- Politics and Social Issues
So, What The Hell Happened?
It doesn’t seem to me unreasonable at all to suspect that world events, particularly in the Middle East, and most particularly in Iran, may derail President Obama from fundamentally changing the character and direction of America, and I wasn’t trusting that Romney was going to save America – so, I am not hopelessly distraught, and I am not here serving-up sour grapes . . . but I think it is useful to consider what this election implies about us and suggests about our future. And I mean this sincerely; don’t look at this from a partisan perspective, don’t come at this as a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal, don’t read this imagining that you know either candidate and have any valid opinion if they’re a good person or corrupt – just examine what’s on the table, what's observable, and consider what we can learn from it.
What general perception do we have, and how did we come to have it? What circumstances prompt us toward one understanding or another? Whoever you voted for and whatever political leaning you favor, it’s useful to reflect on what happened factually; we reelected to a 2nd term a president who in his 1st term gave us 12,544,0 00 unemployed, 261,000 fewer jobs, household income down $4,300 a year, net worth down 30%, 14,686,657 more on food stamps, wasted tons of cash taken from our paychecks and given to companies like Solyndra, Beacon, Fisker to no good end, and gave more of our money to ‘save’ GM when GM is losing $49,000 on every Volt they sell. And today there are 145,000 more federal workers than when he took office. Now, add to this that just weeks before the election our embassy in Libya was attacked by terrorists and our ambassador and others were murdered and the president lied about it all repeatedly, and even the most rabid liberal, the most partisan Democrat, the most devout Obama disciple must honestly acknowledge that something astounding must have transpired for that president to win reelection.
And, now that the fervor of the campaigns is past, consider that his opponent may have been essentially a square, and kind of a dull guy who was not really too inspiring, but he was a man who had been successful at nearly everything he’s done in life and that a significant part of what he’s done in life was to rescue floundering enterprises and manage them into becoming prosperous enterprises. He had no skeletons in his closet, he seemed by all appearances to be an upright family man who gave huge amounts to charity and had a long history of demonstrating a care for and actually, personally, offering help to others. It seems to me more than a reasonable and useful task to examine and reflect on how things followed the course they followed, how things happened as they did – I suppose I’m asserting here that to an objective observer, someone with no agenda (forgetting it’s Obama) it would appear to be ludicrous that an incumbent president under these circumstances won reelection.
Is Obama just that irresistibly likable? Is there really a predominately liberal philosophic base to the American citizenry? I think Obama seems likable enough – but not so irresistibly likable that voters would be willing to set aside their own welfare and hope for the future so he can remain the president, and polls and surveys continually evidence that America is not philosophically predominately liberal. So again, what happened? How did a president with such a measurably failed 1st term win a 2nd term beating a guy who appeared to be just the guy to fix what Obama couldn’t fix?
The Answer Is Twofold ~
I believe the answer is twofold; partisan party politics and a fraudulent ‘news’ media. Again, please consider sincerely, I’m not looking for excuses why 'my team' didn’t win, I’m not kicking rocks around with my chin buried in my chest crying ‘it’s no fair’ – I’m saying it’s a remarkable thing that Obama won reelection, not because I don’t like him or stand opposed to his policies, but because all the circumstances being considered (his 1st term, the state of the nation, his opponent, etc) it’s astounding that he won a 2nd term.
First, the campaign: In his acceptance speech Obama said “We are an American family, we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people” – yet, just a day or two before saying that he talked about voting for “revenge”. His speech, after the fact, sounded (to me) really nice, just the kind of thing I want my president to be saying – but it simply doesn’t match-up with what he’s done. Despite talking now about all of us being one America and that we all need to work together, etc, his whole campaign was all about pitting the middle class against the wealthy.
Very basically, his economic plan of bailouts and stimulus packages hasn’t worked, he couldn’t point to accomplishment so he pointed to a culprit – rather than saying ‘here’s how I’m going to fix the economy’ he said ‘those rich guys have so much more than you do, I’ll get some of what they have and give it to you’. He was actually able to get throngs of people to chant ‘it’s time they paid their fair share’ when if you in fact look at the actual numbers saying ‘fair’ actually meant ‘even more’.
Obama also said, in his acceptance speech, “despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future” – yet, prior to that acceptance speech, his campaign set about to cast his opponent as, not a man with a different viewpoint on how to best improve the economy, but as an evil guy who really doesn’t share the same hopes for America’s future. There is a factual reality we’re up against here. The term ‘unsustainable spending’ means something – we don’t have the funds to cover the amount we are spending, something is going to happen (like, Obama is in – the stock market is down, as in plummeting down).
