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AN OUTSIDER’S VIEW OF THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES

AN OUTSIDER’S VIEW OF THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES

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Published by Firoze H.

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Published by: Firoze H. on Mar 15, 2012
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05/13/2014

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IsuspectthatnotmanyforeignersresidingoutsidetheUSfollowtheRepublicanPrimariesanddebatesonCNN.Asoneoftheexceptions,I,anIndianlivinginIndia,findthewholeprocessintriguingandnotalittleperplexing.Imayclarifythatmyinterestispurelyacademic.WhoeverbecomesPresidentnextJanuary,Idon’tbelievetherewillbeanysignificantchangeinhisforeignpolicyinitiativestowardsIndia.Fortunately,mycountryremainsafaintbliponAmerica’sradar.Letmestartwiththealso-rans.Onasuperficiallevel,itwouldappearthatitwasfutileforMichelleBachman,HermanCain,RickPerryetaltothrowtheirhatsinthering.Theycouldnotseriouslybelievetheyhadachanceofwinning.Sowhydidtheybother?Beforedismissingthemaslatter-dayDonQuixotes,itwoulddowelltoreflectontheirmotives.TheirrunforPresidentialofficemayhavefizzledout,buttheyachievedtheirobjectiveofbecominghouseholdnamesthroughoutAmerica.Well,maybenotthroughoutAmerica.OnlyaminisculepercentageofAmericanswatchpoliticaldebates,afterall.Thentheyhadacollectivebrainwave.PerformingseeminglyembarrassinggaffesduringthePresidentialdebatesgottheminvitedontheDailyShowandDavidLettermen,amongothers.SuddenlythegreatunwashedAmericanpublicbecameawareoftheirexistence.Nationalnamerecognition–evenwithanegativeconnotation-maynotnecessarilybeanassetshouldtheydecidetorunagainin2016,butitcan’thurt.Ifnothingelse,itwillguaranteethemmilliondollaradvancesshouldtheydecidetowritebooksorhosttalkshows.LookatSarahPalin.ThefourremainingcandidatesintheRepublicanracelabelthemselvesasconservatives–onlythedegreevaries.Theonethingthatunitesthemistheirabhorrenceofthe“liberal”BarrackObama.Obamaisaccusedofbeingasocialist,whichapparentlyisonlyashademoreacceptablethanbeingCommunist.SocialismappearstohavebecomeadirtywordintheUSbecauseitisassociatedwithmoregovernmentandconsequentlygovernmentinterferenceintheprivatelivesofindividuals.Ifindthisratherpuzzling.AsIrecall,theonegovernmentordinancethatinterferesmostwiththepersonallibertiesofAmericansistheHomelandSecurityAct;andthatwaspromulgatedbyGeorgeBush,aconservative.Apparently,Obama’scardinalsinisthatheismandatinghealthinsuranceforallAmericancitizens,ameasurealsoderisivelyreferredtoasObama-care.Icannotfigureoutwhythisisabadthing;eventhoughitisportrayedasanapocalypticcalamitybyalltheRepublicancandidates.Free(subsidizedbytaxes)healthcareisprovidedbygovernmentsalloverEurope,includingEngland.IfthisclassifiesthemasSocialist,Idon’tthinkthecitizensofthesenationsarecomplaining.Surprisingly,it’snotjustthecandidateswhoareexpressingObama-antipathy.RepublicanfriendsintheUSthatIcorrespondwithseemtoregardObamaas,ifnotexactlythespawnofthedevil,somethingprettyclose.Idon’tgetit.GrantedObamaisfarfromperfect,buthispredecessorswerenoparagonseither.GeorgeBushembroiledhisnationinanunnecessarywarthatcostover4000Americanlives,forheaven’ssake.Alotofpeoplecriticizedhim,sure,buttherewasnoneofthevisceralfurythatObamaseemstoelicit.Ihesitatetoimpartmotivesoflatentracism,buthonestlyIcan’tthinkofanotherexplanation.Americanshaveevolvedtremendouslysincetheearlydaysofsegregation,butperhapsmiddle-AmericaisnotyetreadyforablackPresident.Let’snowmoveontotheFourHorsemenoftheRepublicanApocalypse.Ironically,theonewhoseemsthemostsincere,RonPaul,hasbeenpracticallybootedoutoftherace.Paul’spronouncementsaboutAmericawrappingitselfinanisolationistcocoonmayappearwildlyimpractical,evencrackpot,butatleasthedoesn’tvacillate.HisviewsarefindingveryfewtakersamongtheAmericanpublic,evenfromhisownParty.Buthestickstohisfavoritethemeregardlessoftheconsequences.Hedoesnotmodifyhisviewstosuitvotersentiment.Iadmirehimforthat.NewtGingrichpreferstoportrayhimselfasamaverick.Hederidesthesameestablishmenthewasapartofforyears.Hemakeswild,unprovenstatementslikebillionsofbarrelsofcrudeoillyingnestledbelowNorthDakota.Hesoundsthetrumpetsabouthowhisradicalenergypolicywillensurethat“AmericanswillnolongerhavetobowbeforetheSaudiking”.Heisverymuchin-your-face,withtheco

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