Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Republicans Move Toward Populism and in so doing Damage their Senate Election Chances in Delaware: The Syndrome of Good Doctors Masquerading as Legislators

By our definition, a populist political candidate is someone whose main claim to fame is his or her assertion that he or she "is close to the people", whatever that may mean to whomever is interpreting the phrase. No other political qualifications are necessary -- and may not be present - which means that "anyone" can get elected to political office as a populist if they are pretty, witty, handsome or famous enough. No expertise required.

People should take a look at the State of Minnesota and examine what happened to that State in the aftermath of their populist governor (see On Starving the Beast), who wound up moving to live in Mexico while an interstate bridge crumbled behind him, surely not through his fault, but as a warning sign of what can happen when government is done "on the fly" by well-meaning part-time amateurs and when popular fiscal irresponsibility runs rampant.

ANYONE ín power in government can cut government budgets and reduce taxes, it takes no brains at all, but there are dire consequences. There are a lot of bridges in America that need repairs and many new bridges that need to be built, and none of that necessary bridge-building will be done better by "close to the people" populists. Quite the contrary.

How can anyone rationally believe that medical doctors (8 in Congress) and obstetricians (Ron Paul is an example, his job is to deliver babies) know better how to run the country than people trained in law, finance, politics and economics?

People who support such candidates are living under a supreme self-induced illusion.

How would you like your own or your wife's next baby to be delivered by the nearest lawyer in town? He or she might even manage in a pinch as long as nothing unexpected happened, but in times of crisis, you need EXPERTISE. Populists lack that expertise. An inexperienced obstetrician can kill his client(s), i.e. mother and/or child. Inexperienced populists can be the death of good government, smiling all the way in their good intentions, which no one doubts. But hell is paved with good intentions.

There is nothing wrong in principle, of course, with voting for alternative political candidates, but people whose job it is to "legislate" in the American U.S. Congress should at least have a minimum of legal, economic and political qualifications, before intelligent and informed voters will vote for them.

Alas, that is not the case.

Jeff Zeleny writes at the New York Times concerning an improbable Republican Party populist nomination election victory in Delaware by headlining that G.O.P. Leaders Say Delaware Upset Damages Senate Hopes and writing:
"Throughout the campaign, Ms. [Christine] O’Donnell was dogged by reports — many of them generated by members of her own party — that she had trouble with personal finances, had fudged her educational history and was not fit for office."
As we have previously written, not only is America in trouble economically, but the political climate of the country is such that especially Republican voters are leaning toward fringe populist candidates, few of whom are competent to be legislators in the U.S. Congress. Take a look at the Wikipedia article on Ms. O'Donnell, which writes, among other things:
"She won the September 14, 2010, primary election by six percentage points over Castle.[44] The next morning, Public Policy Polling released a tweet indicating that their polling found that primary voters who voted for Mike Castle supported Coons, the Democratic opponent, over O'Donnell 44 percent to 28 percent in a general election.[45]
Despite winning the Republican primary, O'Donnell continues to face stark criticism from the leaders in the local, state, and national GOP. Kristen Murray, O'Donnell's 2008 campaign manager, starred in a GOP-funded robocall in which she accused O'Donnell of misusing campaign funds.[46] Says Murray, "This is her third senate race in five years. As O'Donnell's manager, I found out she was living on campaign donations - using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt. She wasn't concerned about conservative causes. O'Donnell just wanted to make a buck."[46] Tom Ross, Delaware's state Republican Party chairman, has unabashedly criticized O'Donnell, saying "She's not a viable candidate for any office in the state of Delaware. She could not be elected dog catcher."[47] The National Republican Senatorial Committee similarly released a statement almost immediately following O'Donnell's primary win, stating that they would not spend money to support her or her campaign.[46][48]"
Well-meaning Americans sometimes do not appear to fully understand the message that these kinds of candidates and these kinds of elections send to the rest of the world about the USA. It is a message of political and economic irresponsibility, which finds people in other countries just shaking their heads disbelievingly and looking elsewhere for guidance. The idea that America "leads" the free world is an illusion -- with unqualified candidates increasingly being elected politically in the USA, America is a laughing stock abroad.

Congress already has its share of opportunists and unqualified people masquerading as legislators and people trying to write laws who should be diagnosing human illnesses in their medical practices.

It would seem to this observer -- regardless of political party -- that the voters ought to vote for MORE qualified candidates, rather than for marginal, fringe candidates who are clearly unqualified, quite apart from their political convictions, which are another matter entirely.

EVERYONE has a political point of view.

That alone does not qualify anyone for Congress, left, center, right or libertarian.

Speaking of libertarians, liberty to this observer ultimately means the right to demand qualified leadership in government, because if you do not have such leadership, countries with unqualified leaders historically wind up being ruled by those countries whose leaders are qualified.

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