Sunday, October 28, 2012

Running on Empty

11 degrees below zero at the Button Rock trailhead

Gaining altitude on the Sleepy Lion trail
If I'm honest, my dislike of Romney is one of judgment. How can an individual who believes that magic underpants will protect him, that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, or that the "curse of Cain" was the reason black people exist, be fit to be President? I'm not short of reasons to dislike Romney but at a fundamental level I can't get past how someone with apparent intelligence could believe such silly things. And I know when I point this out I get the usual criticism from those whose religious sensibilities are offended, but no-one has the right to go through life free from offense, and if your personal philosophy is built on a set of really bad ideas then claiming special privilege for them being "religious" in no way immunizes them from criticism. If religious ideas are deemed free from criticism (something Islamists are attempting to achieve at the UN through the promotion of blasphemy laws) then all bets are off and the incompatibility between the competing claims of different religions becomes an impossible, and undiscoverable, contradiction. We seem to have no problem going after each others' political opinions (as I am doing here...and as others do with me), and the same should apply to religious any ideas. And before anyone starts launching in to a First Amendment defense, I am perfectly happy respecting the rights of people to believe what they want...but that doesn't mean I can't point out how silly those beliefs are.

But I digress.

Looking up towards Hall Ranch

Romney simply can't tell the truth about his position on important issues that will define America, indeed, the world. This seems to be clearer to pretty much every citizen on this planet outside the US, except Pakistan, as thus survey seems to make clear.  The flip-flopping label that was attached to John Kerry with such devastating effect in 2004 seems insufficiently descriptive to truly capture Romney's pirouetting. Exactly one year ago, with the Republican primary steamrollering along, ABC news was already pointing out the glaring contradictions in Romney as a candidate. Only this week Stephen Stromberg, writing in the Washington Post, pointed out yet again, how Romney has changed his position on pretty much everything in his desperate attempt to get elected. It is embarrassing to see an American electorate so complicit in this duplicitous behavior, or so easily fooled.
Cloud on the horizon obscures Long's Peak. Our route can be seen climbing the right side of the dam. We would skirt the right shoreline before heading back east to the trailhead

One explanation has less to do with positively supporting Romney as it has to a vitriolic and contemptuous hatred of Obama. It's difficult to understand how this hatred is justified - I certainly don't hate Romney. I think he has integrity issues and isn't as smart as others make him out to be, but I have respect for him as a fellow human being. I'm also not a huge fan of Obama. The fact that there is so little difference between his foreign policy and that of the Bush er, as outlined in this excellent analysis, and that he has failed to abolish (instead he extended it) Bush's "Faith-Based" initiatives, along with his failure to correctly address Gay marriage, makes for a poor record by my book. The fact that he has failed to enact any gun control legislation is egregious notwithstanding the political difficulties of the last two years. But while I can disagree with Obama on points of specific policy, I share his world view and philosophy regarding the kind of society we all should be seeking to build. By contrast, if I could find a policy of Romney's I could agree with (and it's hard because they change so much over time) I completely reject his world view. The kind of society he says he wants to build stands in stark contrast to the policies he says would create it. You don't build social cohesion by taxing the middle class and letting the extremely rich get a free ride. For Romney, the increasing gap between rich and poor is both inevitable and desirable.
Climbing the trail by the dam, looking back to where the previous photo was taken

Easy running all the way back to the trailhead

It is difficult for some Republican politicians to conceal their racism in expressing their hatred of Obama. We are really not short of examples. The vitriol of these politicians is inflammatory. It started with Sarah Palin and those crosshairs. And while Romney has been very careful to avoid direct comments, he has been keen to continue to support those whose racism is on public display. The overall effect of this appalling lack of moral leadership is evidenced in this poll (with a better written analysis here) which shows attitudes are heading in the wrong direction. With Romney failing to condemn Sununu over his racially tinged accusation that Colin Powell backed Obama because he is black, and we have a presidential candidate unfit to be President.
Re-joining the trail after descending from the reservoir

I have already attacked Romney in another post for his anti-science and anti-Gay stance, so won't dwell further on those points here.

Americans have to decide what kind of society they want to live in. They can...and may...choose to live in Romney's society, but in 4 years time their regret will lead to a Democrat landslide. I just don't want to have to put up with 4 years of embarrassing leadership in the meantime and watch the United States become the international laughing stock it was during GWB's tenure.
Livvy loves running in the snow and is alert on the banks of Longmont Reservoir as she watches some geese on the far bank

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