Modern times and Richard Nixon broke the tradition by making all national holidays into three-day weekends, usually by designating Monday for the break. This homogenizing resulted in some sort of general appreciation of presidents and less emphasis on the heroic lives of the individuals holding the office. The simple presence of any man in the oval office somehow raised him to equal prominence with his fellow executives, most of whom enjoyed the boost in their reputations. We ignore James Buchanan and the Mexican war and America’s consolidation of Latin America under petty dictators in our pay.
With this in mind, we need to look closely at the current crop of contestants for the nation’s highest office. The mindless patriot talk show fringe having taken control of the Republican base, the crypto-fascists have been able to take advantage of the current economic and political disruptions to push their agenda of endless foreign wars, anti-worker legislation and gutting all social programs that offer the poor and minorities any assistance.
Each of the several candidates has swung hard at issues like right-to-work, illegal immigration, abortion and contraception. In the midst of an economic collapse and congressional gridlock, these are the issues the Republicans choose to run on.
In the unlikely event of an election that turns Barack Obama out of office, what sort of president would any of the current candidates make? What priorities would they deliver as policy? What do we know about them, anyway?
Mitt Romney is a billionaire who mistreats animals and has wanted to be president for decades without much success. Newt Gingrich is a serial philanderer with a penchant for congressional corruption, which got him thrown out of office and power. His later career focused on peddling his residual influence on Capitol Hill and rubber chicken book tours touting a fantasy free market philosophy.
Rick Santorum is a genuine believer in the submissive role of women, including mandated medical procedures for pregnant females and restoration of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the military and a ban on front line deployment for the distaff side whom he says can serve as clerks and administrative workers. So much for equal rights.
Ron Paul suffers from Cassandra syndrome, in that he tells the truth and nobody can understand him.
If this is the best the Grand Old Party can offer up for the fall, we must consider them sacrificial offerings to the gods of stupid and prepare for a future with the current crew at the White House, struggling to overcome the bitter legacy of losers and rogues.
One may assume that nobody will be celebrating the birthday of any of these pretenders to the presidency.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.