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Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by RLn Staff

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Down to the Wire for Obama

Romney has tried to appear as a moderate in an election of historic proportions

By James Preston Allen, Publisher

I have been thinking lately that this national election is of such historic proportions that it may well determine the direction of this country for the next three decades. This election has been cast as a choice between President Obama and his desire to re-dedicate the nation to certain core fundamentals of our national creed and Gov. Mitt Romney and his desire to spin us down the road of the “freedom equals capitalism.”

The contrast between Obama and Romney couldn’t be clearer, even as Romney sprints to the center. These days, it seems he’d say anything to get into the oval office.  This election really comes down to a choice between the failed economic policies of the past 30 years and the promise of some yet-to-be fully enunciated New Deal for America’s middle class.

One of our letter writers makes reference to the presidential election of 1932 between President Herbert Hoover and Governor  Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the height of the Great Depression. Roosevelt  won by a landslide. That election, like this one, focused on the failures of free market economic policies and the consequences of relying on the market’s ability to “self-correct” or bring the promised “prosperity” (think American dream).  In that year, unemployment topped out at a whopping 25 percent.

This year’s election is reversed with the incumbent Democratic president defending his FDR-like initiatives and his Republican challenger criticizing anything that sounds like “regulating the free market.”  Late in the campaign Romney seems to have shifted like the pitch-man that he is from hard-right-Mitt to Romney-lite, as though this was an ad campaign for a new beer that helps you lose weight!

One late-night pundit explained that presidential campaigns are not about the past but about the future and that neither candidate has explained exactly the future they envision. While this may be generally true in this election, I’d argue that this election is not about a choice between two paths to the future but a decision about our past.  Do we unravel the  knot of mistakes that brought us to the brink of financial collapse, or do we go back to making those same kind of mistakes out of some misguided loyalty to a dysfunctional ideology?

So, it will come as no surprise that I reject the Romney-retro-vision of “trickle-down economics” of the past. I support those who adhere to some form of FDR’s liberalism. Obama included. My criticism is that this president and others in the Democratic party haven’t gone far enough, fought hard enough for their ideals and continue to “reach across the aisle” to compromise with those whose only goal for the past four years was to make Obama a one-term president. So I direct this message to them: You were elected to represent the people and to do the business of the people. When confronted with  obstructionist opposition Teabaggers, you are expected to fight, not compromise with them!

With that being said, it is Obama, not Romney, who is most suited for the nuances of governing and transitioning this nation from a full-on war economy to a post-Cold War leader of the democratically elected family of nations. The question, however, is whether he has enough votes in Congress to pass any significant reforms that don’t compromise the core values of what should be the second half of FDR’s vision of the New Deal.

This is why I have endorsed Janice Hahn and Alan Lowenthal for Congress with the admonishment that they tighten their seat-belts. The next two years are going to be a rough ride. Don’t compromise with idiots. Don’t start negotiating from the middle. There are some things like Social Security, Medicare and Roe vs. Wade that are non-negotiable.

Then we need to talk about enforcing the anti-trust laws on those Wall Street banks that are called “too big to fail,” it is time to separate consumer banking from the blatant and corrupt gaming of our wealthiest financial institutions. Only then will we perhaps see an end to this debacle that we have come to know as the Great Recession.

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