2012 US Presidential elections: A visitor’s perceptions

After a 2 week visit to the US (New York and Boston) it is difficult to resist the temptation to believe that one has become an expert on all things US!!!

But perceptions are relevant and are probably based on much more than just the observations of the last 2 weeks. In simple terms my perceptions are:

  1. There is no credible opposition to Barack Obama within the Democrats even if he has not quite lived up to the expectations of “Yes we can”. But he has not done anything considered by Democrats to be drastically wrong. The Health Care Bill was passed though it has not (will not) deliver all that was hoped. And above all – even if he did not close Guantanamo – he got Osama!!! But he is less of a leader and more of a follower than I thought he would be.
  2. The economy is still floundering and jobs are still hard to come by. But it cannot get worse and in the two years till the Presidential election the inbuilt American resilience can only make it better (whatever Obama may or may not do).
  3. The Republican candidates Рso far Рare very unimpressive as potential Presidential candidates.
  4. In many cases they are quite bizarre. That Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin and their ilk could or can even be considered as serious contenders reveals that a large section of the Republican supporters are not merely anti-intellectual but also anti-thought and their world view only extends as far as sound-bites on Fox news takes them.
  5. The tea-party movement and the right-wing of the Republican party seem quite similar in nationalist aspirations and ideology and insularity to the National Socialist electorate Hitler appealed to. But Michelle Malkin is actually closer to Hitler than Sarah Palin.
  6. Some of Sarah Palin’s shenanigans over the weekend suggest she is more interested in promoting brand Palin and her future earnings than in anything else. Even any eventual candidacy would be to make money.
  7. Romney is the front runner and he would certainly not be less competent than George Bush and probably less susceptible to being a puppet in the hands of a Dick Cheney. But he may be too intellectual for the right-wing of the Republican party. Pawlenty seems to be a non-person but that is mainly image.
  8. What political issues would be relevant in 2012 will change but right now the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot over Health Care. If they continue attacking Medicare they could lose this election already within the next few months.
  9. Energy policy is the Democratic Achilles heel. It is beginning to sink in even among the “do-gooders” that fossil fuels and nuclear energy are the main-stay which actually permits the fiddling around with and subsidising of solar and wind power. It is also beginning to be understood that “climate change” is a political ideology and not a science. I cannot see Energy policy alone winning the election for the Republicans but I can see the Democrats losing it if they allow the fungus of “going green” to spread too far.
But the next 12 months will be fascinating. If the Republicans have not found a credible candidate of substance by this time next year Obama will win his second term easily and will be back in 2012.

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2 Responses to “2012 US Presidential elections: A visitor’s perceptions”

  1. Tim Says:

    Although I agree with some of your statements, I think the comment where you compare Tea Party members (and the Republican right wing) to the “National Socialist electorate Hitler appealed to” is about as accurate as saying you think the world looks flat. I mean, seriously, do you know anything about the socialist party that brought Hitler to power or the Tea Party movement?

    For the sake of being an objective person, you really should consider knowing more about the people you disparaging in your blog.

    Since I doubt you’ll even consider what I say, I won’t bother taking objection to some of the other comments you make.

    Good Luck!

    • ktwop Says:

      I do believe that both movements seek to tap into similar deep levels of dissatisfaction and frustration which are manifested in a form of xenophobia. On the surface they may seem different but I think in human behavioural terms they have their similarities.

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