What is going on south of the border? Are they going absolutely crazy?
Watching the Republican presidential campaign is like watching a bad sitcom. Is there no such thing as a moderate conservative in the United States anymore? Is right of centre not cool enough these days? Exhibit A: Rick Santorum could be the furthest right social conservative the U.S. will ever have had as a president, if he were to win.
Do Americans understand what his winning could lead to? So much of the progress that has been made by rights groups defending women’s issues and LGBTTQ* persons could be wiped out and the movements taken back decades. This is scary. He has stated outright that bombing Iran, despite all indications that it would be a horrible idea, is in his eyes is a good idea. Not a good foreign policy move. He is essentially for regime change, something that has not worked well over the past decade or so. It’s as if he did not learn a single thing from George W. Bush’s massive mistakes and would like to repeat them all over again.
Apparently, he feels an iron-fisted approach to foreign policy is the best way to show how strong America is. Frankly, it will only show how ridiculous Santorum is, at such a sensitive time in world history and when the U.S. can least afford it; it’s a dangerous path. He isn’t interested in talking; he is interested in bombing. We don’t need more of this right now, what we need is more talking, unless we want the Middle East to turn into an inferno of war.
And when it comes to religion? Do we even want to go there? A staunch Catholic, at least in theory, Santorum does not shy away from pounding his bible. Is this what America really wants? Someone who runs the country based on the bible and his own religious interpretations, especially when these religious interpretations are so socially conservative?
It will make a laughing stock of the U.S., at least in the Western world. How on earth can a country talk to other countries about human rights when you have someone in power who would love to take away rights for women and the LGBTTQ* community? If they don’t believe that health care should really be considered a right (which if you ask me, goes completely against the teachings of the bible)? Santorum likes the whole “for-profit” world, which is strange because I’m pretty sure God told Moses that collecting interest, for example, was a bad thing. Apparently, the whole helping your fellow human part of the bible failed to sink in with Santorum. Only the parts where gay people are bashed seem to have struck a note in his mind. He wants small government and he wants it in American bedrooms, dammit!
And, why would someone so religious who supposedly follows in Christ’s footsteps be such a warmonger? Stop acting like America’s grand saviour from God if you aren’t even going to listen to half of what your deity tells you about being a good person — not judging others and not killing other people, for example. Well, whatever Santorum is saying and doing seems to be working. He’s been doing scarily well in the confusing and long drawn out Republican election primaries, where Republicans are deciding which candidate they are going to have challenge Barack Obama in the U.S. general election. Are the other candidates that bad? Well, now that you ask, it would appear that, yes, yes they are.
Take a look at Mitt Romney, who is famously known as the only reasonable choice for the Republicans that no one wants, and for good reason. He’s a rather slimy, used car salesman-like, rich hotshot who keeps trying to portray himself as a man of the people And, he’s Christian too! Apparently this really matters in the U.S. for some reason. And, sadly, in an attempt to thwart success by Santorum, he’s started a “who can be more ridiculously social conservative than the next guy” battle. Put together, it’s not just that these guys want to be Republican; these guys want to go all out and be as right wing as humanly possible while not turning the U.S. into a 1940’s Germany. Or, will they stop there? God only knows, and apparently God is on their side.
Obama has had a rough go of it. He hasn’t lived up to what the American people were hoping for. The energy and excitement that surrounded his presidential bid and his becoming President was a once in a generation deal. Sadly, it seems that the excitement is gone. His shine has worn off. Will he be able to mobilize the numbers that voted for him the last time? At the moment it isn’t looking likely. On the flipside, it seems that Republicans hate Obama so much that they will turn out in droves just to get rid of him. One of these Republican candidates may very well end up winning. And the rest of us out here, in the world beyond the U.S., will have to live with it.
May their God help us all!
Chris Hearn is less than impressed with the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.