Guest Column: Romney nostalgia for an America of the past

September 19, 2012

By Bob Soltau

Romney constantly pines about trying to return to an America of the past.

What America is that? The one of the Bush/Cheney/Neo-Conservative foreign policy that got the United States into Iraq, and as a result blew the Afghanistan invasion? They let Osama bin Laden get away because there weren’t enough troops there. The invasion created a national anarchy of slaughter in Iraq, and a couple hundred thousand people likely were killed and often tortured. They had all the Regional Federal Reserve Banks load all their cash reserves in overseas shipment crates and send them to Iraq.

They squandered the country’s wealth in tens of billions on their crazy foreign adventurism without regard to the loss of American lives and without involvement, planning and advice of the U.S. armed forces. The military establishment, State Department, and CIA saw it coming, if any cared to ask. Donald Rumsfeld and his ilk all knew better.

Or are the Republicans nostalgic for the Bush/Cheney/Supply Side/Trickle Down domestic policy that almost caused another great Depression? No wonder Bush W. wasn’t even invited to the Republican Convention. The Democrats are proud of Bill Clinton’s accomplishments. He was a star at the Democratic Convention. The Republicans are ashamed of the Bush W. administration. As a result, the Romney campaign doesn’t want to remind the electorate of the Bush economic disaster. No, they just want to repeat it.

The conservatives have a lot to be ashamed of. When Bush W. came into office, the economy was booming. When Bush W. left office, the country was losing 700,000 jobs a month, the stock market was dropping like a rock, and the country was back into deficit spending. But the very wealthy did get richer than ever, and that’s what it was all about.

Under the Clinton administration, the country was paying down the national debt. President Clinton reversed the leftover deficit fiasco of the Reagan administration. And the country wasn’t bogged down in foreign wars that can’t be won. Countries all over the world felt good about their friendship with the United States. But Bush W.’s phony hubris alienated other countries. He wouldn’t work with other countries on foreign policy, and he wouldn’t take advice from the military about unwise foreign intervention.

Does the country want to return to the kind of policies the country followed under President Bush? I don’t think so. And the Republican Party has gotten even more conservative and more self-destructive since then.

Let’s not return to a past when only the wealthy prospered and leave most Americans behind. Let’s not return to to a past when America stood alone without our foreign allies. Let’s not be fooled by phony Romney/Ryan nostalgia for the past.

Bob Soltau is a resident of Roscoe.

From the Sept. 19-25, 2012, issue

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