In light of my previous article, I felt it important to take a look at the “conservative” presidential candidates, which will hopefully serve to help those who are actually interested in the 2012 race. Of course, I don’t expect anyone to simply take my word for any of this, and I encourage everyone to examine the candidates and make up their own mind. Emphasis on “their own mind.” What follows are the various candidates positions on a variety of issues, as well as my own personal opinion. Again, I urge my readers not to take my opinions as their own without first doing their own research and making their own decision as to whether I am correct or not in my opinions. In other words, even if you are only leading yourself, be a leader, not a lemming.
First up is Mitt Romney. According to the main stream media, Romney is the darling of conservatives everywhere, and thereby leads all other candidates in every conservative poll. Whether this is true or not does not matter (although I do have strong opinions on his poll standings), what does matter is what his positions are on the issues.
Romney claims to be Pro-Life. Although in the past he has said that he believes it is the woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion, he now says that abortion is wrong, except in cases of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. He also favors a repeal of Roe v. Wade, and parental consent in cases involving minors and contraception (i.e. the “morning after pill”). In contrast, Romney has supported planned parenthood in the past (although now claims to favor stopping their federal funding), and he does not favor a federal ban on abortions, and believes it should be up to the individual states to decide their own abortion laws. This appears to me to be simply passing the buck. If he were truly against abortion, he would seek a federal ban on abortion. Conclusion, Romney is not as Pro-Life as he claims, and appears to be simply playing to what he perceives to be conservative beliefs.
Romney’s stand on Afghanistan is to allow the military’s top brass to ultimately decide on any continued involvement that country. I believe this also shows an inability to make a firm decision regarding our involvement there. In light of the Taliban and other terrorist groups fighting against us in Afghanistan, I believe an American President should be strong and able to make informed decisions regarding any future military involvement. Conclusion, simply passing the buck once again by relinquishing his decision making to others indicates a weakness that could ultimately be used against America, and begs the question, what other responsibilities will he relinquish to others?
Romney’s budget plans do seem to make sense. He states that he believes in cutting taxes and cutting spending in order to stimulate job creation and balance the federal budget. Historically this type of plan has worked in the past, and in all likelihood will again. He would like to cut taxes on people earning less than $200,000 a year, as well as those aged 65 years or older. He states that he would support setting up a national catastrophic fund to help homeowners faced with the loss of their home as the result of a natural disaster, however, he does not say how this fund would be created or sustained. Romney also favors energy independence by investing in “green” energy alternatives and reducing the price of gas. Again, he does not indicate just how these programs will be funded, and in light of the high expense and unreliability of many “green energy” projects, one has to wonder just where all the money would come from. Again, I believe Romney is simply telling people what they want to hear, without providing a concrete plan to implement his programs.
Romney’s voiced displeasure with the “Employee Free Choice Act” is encouraging, as this act would allow labor unions far too much power to inflict their will on employees. His insistence that all welfare recipients should immediately be forced to go to work sounds good on the surface, however, he does not distinguish between those welfare recipients who are incapable of working, and those who are simply working the system. Nor does he provide any plan to put these people to work. It sounds suspiciously “new deal” to me. I would like to see a concrete plan laying out just how this program would work and be funded.
Romney has a strange view towards China, an avowed communist country with a history of severe human rights violations. He did visit China and upon his return promoted a partnership with them in order to build stability throughout the world. He believes that if America reached out to China and encouraged a free economy and a free society and a healthy relationship with America, this would help keep nuclear weapons away from North Korea, Iran, and other terrorist countries. When he was asked about China’s history or severe human rights violations, he answered by saying that he believed in building bridges and not walls. Conclusion, Romney’s position on China seems nothing more than a liberal infantile fantasy where everyone loves everyone and all people everywhere will get along. Again, this shows a weakness that could spell disaster in the face of an international or national crises.
Romney’s stand on civil liberties is perhaps the most troubling of all his campaign platforms, and one that he does not promote as often as other issues. He has gone on record as being pro-don’t ask, don’t tell, and favors gays and lesbians openly serving in the military. He has also gone on record promoting adoptions by gays and lesbians. Although he has said that he opposed gay marriage, he has flip-flopped and said that he supports giving gays and lesbians the same benefits currently enjoyed only by traditional marriage partners. Romney has also stated that he believes that any and all surveillance can be conducted on any American citizen and at anytime, and that all Americans should be subjected to some sort of Habeas Corpus whether they are enemy combatants or not. I believe this is a dangerous position that could very easily threaten the privacy of honest Americans and could easily lead to a suspension of the Constitution, or at the very least the doing away with or altering those rights which protect our privacy, and once the precedent has been set, could lead to a police state within America.
Romney has stated that he would institute a three prong approach in dealing with jihadists. The first would involve military options (which have been employed for the past ten years without significant result). The second would be diplomacy, or negotiating with the jihadi terrorists. That anyone could every believe that negotiating with someone who has the singular goal in life to kill you could ever be successful is beyond me. The third approach Romney proposes is to urge muslims everywhere to reject radical islam. Unfortunately this has been tried as well over the past ten years (and more actually) and with little no result at all. Romney has also stated that he believes economic sanctions against terrorist countries and countries who support terrorist organizations could work. Conclusion, with regard to dealing with terrorists, Mitt Romney hasn’t a clue.
Romney has also stated that he favors looser immigration laws, stating that America could take advantage of the highly skilled workers who would take advantage of these liberal immigration policies, as well as keeping the lower skilled illegal migrants who are already here. Conclusion, in America, where unemployment is over 9% (and the numbers go up when underemployment and temporary employment is factored in), why would Romney want to increase immigration to America, especially to the point of encouraging illegal immigration. Romney’s immigration plan is not only detrimental to America, it is dangerous.
In the past, Romney supported gun control, including the leftist Brady Act. Since he changed horses in mid-stream as it were, and switched from liberal to conservative, he has changed his mind and is now in favor of the Second Amendment, and the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. I find this encouraging, but I am cautious as well. He did not stand by what he believed in the past, I am not sure he will continue to stand by what he claims to believe now.
Perhaps the most controversial issue on Romney’s platform is what has become known as “Romneycare.” Similar to “Obamacare,” Romney’s plan is to institute a universal health care program, and like Obama, Romney claims that he plan would not raise taxes. Instead, he advocates tax breaks for those who partake in his health plan, however, with his plan to cut taxes on those who earn less than $200,000 per year, as well as those 65 and older (which incidentally are the largest group who would take advantage of his health plan), Romney again does not provide a concrete plan to show how his health care plan would be funded. Conclusion, “Romneycare” is really no different than “Obamacare.”
Overall conclusion: Mitt Romney is a self proclaimed former liberal who has turned conservative. That being said, however, Romney still has many liberal viewpoints, and is not as conservative as he makes out to be.