Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Quality of "Leadership" in US Presidential Candidates

Obama has shown himself to be a poor leader who pleads with the electorate to force him to lead. He has no program. When it comes to big issues he "compromises" himself into advocating and accepting Republican positions.

But the Republicans present an even bigger problem for American voters. The candidates on the right have only a tenuous grasp of reality and live in an ideological fantasy land. Here is a bit from an article in the USA Today newspaper:
GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann said today that Americans "fear the rise of the Soviet Union" during an appearance on a conservative radio talk show.
Earth to Bachmann... the Soviet Union dissolved over 20 years ago into a number of different republics. Russia is the biggest piece with the nuclear weapons, but they aren't aggressively threatening anybody. Their internal economy was shattered in the 1990s and they are still trying to get back to where they were. According to the CIA Factbook, their per capita GDP is only $15,900 with a population of 138 million. The US is $47,200 with 313 million. They are one-seventh the power of the US. Why is she batting at ghosts of the past?

Bachmann's statement is reminiscent of Sarah Palin in 2008 trying to establish her foreign policy credentials by claiming to be able to "see" Russia from Alaska. That's like saying that because you once walked by a bakery you know how to run the business. Nutty.

The problem with the Republican candidates is that they don't understand economics and they are unaware of the current world situation. They live in a bubble isolated from ordinary American lives, so their policies are detrimental to the vast majority of the people. But they are effective because they play on fears: fears of the Soviet past, racial fears, economic uncertainty, and a general fear of a complex modern world that many people don't understand. But to build your social institutions on fear rather than knowledge and hope is to ask for failure and misery.

Americans made a mistake just a decade ago by having their Supreme Court "elect" the dim-witted George Bush as their president. Here they go again being infatuated with a dim bulb as their "bright hope":
The GOP presidential candidate has flubbed some facts in history before, such as when she mistakenly said that the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in New Hampshire. This week, she mistakenly wished Elvis Presley a "happy birthday" on the anniversary of his death.
If you fail to have factual knowledge of the world, you don't have the basis for making policy and deciding on action. You might as well put a poodle in the presidency and let her choose by how loud the dog goes "woof!" when presented with "options".

No comments: