The Problem is Choice

 “We have made no progress on the issues of our time because, frankly, we have too many people, in both parties, who have decided that the next election is more important than the next generation, and our lack of progress on these issues has led to something even more troubling – a growing fear that maybe these problems are too big for us to solve.”

- Marco Rubio on the Senate floor, June 14th

Real hope and change is in the air.
This is a good thing.
I’m just not convinced that the things that actually need to be done will ultimately be done.  I hate being a cynic, but if I’m nothing else in my day-to-day life, I’m a truth-teller.  I really feel that the closer we come to November 2012, we’re going to truly sense the nature of the razor-thin edge on which this nation, society, and culture are impossibly balanced.  For right now, with all of the posturing taking place with regard to whether there is any Republican who can beat Barack Obama, that any generic Republican can beat Barack Obama, or who will emerge from the current field of prospective GOP candidates to challenge Barack Obama, I feel that the greater percentage of people on both sides of the debate – liberals and conservatives – feels that America will always “continue being America”.  While the past six months or so on the American political landscape has not been nearly as flammable as roughly the first year-and-a-half of the Obama administration, all of these people who may feel that “America will always continue to be America” would be wise to note that our society currently bears an eerie resemblance to pre-World War II Nazi Germany: a leader who has – um – “suspect” feelings about the Jewish people, liberties that are being eaten away, a series of wars taking place that seem to have no order, no plan, and no real objectives, and a handful of people crying out in the wilderness who are desperately trying to point out the obvious but are either being simply ignored or outright painted as loons.
Obviously, I can’t speak for any liberals, but my guess is that they generally feel that no Republican is strong enough to defeat Barack Obama and that the implementation of his progressive policies will continue largely unabated, if not through legislation in the House and Senate then through Executive Orders (with which he seems to be setting records, a further indication that the political Left almost always resorts to ruling by force, which is completely contrary to the manner by which they would like the rest of America to view them); conservatives, on the other hand – people who generally don’t involve themselves in political machinations because they’re the people who work, produce, and take care of themselves and their families – probably feel as though America has survived this type of socialistic nonsense in the past (FDR, LBJ, Jimmy Carter) and that the country will inevitably right itself once again.
That the Tea Party is not going away is surely an indication that a lot of everyday people in this country recognize the frightening point at which we find ourselves.  Its continued influence also speaks to two other truths: America is, in a strong way, moving to the right, and if the politicians on the Republican side of the aisle do not have the testicular fortitude to do what must be done – quite possibly at the very real risk of their own political “careers” – then there is going to be a serious degree of push-back from the American people.
It is this concept of “push-back” that I’d like to examine a bit more closely, because believe me, if Barack Obama and a large percentage of Democrats are unceremoniously shown the door in November 2012, I’d make the argument that the battle will not have ended – it will only have just begun.  2008-2012 was the point in American history for which the American liberal, socialist, communist – call them what you will – has been pining, and methinks that they’re not going to leave the stage willingly.
That the American people quickly began to see what this administration and its adherents represented was evidenced early on in gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, in addition to the shocking election of Republican Scott Brown (who has really turned out to be the embodiment of a RINO) to the “Kennedy Seat” in Massachusetts, of all places.  Once November 2010 rolled around, the administration of Barack Obama was pretty much repudiated out-of-hand as a record turnover in the House yielded control of that chamber to the Republicans, and the shift in the Senate was also so significant as to yield de facto control of that chamber to the Republicans in influence if not in actual number.  This swing back towards personal and individual freedom has since been augmented by the collective-bargaining battle in Wisconsin (finally resolved by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in favor of Scott Walker’s attempts to move his state back onto the path of job creation), in addition to similar right-moving swings against the public-sector unions in Ohio, New Jersey, and approximately 20 or so other states.  For Heaven’s sake, even here in Rhode Island, an historic budget battle took place between Democrats  - who dominate the Rhode Island assembly – over this past weekend, part of the resolution of which significantly cut into the power of the unions in our state.  Of course, one should not misconstrue this observation as an edict that Little Rhody is back on the path to financial austerity.  Let’s not get rash.  Rhode Island is still, for the most part, a socialist state that has years and years of financial reform ahead of it if it is to ever once again to be considered anything close to the home of a free people.
Up here we take Confucius at his word.
By all general accounts, roughly 75% of the country either leans right or plainly identifies themselves as conservative.  Obviously, there are a good number of independents in that mix as well, a group that will once again determine the outcome of the 2012 elections.  In terms of demographics, the push-back from the American people that we’ve witnessed since early 2009 (if not even before Barack Obama was elected) has more than likely been spearheaded by “forty-somethings” – a generation of people who could more than likely be identified as either Reagan Democrats or Kennedy Republicans (a point of emphasis: if there are politically-interested people moving amongst us today who continue to exist in the vacuum that JFK would be a far-left leaning Democrat today, then quite frankly, they simply don’t know history.  A JFK clone leading in his prime today would be a right-of-center Republican.  People of this ilk would be wise to do some actual research and read his words rather than falling back on the indoctrination that was fed to them by their university heroes).  These are the people – many for the first time in their lives – who have come to sense what’s happening around them and have come to understand what pure freedom should actually look like.
This push-back has manifested itself in town hall meetings of the sort that many people have never before witnessed, conservative political activism that, quite honestly, may have never taken place in this country, more and more conservatives shedding their fear of speaking out in the face of personal and/or professional recrimination, and, most importantly, at the ballot box.
Of course, the Left is nothing else if not a group of entrenched political fighters who are willing to do whatever it takes to get their way.  Unlike those on the right, those on the Left are unencumbered by moral and ethical considerations; their battle plans have always been historically underwritten by the adage, “the ends justify the means”.  This obviously puts conservatives at a distinct disadvantage, but, as they say in France, c’est la vie.
While we obviously could reference plenty of examples of physically violent push-back on the part of the Left, the more typical form is in their refusal to accept the verdict of elections if they don’t go their way.  The will of the people in a given district, state, or even on a national scale is of no real interest to liberals; bending verdicts to their will is their raison de terre.  Hence, once Scott Walker’s election to the governorship of Wisconsin began to have what they perceived as truly threatening ramifications, we began to witness what could only be considered unfettered craziness – politicians running away from their responsibilities and being regaled as “heroes” for doing so, sit-ins in the Wisconsin state capital during which it was left a disgusting mess, caterwauling for Walker’s recall, threats to the lives of Republican legislators in Wisconsin, vicious attempts to undermine the election of the state’s Supreme Court Justice (an election that would determine the ideological balance of that court for the foreseeable future), and on, and on, and on.  The one that I like best, however, came more recently.  Consequent to the June 14 Supreme Court decision that upheld Scott Walker’s bill effectively ending collective bargaining in that state, many of the leftist groups responded by claiming the decision was an “affront to our democracy”.
