Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Very Personal Vision of the Future

All politics are personal. Someone said that. Many others have repeated it.
I believe that to be true. Otherwise, what's the point?

As millions of Americans (most of whom I've never met and will never know personally) go to the polls to elect someone that is going to have an impact on me personally, I think about my vision, not for America's future, not for their future but for my own individual, personal American future.

I want to wake up every morning next year with lower taxes and tax certainty. Because of this I'm able to save more, spend more and plan beyond the end of the month.

I want to read less, watch less and blog less about politics because government is adhering to it's Constitutional mandates and needs less watching.

I want Al Qaeda and every other radical faction of Islamist extremism to truly be on the run. I want China to be playing fair in the world economy and I want Russia, North Korea and Iran to fear our economic as well as our military strength. I want America's place in the world to be like it was when I served in the Army: a position of such strength that our enemies fear us and the world community truly respects us even if they don't love us. Because only then will the threat of yet another war be diminished.

I want there to be less poverty so taking care of those still living in poverty is easier and so my own extended family is less likely to be struggling to maintain a household and a middle-class standard of living. When my wife calls them it will be to talk about our nephews and nieces who are involved in activities, getting good grades and growing up with a positive outlook about their own future. My wife won't get off the phone with a worried look on her face leaving me to ask, "what's wrong?" only to hear about another lost job, a battle with a bank about a loan, declining health or an impending eviction.

I want to worry less about my parents losing their Medicare Part B coverage and having no control over the tests doctors order and the preventative medicine their chosen doctor prescribes because there will be no IPAB (rationing/death panel) between my parents and their health care.

I want to be taking my kids to sports practices and other extracurricular activities. I want the conversations with the other parents on the sidelines and in the back of the auditorium to be something other than, "when are we going to get rid of this guy, Obama? When are we going to get government out of our lives" or if we are talking about each others work it is how we feel secure in our jobs, how we are waiting for a promotion and how our companies are hiring more people instead of laying off coworkers.

I want to fill up my car and my wife's SUV on the weekends and end up paying so much less for a tank of gas that we still have money to take the kids to a movie or perhaps just take a drive somewhere out in to the country.

I want to turn on the TV in the evening and NOT see the President because instead of campaigning he's hard at work with his Cabinet and with the Legislative leadership getting big, important, essential things done for my country and when he's not doing that, he's not doing really anything because he knows that staying out of the way of capable and freedom loving people is the best and most American thing any President can do.

Because what I want is more freedom and less government intrusion in to my everyday life. I want the tidewaters of big government to be receding rather than advancing upward across the shoreline of my personal freedom.

And I choose that metaphor to end because I want to be on vacation, near a beach somewhere with my family, facing up the coastline, with my children in front of me, their shadows getting longer and taller as the bright sun moves across the sky. And if I am there next summer then I will be closer to my personal vision of my America.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Pamphleteer

In the early part of the primary season in 2008 I was having a conversation with an ultra-liberal friend who wanted to convince me that then candidate Obama had a clearly articulated agenda. I asked what it was. One or two elements at least. "Well, I am sure it's out there somewhere. On the website. Look there."

At the time this told me everything I needed to know. While Hillary was talking policy, much of which was a part of her lifelong liberal history in politics, Obama was talking platitudes and the ABB (Anyone But Bush) crowd was buying whatever he was shilling from the stump. People didn't really know who he was or what he intended to do. They just knew he was new and different from everyone else and that was good enough. It also told me that no one I knew was vetting the candidate and no one was drilling down on policy positions. Some of us bothered to do our own vetting of the candidate and we're not so surprised about the past four years. Perhaps my only two surprises are how rapidly he pushed a truly liberal agenda to fundamentally change America and how stalwart America has been in spite of the sheer force of the Obama agenda.

It's four years later and now we all know what we got out of this blind-bargain. Those still in the Obama camp are either coming from the same anti-American ultra-liberal position or they are committing the most massive rationalization of denial and self-delusion. The simple facts can't be argued. The general sweep of this administration has been one of broken-promises, either incompetence or a lack of interest in governing, or both resulting in unmitigated failure. America is worse off than it was four years ago and teetering on the brink of even greater economic catastrophe which will translate into more misery at the personal level of each and every citizen high, low and particularly the in between a.k.a. middle-class.

