Why America Needs President McCain
I think since I’ve written two really depressing posts in a row (I prefer to think of them as realistic) I’ll go for a trifecta myself. I’ve been saying for months that McCain will be the next president of the USA. And not only do I think he’s likely to be our next president by fair means or foul, I actually think President McCain would be the best thing that could happen to the Republic. Have I suddenly become a jingoistic militarist? Did someone slip something in my coffee? Have I lost my mind.
No. I don’t think so. Not yet.
The truth of the matter is, American needs McCain in the White House next year because someone has to take the blame when Bush’s economic, military, and foreign policy catastrophes come to full fruition. Shouldn’t it be someone who has supported these policies, so that, finally, global militarism and endless deficit spending gets discredited? If Obama wins and things go to hell, the biggest blame game in history will begin, making the liberal/conservative schism after Vietnam look trivial in comparison. And frankly the last few decades of listening to fantasy oriented people claiming that “we could have won” in Vietnam has been really annoying. I don’t want to spend the next few decades hearing about how we “almost won” the War on Terror but the liberals ruined it all at the very last moment.
Now granted, for my premise to be valid, the situation has to be so bad that Obama couldn’t turn it around. And I think it is, even assuming Obama proves to be a brilliant and capable leader, the damage done by the Bush administration goes clear to the bone. Nothign is going to stave off the catastrophe looming for America. I could be wrong, hell, I hope I’m wrong. There have been a few times and places in history where national leaders have performed miracles under fire so to speak. And maybe I will post about them someday. Today though (and I’m sure I’m repeating myself,) why the USA’s military, economic, and foreign policy situation is FUBARED:
The military. Lack of a draft and endless deployments have left the military, especially the ground forces, a mess. Recruiting standards have been lowered to the point of criminality and troops have been rotated in and out of combat far more frequently than is safe and sane. Think of it this way, if someone had to work eight hours and then rest eight hours…24/7…and this went on for months, what kind of shape would they be in? Any honest person is going to admit they would be a wreck. This is what we’ve done to our ground troops for years now. And everywhere possible troops have been taken out of non ground combat units to reinforce the ground forces, so this exhaustion and lack of manpower permeates the military. Then there’s a huge backlog of worn out and damaged equipment. And to top it all off, fighting a counterinsurgency is the most horrible type of combat duty; the enemy could be anyone, a situation that breeds fear, stress, mental illness, and atrocities.
Economically, what can I say. “Borrow and spend” as a national fiscal policy is about as smart as printing money. And in fact, when the national government borrows far beyond its capacity to ever repay…for all practical purposes they are printing money. The collapse of the dollar shows that, and there’s really no limit to how low the dollar can go. The USA has very little left in the way of energy resources, manufacturing resources, and mineral resources. And our vaunted agricultural system is dependent on foreign oil and unsustainable water use. Factor in the decayed infrastructure of the past few decades, and we’ve come a long ways downward since 1960 when the USA was the richest and most powerful nation in history with an economy, manufacturing sector, infrastructure, educational system, and much else that was the envy of the world. Today the USA is a shell of it’s former self structurally and economically, all the fabulously expensive military hardware in the world won’t fix our roads or rebuild our factories or educate our children.
Lastly, foreign policy. Our eight year effort to kill bad guys and make the world safe for people to walk the streets has done the opposite. Americans are more hated than ever before, especially in the Middle East. And our obsession with the Middle East has allowed anti-American forces everywhere, especially in Latin America, to gain tremendous ground. Eight years ago the USA’s input in international relations the world over was paramount, now we are seeing the world starting to manage its own affairs whether the USA likes it or not. And while arguably this is a great thing for the world, it becomes more manifest every day that the dream of an “American century” is turning into a pipe dream at best. America the Great is becoming America the Irrelevant before our eyes.
So get out there and vote for McCain! Is there anyone else more suited for the mantle of defeat and failure?
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, it is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. Credit: Larry Downing, Reuters. I picked it because I see something a little creepy in McCain’s expression. Need a break from all this depressing stuff? Click here.)