I came across this today (h/t: Instapundit) and the excitement over a potential Romney win is palpable, but is a Romney what the right should be hoping for? I’m not so sure.
Romney seems like a decent enough politician. I tend to think of him as similar to Canada’s Prime Minister. Both Romney and Harper are pragmatics on the centre-right. They can be counted on be competent managers and run a country smoothly. They might make some some minor adjustments to slowly move the country rightward, but you can’t really expect anything overly reactionary or radical changes from them. They will keep the ship of state steady.
In Canada, steady as she goes works fine for Harper; the country is mostly in good health, the economy is functioning fairly well, taxes are fairly low and lowering, and debts and deficits are not great, but they’re in control and there is no permanent structural deficit. The country is on a decent enough course, and while Harper may not be everything the right hoped for, he throws us the occasional bone. He’s a competent prime minister.
The US is in a different situation though, the economy has stalled, a structural deficit has been built into federal finances, debt is out of control, taxes are high, and the country is imploding.
Romney may slow the implosion, he will run the US much better than Obama, and he may stall America’s impending doom, but everybody knows he doesn’t have the ideological strength to do the harsh cuts necessary to bail out the state. At best, we can expect him to put off the inevitable sinking of America by a few years or a decade.
The alternative, though, is Obama, who has shown he can not right the economy, who’s running on a counter-productive eat-the-rich platform, who has overspent and who will continue to spend the state into bankruptcy.
So Romney’s obviously better then, no?
Maybe not. Communists have this idea of heightening the contradictions. This basics of this idea is that to hasten the advent of communism, communists must make the capitalist state as brutal as possible to the proletariat so as to grow the seeds of class consciousness to hasten the communist revolution that follows. Working from this idea they oppose soft-left/liberal ideas such as the welfare state, public health care, etc. which make the lot of the proletariat more comfortable. A comfortable proletariat may not notice the chains of the capitalist system and would have less incentive to cast off them off, forestalling the inevitable rise of communism.
So, how does this idea apply to the US and Romney?
Simple, the election of Romney will slow, but not halt, the economic implosion of the US. The right, having beaten that socialist Obama and installed the conservative Romney in power, will congratulate themselves on a job well done, and the momentum of the Tea Party movement will peter out, mistaking victory in battle, for victory in war. America’s decline will continue, but slower. The collapse would be postponed, but will still be inevitable.
On the other hand, if Obama wins, he will pillage the producer class, he will continue to make drunken sailors look like paragons of fiscal responsibility, the beast will be gorged, and his class war rhetoric will drone on. The economy will stay stuck in neutral, high unemployment will continue, firms will continue to leave for greener pastures, and the dollar will continue to decline. There will be no recovery; America will suffer, America will bleed. Producers will know they are being mugged, centrists will realize they are suffering, the left’s disillusionment will rise, the Tea Party’s momentum will continue to grow, and the young will begin to realize they are being chained in perpetual debt slavery.
Then in 2016, American’s will be forced to accept they need change. Thanks to four years of Obama, Ron Paul did fairly well in the primaries; he brought libertarianism into the mainstream and established the ideological groundwork for its continued expansion but he suffered from his supposed extremism. But what of a more moderate libertarian Rand Paul after 8 years of economic hemorrhaging and overwhelming encroachment of the federal state under Obama?
Cain surged, but ultimately fell due to the perceived unseriousness of his campaign and a couple of scandals. But what of a serious Paul Ryan pointing to his long-ago proposed plan for fiscal sanity after 8 years of Obama’s economic insanity?
Would not Rand Paul or Paul Ryan have the ideological fortitude to do what is necessary necessary to bail the state out and keep her afloat? After 8 years of Obama would not the American public be begging to be rescued. Would they not look to anybody who was not a borderline-socialist Democrat for rescue? After 8 years of Obama and the loss of two establishment Republicans in a row would not the Tea Party and the grassroots have the strength to sideline the GOP establishment and run a hardline conservative?
If Romney wins, the US continues to slowly implode.
If Romney loses, Obama will heighten the contradictions of the welfare state. He will sink the Republic. Then, the right would simply have to grab hold of the opportunity to save her and set her on course once more.
Maybe the right should hope Obama wins.