The high-minded people who voted for President Obama because of the colour of his skin without worrying too much over whether he had anything else to offer beyond windy rhetoric about hope and change and making the seas stand still have now had nearly four years to feel good and virtuous about themselves and observe the results of their self-indulgence. Under the high-spending stewardship of their toy President the United States economy has declined dangerously, to the point where even the President and his party, to judge by their recent convention, have become coy about discussing it and have tried to avoid it as much as possible as a topic of pre-election debate.

It is now time to end Obama's playing at politics and the November election gives Americans the opportunity to do this. A bankrupt US in a dangerous world makes the world even more dangerous since it can be no guarantor of international order, political or financial. For the US to be weakened militarily by debt is in the interests of no one but tinpot-dictatorship adventurers. It is certainly not in the interests of anyone who relies on the US for potential protection, as we do here in our corner of the Pacific.

As an alternative to Obama, Mitt Romney might not be everyone's beau ideal - there is something a little too heartily country-club about him, and it's hard to imagine a Mormon with a sense of humour, in spite of the hilarious magic spectacles story - but he and especially his vice-presidential candidate would seem to understand the gravity of America's economic plight, and that is more important than glamour and rhetoric. They also appear to have the economic and fiscal realism to bring the "world's brokest nation" (as Mark Steyn, who thinks the situation might already be irredeemable, calls it) back from the brink of the abyss of total recession.

If they succeed they won't be thanked by the leftist media, who already accuse them of being heartless and "uncaring". But no society can afford to look after its poor and vulnerable if it can't afford to look after itself. There is no social compassion among those who live in a poorhouse.

10 September 2012

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