Filed under: A Milder Despot
Karl Smith is not enthusiastic about the current crop of GOP candidates.
What is necessary is that the Global Financial system is stable; that the geopolitical realm is as calm as can be managed; that both the Enlightenment and Global Capitalism continue to thrive. And, as a bonus that the First Republic of the United States still stands.
If we can have all that, I am going to call it a win.
Sadly, however, only three GOP candidates gave me confidence that they could contribute to this result. Those were Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. Tim Pawlenty dropped out. Jon Huntsman is going nowhere fast. That pretty much just left Mitt Romney.
While I don’t disagree that this is an acceptable bar to have to clear, I do disagree on who would clear this bar – it’s going to be pretty much everyone currently in the GOP field, save for Ron Paul. The degree to which the DC establishment GOP machine will infiltrate the presidency of any of the candidates might astonish Karl. And outside of Ron Paul, I don’t see a candidate with the conviction to ignore their professional advisors on a question of, say, abolishing the federal reserve.
He also underestimates what has become the lament of grassroots laissez-faire conservatives: the immense pressure to “do something” in light of a crisis. So if we agree that TARP was necessary to secure one of Smith’s above criteria (global financial stability), who do we think would, given the extraordinary power of the Presidency, actually do nothing as they watched the world collapse around them?
At this point in the election cycle, the speechwriters and rhetoricians are running these campaigns. It’s a question of who-says-the-biggest-piece-of-news, not who-has-the-best-plan. That gives publicity to the extreme statements of the Bachmanns and Perrys.
So here’s a question back to Smith: Which of the potential candidates, if they garnered the nomination and won the Presidency, would wreak more havoc upon the world than Barack Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush? Bush is a man described by a good number of historians as the worst president of all time. Would he say that a Bachmann Administration, or a Perry Administration, or a Gingrich Administration are, in his mind, instantly contenders for worst Presidency of all time?
I’m not psyched about the current crop of GOP candidates either. They’re all certainly sub-par and, though I’m a Republican, would be tough to tell if they’d be marginally better than another four years of Obama.
Now, maybe I could be naive and wrong. Maybe these people are legitimately insane and would take a burning sword to the United States’ complacent, affluent status quo as global leader, advisors and beltway elite be damned. But I don’t foresee a global collapse of the financial system, a nuclear war, or Hell on Earth coming during a 2012-2016 GOP presidency.
Well, unless Ron Paul is sitting in the Oval Office.
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