The two major political parties have a lock on power in the United States. The election laws, the media and family voting patterns all collude to make the election of a third party candidate to the Presidency a near impossibility. The closest in the lifetime of anyone reading this happened in 1992 when Ross Perot garnered 18.91% of the vote and not one electoral vote. He has long been blamed for causing the defeat of Bush the Elder and the election of Clinton the Last. Whether Mr. Perot did have such a dramatic effect on the presidential election is still debated. Just as in most theological debates both sides offer well-constructed arguments supported by what they consider irrefutable scripture references or in this case, the life’s blood of political statements: statistics.
One certainty that cannot be debated is that Perot did not have an honest man’s chance in Washington to be elected.
Consequently either Barak Obama will continue as America’s president or he will be unseated and Mitt Romney will replace him. There may be others running. There may be better qualified people. There may be someone who could inspire and lead us all into a second century of American ascendance; however, despite whomever else there may be it will be either the Democrat Obama or the Republican Romney. Life may not be fair but it usually is predictable, and this is as predictable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. One of the two parties of power will win.
Given this preordained outcome is there really any hope of change? Or will we continue to watch helplessly as the perpetually re-elected parties continue to spend us into oblivion?
With Mr. Obama’s second term there is no doubt that all we can expect is more of the same, on steroids. Mr. Obama has said, "I think that after this election, we’ll be in a position to once again reach out to Republicans and say that the American people have rendered a judgment, and the positions we’re taking are well within what used to be considered bipartisan centrist approaches."
A divided government, if the Republicans maintain control of the House, might slow things down, however Mr. Obama has shown he is ready, willing and with the silence of Congress able to rule by decree. If Congress won’t pass the Dream Act he imposes it. If Congress won’t pass Cap-N-Trade he regulates it into being. So we know that if he wins a second term it will be his way or the highway. His agenda will continue to be the national agenda and four more years might be enough to sink the ship of state in a Cloward–Piven Strategy overwhelming the system scenario.
Four more years of the Obama led Democrat Progressives and we may be fundamentally transformed beyond recognition. The heritage of our Founding Fathers may become the lost cause of a failed experiment in individual liberty and economic freedom as America descends into the morass of a welfare state based on re-distribution and political correctness. In other words, the dream of Obama’s father.
That is one side of the coin. What about the other?
If we get Tweedledee instead of Tweedledum will it be morning in America again? Will the ghost of the Gipper lead us from the government’s shovel-never-ready Great Recession into a new era where things are made in America again and everything’s coming up roses?
There is no way from where we are: 16 trillion in debt, a decimated industrial base and a large proportion of our population addicted to government handouts, back to being the largest creditor in the world, the largest manufacturer, a land of self-reliant patriots without major dislocations, and dare I say it, austerity.
Mr. Romney’s fifty nine point plan to save the economy is a well-crafted and well-presented plan to revitalize America’s economy through a pro-capitalist free market approach. It is however not as easy to explain or present as tax the rich and give everyone else free stuff. Since it is better known and has been more widely and perhaps more eloquently presented the Republicans appear to be fronting with Paul Ryan’s plan to save America. Both the Romney and the Ryan plan are a clear step away from the plunder policies of Mr. Obama and his Progressive shock troops.
However, neither Republican plans adequately addresses the entitlement time bomb. Neither projects a balanced budget in any timely fashion and neither proposes any way to ensure that future Congresses live by any restraints imposed. Both promise to preserve our imperial defense spending needed to support two wars and more than 100 foreign bases. Both rattle sabers in the direction of Syria and Iran. What we have is an effort to slow the growth of the debt by reducing the yearly deficits.
Slowing the growth is decidedly better than accelerating but the debt keeps growing and the abyss that looms ahead of us is the unsustainability of the debt. A future rise in interest rates will sink the ship as the service on the debt wipes out the government’s ability to keep its promises or meet its obligations. This is the very scenario the Progressives have been progressing towards. The people who tell us never to let a crisis go to waste have long worked incrementally to lead us to the crisis at the end of the Constitution. A final crisis when limited government will be completely unshackled and the central planners will triumph.
If Romney wins he and his administration may put a speed bump on the expressway to the poor house, but unless they are ready to shut down the gravy train and turn off the spigot of re-distribution we will merely postpone the day of reckoning. Slower is better than faster when it comes to assuming room temperature; however, unless we turn this ship around we’re headed for the shoals of bankruptcy and the reefs of insolvency either way.
Even though Mr. Obama makes the Carter Administration look like the good old days don’t count out the machines ability to pull an election out of their hat. From no voter IDs and Black Panthers patrolling the polls, from polling places in cemeteries, to every obstacle imaginable in the way of people in our armed forces voting this will be a no-holds-barred Chicago-style campaign by the Democrats. The Progressives know this is the one they need. This is the election that will seal the deal and finally transform America into a re-distribution center with them picking all the winners and losers. They win…America loses.
As one example of how the institutions the Progressives have built over the years will line up to re-elect Barack Obama, look at the recent moves of the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve is moving to inject massive amounts of money into the economy, while keeping interest rates near zero, before the election in a clear move to help re-elect President Obama. How are they going to do this? Will they just print more money? No, they wouldn’t do anything so crude or easy to see as that. Instead, they will announce an open ended mandate to purchase Treasury Bonds and mortgage backed securities. This is QE (Quantitative Easing) 3 in all but name. In QE1 the Fed bought $2.3 trillion of securities and in QE2 $600 billion of Treasuries. How big will this round of pump priming be? According to San Francisco Fed President John Williams, since this is an open ended authorization it could eventually be, "at least as large as QE2 or arguably even larger again." The casino stock market will soar, and the Fed, through its Chairman, will continue to assure us inflation is small, negligible, and nothing we won’t be able to handle. Then again, what’s a little inflation if it helps re-elect a president whose goal is to swamp the system.
Expect an October surprise such as action against Iran or Syria. Expect an encouraging jobs report right before the election that will be revised lower later. Expect the Obama Administration to do whatever it takes to win.
Romney’s road may still lead to the poor house but Obama’s is a bullet train to nowhere. Is there any hope for change? Not with what we’ve heard so far. Maybe there is a chance to switch from the certainty of near term collapse to the promise of at least a few more stations and a few more track changes before we hit the wall. Who knows with enough time maybe enough people will get up off the couch, turn off the game, and pay attention to make a difference. At least that would be a change we could all hope for.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens