Why the Republican Candidates are Such a Letdown

by | Oct 4, 2011

??You’ve heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s really true. People can talk a good game all they like. It’s under the stress of having to decide, and take action, that their true selves are revealed. America is in a grave crisis, perhaps one approaching the years leading up to the Civil War. […]

??You’ve heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s really true.

People can talk a good game all they like. It’s under the stress of having to decide, and take action, that their true selves are revealed.

America is in a grave crisis, perhaps one approaching the years leading up to the Civil War. It’s an economic crisis, a crisis of government and liberty, and a crisis of a society undergoing gradual decay because of government injustice and dysfunction (as of now, still permitted by the people.)

The current American president, elected with no political or private sector experience to somehow “fix” the problem has, self-evidently, only made things worse and everybody knows it. His supporters stubbornly cling to him as the only alternative, lashing out at anyone who dares question his ability, but the spoken and unspoken reality is that he’s got to go.

But what’s to replace him? So far, in all frankness, the people offering to take up the leadership role as President are a field of twits.

Ron Paul claims that it would be a good thing for Iran to have a nuclear bomb. It doesn’t matter that he says other things which make sense; such a sentiment is borderline insanity. The mere fact he would say it tells you all you need to know about Ron Paul.

Michele Bachmann is a religious zealot who also says a few good things about shutting down the Department of Education, but quite frankly comes across to even the untrained professional as mentally imbalanced. Fundamentalist religion does that to people. Do you see what it has done to people in the Middle East?

Herman Cain is a man I’d like to like and support, but I honestly have no idea what he’s saying. He’s probably the best man running, but he hasn’t focused on anything coherent and he’s falling into the trap of playing the “race card” against his opponents. Don’t we already have enough of this in America?

Newt Gingrich is a retread. He’s the former Speaker of the House known for leading the “Republican Revolution,” but few remember that he fled that Revolution when the going got tough, stepping down from office under criticism of being too conservative. How much backbone would he bring to standing up to the liberal-socialist establishment?

Mitt Romney is a cartoon character politician. He’s glib and says precisely the “right” things to the right audience, at the right time. He’s affable to everything and everyone in general, and to no one individual or group in particular. He stands for everything — and nothing — at the same time. In practice, it will be different. We know his chief program as governor of Massachusetts was to socialize medicine for the entire state. He passed the original ObamaCare, for his own state, and the results have been exactly what he (and other Republicans) predict the results of ObamaCare will be for the nation: Destruction of the private insurance industry, waiting lines to see doctors, and government red ink beyond what the eye can see. Incredibly, Romney still defends the Massachusetts version of ObamaCare, even as he condemns ObamaCare for the rest of the country. Excuse me? The twisted and contorted logic here goes beyond the wrong-headedness of his original position. It makes no sense even on its own terms. How are we supposed to trust this smiling, glib, smooth talking politician to be any better a President than the arrogant, lost moron who currently sits helplessly in the Oval Office?

Romney claims that it’s OK for a state to pass a law like ObamaCare or RomenyCare, but not OK for the federal government to do so. What does this mean, exactly? That states have rights but individuals do not? On this premise, Massachusetts could have passed a law making black people slaves, or Jews slaves, or Catholics slaves. Would Romney argue, “It’s OK, so long as the state is doing it, and not the federal government.” Nobody who thinks this way should be allowed near the Oval Office. It’s not that he would be worse than Obama. It’s just that he would be no different. It would be a shift from one disaster to the next.

And then there’s Rick Perry. On the surface, he seemed different. He speaks of Social Security as a dishonest redistribution scheme. There’s nothing “social” or secure about Social Security, and he’s upfront about the fact that people 35 and under will never, ever see those benefits even if the economy does recover. We must give him credit for this honesty. But if you think this opinion stems from a love of limited government or individual rights, think again. He favors the heavy hand of state government in forcing parents into medical decisions for their children, and he advocates forcing productive people in Texas to pay for the tuition of people who sneak into the state illegally. What’s the point of immigration laws if some are to be held accountable to them, and even jailed or deported for violating them, while others are to be rewarded with free college to be paid for by others? The idiocy of this position would make even the most liberal of Democrats blush. Perry may be sincere, unlike Romney who is a self-evident phony. But his lack of intelligence and consistency suggests he’s too much of an intellectual mess to be President. Again, it’s not that he’d be worse than Obama, but he would surely be little better.

These complaints are not a reflection of being too particular, or of expecting the impossible. I’m perfectly prepared to vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent exactly my views, but at least the general principles underlying them. Candidates who have strayed so far off their claimed positions lead us to question whether they have the positions they claim, or whether they even have any principles at all.

In the end, Romney and Perry must be judged by what they did in office. When push came to shove, they both showed they were capable of policies every bit as bad, if not worse, than the far left-wing administration currently in power. The Republicans are not even serving up garden-variety conservatives, such as Ronald Reagan, any longer.

We need an alternative, and we need one badly. Time is running out, not just for the Republican Party — but for America itself.

Perhaps the real lesson to learn here is that nobody is coming to rescue us. If we value liberty, freedom and our economic futures, we’re going to have to reclaim these from the politicians who, through their errors and evasions, are destroying us. A reassertion by the American people of the principles contained in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence would go a long way to making the mediocre candidacies of these people for President irrelevant.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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