Dean Olson, the chairman of Rockford Acromatic Products, an after-market auto-parts manufacturer, is a longtime supporter of Republican candidates. Still, he is not optimistic about the November election: “Even though the Democrats are in full rout, we’re not able to mount an effective challenge. I don’t see the leadership there.”
While Rockford voters lean Democratic, they might still be swayed in a presidential election by a Republican who took seriously the causes of the current recession: a costly and unnecessary war; the falling dollar; rising gas prices; overextended credit, both personal and mortgage; and the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
John McCain is not that candidate. He has hitched his wagon to the Iraq war and expressed his desire to “bomb bomb bomb, bomb-bomb Iran”; he does not dare say much about the subprime mortgage debacle, lest his eventual Democratic opponent use the opportunity to bring up the Keating Five; he has told manufacturing workers across the country that their jobs are going overseas and are never coming back; and, like every other national politician of both parties, he knows that the falling dollar is about the only thing propping up what remains of the U.S. economy, so any remedy to fix the decline might well be worse than the disease. If that means even higher gas prices going into November, McCain will just have to take his chances.