My question is this: why would any sane person want to be elected president of these disunited states in this toxic economic and political climate? In the case of Obama he has little choice but to try for a second term. If he quits now, he's a coward, and if he's defeated, he will be grouped with the other one term Presidents since FDR as a loser. Do we respect Ford, Carter, and Bush I? Despite their accomplishments, history does not treat them well.
And the Republicans, what of them? The current Republican field is so weak because no self-respecting conservative or moderate wants any part of the mess we're in. Paul Krugman has it right in today's Times. He ends his op-ed on the Euro crisis with this observation: "So the next time you hear someone claiming that if we don't slash spending we'll turn into Greece, your answer should be that if we do slash spending while the economy is still in a depression, we'll turn into Europe. In fact, we're well on our way."
Yes, well on our way to a depression, and then, and only then, will another FDR rise to the occasion and heroically dig us out. But the price paid by the 99% will be horrific, as it was in the 1930s. It seems evident that both Romney and Gingrich are running on ego and very little else. Based on his past experience, Romney's solution, if elected, will be to break up the country and sell off the pieces to China and whoever else wants a piece. Gingrich will turn the oval office into a personal money-making machine for himself and his personal empire.
What the situation demands is exactly what won't or can't come to pass. We need bipartisan cooperation and authentic confidence in our leaders. We need higher taxes on the wealthy and more savings to wipe out personal debt. We need a reduction in military spending and withdrawal of troops from all those places they aren't needed, like Germany. Why on God's not-so-green Earth do we need 54,000 American troops in Germany? Or 10,000 in England or 10,000 in Italy? It's absurd.
Americans have a right to be angry at government at all levels. So far in this election cycle, not one candidate has had the intelligence and courage to tell the truth or to propose real corrective solutions to this crisis. What they are saying is what George Bush said after 9/11, "Go out and spend and carry on as usual and all will be well." Based on this last Black Friday, it looks like that's what we're doing. Good luck with that, America.