I see.
And shoving Obamacare down the throats of and entire nation isn’t?
Talk about having tantrums and merely wanting your way.
Further, I also find rather amusing all the talk about “democracy” that is so loosely bandied about by liberals.  I wonder how many of them are aware that not once in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution is the term “democracy” referenced.  While in the larger picture our nation is, of course, a democracy, it is more specifically – and importantly – a constitutional republic.  There’s a big difference.  The Founders specifically steered away from a pure democracy, because they knew that democracies typically degenerate into mob rule (sound familiar?).  A constitutional republic is more focused on the rights of the individual person.
The nerve of them.
Going forward, though, my guess is that “push-back” is going to take even yet another form, which leads me to a discussion of the emerging field of candidates preparing to challenge Barack Obama for the presidency.  The leaders in the clubhouse to this point who have the political message and capital and/or the financial wherewithal to make a legitimate run at the White House are Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Tim Pawlenty.  The safe bet is obviously Romney, but should he emerge as the GOP candidate, the point that I’m about to attempt to make will only be even further validated.
As I just mentioned, everyone knows that it takes an extraordinary amount of money to be able to wage the type of campaign that will foster a legitimate shot to be elected President.  From where does that type of funding emerge?  We all know the traditionally obvious ones: the Republicans are generally funded by corporations, while the Democrats are significantly funded by the public-sector unions.  As the administration of Barack Obama has unfolded, however, one could make the argument that a truly peculiar case study has emerged.  There’s no question that based upon the policies and practices (such as ignoring court injunctions, etc.) of Barack Obama that he is a socialist.  Those liberals who scoff at the notion are either not nearly as intelligent as they would like to see themselves or as they would like others to see them, simply in denial and refuse to believe it despite all of the evidence that is sitting right in front of them, or deny it simply on ideological grounds in an effort to continue cajoling common-sense people into questioning the fact that 2+2=4.  Which, therefore, begs the question: how did an unabashed socialist manage to convince nearly an entire nation of people to vote for him?
The first and most sensible answer to that question is that he sold himself as a centrist, which he clearly is not; but, fair enough.  The consideration that I want to drive home here and one that I think is very important as it applies to my arguments about the 2012 election pertains to the financial backers of this candidate.  I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that the people and groups who put forward such substantial amounts of money into Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign knew quite well what he was and what he represented.    Why would they do this, though, knowing full well that America is a country of individual human rights and freedoms as well as a capitalist society?  How does that make sense?  The answer is obvious: Barack Obama and his backers were both traveling to the same place but on different trains.  From where I stand, the people financing the campaign – those who are well-entrenched in the global banking circles and on Wall Street – gave the American people someone who would tell them exactly what they they thought the people wanted to hear, a candidate who would then allow them to continue wreak havoc with the global economy under the guise of a message that is full of sound and fury but ultimately signifies absolutely nothing.
After all, if one stops to look at the bigger picture of Barack Obama, it’s really not too much of a stretch to say that he’s just as much corporate Wall Street as any Republican president ever has been.  Go take a look at his backers for the 2008 election and then try to tell me – with a straight face, of course – that those people are interested in social causes.
This, in turn, brings me back to the prospective field of GOP candidates.  As I discussed earlier, the country is swinging hard back to the right; whoever emerges to challenge Barack Obama will have to answer to the voice of the conservative American populace.  What good would it therefore do anyone who plans to significantly contribute to a serious political campaign to “invest” in a man on whom the American people seem to have decidedly turned?  If global bankers and investors wish to continue to have a candidate who will tell the American people what they want to hear while simultaneously functioning as the conduit through which they can continue their power and influence, wouldn’t it make sense to present to the American people someone who seems to be reasonably centrist, albeit this time slightly right-of-center?
Enter Mitt Romney.
Allow me to say several things about Mr. Romney before I express my very general concerns.  First, if we wind up with having to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the choice is obvious; second, his entire platform – a fairly thorough presentation of which can be found here - http://www.ontheissues.org/mitt_romney.htm -  seems to be one behind which a Republican can stand and feel reasonably secure; and, finally, it has been said in the past that Romney does plan to use a significant part of his own fortune to campaign so as to render himself less beholden to the will of others.
Still, however, it just doesn’t “feel” right.  Obviously, I can only speak for myself here, but I’d be willing to bet that there are now a lot more people around this country who find themselves feeling the same way that I do.  Not necessarily about Romney in particular, but that people are now looking more deeply into the positions of candidates who claim to be at the very least Republican if not altogether strongly conservative.  As I said, it’s a pretty good bet that should the Republican nominee win the presidency – and, as of right now, any Republican beats Barack Obama – and the Republicans hold majorities in both houses of Congress, that person and/or people are probably going to be scrutinized more closely than any Republican administration in the last century.  If they fail to deliver on that which the American people are demanding – American principles and freedom – then the American people will look for someone who will.
What is it about Mitt Romney that doesn’t “feel” right?  Well, he didn’t help himself in my eyes when he recently came out and stated that moving forward on green economy initiatives was of paramount importance.  Any Republican that’s going to hitch his wagon to the manufactured crisis and myth of global warming, or climate change, or climate control – whatever the blank they’re packaging it as these days – certainly will never be my first choice.  Do I want a clean environment?  Of course – I just don’t want a clean environment in exchange for the realization of some group’s personal and/or political agenda(s).
Romney also recently refused to sign off on an anti-abortion pledge, which, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me.  As a Catholic, I am personally and strongly pro-life, but I’m willing to let the legislative process take its course.  Unlike a leftist, I’m unwilling to bring violence to a debate to end violence.  What bothers me about Mitt Romney in this instance is that despite his “proudly” having apparently converted from pro-choice to pro-life some years ago, there seem to be quite a few contradictory statements coming out of his mouth on this socially-conservative issue.  My point is simply this:
 
