Well, the Iowa Caucus is in full swing and the pundits are going at it hot and heavy. Personally I like the way the Democrats do the caucus thing. More on that later. This post is on my view of the fatal flaws of our election system and the candidates themselves.
I might as well alienate the democrats first off. The only ones with a shot are Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Problem is that they are stamped from the same mold. The fatal flaw is universal (socialist) health care, bigger government, and no commitment to do anything but continue manipulating the current tax code. Also, I don't trust any of them with the lives of my (both US Marines)daughter and son-in-law. None strike me as being able to command troops to kill or die for our nation. If they are not defeatist, they are at least retreatist.
Now for the Republicans. Right off, the fatal flaw for Rudy in my eyes is that I don't trust him. He and Bill Clinton are two of a kind. Don't get me wrong, he appears to have run NYC with the iron hand of a Mafia Don. And I cannot deny that I have read articles lauding him for achievements in there. But, in my gut I don't trust him.
Same goes for Mitt. He is too slick for my tastes. Might as well be the Republican John Edwards. I understand that a politician must make compromises and play to the masses. But, Mitt has virtually reinvented himself. I can't decide if he's a steroid enhanced Democrat or Republican Lite.
Huckabee strikes me as a like-able guy and even as an honest man in general. But his fatal flaw is immigration. I don't care what position he takes, but he isn't sticking with it. I like his endorsement of the FairTax.
McCain is a hero to me. I respect him for his service during the Vietnam war. While that makes him a hero, it doesn't make him Presidential. Mr. McCain has run for President so many times that I think he is on autopilot. I don't claim to be a conservative. I am a realist. McCain/Feingold is allegedly a freedom of speech issue. To me it was simply another piled on layer of red tape.
Thompson is simply going to crash and burn. I think he waited too long to get in and if he has any charisma or spark, it's past time to show it. I don't expect a cheerleader, but the leader of the free world needs to be inspiring. Come to think of it, the others need this too.
Ron Paul. Philosophically I love this guy. But, his philosophy is not reality based. Like it or not we have been steadily eroding personal liberty for well over 200 years. RP is a constitutional scholar but you can't turn back the clock. Isolationism is a great idea, but not in a world of terrorists and WMD. I like that he actually tells people that "we cannot do that, it isn't in the constitution." But when reality and philosophy collide, reality will win.
None of the other Republicans were anointed by the media. Today that means they don't stand a chance. And that brings us to the electoral process itself.
I like the primary system. People complain about the little states not having a say thanks to the electoral college. But, look at the order of the primaries. Little states lead the way, it balances things.
The fatal flaw in our system is the secret ballot. In Iowa, the democrats actually stand in person to be counted. I like the openness of that. I think you should fill in a ballot that is scannable. Your name and signature should be on it. You should stand and be counted. No election controversy. Siomply bubble in a scantron and stand there as they scan it and place your ballot in a locked box.
Well, on TV the prediction is Obama and Huckabee. Of course there is at least another hour or two in order to get it wrong :)