Monday, December 03, 2007

Jimmy Carter redux

Oh the wonderful 70's, time before time (or at least before some of us, ahem, were born). It was a magical time when gas was in short supply, evironmentalists were telling us that the world was in for another ice age, and we were ending our involvement in a long war. Stagflation was all the rage and America looked weak and vulnerable. Of course we have have many people to thank for those blissful times. Prominent on that list was a southern governor named Jimmy Carter. Jimmy was a nice enough fellow, but incompetent and misguided. Of course, that's become more apparent as time has gone by, and the decision to elect him looks foolish now.

I generally don't like to make comparisons of candidates to former presidents. Most of the time the comparisons are unfair and superficial. However, the more I look at the potential presidency of Mike Huckabee, the more I am persuaded that his presidency would look like Jimmy Carter's.

It's funny how we forget as time passes at how bad the national financial situation was back then, with the gas lines and stagflation at the top of the list. The environmental movement was coming of age, also, making it particularly difficult to fix the energy and monetary problems. The Carter administration, through populist economic policies and sympathy towards environmental restrictions, did nothing to help. The nation, still sour over the Vietnam war, saw gloom and doom in a self-perpetuating negativity cycle, furthering the despair.

This, to me, is where a Huckabee presidency would take us. His populist economic policies would do nothing to help problem areas in the economy. Indeed, it is likely that they would further deepen the problem. Likewise Huckabee's affinity towards environmental restrictions would make our energy problems worse, not better. All this would add to a nation in a sour mood over our involvement in Iraq. Huckabee, like Carter at the time, is a nice guy, but misguided and capable of serious harm to the country.

I also think that we now underestimate the importance of Reagan's economic policies in turning around the national mood and healing the wounds of past national hurts. Time has dimmed the memory of how important it was to get our finances in order and the resulting confidence, in all facets of life, that it gave the nation. Mitt Romney could do for the economy what Reagan, in his time, did. He would breath new life into an overstuffed government, and allow the citizens of this great nation to feel confident once again about themselves and their country. Commitment to conservative economic policies, both for spending and taxes, is one of Mitt's hallmarks.

Imagine what Reagan could have done had he been elected in 1976 instead of Jimmy Carter. We have a similar choice again this time around. Being pro-life is simply not a sufficient condition to be president, especially when coupled with a populist economic ideology. We need a president who can lead us to economic success once again. Mitt Romney is the man that can do that.

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