Yesterday, I wrote an endorsement for Gary Johnson to be America’s next President because I found all of the other options unpalatable.
With less than three minutes to spare before the date changes, I will today explain my arguments against them. I will start and end with our two “inevitable” candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney comes with a similar list of credentials to Gary Johnson, being the former Governor of Massachusetts and a businessman himself. Nevertheless, he shows a disturbing inconsistency on key issues without bothering to explain his shifts in opinion to the public. Without him giving any sort of rationale behind his changes of mind, the citizenry cannot trust this man to hold true to any of his promises or policy positions. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Gov. Romney is that in 2006, he proposed a statewide health insurance plan which mandated Massachusetts citizens to buy themselves health insurance. This law is the direct inspiration for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare, many of whose architects were themselves Romney advisors. Based on the history of Gov. Romney as an executive, I cannot endorse his candidacy.
Newt Gingrich recently experienced a sudden surge of support in the Iowa polls, but it has since diminished, and for good reason. He achieved his main claim to fame in 1994, when he assumed the role of Speaker in the first Republican-controlled house since 1954. Under the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton, his supporters boast that he passed a balanced budget which generated some of the most recent government surpluses in history. Yet despite these considerable credentials, it is apparent that the curse of Washington turned him into a lackey of Big Government. He profited immensely from his consulting work with the bureaucratic mess known as Freddie Mac, earning at least estimated $1.6 million per Bloomberg News. In addition, he appeared with then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in an ad promoting increased government action against climate change. The subject of its scientific validity is an essay for another subject, so what bears mentioning here is that the ad was funded by none other than breather of hot air, Al Gore. To the credit of Gingrich, he is keenly aware of the threat presented to America by radical Islam, but only at the behest of a Christian worldview which also rejects atheism as equally unpatriotic. This is not enough for me to support Newt Gingrich as this country’s President.
Rick Perry currently holds his third term as Texas Governor while running for President. He saw a large wave of initial support entering the race thanks to flaunting his “job-creating” credentials as Governor. Further scrutiny of his record portrays Perry in a less flattering light, most notably by issuing an executive order mandating the vaccination of schoolgirls with Gardasil, which protects against a sexually transmitted disease called human papillomavirus. Social conservatives opposed this move as promoting sexual immorality, but the true tragedy here is the expansion of government and the loss of freedoms which Perry helped engineer, for which he seems barely apologetic. Even though I endorse his proposal for taxpayers to reject the current mess of a tax code and opt for a one-size-fits-all flat tax, his suggested rate of 20% is exorbitant and will almost certainly hurt the still-shaky economy. Also like Gingrich, he bears a dubious tie to Al Gore: then a Democrat, Perry emerged as an ardent supporter of Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign in opposition to eight years of Ronald Reagan as President. All of this notwithstanding, he is now a Strong social conservative as evinced by his latest campaign ad. Given that social conservatives do not mind government expansion so long as it legislates their own morality, I express no support for Rick Perry’s presidential bid.
Ron Paul is also a Texan and derives his government experience from twelve non-consecutive terms as a House Representative. Nicknamed “Dr. No” due to his incessant opposition even to key Republican platforms, in addition to advocating for $1 trillion in tax cuts if elected President, his record trumps all of the other Republicans in fiscal sanity. Unfortunately, this is at the cost of his diplomatic sanity: thanks to a blind fealty towards isolationism, Paul rejects any notion that the Middle Easterners resent the United States because of their own culture, but only because of America’s military involvement in the region. I agree with the full withdrawal of troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq, but this foreign policy regards the citizens of the Middle East as children who are incapable of being political actors themselves. With the Muslim Brotherhood and the hardliner Salafists sweeping the recent elections in Egypt, Ron Paul is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
Rick Santorum is a former two-term Senator from Pennsylvania and outspoken Catholic who often champions socially conservative causes. I do not know much about him or his legacy, but I give him a mixed critique based on my preliminary research. To his credit, Santorum defended capitalism by stating his support for “income inequality” because certain individuals are more talented and willing to work harder than others. As I wrote in a previous entry, this is how capitalism is supposed to work. My major concern with Santorum boils down to his social conservatism, which he expresses through his fight for government to restrict free love (among other positions) based on his religious convictions. Given these thoughts, hearing the words “President Santorum” only elicits a lukewarm reaction from me.
Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite and Representative from Minnesota, possesses some traits which set her apart from the rest of the field. She is one of the most vocal critics of the government’s size and influence in economic spheres as evidenced by her offering a full repeal of the Dodd-Frank law, a measure which grossly expanded the power and reach of the federal bureaucracy, at the beginning of her third term. She also expressed strong opposition to bailing out Wall Street for its financial mistakes in 2008. Despite these strong marks, she carries with her the baggage of her social conservatism, including a support for the teaching of creationism in public science classrooms and her joint ownership of a Christian law firm with her husband, Marcus. Most alarming is her support for a group opposed to the Iranian mullahcracy called the Mujahedin al-Khalq Organization, who are themselves radical Islamists. She possesses strong credentials for limited government, but her follies are too great for me to enthusiastically support her.
Jon Huntsman has the unique distinction of serving under our current President in an official capacity as the Ambassador to China until April 30 of this year. He also claims executive experience as the 16th Governor of Utah, where he showed off his mixed record of economic policy: despite replacing the progressive income tax with a 5% flat tax rate and lowering taxes on certain commodities, in addition to relaxing Utah’s strict laws on alcohol, he also endorsed a failed 400% increase on cigarette taxes in addition to supporting government meddling in the pollutant market through cap-and-trade. While I credit him for endorsing the scientific validity of evolutionary theory, this and his tax policies alone do not make him a good statesman and I do not support his candidacy.
Barack Obama, the current incumbent from the Democratic Party, is the worst option for President in 2012. On the economic side of affairs, he demonstrates his belief that the government’s role is to centrally plan the economy as well as siphon funds from the rich to give to the poor. The hazards of these policies are clear as moonlight: he oversaw a $4 trillion rise in the national debt, the largest of any U.S. president. He calls upon millionaires and billionaires to “pay their fair share” in taxes, even though their contributions already subsidize 46.4% of American households, who effective pay negative taxes. (Bonus: New York’s top 1% pay 43% of the city’s taxes despite only representing 34% of the total income.)
In regards to foreign affairs, Obama displays a disdain for American influence in defending the freedoms of the world’s citizens against despotism. In 2009, Iran saw a youth-fueled revolt against the repressive theocratic regime and its fixing of an election they claimed would have deposed of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama responded with silence. In 2011, Egypt saw a Muslim Brotherhood-fueled revolt against the repressive secular regime and the four-decade hold of power by U.S. ally President Hosni Mubarak. Obama responded by telling Mubarak to step down immediately, then afterwards in its own words to world conquest.
Barack Obama is a dangerous person for America to have as President and must not be re-elected.