So I’ve been watching the primaries with increasingly little connection to any given candidate. My ideal choice from the beginning was Fred Thompson – while not perfect, he was certainly the best of the bunch. Conservative, well-carried, well-spoken, intelligent… He seemed like perfect answer to the unimpressive remainder. Now that he’s dropped out, we’re down to five (and no, I won’t even consider either of the Democratic candidates. They’re against nearly everything I stand for):
- Mitt Romney
Here we have a politician’s politician. Seems to change his mind every chance he gets, fails miserably at appealing to minority groups, and has a general air of untrustworthiness. I’ve said before that I hate the guy and that I like the guy – it seems to change every time he opens his mouth. He has performed well in some debates and miserably in others. On his good days he’s great but on his bad days he’s horrible – and I don’t think I can handle that in (another) president.
- Rudy Giuliani
Captain 9/11 and the one-note band. He’s got a terrible record on gun control, immigration, and most other big issues, ancd has tons of NY-brand scandal and crime-connection baggage to back it all up. The only positive he’s got going for him is his stance on the war, which isn’t perfect but it’s better than most. Really, to see him elected would be a disaster for all involved.
- Mike Huckabee
I really don’t know how this man gets taken seriously at all. He’s all for big government, big spending, and calling it all right in the name of the Lord. I’ve been told by several people that I’m morally obliged somehow to vote for Huckabee because he’s a Christian – which I find absurd, and probably explains where his support comes from – but to do so would compromise almost every social and political value I hold. He may be a great preacher, but he’d make a terrible president.
- John McCain
The hometown hero. I guess I’m supposed to like him because he’s from Arizona, but really I can’t stand the guy. I’ve said before that I think the guy is getting a little nuts with time, and while I have great respect for him as a veteran and POW survivor, and even for remaining mostly harmless as a senator (McCain-Feingold notwithstanding), I don’t think he’s fit for presidency. He can act in a very unprofessional manner, as has been seen in almost every debate, and he has a real thirst for power that scares me. My mom told me when I was younger that anyone who wants to be president probably shouldn’t have the job. I don’t think she was all that far off.
- Ron Paul
The revolutionary.To be honest, I like so much about him. His stance on handling government is spot-on, although I don’t think he can realistically make all his proposed changes in four years (or even eight). His stance on foreign policy is hard to argue with, but leads to a flawed (in my opinion) understanding of how to handle this war in Iraq. He wants to pull out immediately, but I think it would be disastrous to do so. More on that in another post, perhaps. His views on abortion mirror mine, in that while he thinks it’s wrong he also thinks it should be a state and not federal issue, and that government should neither condemn nor condone it in any fashion. His views on gun control and immigration could have come out of my own mouth.
But I can’t find it in myself to support him, for two reasons. One, his attitude bothers me. He’s too strong-willing and unwilling to bend at all, and I think that can be a problem. While it is not ideal, compromise is often necessary in the field of politics. Two, and this is the big one, he has a very disturbing idea of our government’s involvement in terrorism. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to label him a conspiracy theorist as I once did, but his history of making suspiciously “truthist” statements – particularly about 9/11 and JFK – really bothers me. I think it provides an insight into a deeper problem with the man that disqualifies him for the job.
So, there we go. A nice round up of what’s left on the field, and me wondering what chance we have left at a relatively sane 21st century. I’m open for suggestions, discussion, arguments, whatever in the comments. Maybe one of you can give me a little hope.