To maintain greater perspective, I have stepped back from politics in recent days. I find that, in doing so, I do not get bogged down, worried, or even bothered as much by the nonsense. I also have a philosophical objection to over-involvement in politics (though I don’t obey it nearly enough), because our constant attention is exactly what the gargantuan egos of Washington crave. As Wendell Berry once quipped, in my best moments, I am not even aware of the government’s existence.
But, some thoughts have occurred to me over the last few days that I felt obliged to point out. The GOP cheer, “Beat Obama!”, has been heard and repeated throughout the 2012 campaign season.
Even in his withdrawal from the race today, Jon Huntsman belted out another chorus of it.
The New York Times reports:
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Jon M. Huntsman Jr. will announce Monday that he is ending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsing Mitt Romney, narrowing the field and erasing a challenge to Mr. Romney from the moderate wing of his party.
Mr. Huntsman, who had hoped to use the South Carolina primary this week to revive his flagging candidacy, informed his advisers on Sunday that he was bowing to political reality and would back Mr. Romney, whom he accused a week ago of putting party ahead of country.
Mr. Huntsman, who had struggled to live up to the early expectations of his candidacy, was to deliver a speech Monday morning in Myrtle Beach, where the five remaining major Republican candidates will gather hours later for a debate. His endorsement of Mr. Romney is indication of the party establishment getting behind Mr. Romney and trying to focus the party on defeating President Obama.
On multiple occasions, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has stated that any of the current GOP candidates would be better than Barack Obama. In the face of debate questions designed to cause conflict among the candidates, Gingrich has even chastised the media for trying to split the party which, in Newt’s estimation, was united around the one goal of defeating Barack Obama.
And then what?
How would defeating Barack Obama save America? How would the landscape and direction radically change under one of the GOP nominees?
The “establishment-type” GOPers all lean towards Mitt Romney because he is “electable” and the “conservative” Republicans favor anyone other than Romney (except, it seems, Ron Paul). But, voting for Romney or any other GOP candidate than Ron Paul is a vote for…?
How are they different than Barack Obama? Their economic system is still Keynesian, just like Obama. They still favor big government, just like Obama. They have no plans for doing away with abortion, just like Obama. They all favor military intervention and war abroad, just like Obama.
From what I can tell, unless Ron Paul becomes the GOP nominee, the mantra of “Defeat Obama” is simply another “Hope and Change” – an empty slogan.