Twits at the BBC Provide 21 More Reasons to Vote for Romney/Ryan

22 October 2012 Last updated at 23:21 GMT

BBC poll: Rest of world favours Obama

A Beeb poll conducted in 21 nations around the world shows President Obama the clear favorite. I can just imagine the newsroom folks cackling sententiously as they make American jokes with appallingly bad Texas accents. As an expatriate working among mostly Brits and Aussies I was constantly being condescend to, and was met with utter incredulity when I objected.  As far as I am concerned these 21 nations are 21 more reasons to vote for the Romney –Ryan ticket. Except for perhaps in his own mind, Mr. Obama is not running for President of the world, but maybe he should, as the past four years show him to be singularly unfit for the job of President of the United States.

Among a certain set in the U.S., largely the same demographic that enjoys British period drama series on PBS, this survey will serve as confirmation of their own place among the smug global elect.  After all, the rest of the world agrees with us, so we must be right.  Things are  in my view, unfortunately – changing, but historically the US hasn’t much cared what the rest of the world thought, and this may be the single most important reason why we are still here.

Let’s look at the world that so many in the Obama camp think we should emulate.

First there is Europe.  There has always been a certain summer in Tuscany set that thought the European way far superior to the disordered and rapid pace of American life. While we work long hours, they are sitting in cafes sipping fine coffee and discussing, well,

important stuff.

What one needs to remember is that, despite recent demographic shifts, a majority of

Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre in Paris on 24 August 1572. 70,000 Hugenot protestants murdered.

Americans are descended from people who thought their lives depended on getting the hell out of Europe.  This was a rather sensible outlook.  Why would thoughtful people with some gumption wish to remain on the continent that gave us Wars of Religion, and wars of succession where armies battled and looted to advance the

The alfresco cafe is now a part of the American scene. The coffee at 7-11 is pretty darn good, too.

hereditary prerogatives of whoever had married whichever princess, somewhere, sometime.

And that was the good stuff, just a warm up for the total wars of ideology.

Well, now in the US we have fine coffee, outdoor cafes and, while we still don’t have long vacations, even in the current downturn, a lot more of us have jobs than do over  on the other side. We are grateful for some of our European heritage.  After all, we gained our independence based on our rights as Englishmen, and our founders were profoundly influenced by the Enlightenment, both French and Scottish.

Thus is it is sad for us to look at Britain, where the same elite that staffs the BBC

In Britain they haven’t quite figured out thoughtcrime, but crimespeak will get you finds and/or jail. The black and white hands would seem to have anticipated the ruling multicutural ideology.

unilaterally decided to overwhelm its native people with an alien and unassimilable horde because, well, because it would be neat to have more “diversity.” This disarmed and helpless populace could do little about it if they wanted to, as under their “unwritten constitution,” which is none at all, they can be taken into custody for such Orwellian offenses as “conspiring to commit a public nuisance” or” damaging community cohesion.”  We are grateful to Mr. Orwell for providing us the language to describe this madness, but wish his countrymen had listened a little more closely. The ruling class has little fear of change as the brutal and demeaning class system remains in lace, destroying the working class’s sense of self worth from the cradle on, and anesthetizing a large part of  it with the dole.

King John signs the Magna Carta 1215. It helps when you write stuff down.

Somehow, after a promising start at Runnymede you never quite found your way.

Then there is France.  Her revolution was  the model for every bloody vanguard of the proletariat uprising since, and the monster this nation laid to rest at Les Invalides gave the world total war.  Still, the wine and cheese are great, and the movies, well, I think a lot of us were faking when we hung out, smoked and drank coffee while discussing the Nouvelle Vague.  We don’t smoke anymore and our wine and cheese have gotten pretty awesome.

From the Time of that latter Louises until now, statism has been your way of life, andt he results have been mixed to say the least. It enabled you to wage war, but not to win.

“Third of May” Francisco Goya. Napoleon’s troops shoot civilians. An archetype for countless atrocities over the next century and a half.

Germany, well while we are grateful for the industriousness of the many Germans whose descendants are still a major segment our population, the less said about you, the better.