make a freaking decision.  We’re tired of politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth and flip-flopping in an effort to appease everyone at different times and in different places.  You want my vote, as well as the vote of common-sense people who think like I do?  Then be an adult and stand for something.
My sense of Mitt Romney is that he’s just “too perfect a fit” for what it is that many Americans seem to be pining right now.  He’s a good-looking guy, he has an incredibly successful business history, and his overall platform seems pretty strong.  I’ve also no doubt, though, that he will be just as corporate-approved as Barack Obama, maybe even more so.  Right now we have a choice of “tyrannies” – we can either be the servants of government or of corporations.  If I had to make that choice, I’d rather be a servant to someone who knows how to create economic growth and job opportunities, but that’s not always the best scenario, either.
I just feel that Mitt Romney is not the “bold colors” president that we need right now.  He strikes me as the presidential candidate from central casting, a possible choice that may be no choice at all.
When a person takes a step back and really tries to see the entire picture, the struggle in which we find ourselves deeply embedded right now is a struggle between those who wish to rule and those who wish to be free, to once again have the human right to chart your own course without having any person or entity tell you otherwise.  Whether we want to hear it or not, right now we can only choose between fascism of the far-left and fascism of left-of-center.  If it’s human rights of which a person claims to be a staunch supporter, then it’s pretty tough not to look at the Founders as having figured that out a long time ago.  They placed government where it truly belongs – enough government to stabilize a civilization but with the power at its center broken down into such small component parts that it would never pose a threat to an individual’s personal freedom.
Should Mitt Romney maintain his current position as the presumptive Republican nominee in 2012 and eventually become the 45th President of the United States, my guess is that the American people are going to watch him and his administration very closely.  If he fails to turn us back onto the path for which most Americans today seem to be looking, then they’re going to look for someone who can stand for Constitutional principles.
That is where I think the real push-back will begin.
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Comments

