The recent GOP primary was (or should have been) a nail-biter for the vast majority of Americans.Lousy economies often create the conditions necessary for extremists to be elected–folks like Hitler, who appeal to the electorate’s misery and desire for change, and then go on to be far more extreme than most people realised.
Our economy isn’t as lousy as the one that led to Hitler’s coming to power, thankfully, but it’s lousy.
And that’s why the anti-American rantings of candidates like Rick Santorum couldn’t be dismissed and ignored as the usual scary-talk from religious aggressives that we hear briefly every four years. In the current economy, it seemed possible, if highly improbable, that mainstream Americans could have gone temporarily insane and gotten behind Santorum.
(And this is in no way intended to suggest that Santorum is similar to Hitler. He’s not. He is, however, an extremist whose views seemed largely to be about stripping Americans of religious and sexual freedoms and creating a new country in his own peculiar image).
Mitt Romney is not perfect, by any means, but unless his term as governor of Massachusetts was a complete sham, he’s relatively reasonable.
Which is to say, his policies are mainly centre-right as opposed to the centre-left policies of our current President, Barack Obama, who is also reasonable (and imperfect).
In other words, our two candidates for President in the 2012 election are, once again, just two sides of the same coin: Smart, reasonable Americans who just have modestly different philosophies about the role of government in American society.
And that means we can all breathe easy.
As ever, the die-hard fans of both political teams will present this election as a choice between Good vs. Evil, Restoration of America vs, Catastrophe, etc., but the truth is that it probably won’t make that big a difference who wins. America’s problems (and strengths) are ingrained enough that neither of the two candidates will be able to “fix” the country over the next four years or really screw it up.And mainstream Americans should be deeply thankful for that.
We’ve had our flirtations with extremism (on both sides) over the past few years. But once again, America has prevailed.
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