Yet party politics made the great issue of the debate all about who’s smart & and who really cares and who’s dumb & who is mean – we never had the debate over the real trouble we’re facing, it was all name-calling and slander. Now, after the election, after the choice has been made, it’s all about sitting down together to solve the problems!? Listen to the crowd at Obama’s acceptance speech; he says “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t . . . “ and then, when he says “burdened by debt” no crowd response, when he says “that isn’t weakened by inequality” no crowd response, but when he says “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet” the crowd goes nuts. Why is that?
I believe it’s because the Democratic campaign was never about how to fix the debt or how to go about dismantling inequality – it was all about who’s smart and really cares . . . if you think global warming is our greatest threat then you’re smart and you really care – if you recognize that our debt is not a revenue problem but is a spending problem then you’re too stupid to believe rich people’s greed is burning-up our planet and you’re too mean to care about fixing it. If the actual issues at hand would have ever been seriously and thoroughly investigated and considered then Obama would have had to explain the failure of his policies and explain how anything would be better after another 4 years – he has no viable response to that, so the issue has to be who is smart and who really cares. Which brings us to the 2nd factor of how a president with such a measurably failed 1st term could win a 2nd term beating a guy who appeared to be just the guy to fix what Obama couldn’t fix - the fraudulent ‘news’ media.
The Focus Of My Concern ~
The focus of my concern over the outcome of this election is not so much the course Obama will pursue or the damage his administration might do, the federal government is a congested, lumbering bureaucracy . . . he may certainly initiate some things that further the decline in our economy, but I fear an even greater threat to the health of our republic. My concern is what manner of people have we become, what is now the defining character of our culture. The reason the party machines are able to present us with candidates of their choice and frame the campaign around the ‘issues’ they determine supply them their best opportunity for victory, is because journalism has devolved into a celebrity-based cheering squad for the agenda that they can enjoy the most self-aggrandizement from.
How in the world can a news media reconcile a commitment to getting to the truth and broadcasting it in an unbiased manner, with simply passing on one party’s slanderous accusation against their opponent without even a bit of investigating if the charges are sound, and then not even asking a sitting president for answers regarding a terrorist attack on our foreign embassy and murder of our ambassador?
The common perception today is that Democrats care about the working class and want to help those less fortunate and that the Republicans care only about their rich friends and don’t want to help anybody – now, if there are more millionaire Democrats in congress than Republican millionaires, and if all evidence demonstrates that Republicans give a good bit more of their personal income to charity than do Democrats, why would the common perception be just the opposite? Because that is the scenario that liberals need to advance (because their actual policies have never worked) and the ‘news’ media is significantly populated by more liberals than conservatives – in other words, our whole source of information totally buys into the false notion that liberals are smarter and nicer than dumb and mean conservatives.
“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
If you’re thinking that this all sounds like I’m looking for excuses and blaming the media for Obama’s reelection, and that this then sounds like some goofy conspiracy theory, that is not my point at all – I don’t think there is any conspiracy. I’m only trying to understand what happened. Remember, something made people look past the list of damage and failed policies of Obama’s 1st term and reelect him . . . look at the campaign; the Democrats veered away from any talk of actual polices and plans concerning the economy, lied over and over about the embassy attack, and the media never called them on it, never tried to pin them down and get any real answers, the mainline news agencies were content to swoon over talk about loving the planet and educating children, etc.
So what manner of people have we become, what is now the defining character of our culture? How has all this become acceptable to us? To me the answer to this is encouraging; despite never getting to a genuine debate about how things work and what might actually fix some of our trouble, even though what appears to be a decent and honorable man was maligned and cast as some manner of ghoul who laughs at the misfortune of others, even though what presents itself as ‘the news’ did little but advance the same notion (Democrats care about the middle class/Republicans care only for the rich) that the Democratic party has been promoting since FDR, even still, nearly half the country saw through all that mess . . . a great number of people simply don’t gobble-up what’s being spoon-fed to so many, they know in their core the validity of ideas like self-responsibility, liberty, fair play, etc.
We seem to be lunging toward becoming a civilization that is willing to give-up on the great experiment in freedom that America is, that prefers to set aside true liberty for free provisions and safety . . . but if half the population still recognizes the principles this country was founded on so long ago, and still recognizes this when they weren’t taught it in school, and when it’s mocked and ridiculed in popular culture, and when the news agencies are perpetually telling them differently, etc, etc – then I yet see light in the darkness. And . . .
All that exists is God’s, He created all there is, it is His and under His care and He has made His creation according to His plan and His purpose. God superintends nations, leaders, and elections. God has ordained all that comes about . . . I am content with this knowledge. And . . .
. . . Bush, McCain, and Romney were not at all my choices, and young folks like Rubio, Walker, Ryan, Cruise, Lee, and others are on the horizon. And, not perhaps, but in fact, God IS bringing about His plan according to His purpose.