The Real Choice

Considering The Upcoming Presidential Election

I'm not nearly knowledgeable or thoroughly informed enough on financial matters to speak to the logistics of monetary policy - the conclusions I own and share about these things I draw from knowing that I am approaching the various arguments without bias and that I resist permitting the complexity of a problem dissuade me from a reasonable reliance on the practical sense and moral propriety to direct me toward a solution.


I don't study international fiscal policy - but I know history and I know what manner of conduct I believe to be morally sound. I think it's foolish for us to either imagine that no matter what our choices our government and lifestyle will magically endure, or to just not even ever consider such a question. No nation has ever just gone on and on simply by virtue of it's current existence - they have all been overtaken by another nation or have crumbled from within . . . to just assume that regardless of our choices and actions America will always be here and always be as it is, as I said, is just foolish. So, warnings of an imminent financial-based destruction or alteration of what America is and has been may very well be accurate.


That's why, I think, this election is so strikingly critical. Things have been moving in this direction for some time, in simplest terms, since FDR . . . but they are so laid bare now, the two ideas and directions these two men represent is so undeniably stark, that how we choose to vote as a people is even more consequential than whatever policies either of these men pursue. The country was founded and operated for some time on the idea that free men are most free and most productive with less government and that care for the poor is best manifest by the charitable spirit of private citizens - in the last half a century that idea has shifted toward more and more government and a bureaucratic collecting and dispensing to those in need.

The result is that now half the nation survives off government taking money from the other half of the nation and giving it to them - that simply can't possibly remain a functional reality. It's not a matter of who's nice and who cares, it's a matter of who has an understanding of how things work and who's being honest about it. When mom & dad tell you to save your allowance instead of buying some cheap treat for yourself every week, it's easy to count them to be mean - but when we grow-up we know better. The Democrats want to make this election about rich vs poor, about Romney being privileged and out of touch with the middle class, about themselves being the good guys providing free stuff and thinking like us on abortion and homosexuality and keeping arrogant Christians out of any decision making, etc - but the real issue here, the real choice we have to make, is what is the role of government in our daily lives.


Are there enough people left who still understand that America is an experiment in freedom, who recognize that to be free necessitates personal responsibility, who don't look to politicians for their well being but understand that government provides a necessary order but is not designed or well suited to be our mom & dad telling us how large a soda we are allowed to drink with our lunch? Or have enough people been seduced by the jargon of contemporary liberalism encouraging us to favor the state assuming the responsibility for our needs and supplying our routine of comfort and security? In the last 50 years or so we've been moving more and more to this point - I'm not a Republican and I'm not a delighted fan of Romney, but this election seems to be screaming at me that, for now anyway, history has come down to this; are there more who will vote for freedom and the American experiment or are there more who will vote for free supplies and are unconcerned about what America was established to be?



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Comments 8 comments

gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Great, insightful hub. You have elucidated some intelligent and poignant points to the evergoing argument. It is time to elect a President who exemplifies responsibility and advocates self-reliance, not dependence and Obama has not been doing the job at hand. It seems that Obama advocates dependence and victimology. I am a liberal Democrat but I staunchly believe in the concepts of self-reliance and taking responsibility for one's actions.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"care for the poor is best manifest by the charitable spirit of private citizens" - I guess that is why there are taxes around. The "charitable spirit of private citizens" would not argue with caring for the poor by paying some taxes, right?

"in the last half a century that idea has shifted toward more and more government" - Just regarding welfare, I thought I'd mention that it has been around in the Unites States since the 1930s so, we're closer to a century than to half a century.

"When mom & dad tell you to save your allowance instead of buying some cheap treat for yourself every week, it's easy to count them to be mean - but when we grow-up we know better."- That would work if we were squirrels and we were saving nuts. Dried nuts kept in a cool and dry place can last almost forever but money is not nuts (just money as an idea may sometimes seem nuts lol).

The savings which some Americans invested, for example in terms of a sweet and cozy home in Florida, lost nearly all their savings and are paying mortgages which do not correctly reflect what the home is actually worth now.

And we can start talking about inflation too, as we see food prices going up, gasoline prices and so on. After Bernanke confessed about beginning to print more money on a monthly basis a few days ago, we shall see an even more depreciation of the American dollar. Therefore, the money saved five years ago is not worth the same amount of nuts now ... not much point in saving.

"Are there enough people left who still understand that America is an experiment in freedom, who recognize that to be free necessitates personal responsibility, who don't look to politicians for their well being but understand that government provides a necessary order but is not designed or well suited to be our mom & dad telling us how large a soda we are allowed to drink with our lunch?"- There are important points in this paragraph, in my opinion. Regarding the "experiment in freedom" ... it sounds nice but when are we ever completely free? From childhood, we are told what to do or what not to do - parents are sort of like benevolent despots. Then, we grow-up to adulthood and there are expectations from us as citizens: to abide by laws (as children we do not really care much about laws, hence the parents are the main source of guidance). So, we are never really free - just another nice sounding myth.

I am not sure what You meant by governments providing "a necessary order" - what does that mean, in specifics?

"government ... is not designed or well suited to be our mom & dad telling us how large a soda we are allowed to drink with our lunch" - Well, I can't build a nuclear bomb in my garage can I? Through laws, the government let's me know that I cannot discriminate racially or ethnically, right? Why? Because some things which we can do are damaging and we prohibit damaging actions when we live in societies. That is why cigarettes are taxed so much and there are pictures of people dying on the packs, with written messages about the health risks and so on. On the other hand, I don't see any labels that McNasty's deep-fried food can lead to obesity, diabetes and a slow death. Why not?

