I am apolitical. I tend to distrust all politicians. I don’t care about their political party.
I also (sadly) think that we are seeing the beginning (not the end) of a transformative process in American politics that will force a reworking of the political landscape to fit the changing demographics of the nation.
That takes me to Mitt Romney. I think Mitt Romney seems to be an honorable man. He seems to have been successful with his money.
I hope he does not become president.
Let me explain. While I don’t have any real problems with Mitt Romney himself, there are quite a few people who he has allied himself with; people whom he will owe big if he wins, that I don’t particularly care for. These tend to be far right wing extremists who don’t seem to grasp a great deal of pragmatism or negotiation. Barrack Obama, for all of his faults (and he has plenty of them!), got elected by a more moderate electorate, and as such has not catered extensively to the extremists on his side of the aisle.
So, how did a guy who once got elected governor of the fairly left wing state of Massachusetts, the same state once almost renamed “Kennedy”, and saw its state capital of Boston renamed “The Ol’ Watering Hole”, fall in with some arch right wing folks?
This article has an interesting take on that. To no one’s surprise, Romney’s alliance with the far right is hardly that of a true believer. That is, Romney’s transformation from a moderate Republican in New England to a candidate carrying the standard of the far right is one of convenience. The writer contends that the critical moment in history was in 2006 with George Allen and macaca-gate.
For those who don’t remember, the fairly popular Senator Allen was on his way to easy re-election when at a campaign rally he spied a former quizbowl player named S.R. Sidarth taking video for the local Democrats. Allen pointed him out to the crowd of supporters, and then referred to home as “macaca”, a term from Africa that is considered a racial epithet. Given that Allen’s mom is from Tunisia, essentially squelched his attempt to claim he had never heard the term before.
Allen, who had been considered a front runner for the ’08 Republican, was suddenly tainted goods. The author claims that the moment the right leaning Allen was out, it created a vacuum which Romney jumped in to.
This sets up an interesting situation that we are seeing unfold; potentially more historic than the previous election.
I don’t know when we last were in a position in history where the incumbent president, in an economy this poorly during peace time, won re-election. I know that if it has ever happened, it has been a long time (I seem to think the economy of 1936 was already in recovery from the Great Depression, and was even better than now). While polls can be wrong, and this is far, far from a slam dunk (Obama has isolated quite a few supporters from ’08, and who knows what happens between now and Election Day), the Republican Party could be looking at a massive embarrassment in November.
If Mitt Romney, with the support of the far right, cannot defeat a president who is ruling over the worst economy in half a century (and to be fair this is largely not President Obama’s fault, and there is little he could have done, though not too many people realize that), it will call into question the current model of the Republican Party. It will become clear that the Republican Party will have little choice other than to moderate, or for the last few moderates to abandon the party.
With the demographic shifts coming to the United States, the latter option above would likely hasten what I suspect will be the eventual end of the GOP and its replacement with something different. There will always be a far right in the US, though its composition I think will be changing in the coming decades.
In relation to my previous post, I also predict the Cubs will continue not winning the World Series … so we’ll have to see what percent of my predictions come true.