Randall Parker offers the clearest reason why Mitt Romney will wind up being anointed the Republican candidate for President.
Romney’s the best bet for the Republicans. He’s got very high analytical skills, understands finance, understands business management, and knows how to be a CEO. His Mormonism is not important. That he governed a liberal state from a moderate position was really the only choice he had as governor of Massachusetts. He’s not a nut case or a dummy like some of the other Republican candidates. He harkens back to an earlier (and better) Republican party when executive competence mattered and ideological zeal was suspect.
Note, the key qualifier is “viable”. Personally, I would vote for Ron Paul barring the emergence of a candidate who was strong on the only issue that really matters in 2012 for the U.S.: namely, immigration and the national question.
But Paul is not a viable Republican candidate.
UPDATE: Ron Paul has moved into second place in the Iowa Poll. This race is wide open, folks.
If the middle-class economy really nosedives in 2012, Paul may be able to overcome elite antagonism to his candidacy and win the Republican primary.
I agree that the circumstantial evidence points to Gingrich having an intellect tilted too far in the direction of razzle-dazzle verbal fluency at the expense of critical thinking skills, but his standing in the polls is another reminder that it is in the nature of people to overvalue smooth talkers and to undervalue analytical thinkers. This cognitive bias likely has roots deep in our ancestral environment.
You need look no further than the dating market to see the same bias on full display. All else equal, who is getting the chicks? The math whiz or the silver-tongued salesman? Hell, even if you rig the comparison so that all else is not equal by, say, boosting the math whiz’s SMV with double the income and a two point advantage in looks over the salesman, the good money still bets on the latter to take the girl home and sully her cultivated purity.
Since this is a political post…
2012 prediction: the Eurozone experiment in forced financial busing implodes, taking the U.S. with it. Unemployment rises above 10%. A dark horse third-party candidate emerges sometime in April, stealing votes from both parties. Obama gently persuades Biden to retire and makes Hillary his VP. (Less likely: Obama quits the race and hands his candidacy over to Hillary.) Single women flock to his reelection bid in even greater numbers than they did in 2008, while white men vote in anti-Democrat numbers never before seen in U.S. politics. Racial and class polarization metastasizes. Obama and/or HIllary win, setting the stage for the final dissolution of the U.S. into a Balkanized banana republic. Feminists and equalists continue being stupid. Human nature continues flummoxing economists. No Child Left Behind continues leaving children behind. Mexico’s economy continues improving because their unskilled peasantry was offloaded on the U.S. for twenty years. Cheap chalupas remain more expensive than advertised because of negative externalities.
Women’s desire for alpha males stays, as always, unchanged.