Ok, I will go out on a limb here and predict that Obama will lose the up-coming election to Mitt Romney. This victory will not be based upon Romney's popularity but on the near complete failure of Obama as president and the hopelessness of the Democrats in Congress. No matter what Obama was to do during his presidency, the rightwing was going to condemn him as a radical socialist. During the past four years the Democrats have further demonstrated that they are essentially the party of the rich despite trying to portray themselves as the party of the people. Meanwhile Obama did nothing to fulfil the promises of governing from the left of spectrum. He never closed that symbol of American fascism, Guantanamo Bay, despite saying it was to be his first order of business. He did little for the environment, he didn't bother with any real reforms to Wall Street or the Banking sector despite the fact that they almost single-handedly brought down the global economy. His health-plan was better for the insurance companies than for the average people, and bankruptcies due to health problems continue apace in the States. Despite the ranting and raving of the right in America, Obama is little more than another neo-liberal with slightly liberal social attitudes. Because of the fact that Obama did nothing to live up to his liberal tongue-wagging, he has largely lost those that he brought into the political process and those left-leaning democrats who lived in great hope that he would be a real reformer. As a result of this, and the continuing economic problems of the US (many of which are a direct result of neo-liberal economic policies), many left and liberal voters will just stay home and if Obama wins, it will only be by a very slim margin.
Now, don't get me wrong. While Obama is just another mainstream politician, Romney and his running-mate are just plain wacko. The Republicans are so crazy that they threaten to bring down the entire world economy, start a nuclear war, and bring us back to the sixteenth century where women and gay rights are concerned. It simply baffles me when I hear otherwise rational people talk as though this billionaire who made a career out of liquidating companies, killing jobs, and sending capital oversees, is going to reinvigorate the US economy. It is simply amazing to me. The neo-conservative agenda of men like Romney (and Harper for that matter) is simple - turn the economy into a third-world style system so that the rich can truly benefit from the capitalist order. And what is remarkable is that people still buy their political talk even while they actually offer nothing in their discourse or policy. The only policy initiative that the rightwing offers is lower taxes, something that has demonstrably failed to grow any economy. You continually hear Haper talk of 'creating jobs' and building the economy, but you never hear ANY actual policy ideas other than lowing taxes. The simple fact is that higher taxes and more government intervention has proved time and again to be the most successful way of bring up living standards and growing an economy. Anyone who looks at the facts knows this. Yet people, often people who are struggling to make ends meet, actually think that billionaires who want to give tax breaks to the richest are going to make things better for them. It baffles me.
We will see if Romney and his bizarre Randian running-mate will be able to pull it off. I know that Harper is salivating at the notion. Weider things have happened, that's for sure. Meanwhile in Canada, it seems clear to me that Fortuna's pendulum has swung away from the rightwing as Liberals (both in name only) face defeat in Quebec and BC and Harper's government has seen the fastest, most dramatic plummet in the polls that any government in Canada has experienced. The noticeable deterioration of the environmental conditions will further erode rightwing support. People are watching the post-war gains erode and they are slowly panicing about their future and the future of their kids.
Romney might win. But his victory will be more of the failure of the left to actually step up and have the courage to offer real solutions, solutions that have worked in places Scandinavia and once worked here until the rightwing nutbars convinced people that prosperity and equality are bad things.
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