"are there more who will vote for freedom and the American experiment or are there more who will vote for free supplies" - I think Obama will win but that will not even answer your question because Presidents are not elected from the popular vote. Once your electoral system changes at least to proportional representation, then we can talk about what the vote of the American people means. That is why elections are next to useless for many people in the United States and Canada. I live in a Liberal Party riding so, I can vote all I want for any of the other parties ... nothing happens and my vote dissipates into thin air. A masquerade, if You ask me. The Liberals have had this riding on lock-down for decades so, anyone voting for any of the other parties basically loses their vote, or their vote amounts to a big fat zero.

In conclusion, I do not think the choice has to be between freedom and hand-outs. There is always an in-between, shades and such.

As a socialist, I am always confused when people call Obama a socialist. He is a corporate crook, put there by the banksters on Wall St. in order for him to smoothen the field after they robbed the common men dry and after all that, the Black Pinocchio President signed off all kinds of bailouts from which the bankster CEO and top executives ran-off home with millions and millions of dollars in bonuses. Lovely ehh? Socialist maybe for the banksters ... they are the ones who got the millions in welfare/bail-outs.

Well, thank You for presenting your views. I leave You with a quote (my most favorite - hangs on my profile page ever since I joined):

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde

All the best!


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Mr. Happy ~ "The 'charitable spirit of private citizens' would not argue with caring for the poor by paying some taxes, right?"

I think individual people recognizing a need and personally willing to offer aid is a very different circumstance than an organized official removal of some of their funds (before they even get them) to then be disbursed by a committee of bureaucrats - individuals have something invested, they can be sure the help is a genuine help, is not misdirected or insufficient, etc.

I served as a deacon in a Christian congregation some years ago, and when a need arose (most frequently a stranger to our congregation) part of my diaconal responsibility was to visit with those hurting and determine what we could do to provide relief for them . . . again and again if they needed heating oil they would get that and blankets, and coats, and some would check if the kids had necessary school supplies or if they could help-out with an upcoming Christmas, etc. If they needed some car repair to get to a new job they would get that and perhaps a gift card to get new work clothes, etc, etc.

Government (taxes) is fine (well, not really) for fixing roads and supplying police, etc, but government (taxes) stinks at providing real transitioning aid - stop-gap, emergency aid perhaps, but life-changing aid, government too frequently makes things worse.

"parents are sort of like benevolent despots"

Actually, as a Christian, if we change that to 'benevolent king', I believe that is man's best (and final) scenario - the trouble is no man is sufficiently either benevolent or wise or powerful, etc . . . so our best course is freedom, unfortunately evil men are left to try-out their evil designs as (relatively) good (or benign) men are left to follow their own course, trusting that, as (I think it was) Paul says, even evil rulers want order in their land, and so police keep the general peace (you can't take what belongs to another, etc).

". . . governments providing "a necessary order" - what does that mean"

Maintaining a army & diplomacy with other nations, infrastructure, regulate inter-state/international trade, etc.

"As a socialist, I am always confused when people call Obama a socialist. He is a corporate crook"

If we're talking precise ideological definitions and historic circumstances you have a point (I mean a genuine, sound point) - but if we're talking about general dispositions and historic trends, just as I am willing to agree more accurate terms could be employed you will agree that this administration is expressing a more socialistic disposition and trend than democrats/liberals have thus far been inclined to advance . . ?

""The truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde"

I would (with humble respect) suggest that truth, real truth, is unavoidably pure and commonly simple - facts, reports, statistics, etc (our perceptions of truth), are never pure and far from simple.

Thanks for contributing more thoughtful ideas to the ongoing consideration of ideas.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

Great hub, Mickey. We certainly have a tough choice to make. As usual, we have the lesser of two evils from which to choose. I personally fell it's a no brainer, but will we be cutting off our noses to spite our faces? Time will tell...


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

bravewarrior - I never understand the folks who could go either way right up to entering the voting booth - but this time (far) more so than ever.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

These sound, bold, straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is.....hubs are definitely must reads....by everyone, especially at this particular precarious time...what is it? 47 more days or so? Honesty? I like neither candidate, but realistically know I mustn't throw my vote away.....and besides all the great things I have to say about your hub..and hubs like it? They scare me. A lot. UP+++


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

It was not a liberal who ran the country off a cliff. It was not a liberal who ran two for profit wars, off the books. It was not a liberal who stuffed $750 Billion dollars in their pocket as they walked out the door laughing. Is there a choice people or profits? Are there problems, YES. Is the answer breaking the promises we have all heard for 40-50 years; breaking Unions, telling us Teachers are not worth our time and attention. None of you want to live in Republican Land.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

mckbirdks ~ Your comments started with 'liberal' (or conservative), but you end with 'Republican' (or Democrat) . . . I think we see things differently, and approach our consideration things, how we examine things, differently. When you say "stuffed $750 Billion dollars in their pocket as they walked out the door laughing" that sounds, to me, more like biased calumny than like thoughtful & honest investigation - I'm not arguing that your intended point is unsound, just that this is not what my hub was about or how I go about forming my own view of things.

I don't look at our two party system and root for my favorite, or more commonly (I think, from the liberal/Democratic side) root against the other guys who I'm so certain are not just wrong, but are dumb and mean. I not at all happy with today's Democrats or Republicans, my views (and this hub) are more about the historic sweep of political philosophies. Very generally, the political philosophy that we commonly refer to as 'conservative' I believe is more functionally inline with the design and purpose our nation was founded on and our Constitution enumerates - political philosophy that we commonly refer to as 'liberal' I believe is discordant with the structure of how our government works and with the very nature of man . . . I count it harmful to the country and to it's citizens, not helping people at all, but harming them.

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