.”  The actions of the candidates in last night’s debate indicate to this observer that the internal polling done by the campaigns of the respective candidates shows that Mitt Romney has a more significant lead with two weeks until Election Day than the retrospective polls broadcast to the general public would suggest.  In fact, my suspicion is that trend analysis indicates that Romney might be pulling away and that this election might be a Romney landslide, similar to the Reagan landslide in 1980.


Did Obama score enough points to convince voters that they should stay the course with him despite global turmoil and a dismal economic record?  Did Romney appear “Presidential,” a commander who can keep America safe from foreign and domestic threats?  We’ll have our answer on Election Day; or perhaps, a day, week, or month later.  Yet, at this point in time, I’d caution those with heart conditions not to be shocked should Romney win handily.




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Youth equals naïveté.  In our youth, we accept things presented as fact, even if they are untrue, because of our inexperience.  We assume that as we mature, we will be better equipped to separate fact from fiction.  This assumption leads to the perception that we will significantly reduce the baloney told to us, and/or perpetrated by, others.  But when the baloney is stacked high enough to fill a cold-cut factory and then some, we fight a losing battle.

Case in point:

Our law states that any person born in the United States, who holds U.S. citizenship, may run for public office.  While the letter of the law is factual, the underlying truth is that only the wealthy can compete effectively in a political race.  Big bucks allow candidates to air advertisements and bash their opponents on TV and radio.  Big bucks allow candidates to flit about the country, waving the flag, shaking hands, and kissing babies.

While Washington claims that our government is penniless, our two-party candidates are projected to spend $2 billion currying votes for the 2012 Presidential election.  Sixty-eight million of that staggering sum has already been amassed by our incumbent President, who has once again hit the campaign trail.  Since average citizens don’t have this kind of money, the wealthy slip like butter into political office.

Movies such as the classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington have perpetrated the baloney that honest, everyday people represent us in Congress and the White House.  Clearly, they don’t.  In the current Presidential debates, it’s plain to see how candidates prostitute themselves to achieve the Holy Grail (a lifetime in office).  And to retain the Holy Grail, once in power, legislators build their war chests to perpetuate their jobs.

The legislators are, of course, in bed with Corporate America, who continues to slice and pile the baloney high.  We taxpayers are told that Corporate America is sitting on billions of dollars, waiting to see what the future holds for them.  If the past is indeed prologue, like it says on that statue in Washington, DC, then the future looks rosy for Corporate America.  Who among us has forgotten the special tax offered to big business, not to mention $710 billion in bailout money handed out freely like candy on Halloween?

And what did the average taxpayers get?  We got the shaft, that’s what we got!  In return for robbing us of $710 billion in tax money, Corporate America never stopped outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.  Had Corporate America been grateful for the bailout and returned manufacturing to the U.S., countless Americans would be gainfully employed and our economy would be a hell of a lot stronger.  So much for JFK’s pointed directive to the nation, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

It’s nothing but baloney.  I like my bologna with mustard on rye, not spewed by lying, backstabbing weasels in government and big business!

The Dark Horse

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Frequently dubbed the sport of Kings, horse racing provides the origin of the phrase “dark horse,” an unknown horse on which handicappers have difficulty in establishing betting odds.  Later, the term was broadened to apply to any unexpected winner.  In American politics, the term was first applied to James Polk who, in 1844, wrested the Democratic Party’s Presidential Nomination from a field of well-known candidates en route to winning the Presidency that year.

2012 is shaping up as a similar type of year – albeit, on the opposite side of the ledger – as Republicans seek a savior to help them recapture the Presidency, lead America back to its capitalist roots, and rescue the Grand Old Party (GOP) from its own historical proclivities.  Noted for its pattern of nominating the next person in line (i.e., the runner-up in the previous Presidential election cycle’s nominating process) – particularly when running against an incumbent President, the Party has nominated such lackluster candidates as Bob Dole and John McCain, candidates who were not really in step with the Party’s conservative mainstream.

This cycle, it appears to be Mitt Romney’s turn.  Lacking the passion and conservative chops that the Party’s faithful desire most, Romney has been challenged by a host of candidates whose primary credential for the Presidency is that each is not Mitt Romney.  And so, we have seen the rise and subsequent fall of Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul (whose fall is still in progress).  Thus, it appears likely that when the smoke clears, a bloodied Mitt Romney will prevail as the Republican Nominee.

But, something is different this time.  Hailed as among the most defining elections in our nation’s history, the 2012 Presidential Election – coming as it does at the conjunction of the Great Recession, jobless recovery, declining middle class, rising income inequality, worldwide financial crisis, international political and social unrest, exponential growth in healthcare costs, and growing class of senior citizens expecting to receive entitlements in the form of Social Security and Medicare to which they have been paying taxes their entire lives –  may well determine America’s future course.  Are we still going to be a country “of the people, by the people and for the people,” or will we go down the same road as previous republics such as the Roman Empire?

Some, many in the broadcast media included, want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.  Founded on the principles of personal liberty and economic freedom, America and its capitalistic system have been viewed by many as a “shining city on a hill.”  Yet, unfettered capitalism and its close relative, free trade can create a cold, cruel world for those who do not attain at least a middle class income – a class which, by the way, is ceding many of its members to poverty.  Capitalism and free trade care nothing about people, only about costs and profits.  And, our public policies, economic system, and the rise of multi-national corporations are among the most significant reasons why American jobs are being exported to other parts of the world.

Yet, not everyone in our society must adhere to the laws of competition.  As was evident during the economic crisis of 2008, we live in a country that practices Socialism for the wealthy and Capitalism for the working class.  Taxpayer dollars have been used to bailout corporations and financial institutions, despite the fact that these enterprises created the situations that bankrupted them and ultimately used bailout funds to reward their executives through lavish bonuses.  Social Security contributions are still being dumped into the general tax fund and used for projects other than that for which they were intended.  Whatever happened to the Social Security Lock Box?!?

Among the most tried and true paths to wealth in our country is by gaining elective office.  Our political leaders are all extremely well off financially.  They live by a different set of rules, have their own healthcare system, and exempt themselves from many of the laws that they pass (e.g., laws preventing those with insider knowledge from profiting by virtue of that knowledge).  Yet, absent a significant bankroll, the little guy seeking entry into the national political scene is largely shut out; unless, of course, he can secure the support of wealthy Godfathers to whom he will be indebted when he assumes office.  And, when it comes to running for the Presidency, outsiders are not welcome regardless of their financial status.  Remember Herman Cain.

Social programs that make life in America a little less harsh and cruel to the poor and working classes are deemed welfare.  Yet, subsidies to industries (like the now bankrupt Solyndra) are termed investment.

Charity is the balm of a capitalistic society, the salve that eases the consciences of today’s Ebenezer Scrooges – the one percenters like the members of Congress and the captains of industry enriching themselves on the blood, sweat, and tears of their underlings.  Like the unrepentant Scrooge at the beginning of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, they seek profits first, with their consciences and concerns for others running a distant second.

Home and property ownership, hailed as the American Dream and one of the pillars of our society, is a farce, because you never really own your property if you cannot afford the taxes.  Many seniors living on fixed incomes have become increasingly aware of this situation as their fixed incomes vanish before the tidal wave of increasing property taxes and costs of living.  What will become of the American Dream?

In this great struggle to reclaim the soul of America, we the people can only hope for the emergence of a dark horse who has the best interests of our citizens and country at heart.  Then, perhaps, we can create a new America where individual freedom is tempered by compassion, and we reclaim our place as the moral and economic beacon to the rest of the world.

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