The presidential election will occur one year before the New Jersey election for governor. It is a good day to talk about this because the poll is out. So here goes my take on the politicians dueling for the highest public office in the nation:
Of the republican candidates, all but Ron Paul are unprincipled, ignorant of world affairs and/or economics, lack commons sense, lack empathy, are religious fanatics, or are narrow minded.
In my opinion, I would not go with any of them from here to the door. That governor Christie endorsed Romney tells more about Christie than about Romney.
Ron Paul however is a very interesting candidate because he realizes that the United States is at the conjuncture that Great Britain was at the end of WWII: That we are broke. The British ditched the conservative government of Winston Churchill even before the war was over and rapidly dismantled the empire within a decade. They could no longer afford the far-flung deployment of troops and ships and the British people demanded better living conditions after the sacrifices of wartime. The bulk of the war-time royal navy was sold for scrap metal.
We are at a more or less similar stage and Ron Paul alone understands that. He advocates a policy of fiscal austerity and non-intervention and that is quite ok with me. It is time to take care of home.
Where Paul leaves to be desired is in some (not all) of his internal proposals. He wants to dismantle the Federal Reserve and go back to the gold standard. That could lead to widespread inflation, among other things. Inflation is a great enemy of the working and middle classes. He wants to transfer a number of legal issues to the states which is a sound constitutional principle but take for instance Roe vs. Wade: Women’s right to choose would be left to the states and I have no doubt that some states would ban abortion altogether. That is bad.
I believe he would de-regulate Wall Street too and that means trouble because Wall Street, plain and simple, has no scruples.
On the other hand he is the only one recognizing that the war on drugs is lost – and nonsensical – and that the government role is not to protect people from themselves. I agree with that position to a great extent although I limit myself to propose the legalization of marijuana; not all illicit drugs . But disbanding the FDA and the EPA, as Paul advocates, would be disastrous.
So, he has a number of very good things and others not so good.
President Obama: The great disappointment. How great my disappointment is no one can gauge. In my opinion, he is a political opportunist who gives with both hands, but always more to the right than to the left. All his compromises are tilted toward the “haves” to the detriment of the “have-nots”. In healthcare reform, he forcefully delivered millions of new customers to the insurance industry without creating a public option. The insurance industry gave concessions like extending coverage to 26 and other things but nothing prevented them from increasing premiums. The tax compromise of November 2010 saw an extension of unemployment benefits for, I believe, 13 weeks but the republicans got the lion’s share of the deal with the extension of the Bush cuts. The reduction of the social security tax is like a fix for a junkie which will contribute to the eventual demise of the system for insolvency. It is not a real tax-cut; it is stealing from the young.
I wrote about the sham with the NLRB a few days ago.
Has the president signed NDAA 2012 with the detention provisions? If so, it has been done in a very quiet manner because I have not seen any report in the media. I include here the following video: It is from the Ron Paul campaign but what it says is true:
If president Obama signs (or has signed) NDAA 2012 as-is and Ron Paul is the republican opponent in November 2012, I will fully support Ron Paul knowing full well I will be opposing him in a number of things later.