All about ideas…

Can a Moderate Support a GOP Presidential Candidate?

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Kevin Drum, a left leaning pundit for Mother Jones Magazine, writes that considering President’s Obama’s polling numbers a GOP candidate could win the 2012 election. If so, Drum argues that the GOP candidate should be Mitt Romney as he would be the least likely amongst the frontrunners to harm the nation and our economy.

CK Chesterton - Asking for MoneyHere’s my point of view.

According to Pew’s typeology, I’m a typical liberal, although I would argue against such a label as I consider myself far more of a moderate who is capable of the kind of self-examination required to put welfare of the nation first. But if I can be considered a liberal, then here’s my thinking.

– Cain, Perry, and Bachmann are downright frightening because they lack the intelligent insight into domestic economics and foreign policy. Just because you think you’d enjoy a beer with someone running for President of the most powerful nation on earth at a backyard barbecue does not mean that person would be a great President. The last time the nation voted that way, we got GW Bush…and the worst economic and foreign policies in my 65-year old lifetime. And believe me, I remember Eisenhower’s first term. No matter how many voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, I don’t believe middle of the road voters will choose any of these candidates in a general election for President.

– Gingrich is gaining favor as the latest “anti-Romney” candidate, but he has a history of going off the track and saying truly dumb things. Amongst the GOP, Gingrich is praised as a great thinker…but is that really true? Much of what he says appear to me to be warmed over conservative mantras, only made new sounding via his ability to spin the argument. He’s been shown to be ego-centric and narcissistic, lacking in moral and ethical values, introduced the worst ethical policies into the House (i.e. pay to play by selling of committee seats to the highest fund-raisers), and advocated denying the voting franchise to non-property holders (i.e., renters should not have a right to vote). After nearly 150 years of denying voting privileges to some people, all citizens now have the right to vote regardless of their station in life or their wealth. Yet, Gingrich would set back liberty for all by 50 years. His are hardly great ideas; most are or have been an affront to liberty, justice, and democracy for all.

– Huntsman sounds like the most centrist candidate, but that’s because he doesn’t garner much of the media’s spotlight. Yes, he does believe in science, i.e. global warming and evolution, but it must be remembered that he also said he supports the Ryan budget. He said he would sign it into law as President, if it landed on his desk.

That’s hardly the views of a centrist who recognizes that the wealthy have made out extremely well over throughout the Bush 2 years. While the middle class realized an average of $1.50/hr wage increase throughout the Bush years, wealthy Americans saw an increase of $10,000/hr increase. Yet, Huntsman would give the wealthy even more while asking seniors and all other income classes to pick up the financial tab.

I grew up believing in a classless American society in which the tax code was considered a moral document that asked those who had prospered the most from our democratic system to give back the most to support the needs of the country; that each person had an equal opportunity to succeed or fail based on each person’s abilities (and that the system needed improving to ensure those accepted societal values via better education and proven anti-poverty measures); and that there was a balance among the needs and desires of business, workers and the general populace which the government helped to insure.

It’s obvious the Ryan budget discards those time-tested values which makes Huntsman’s approval of the Ryan budget all the more alarming. Plus, I’ve yet to see an analysis of how Utah fared after he left office. Remember he left office early in the Great Recession. Have his policies mitigated the worst effects of the Recession in Utah? What are the poverty and unemployment rates in Utah? In other words, what are the current results of the policies he put in place?

– Romney is…well, who knows. He governed as a liberal in a liberal state; and says he’s a conservative now that the GOP has gone utra-conservative. He appears guided by polls, not by beliefs. The reason I chose to vote against Hillary Clinton was because she appeared to choose policy positions based on polling data. It seems Romney has chosen the same political route. I don’t want a president who blows with the polling data winds, but one who has a core belief system based on logic, reason, and what is best for all American families and businesses. Essentially, I want someone I can trust to care about and look out for me, my family, my community and my state…while preserving the essential constructs of the Constitution and the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

The GOP may end up choosing Romney because he most probably is the one leading candidate who can garner enough support amongst less ideological voters, but he is also an unknown quantity.

As President, will he be swayed by the furthest right wingers of his party in Congress and sign into law policies that inevitably will harm our economy and our international standing? Has he the backbone to stand up to obviously inferior and destructive policies put forward by Congress? Will he demand policies that level the business playing field so big businesses do not have special benefits or tax breaks that smaller businesses are incapable of enjoying? Will he continue to protect the wealthiest investor class over average middle-income workers? Will he care about leveling the tax and regulatory playing field so no person or company enjoys special benefits? Will he put America and her interests first over any other country, regardless of the pressure to do otherwise? Will he treat all other nation’s people’s and governments with an equal hand, remembering the special status that our Constitution and Declaration of Independence play in the minds of people the world over? Can he assure American families that our precious children will not become more cannon fodder for more ignoble foreign wars? Will he be able to acknowledge the people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, creed, gender, economic status, or consensual adult relationships? Will his desire to be elected for a second term trump all moral, ethical, and policy considerations to give greater weight to moneyed interests who would use the political system to their own advantage regardless of the consequences to the country? Does anyone know?

As that Pew labeled liberal, I ask all these questions because I’m concerned about our nation and our people heading further into a globalized 21st century wherein the US probably will not be the world’s largest economy but can still retain the global leadership position based on how we behave now and how we interact with other people’s going forward. Regardless of where you go in the world, the US occupies a special position in people’s minds. That position is of a nation always working towards more equality and opportunity, where even the lowliest can rise to the greatest of heights if he or she has the talent and works hard, where we still believe the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Beyond all else, I believe these words – the yearning to breathe free and the golden door of opportunity – led my ancestors in the early 17th and 18th C to these shores. If we choose to slam those doors closed now to aid and protect the most wealthy and, thereby, decrease opportunities for all to succeed according to their individual abilities, we have violated our ancestors’ beliefs in our nation as well as the beliefs of the peoples of the world.

Can any GOP candidate for Congress or President state unequivocally that they believe in the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and in the hopes and dreams of our forefathers for equality of freedom and opportunity, regardless of wealth or power? If so, I’ve not seen it throughout the last decade or so.

Written by Valerie Curl

November 16, 2011 at 9:48 AM

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