In just under one year, we are going to elect an imperfect person to be President of the United States. There are no perfect people running for office. Those of us in the electorate should find that easy to understand. None of us are perfect either. All of this hubbub about Herman Cain allegedly having had an improper relationship with one or more ladies is important, but it should not overshadow the debate about what we are going to do to get this country out of the mess that it is currently in. We call Romney a flip-flopper. In the past, we've elected people who have changed their mind on important subjects - a lot of them. This world is complicated. I can understand why folks change their mind from time to time. It might just be that Mitt Romney's ability to change his mind is exactly what we need right now. It just might lead to the kind of compromise between political positions that we require to get past the ideological deadlock that has incapacitated Washington.
Newt Gingrich is about to get his turn in the barrel. Apparently, he advised Fannie and Freddie executives on the best way to deal with conservative lawmakers. Given that he had just relinquished his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, his advice was probably worth what he was paid. His extensive government experience might just be the reason that we should elect him to be President. Alternatively, of course, we could re-elect a man with impeccable family credentials, an unwavering belief in his principals, proven resistance to changing his mind, and absolutely no experience in governing, even though he has been at the helm of our government for three years.
I will take any of the Republican candidates over Barack Obama any day of the week not necessarily because they are that good, but because Obama is that bad. This country needs a course correction and the election of a Republican is the only way that objective can be accomplished in our system of government. Once we elect a conservative person to be president, we must encourage him or her to govern from the center. Sure, we have to take immediate action to get our financial house in order, but the far, far more important objective is to regain our national unity. Like the founders said - united we stand, divided we fall.
We've got a lot of work to do and we need our mojo back to get on with it. The rise of the global economy is eating our lunch right now because we haven't figured out how to compete in the brave new world that is all around us. There are things that we can do to stimulate job growth in the short term, but the long term future of our economy is a far more important challenge. We are currently worried about the fact that everything that we use is manufactured in China and our thirst for cheap has us in debt up to our eyeballs. We take some comfort in our intellectual superiority and point to Steve Jobs as a representative of American know-how, but in the process we forget that his products are all made in China or Taiwan. We should also note that the fastest computer in the world is Chinese. In today's global economy, the best lawyers in the world will not protect intellectual property.
I honestly do not think that we need to accept a continued degradation of our standard of living. If we accept that we are no longer king of the hill, it all becomes a self-fulling prophecy. It seems to me that we need to spend more time and energy developing what we have inside our own country. Rick Perry has outlined an energy plan that seeks to develop fossil fuels inside our borders. I support that idea because it will generate jobs and, even more importantly, it will provide energy at lower cost and that will give us an economic advantage in world markets. President Obama's refusal to let our ally Canada send us oil to be refined in our refineries is a terrible mistake for all kinds of obvious reasons. Instead, he would have us continue to buy oil from Venezuela and the Gulf States, thus funding in part, at least, countries and organizations that don't much like us.
I favor keeping those energy dollars and jobs closer to home. Several folks have suggested that we change our tax code to encourage the repatriation of capital currently being sheltered overseas. I think that is a good idea. Obviously, we need to get rid of excessive regulation that is currently stifling entrepreneurship. Liberals will rightly point out that all of this risks damage to our environment. We must be vigilant and we must find ways to simultaneously develop our natural resources and protect our environment. That challenge faces the entire world and offers us a place where our interest in technology can be developed into new commercial applications. Why not be the people who figure out how to use fossil fuels efficiently without harming the environment. (We've actually made a pretty good start in doing this, but there is obviously room for further development of the technologies.) Really clean coal would be useful to the entire world and would be another place where we could make a dollar.
If I sound a bit jingoistic, I make no apologies. While I do not advocate taking unfair advantage of the next guy, I see no national advantage in accepting mediocrity in the guise of fairness. One of my arguments with my president is over this very issue. His efforts to "level the playing field" is in reality, an attempt to squash competition. That is not only stupid, it is also not in our national interest - nor in the long term interest of the very people he is trying to help.