So the question is, what's Obama's next act? What will he offer to do if re-elected?

Well let's start with an understanding that those of us who vetted him the first time around paid close attention to his résumé. The difference between now and then is he can add Nobel Prize Winner and "acting" President of the United States. But the rhetoric tells us he hasn't really gained any job experience from the hyper-partisan approach to governing which led to the "shellacking" he and his party took in the 2010 mid-terms. Nor has he learned anything about an American public who has rejected Obamacare and other policies by an overwhelming majority. Nor has he gained an experience level as he trudges through the  dump-truck loads of scandals amassing on his White House doorstep, moving from one to the next in the same fashion of obfuscation, ignorance and obstinance (Inspector General Walpin, Security Breaches leaking details of Stuxnet and the Osama bin Laden raid, Fast & Furious, Illegal Campaign Contributions, WH Soyndra, Benghazi, etc.)

So looking back on the original résumé will tell us everything we need to know and show us everything we will get out of another four years of an Obama White House.

He has ghost-written multiple books about himself with scant few actual accomplishments. We will probably get yet another book. But the self-celebration of this megalomaniac will occur whether he is dictating it in the Oval Office or in the den of his Rezko financed house in Chicago.

He'll keep stalling and dodging the investigation of his scandal-plagued administration. And with no chance of being "Constitutionally" re-elected he won't even bother giving the most cursory appearance of transparency and cooperation.

But his one and only real job skill that stands out on his résumé,
if you can call it that, is campaigning. And that is borne out of a life of "community organizing".

I call him the Rabble-Rouser in Chief. His Alinsky-ite tactics have been on display for five years and on a national stage but the reason that some have written about the ever-shrinking President is that on a national stage, street corner rabble-rousing looks no bigger than it does on the actual street corners where he got his start.

He's gone from carrying a clip board, handing out voter registration cards, flyers to anti-American rallies and pamphlets to . . . well, the same thing on a national scale. Here we are seeing the final days of a campaign that started back in 2009. He's been working to maximize voter turn-out and his latest prop (some may call agitprop) is the 20 page full color pamphlet. This is the "plan" he was coaxed to provide by his opponents after failing to put get out in front after the debates.

As Romney so aptly put, "attacking me is not a agenda". This statement is so irrefutable and of course, underscores one simple reality. If Obama is reelected he no longer serves any purpose as President. He won't need to campaign for reelection and he can't accomplish any real benefit for American citizens by continuing to bash-Bush or attack a Romney who will no longer be running for President at that point.

My question about an agenda is finally answered although it was no easier to find then back in 2008 when I asked that friend what this largely unknown character was going to do for the country in his first term. I had to navigate past many pages that requested a campaign contribution just to be able to read the pamphlet without paying for it, at least not a second time.

The pamphleteer has recycled a lot of tired rhetoric and a fair dose of Romney's own ideas and packaged it up with meaningless graphs and staged photos of the President mugging the camera wearing faux-empathetic expressions.

Well, at least we all got more than 5 days to read it, unlike his promise about the daylight that major legislation would see, legislation that was rammed through with horse-trades and bullying.

But honestly, for a campaign that has been going on for years and not just months, why is it that the pamphlet, the "pathetic picture book", as Rich Lowry calls it, why was that released only 14 days prior to election day? It's because it wasn't really ever intended to be read. Obama himself dropped it on the stage floor and had to hunt for it during a campaign speech, then making a self-effacing joke about it.

His prop is not an agenda for our future. Neither are his attacks on Romney, Republicans, the "1%", job-creators, the energy sector and most of all middle-class Americans facing inflation, a shrunken and anemic economy and the biggest ever tax increase in our tax paying lives. (read about it here: www.heritage.org/issues/taxes/taxmageddon )

If you are really undecided. If you are really taking your voting decision right down to the wire then read what is in the pamphlet and consider the question: "Is there enough in the pamphlet that is different from what I've already seen (and that hasn't really worked), that speaks specifically to me and will improve my life enough so that I would consider letting this guy run MY Country for another four years?"

But I think you already know the answer without even getting past the cover of this thin, glossy prop.

Americans need more than a pamphleteer. We need more than rhetoric. We need more than a community that is "organized" and we certainly need more than rabble that is roused to march towards the logo of a false-vision. We need a plan and we need a proven leader who is ready to make that plan a reality.