January 06, 2012

And Now the Presidential Race Really Begins!

One must begin somewhere.

"He came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming. 'This is a dangerous world,' he said for no apparent reason, 'and this cat [Obama] isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you'." Quote attributed to George W. Bush in 2008.
It's 2012 now, a leap year, and thus a Presidential election year. I'm sure we're all on the edge of our seats. The chief protagonists in the drama would appear to the incumbent; Mitt Romney, former merger-and-acquisition hatchet man for Bain Capital; and Ron Paul, a country obstetrician from Texas. If Obama is reelected, nothing will change. If Romney is elected, nothing will change. If Paul is elected, things will change in dramatic and unpredictable ways.

Most liberals actually want Ron Paul to win, without saying so out loud. They go about saying this in different ways, such as announcing confidently that Ron Paul has no chance of securing the Republican nomination, let alone winning the whole shebang. Once you have safely sidelined a candidate, marginalized him out of the Reality Zone, you are then free to speak wistfully about what it would be like if he were actually the President without saying, you know, that you want him to be President. This is how the game is played in our politically correct culture. Ron Paul has some dodgy things on his record concerning white supremacy and abortion, not to mention his unrealistic ideas of trading brain surgery for a dozen eggs, et cetera, and these positions mean that liberals must always be careful not to endorse him. Out loud, that is. Liberals can only support someone who agrees with them on absolutely everything - the slightest deviation from the liberal catechism means the candidate is out. I have observed since my earliest days of familiarity with liberalism, on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in the Roaring Sixties, that liberal orthodoxy is enforced far more stringently than its conservative counterparts. Everyone must think the same thing about everything.

Still, liberals know that only Ron Paul is saying things that make any sense whatsoever. Liberals realize that Paul is savaged by the Mainstream Media because he threatens their meal ticket, the USA as a colossal empire. America as the Big Deal of the world is the basis of life in the Imperial City of Washington, D.C. The USA can't become France, or something. Thus, Paul is criticized as an "isolationist." Think for a moment about what this means. What other country in the world has 750 military installations worldwide? What other country has been fighting wars in as many as six countries during the last five years? What other country began and maintained two large-scale ground wars halfway around the world with troop commitments in excess of 200,000 soldiers for years at a time? What other developed country spends over two-thirds of its income tax revenue on the military, espionage and security?

It is only because we have become accustomed to the insane that a commonsense idea such as closing all of the foreign bases, bringing all soldiers home and scaling back the defense budget by 25% (all ideas of Ron Paul's) sound so "extreme" and "radical." Naturally, one can see that what is actually extreme and radical is the status quo. A person who argues for the alteration of the insane status quo is criticized as unrealistic and "kooky." Similarly, Ron Paul believes that American citizens should not be assassinated by their own government without presentment of charges and some kind of hearing, at the very least.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are totally fine with American citizens being assassinated by their own government without charges or hearings of any kind. It's the New Normal in America, so it's okay with them. In Barack's case, he might have qualms but I think George W. Bush, bless his heart, had the O Man about right. Obama simply lacks the inner resources to push for anything different, so he goes along with the hyper-conservative flow of modern Imperial Washington. Wherever that leads, secret drone missile attacks on faceless enemies, killing of civilians, assassination of Americans, indefinite detention without trial, it doesn't matter: if this is what the country does now, it's okay with him because it's just way too much trouble to oppose it, and more crucially, people might not think he's tough enough.

Ron Paul doesn't mind being a kook. This is his great strength. I really have no idea what his personal qualities are beyond that, what it would be like if he actually had to govern the country. In that sense, he is the same mystery that Barack Obama presented. What Ron Paul mainly is can be characterized as a series of startling positions that are way out of the mainstream of the dominant Center-Right politics in this country. The other two guys will just float along in the mainstream and change nothing.

Gee, if only Ron Paul had a realistic chance, which of course he doesn't, it would be a tantalizing opportunity to effect real change. Glad I'll never be faced with that choice.

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