Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Snap Analysis of the Current Candidates for President

America - We have no Gedolim. At least not when it comes to candidates running for President. Of those who are running - I do not see any one of them as being suited to lead this country. Not as Commander in Chief and not domestically. And I include both Republicans and Democrats.

On the democrat side, we have one candidate - President Obama, who in my view has failed as a leader. If reducing the military’s budget and its personnel is his way of being commander in chief, we are in deep trouble. I do not buy his ‘leaner and meaner’ approach to military might. I doubt whether military leaders do either – although in deference to their commander and chief they would never say so. At least not if they want to keep their jobs.

The one area where we ought to be uncompromising is in our military strength. This means we need to maintain our military edge in every way. Not just in improved technology. Shrinking the military is exactly the wrong thing to do.

This does not mean that there isn’t fat in the military budget that should be trimmed. I am sure there is. But cutting the budget in the way the President suggests will weaken us. Not strengthen us. That is not the way to cut fat.

On the economic front Obama refuses to provide incentive to business with the kind of tax cuts that would stimulate business and create jobs. He has over regulated business and industry to the point that doing business in this country is prohibitively expensive. The traditional Democrat catering to big labor doesn’t help either. The supposed concession he got out of labor in order to bail out GM and Chrysler is a drop in the bucket as to what is really needed. GM and Chrysler have to compete with foreign competitors like Toyota and Nissan who build cars right here in America. These successful auto makers do not bother with organized labor. Is big labor necessary anymore? Has anyone asked Toyota’s employees if they think they are being cheated?

American businesses continue to seek and find cheaper labor in the less regulated business climate of places like China and India. Great for those foreign economies. Not so great for ours. Giving corporations and businesses tax relief and eliminating excessive regulation is the real way to lower the jobless numbers. I am of course not suggesting that all regulations should cease. Some of them are important. They protect the worker, the consumer and the environment. But some of it is just plain ridiculous and counterproductive.

Just to cite one example, The President’s refusal to free up exploration for oil and other energy resources in so called ‘protected areas’. The jobs that would be created and the decreased dependence on foreign oil alone is worth doing it. Yes there is some risk to the environment but there are safe ways that for the most part which will protect those areas and the benefit far outweighs the risk.

And his foreign policy decisions have not been all that wonderful either. Just look at how he has been lap-dogging the Arab narrative about Israel settlements being the biggest impediment to peace. Is THAT the real problem? Or is it Arab hatred of Jews? I could go on but that is more than enough to see that Barack Obama does not deserve re-election.

On the Republican side, There is not a single candidate that has sparked any enthusiasm in me.

The so-called front runner, Mitt Romney is far from inspiring. He seems like a policy wonk with a lot of verbiage coming out of his mouth. But there is nothing there that seems to stand out. Nor do I think much of his flip-flopping. Is he a Conservative? A Moderate? Who knows. He is a ‘stick your finger in the wind and see which way it is blowing’ kind of politician. If he has any core beliefs - nobody knows them. And what is his foreign policy like? Again - who knows. The fact that he said Israel will be the first country he will visit means very little to me.

Rick Santorum seems like a nice guy. He has got his values in the right place. He is a moral man. I tend to agree with many if not all of his conservative principles. Especially his views on the military, foreign policy, and the economy. But he does not excite me either. He does not exude the kind of confidence and determination that I think a President should have. It is almost as if he would be a ‘learning on the job’ President. I think we need more of a leader than that.

Ron Paul is a joke. A dangerous joke. He claims he is not an anti Semite. Maybe he isn’t. But his past comments and associations seem to say otherwise. His views on foreign policy are isolationist. He would cut off all support for Israel and couldn’t care less about a nuclear weapon being developed in Iran.

Some of his domestic libertarian policies are attractive to young people. His intention to overhaul the tax system and cut trillions from the budget resonates with people who are concerned about the economy. His idea of foreign policy is to close his eyes to what is going on in the rest of world. If he would have been President during World War II, Hitler would have won.

Rick Perry is a joke as well. Not a very intelligent one either. Not someone you want to have with his finger on the nuclear button.

John Huntsman is a non entity. I don’t even know what his views on Israel are. He impresses me as being a sort of ‘Bush 41’ type of President where his reliance on diplomacy would be over-used as an option. Kind of like the current President. If he would have been in Neville Chamberlain’s shoes before World War II, my guess is that he probably would have done the same thing. That is far from the kind leadership we need now.

That leaves Newt Gingrich. He is the most knowledgeable and intelligent of all the candidates running on both sides of the political aisle. But he has about and much chance of winning - even the nomination let alone Presidency -as I do. And for good reason. His baggage is too heavy, both personal and political. His personal baggage is appalling. You don’t want the leader of the free world to have had the kind of immoral past that he has had. Nor are his ethics anything to be proud of. He was officially reprimanded for his lack of them when he was still in the House of Representatives. And his leadership style is terribley erratic He has virtually no friends left in congress even on the Republican side of the aisle. The last thing we need is an erratic President.

I think Gingrich has mellowed and has learned to be less erratic. He also claims to have done Teshuva with respect to his immoral past. Perhaps. But his ethical lapses are still troubling. He sees nothing wrong with his profiteering at Fannie Mae – an organization that along with a few other lenders practically destroyed the economy of the United States. That said I still think that the Gingrich is the best of the bunch. But it doesn’t matter. He is unelectable.

Sorry to say this but I see no ‘Gedolim’ - political leaders that can lead this country and the free world.