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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

If there is one thing that can be reliably deduced from American voting patterns it is this: the people want change.  Consider the case of Bill Clinton. If you look at his record while President, he rescued the economy from an impending collapse due to the economic fantasies of Ronald Reagan and the economic incompetence of Bush #1. During the Clinton years we had an era of prosperity that was among the best the country ever enjoyed. Furthermore, as President, Bill Clinton pretty much kept the United States out of war – a feat achieved by very few Presidents in our history. Bill Clinton’s problem was his intern that he kept under his desk. True to our Puritan heritage, the American people just could not handle that, and come the next election they voted for CHANGE, i.e Bill was a Democrat, so they voted Republican.  (Our CHANGE button is basically a binary switch, for all practical purposes you get to choose between a Democrat or a Republican – that’s it.)

When Bush #2 became President we became the victims of a man who was arguably the least intelligent man to ever hold that office. He promptly reverted to the insane economic ideas of Ronald Reagan while following the Republican economic battle cry of “No controls, no government oversight”. The result was a plunge into an economic abyss, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Great Depression. That President also involved the country in a mindless, unjustified war in Iraq that cost uncounted billions of dollars and the loss of many lives. That President also made a mess of the war on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Again billions of dollars were spent, many lives lost, and the supposed objective of the war – the elimination of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden – was a failure.  So, when it came time for the next Presidential election, the American people voted for CHANGE.

When America voted for Barack Obama to become President they knew they weren’t getting a white knight in shining armor who would wage wars with the enemies of America and who would right all the wrongs of the previous President. They thought they were getting a black knight in shining armor who would do those things. They just wanted a fearless and true knight – just like in the fairy tales. The problem is that after two years on the job, our black knight hasn’t led the attack. He has played “let’s make a deal”. True to his background as a United States Senator, he thought he could negotiate his way to achieving the “shining city on a hill”. Well, that didn’t work, did it?  Sure, he did save the country from a mind-numbing plunge into an economic abyss – but it’s one thing to be hanging by the life-saving strands of a safety belt, it’s another to be climbing to the top of a mountain. This isn’t what the American people voted for. They want the mountain top.

So, as we approach another election day, it looks like the American people may well push the binary CHANGE button again. If so, we will be facing more people in Congress who are the economic disciples of Herbert Hoover (the President who presided over the crash of the stock market in 1929 and the resulting Great Depression).  The problem is our binary button. We often have to vote not for the best of all possible candidates, but the least of the evils.  We have to vote for either the failed policies of the present or the failed policies of the past. Our CHANGE button doesn’t work. That is the message of the Tea Party, but the sad thing is that the Tea Party doesn’t bring any fresh ideas either, just ultra-extreme Republicanism which might have worked well in the early days of the country when you could just grab the land and natural resources from the Native Americans. (Those were the good old days, weren’t they?) But those days are gone, and the “every man for himself” philosophy is not a recipe for a modern functional society. Even the Republican Party knows that.

The recent meltdown of the world’s economy demonstrated, to anyone open-minded enough to objectively look, that Herbert Hoover and his disciples are wrong about economics in a capitalist system. They were wrong in 1929, they were wrong in 2007, and they are wrong in 2010. Hoover/Reagan/Bush economics always leads to economic disaster, and this is the problem we now face because when the voters push the CHANGE button on Tuesday it will toggle our economy back to a plan for economic disaster. It’s not the CHANGE we need, nor is it the change for which we voted two years ago. The change we need is this: our black knight needs to put on his shining armor and fearlessly lead this country forward. He needs to understand that we are not playing “Let’s Make a Deal”. President Bush never made a deal, yet he was able to do all of the insane/illegal things he wanted to do: things like illegal wiretaps, torturing prisoners, waging war for fabricated and untrue reasons. Bush, like a European Emperor or a Russian Czar, simply scoffed at the rules and did what he wanted to do. I don’t hold this up as an example for Barack Obama, but I think he needs to learn that he is a President and not a Senator anymore. He needs to put on the shining armor and get out there on the field.

The question is: is it too late? Will the American people push the broken CHANGE button again? It looks like it, but the CHANGE that will come on November 2nd won’t be the one they want or the one we need.

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