Monday, July 30, 2012

A Change of Heart?

by Leslie Fish

By now it should be obvious to every literate adult in America that nobody loves Mitt Romney – except maybe the notorious 1%. The media have gleefully exposed his thoughtless cruelty to his dog, his thoughtless cruelty to his employees, his "outsourcing" his businesses' jobs to Mexico and China, his overseas tax-shelters, and his stupid refusal to reveal his tax records. Even a brief perusal of pro-Republican internet forums shows that none of them are enthusiastic about him. Nobody is really going to vote for Romney; they're only voting against Obama.

If there were a third choice, a lot of voters would take it. Everyone is sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, and there are rumblings of revolt. People are noting, on the Internet, that nothing in the Constitution requires the existence of political parties -- at all. The Libertarian party has, after decades of being carefully ignored, gained enough clout that the media bothered to cover their national convention this year.

Even the GOP knows this by now. Note how the Republican National Committee is hedging its bets – by actively welcoming Ron Paul and his supporters to the national convention. According to USA Today:

"Ron Paul supporters have feuded with state Republican parties across the country, battling for delegate seats at the national convention, but the national party is welcoming Paul and his supporters to the event with open arms, even helping the Texas congressman organize his troops.

"The Paul campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have been working closely over the past few months to work out logistics in order to include the Texas congressman and his supporters in the August convention in Tampa."

This is an interesting turnaround, after the way the GOP has done its best to ignore, blacklist, blackball and otherwise silence Ron Paul and his disturbingly popular libertarian policies. Could it be that the GOP is scared enough of the disgruntled voters to risk that there just might be enough Ron Paul delegates at the convention to actually let Ron Paul get the nomination?

That would really be an amazing upset, enough to shock the media – and the Democrats – speechless. The worst that the media/DNC have ever managed to dig up on Ron Paul is: a) that he once (30 years ago) co-edited a newsletter that sometimes published letters-to-the-editor from right-wing nuts, and b) he's personally opposed to abortion (understandable, since in private life he's an obstetrician: conflict of interest). In the short time left before the election, they'd have to really scramble to create a believable smear-campaign against Paul.

He just might beat Obama. He certainly has a better shot than Romney.


Ori Pomerantz said...

From the perspective of the GOP elite, Obama might be the lesser of two evils. With Obama as president, it will be longer until they can get paid to supply government power. But with somebody like Ron Paul they might lose that ability permanently.

Anonymous said...

I thought the dog thing was 'way overblown, myself. Around here, it's perfectly normal for dogs to be seen riding in the back of people's pickup trucks, which strikes me as highly unsafe (I still remember the time I was riding by on a motorcycle and some idiot dog in the back of a pickup stopped at a red light jumped out to chase me!) But then, I do think that the current fashion tends toward hysterical over-love of animals in general.

Godel Fishbreath said...

The GOP will not elect anyone but Romney as nominee. As per the left, we will almost equally hold our noses and re-elect Obama. He may well have been a bit disappointing in some departments, say civil liberties, but what other choice do we have? Who else supports our views?
And I like the idea that our hospitals will not be going bankrupt, and that the overall cost of medical care per citizen will be going down.
Romney, in Israel, was praising their (socalist?) health care system. Are you sure that anyone knows what he stands for?

Aya Katz said...

Go, Ron Paul!

I'm sharing this on my FB.

Doragoon said...

What about the crazy things that Ron Paul has waiting in his closet? The accusation of racism might be baseless, but it's serious enough that he might be unelectable.

And he'll loose half his supporters as soon as they realise he's not protectionist. The unions hate his free trade policies.

And he won't get the social conservatives because... everything. As far as compromise candidates go, the ones we have seem to work for everyone.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Dora. Paul has shown himself capable of learning. Once it's been proven to him that other countries are playing Economic Warfare with the US, I think he'll have the sense to drop the absolute-free-trade plank. The guy was in the military, you know. As for the social conservatives, he's got the perfect answer: "the more controversial a subject is, the more it must be settled at the local level". Yes, I think he could pull it off.

The big point is, Ron Paul and the Libertarians (sounds like a rock group!) really do offer a viable third choice -- and a lot of people are looking for that.

windmills said...

I have always voted against candidates, rather than for them. I have always tried to choose the lesser of evils. In this coming election, though, I find that action not merely unpalatable, but simply impossible. I think I will (for the first time in my life) be "throwing away my voice" on a "No-Chance-Third-Party-Sacrificial-Lamb" "Protest-Vote"

Leslie, please see my comment on the "keeping your cool"blog, I'd be interested in your thoughts.