My thoughts on the presidential election cycle

Edit: 02/08 11:58 – Added link for Santorum wants to impose ‘Judeo-Christian Sharia’

Melissa’s blog post And I Approve this Message, has inspired me to type up my own thoughts on the current presidential election cycle.

Full disclosure: I’m a pretty liberal person on social issues. I pro-choice, pro-marriage equality/gay rights and I’m against the death penalty and I’m sex positive. I have just a smidgen of libertarian sprinkled in as I think drugs should be legalized and I don’t believe the US should be the world police. On fiscal issues, I don’t have a really strong opinion. I don’t think the country should be run like a business (share holders making profits???) and I think trying to simplify something like the largest economy in the world by comparing it to a household budget is a gross oversimplification and just doesn’t work. Generally I like the idea of paying as you go but I think there is something to the idea that it’s cheaper now than ever to borrow money and the US needs to invest in infrastructure… especially transportation infrastructure that isn’t related to cars. So anyhoo… onto the election!

President Obama

I voted for President Obama and I was happy to do so. I really thought he would bring the change he campaigned on. I believe he had the best of intentions and truly wanted to bring change but I think the system is bigger than a single president. An example that comes to mind is President Obama’s desire to close Gitmo. I believe the President wanted to get it closed but just couldn’t get it done because of Congress. I’m not saying Congress has all the blame because a great president can figure out a way to get shit done. I’d say 30/70 is the percentage of blame on that one with the President having 30% blame.

I have three main complaints about President Obama.

  1. President Obama isn’t liberal enough. He’s basically a 90’s Republican in my mind. I think he should do more on social issues.
  2. President Obama is no different than President George W. Bush on foreign policy. He basically followed President Bush’s plan on withdrawing from Iraq and even ramped up the war in Afghanistan.  Related to this issue is President Obama’s continued support for things like the Patriot Act, indefinite detention etc.
  3. President Obama gives up too much to the Republicans. In his attempts to be bipartisan, he tries to negotiate but just ends up looking foolish and weak to the tea party obstructionists in the House.

Governor Romney 

I don’t have a real strong opinion on Governor Romney. I just think he’s a fair weather politician, saying whatever he needs to say in order to win votes. Yes, a lot of politicians do that but he does it to the extreme. If you compare his policy stances when he was governor of Massachusetts to his stances now, they’re pretty different. Massachusetts is a liberal state so he has to say the correct things. Appealing to the “base” during a presidential election means he has to be more conservative so he’s changed his views on things like health care and abortion in order to appeal to the wacky people. I think Governor Romney is the least evil GOP candidate. On the plus side, at least he’s not anti-science (evolution/global warming).

Senator Santorum

Rick Santorum is bat shit religious crazy and I could never vote for him. His views on family, gays, gay rights, abortion and religion are all wrong wrong wrong. The fact that he’s been able to win some of these Republican primaries is disturbing to me. Here is an example of his lunacy:

The Santorum controversy arose over Republican former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum‘s statements about homosexuality and the right to privacy. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP) taped on April 7, 2003,[1]and published April 20, 2003, Santorum stated that he believed mutually consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts. Santorum described the ability to regulate consensual homosexual acts as comparable to the states’ ability to regulate other consensual and non-consensual sexual behavior, such as adultery, polygamy, child molestationincestsodomy, and bestiality, whose decriminalization he believed would threaten society and the family, as they are not monogamous and heterosexual.

For a chuckle check out Campaign for “santorum” neologism. Will give you a back story of how santorum is defined as the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-producte of anal sex.

Santorum is anti-science too. Also, Santorum wants to impose ‘Judeo-Christian Sharia’.

Scary dude!

Newt Gingrich

His lunacy seems self evident to me. Moon base. Need we say more? The guy is so out of touch and is just making crazy wild promises that have zero chance of becoming reality.  I think he’s just trying to sell more books.

Congressman Ron Paul

Ah, good ole Ron Paul. There was a time in my life that I supported Ron Paul. I think of it like experimental gay sex in college.  There are a few ideas that are very appealing to me… his ideas of personal liberty and a modest foreign policy are still super appealing to me; it’s just all the other crazy shit that ruins it.

I think his views on economics are every bit as bizarre and extreme as Michele Bachmann’s views on the Rapture and Rick Perry’s views on Social Security. Changing to the gold standard and abolishing the federal reserve would send the global economy into a depression that hasn’t been seen in our lifetime.

There is this idea that the government itself is bad and evil and incapable of doing anything but I flatly disagree with that thinking. Yes, business is able to manipulate the government and our laws in such a way as to give themselves an advantage and we have to guard against that. We don’t need less (or more) government; we need better government. We need better regulation.

Ron Paul is also anti-choice and anti-science (evolution).

On the modest foreign policy bit, I used to be 100% on board with what Ron Paul wants, a non-interventionism policy and no nation building but I’ve been reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and I feel my thinking on that topic shifting a bit. There were several opportunities for Great Britain, France and Russia to stop Hitler before he really got going (when Germany reoccupied the Rhineland and when Germany occupied Austria) but they didn’t. I’m betting a President Ron Paul would have played that exactly the same way.

In conclusion, when I vote for President Obama in the upcoming election, I’ll mostly be voting against whichever Republican manages to be crazy enough to become the GOP nominee.

2 thoughts on “My thoughts on the presidential election cycle”

  1. I find it interesting that you chose to use one of my articles to prove your point about Ron Paul. I found your blog from the ping-back I received from your site.

    If you actually read the article you linked, you’ll see that it actually supports Ron Paul’s brand of economics:
    http://www.libertariannews.org/2011/12/01/why-do-people-want-a-gold-standard-when-history-shows-us-it-does-not-last/

    In the article, I discuss the importance of preventing inflation of the money supply. If you believe that banks and politicians should have the ability to print as much money as they like, then the current monetary system is right up your alley. However, if you feel that bankers and politicians should not be able to print endless amounts of money, then Ron Paul’s brand of economics is what you should be supporting.

    Inflation is nothing more than counterfeiting writ large by banks and government. The notion that if we were to stop printing trillions of dollars in fake money that the economy would collapse into a massive depression is ridiculous. The economy is in a depression RIGHT NOW because of all the counterfeiting.

    If you want to actually learn about Austrian School Economics (Ron Paul’s brand of economics), take some time and watch this video.

  2. Apologies if my intent wasn’t clear. I wasn’t necessarily trying to prove my point; I was just trying to give some context to my friends who don’t follow politics very close.

    I think that we can use the current systems and controls to fix the economy. I don’t think you have to throw everything out and start over. I think the politicians and federal reserve should make adjustments a lot more conservatively and make better decisions.

    I don’t think if we were to stop printing trillions of dollars in fake money that the economy would collapse into a massive depression. I think that if we change the entire economic system on which the world economy is based that it would have wide ranging consequences that #PaulBots tend to ignore.

    Whichever system is in place, people can figure out ways to manipulate it to their advantage. We don’t need a less government. We just need better government.

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