  1. Randy Wills says:

    Thanks, John, for a thoughtful and insightful commentary on the presumptive front-runner for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012.

    As I have said more than once on these pages, I do not believe that Mitt Romney is an intellectually honest person.Further, I believe that his motivation to persue the presidency is not based on a passion to serve the people but rather to achieve a personal, family (starting with his father), and his church’s, objective represented by attaining the presidency. In my opinion, these are not valid reasons to persue the presidency, but they certainly explain his “flexible” (read “flip-flop”) positions on key social issues, depending on the venue in which he is campaigning.

    As for his highly touted “business” experience, what most people mean by that is that he knows how to use inherited wealth to create more wealth, just as any other Wall Street money manager or hedge fund/private equity firm does, but that criteria would also qualify any one of the current administration’s economic policy makers for the presidency. There are other candidates, such as Herman Cain, that I would credit with much more applicable “business” experience than Mitt Romney.

    Of course I will vote for Mitt if he wins the nomination, but I will be working for a better choice during the primaries.

    Randy

  2. Gail B. says:

    John, you never cease to amaze me! Mitt Romney doesn’t “feel right” to me, either. Neither does Cain, Perry, Palin, and a few others. The man I would thank the Lord for has not announced his candidacy…yet. (“While I breathe, I hope” ~ SC Motto)

    John, thank you for the time, thought, and effort you put into this excellent article. Great job!

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