In the run up to the Iowa caucuses in a few weeks, which would also mark the beginning of an important election year, I felt now would be a good time to scribble some notes on current thoughts.
Part 1: A Nomination Process by “We the People”
First of all, I should state the obvious that as a ‘fiscal conservative’, I am not particularly enamoured with the “Grand Old Party” (GOP) establishment. George W. Bush (GWB) is fundamentally a fine American citizen, and many disparaging comments are over the top and unwarranted from far-leftists, and also some folks in Europe served daily propaganda from the likes of the BBC, the Guardian, der Spiegel, etc.. It is often overlooked that GWB did have a stint of serving his country within the USAF, was an oil drilling entrepreneur, oversaw the transition of the Texas Rangers to a new stadium, and was a pretty decent Texas governor prior to becoming president. GWB performed admirably as an executive leader in keeping the nation safe in the aftermath of 9/11. However, beyond keeping the nation safe, GWB did have some ‘compassionate’ big government tendencies that contributed to accumulating debt (e.g. Medicare Part D, federal education department ‘big government’ programs, etc.). To his credit, GWB did try to set in train social security reform, but by the time he attempted this he was up against a highly partisan Congress. Returning to ‘negatives’, GWB’s administration did show signs of inside-the-beltway corruption via. special interests, such as with Halliburton, Blackwater, and also via. Jack Abramoff. It should also be noted that GWB was possibly a little too cuddly with the Chinese and Saudis during his presidency, and ‘free trade’ deals did not exactly work in the U.S.A.’s favour during his time in office either. So whilst GWB is undoubtedly a fine American citizen, ‘fiscal conservatives’ definitely do not want another GWB presidency, and definitely want a change in direction from wishy-washy nominees such as John McCain. Obviously a lot of these thoughts are drivers behind Tea Party conservative grassroots.
A major positive with Tea Parties springing up over the last few years has been a level of restoration of accountability to “we the people”. The GOP primaries preceding the 2010 mid-term elections were a beautiful thing with conservative grassroots democratically voting for their nominees, in many cases at direct odds with the Washington D.C. ‘establishment’. The likes of Marco Rubio won out over establishment ‘politicians’ such as Charlie Crist. Nikki Haley took on the GOP establishment and won in South Carolina. I should also mention Ruth McClung, a great example of demonstrating how an ordinary (but special) principled person could rise up and get involved in an attempt to change things based on life-experience and principles, as opposed to just being an unprincipled ‘politician’ simply seeking power and prestige. Unfortunately, Ruth came up just short against Raul Grijalva in her bid to be a Congresswoman on behalf of Arizona’s 7th district, but I sure hope she tries again and succeeds, as it is folks like her that we need in Washington.
There were countless numbers of other good folks such as the likes of Allen West, Tim Scott, Kristi Noem, etc. who were elected to represent “we the people” in Washington via. the 2010 mid-terms; far too many in number to all mention here (as well as many new state governors). Some folks may sneer at the likes of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, but the positives far outweighed the negatives, and I would rather have an open democratic process as opposed to the current “Democrat” party top-down process where there were attempts at back-room deals with the likes of Joe Sestak in trying to get him to back down and allow Arlen Specter an uncontested nomination process (for PA senator). By the way, just a little note here that the “Democrat” party is far from being democratic nowadays, and will seriously need a “come to jesus” moment of its own some time in the future. In terms of the GOP party, it is also important to add that the job of Tea Parties is far from done, particularly with respect to the U.S. Senate, where senators are elected to six year terms. Therefore, Tea Party grassroots must stay strong over the coming years in their mission of continuing to replace wishy-washy RINO’s, such as Lindsay Graham, with more principled conservatives with backbone.
Carrying on from the spirit of the 2010 mid-terms, we are now in a period where the GOP nomination process for presidential candidate is in full swing. Again, the great positive of this process is that there is a nomination process by “we the people”, where a healthy competitive and democratic process is taking place. Nothing can be perfect however, not least with the current state of affairs with the mainstream media. My issues with the media are not fully confined to the MSM though. The GOP establishment seemingly appears to be using Fox News Channel (FNC) as a ‘vehicle’ to influence the nomination process. In essence, ‘top-down’ controlling ‘elites’ who think they know best are trying their best to resist a ‘bottom-up’ democratic grassroots process. FNC has the likes of Rowe, Krauthammer, and Kristol as ‘commentators’, and these folks in my view represent the inside-the-beltway Washington establishment. Even Ann Coulter has been disappointingly erratic recently, and has gone way too far in compromising principles for electability (this seems to have become a common trait amongst many folks in Northeastern liberal-leaning states over recent times). Then we have the likes of Bill O’Reilly who claims to be ‘no spin’, but it is all too clear to see that he is employing sophistry to shape the nomination process. One positive I would mention however at this juncture is that the grassroots have wised up to all of this. In a way, the GOP establishment and many on FNC lining up behind Romney has possibly only served to hurt him, as demonstrated by his inability to gain more than ~25% in nomination opinion polls, despite the fact that it would be hard to find much technically wrong in his debate performances. Clearly this is a strong sign of distrust of the establishment amongst conservative grassroots. This is not to cast aspersions on Romney, because if he does end up being nominated, I would obviously still strongly prefer Romney to Obama.
As I take a little pause from dumping a lot of my current thoughts on the GOP nomination process via. my keyboard, I see that this post is already quite wordy and lengthy. Therefore, I have decided to break my current stream of thought on the nomination process into a series of parts. Part 2 will follow shortly and will outline what I am looking for in the GOP nominee. Parts 3 and 4 will address my personal endorsement (yes, my decision has now solidified over the last couple of weeks), and a run down of my current views on all of the candidates with a ‘ranking’ order of preference.