         It’s as if Goya were clairvoyant.

Spain has been an indirect, but still major influence on our history because she bequeathed her system to our neighbors. Latin America may prefer Obama, but there is no reason to listen.  A continent yet to pull itself out of the seventeenth century feudal mercantilist economic and social structures bequeathed it by Iberia has nothing to teach us.  One has only to look at the telenovelas so popular around the world, or pictures of the ruling classes, to marvel at the almost uniformly white faces in a continent whose inhabitants are predominantly brown and black.

We’re grateful for the great food, exotic cocktails, and wonderful music, but have no interest in the dizzying and manic array of social organizations you have attempted to solve your problems.  Military dictatorships, collectivism, crypto socialists, fascist populists, race based oligarchies, messianic leaders combinng the qualities of caudillo, cacique and shaman come and go down there, but we are still here.

Asian ladies are a highlight of any trip to the symphony these days.

As for Asia, even better than the fine cuisines you’ve brought our way are the industry and success of your emigrants, who, like the Europeans before them, had to leave their ancient lands so as to thrive. We’ll take your engineers, physicists, classical musicians and entrepreneurs, but you can keep your caste systems and oligarchic collectives.

In Africa, perhaps the affection for Mr. Obama there is based on a sense of him as a native son made good.  He has certainly done nothing else of benefit for that struggling continent. We are happy to welcome arrival such as Alioune Niass, the Senegalese street vendor who helped foil the 2010 Times Square bombing plot, but want no part of the conditions that drove him across the Atlantic.

Arabian American OIl Company’s(ARAMCO) first producing well, Dammam #8, 1938.

Then there is the Middle East.  No one would pay any attention to you were it not for the fortunate placement of hydrocarbons in your region, and you would not have that had not the  British and Americans found it for you.  Please, refrain from boastful myth about inventions you had nothing to do with.  Arabic numerals came from India. What you did do was over a millennium ago, and your real thinkers and doers of that time you imprisoned or killed, as you do today.

So, you see, we don’t care what any of you think about who should lead us.  We take from you what is good, and leave you the rest.  And now, we will ignore your advice, and elect a man who looks to us, not to you.

.

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Campaign 2012: Out of Touch and Worlds Apart

You don’t know what’s goin’ on,

you’ve been away for far too long

You can’t come back and think you are still mine

You’re out of touch, my baby, my poor discarded baby I said,

“Baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time”

The Rolling Stones, “Out of Time”

 

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have been accusing each other of being out of touch. It’s an enduring and common ploy.  Many will remember the canard that the elder Bush was so out of touch he had never seen a supermarket scanner.

As Politico reported on May 24, the President had this to say about Romney:

There was a woman in Iowa who shared her story of financial struggles, and he gave her an answer right out of an economic textbook.  He said, “Our productivity equals our income.” And the notion was that somehow the reason people can’t pay their bills is because they’re not working hard enough.  If they got more productive, suddenly their incomes would go up.  Well, those of us who’ve spent time in the real world — (laughter) — know that the problem isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve been working harder than ever. The challenge we face right now, and the challenge we’ve faced for over a decade, is that harder work has not led to higher incomes, and bigger profits at the top haven’t led to better jobs.

The laughter in the report may have been at Romney, but outside the world inhabited by the President’s most steadfast supporters, world, in the world of work, trade and productive investment, the laughter was surely directed at the President. Pundits and bloggers were quick to point to Mr. Obama’s lack of private sector experience, and rather abbreviated curriculum vitae in general.

But, is this fair?

While he misunderstood the thrust of Romney’s remarks, the President was on to something: Clearly, Romney was speaking in macroeconomic terms, but macroeconomics may not be the way to connect with town hall listeners.

His  campaign makes much of his private sector experience, but a quick review of modern American presidential politics will show that such experience as many of our presidents have had was not in the manufacturing, retail and service jobs common to the work experience of most Americans.

Surprise!

Politicians typically spend a lot of time in politics.

