Friday, January 13, 2012
Who Should I Endorse?
A few days ago I asked my Father a very interesting question. I said "Dad, If you were an American would you vote Democrat or Republican". He answered "Democrat". The thing is, my Father is a right wing pro business conservative, so why would he vote Democrat. He went on to say that he could identify more with the Democratic party because he is an Irish Catholic and that traditionally, Irish Americans voted Democrat. Incidentally identity politics in Ireland is something we know all about as the two main parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are ideologically indistinguishable. The reason I asked my father this question in the first place is because I have realised recently that sooner or later Gubu World is going to have to shake the political world to its core and endorse a candidate for President. I have never supported a Republican for President before although I have acknowledged that I was much too hard on George W Bush and think he was a better President than John Kerry would have been. But in 2012 surely the time has come for me to openly support a Republican candidate. And I must say I like Mitt Romney and do believe that a successful business man is the best type of person to address a massive debt problem. But damn it there is something about the Republicans that just irk me and I can't really explain it. Well let me try. Recently I saw an add by Cuban American Congressman Marco Rubio in which he criticises Obama for turning America into a European style welfare state. He opened the advert by saying "My parents fled a country that was pretty much like every other country in the world". Now wait a minute, my country is nothing like Cuba. This genuinely offended me. You can imagine the satisfaction I felt when I heard that Marco Rubio was coming under fire because it emerged that his parents actually fled Cuba a few years before Castro came to power so his sob story was a fib. However Rubio's rant also made me realise something else. Conservative Republicans despise Europe. I mean it really disgusts them. They see us at repulsive welfare states that won't stand up for anything. This does not make me bitter, after all it is very obvious to me that most liberal Europeans despise the United States. But I got to thinking, particularly after watching one of the Republican debates where the candidates were all trying to outdo each other in explaining how un European they are, why should I support a candidate from a party whose dislike for my country is so intense. I know this is not a particularly sophisticated point but we are not dealing with sophisticated things here. Identity politics is tribal by nature. I should be a clear Republican supporter, particularly since my main concern, the Irish economy, would benefit enormously if the US economy were to come roaring back in 2013 with a dynamic fiscal conservative at the helm. That said, I really wish the Republican candidates could just work a bit on being more likable. Some clearly think that being disliked is actually a good thing. I would like to remind them than Ronald Reagan was not only a visionary who liberated half of Europe, he was also adorable.