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1.10.2012

Primary Day in New Hampshire

I'm a liberal. I believe that society is about shared responsibility. Liberal doesn't mean big government. It has nothing to do with government - that's just an opposition smokescreen to make conservatives squeak. Liberals believe in responsible and responsive government, a government that takes on the needs of the collective. That includes police, fire, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and social security. These are all jobs better handled together because we can't pay for them alone and we can't afford to be without them. Plus there is no reason anyone should make a profit off the common good.

As a liberal I want better government, not more of it. Right now the American political system is totally dysfunctional and out of control. Money controls politics so much that it appears our choice has come down to letting the politics of money rage on or dismantling government altogether so that we're at the mercy of those who control the private sector. There must be a middle ground.

Not according to the slate of Republican candidates on today's primary ballot. I can't believe the selection of squabbling, self serving, men that have floated to the top of the charts. Mitt Romney will change his view three times a day to get votes. Newt Gingrich is so bloated with his own self importance that he believes that his extreme ideas are acceptable simply because he spouts them. Rick Santorum is so socially conservative that it doesn't matter what else he thinks. Then there is Ron Paul, who wants no government. No civil rights, no women's rights, no clean air, no consumer protection and no social security. I've seen the yellow skies over Beijing. Believe me, we don't want to go there. Nor do we want to return to lead paint, devaluing women and segregation.

I'll grant that President Obama has his problems and has had trouble navigating this really divided government. But really, are any of these guys really capable of holding an honest debate with him on how to get out of the deep slump the country is in? Gingrich suggests we solve the poverty problem by making poor black children clean the toilets for the affluent kids at school, as if a poor work ethic has anything to do with poverty. Romney will spout what is convenient that moment so the concept of 'debating his position' is an oxymoron, and Ron Paul wants to return to the gold standard and get rid of money altogether. Got change for a ducat?

Why is any of this relevant to a grampy raising 3 boys? Our school system, our health and our ability to financially fend for ourselves are all at stake. Meanwhile these characters are discussing cutting hundreds of billions out of a federal budget that would leave 80% of the population hanging out to dry. Is this really what the Republican Party wants or are they just holding their noses long enough to vote because this is all they can get?

I hope when November rolls around voters take the future of our country more seriously than they do. Please, if I'm missing something about these candidates, let me know. I long for reason to think better of them.