In my lifetime, there was Harry Truman, artilleryman and failed haberdasher, yes, but for most of his life a mid-level functionary in county and state government. Ike was a soldier, and while his military successes required a high degree of organizational and executive skills, the Army isn’t the private sector.

As to JFK, the only job I can find him in outside of politics was a brief stint as a correspondent for the Hearst Chain, William Randolph Heart and Joe Kennedy being good buds. From 1947 on, it was politics for JFK.  LBJ taught school for a bit, and entered politics.

Nixon’s private sector experience was in private law practice, between his 1937 graduation from Duke and a short time as an Attorney for U.S. Office of Emergency Management, 1942, before he joined the Navy in the same year. He returned briefly to the law before his 1946 election to Congress, and again during his time in the wilderness after the 1960 election, this time a high priced New York layer rather than a storefront practice in Yorba Linda.  Gerald Ford, too, practiced law for a short time before his wartime Navy service, and for a couple of years before he ran for Congress in 1946.  And there he stayed.

Many jests were made at the expense of Carter, the peanut farmer, but he was good at it, taking a modest inheritance and turning it in to a successful concern. Reagan as a radio station announcer, actor and union leader can be said to have worked in the private sector, but not the areas familiar to most Americans. Yet his background, from a family of always modest means as his father drank and failed again and again, was the well spring for his ability to be supremely in touch, as his most critical detractors did and do acknowledge, including President Obama himself.

The first Bush worked in Texas oil and gas for a number of years. Bill Clinton worked some part time jobs in college, but was never in the private sector after graduation.  The second Bush also worked – with far less success than his father – in the Texas oil and gas industry before entering politics, first working for his father’s campaign, then on his own.

FDR, a lawyer without a law degree, having passed the bar exam before he had finished his studies, practiced law for around two years before entering politics. So, we have to go back to Herbert Hoover to find a big time businessman like Romney in the White House.  And you might ask, how did that work out? (Many argue that Hoover’s understanding of markets was defective, but that’s too large a topic for this piece)

Thus, presidents typically have had long political careers, with their private sector experience generally brief, and not in jobs accessible to most people. Nor is there any correlation in background to success or failure. Highly educated and successful farmer Carter is remembered as a failure, while Reagan, with his degree from an obscure college and second tier acting roles is considered a success.

This brings us to the incumbent.  The president held a summer job at Baskin and Robbins, which might have taught him a lesson on consumer choice that he seems to have missed.   Keith Koffler, of whitehousedossier.com put together this handy chart of Obama’s “real world experience.”

At first, I thought Mr Koffler was being kind in counting community organizing as “real world experience.”  I would have included only the stint at Business International Group, as it is the only for profit group employing Mr. Obama after his Baskin and Robbins gig.

But it occurs to me that Koffler is right.  The real world is the world we live in and we don’t all live in the same ones; some overlap, some may as well be separated by interstellar distances.   The issue goes back to being in touch: to connect, the candidate must know the worlds of those whose votes he needs.

This is essential not only to electoral success, but to success in office. In political terms, a successful presidency is defined ultimately by popular perception.  Historians, economists, ideologues and partisans will debate and revise for decades, but the people’s definition of success remains remarkably consistent over time.  Good Presidents, in tribal memory, are those who connected with the American people and addressed what they saw as their needs at the time.

Hoover will forever be a cynosure for failure, while the patrician and autocratic FDR is still beloved of memory. Truman, JFK and LBJ were successful in their connection for a time; dour Nixon managed for a while, connecting with the slightly larger fraction of the electorate that didn’t care for peace marches.  The intelligent, avuncular and gifted athlete Gerald Ford is remembered as an incompetent boob. Carter’s failure to connect, and his successor’s mastery of the art, are both legend.  The Bushes too managed for while, but never neared Regan’s bar, while one can only think that Clinton must have been his secret disciple. His presidency is recalled with longing by a broad swath of the electorate well across party lines; Clinton could travel with ease the disparate worlds of the American electorate.

President Obama seemed a rising master in 2008, but in his execution has faltered. It may be too late for him to regain the worlds he has relinquished in the single-minded pursuit of his beliefs, and it remains for Romney to seize those he has abandoned.