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Archive for November, 2008

The party that was once the champion of small government, low spending and personal responsibility has left us with this legacy:

  • Largest unemployment lines in over 15 years;
  • Largest number of people receiving unemployment benefits in 20 years;
  • Largest and most expensive government in decades;
  • Likely to be the weakest economy in over 80 years if predictions that our economic crisis is “just getting started” happen to be true and the seemingly run-a-muck Bailout continues veering off course…;
  • Harshest repeal and tarnishing of Constitutional rights and Geneva Convention laws in 40 years.
  • Most incompetent and favoritism-based appointments to positions of power resulting in the deaths of thousands of American citizens and military personnel;
  • The largest number of firings, early departures and scandals surrounding political offices in my memory.

I’ve been trying to figure out how Republicans are going to get back to the platform of small government, family values, fiscal and personal responsibility, strong governmental ethics and reform and somehow push the ideas that “trickle down” or “top-down” tax cuts and policies work and are healthy for the economy. Are there any conservatives around that can help reconcile the post-Bush reality with the tenets of the Republican party?

Which of these things do you think can be recovered? Which of these things will no longer be part of the Republican political lineup. Or, how might they be transformed to better connect with the U.S. American people?

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Even though McCain supporters continue to boo on cue of hearing Obama’s name, McCain’s concession speech revealed the kind of candidate that I admire, and one that I personally feel would have probably made the campaign a far more close race.

Obama will not be a silver bullet to slay all of the boogymen that loom in the closet. Obama will probably not be able to solve a number of the issues he hopes to tackle. He still takes advice from those who are very friendly with the likes of Wal-Mart and who consider the company to be the “victim” rather than the millions of workers who get paid sub-standard wages, work beyond their hours for zero pay, and who lack any sort of useful benefits or job security. Obama still embraces the Monroe Doctrine-esque views regarding Latin America and Cuba… views responsible for the worst terrorism and violence committed in the 1980s and early 1990s. He still seems to be willing to blindly support Israel despite the terrorism that our surrogate carries out against civilians, let alone the always-alleged “militants.”

However, I do believe Obama will set us moving in a direction that better embraces the ideals espoused in both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Tonight’s election results alone speak to the beginning of that transformation. I hope we are at an end of hyper-divisive politics. I hope we find a way to advance political change without needing to belittle the other or tap into fear or lock people down according to artificial boundaries and arbitrary wedges and instead examine a person and their ideas, dreams and goals on their own merit.

As for economics, wealth and the pursuit of the “American Dream,” since the economy will likely be the premier challenge facing this presidency, I believe the “welfare, subsidies and tax cuts for the rich” approach that ignores or expects a “trickle down” effect to somehow keep the financial cogs turning has been proven both in theory and in practice to be a disaster and in the meantime, the people of the country have paid in blood and tears as they are evicted from their homes, have lost their jobs, have had their pensions torn out from under them after putting in the time and service to earn them, and have seen the “opportunities for wealth creation” that neo-cons parade so devoutly shrivel up or be shipped overseas due to tax breaks and further welfare handouts by the government to corporations. Trickle-down economics and deregulation DO NOT WORK. You can’t look at the surplus we started with 8 years ago, the policies that were passed in the meantime and then the huge mess we’re in now and say anything else. Now, will Obama’s policies work better? I guess we’ll see. I doubt he’ll be able to make any real changes, however, I hope that he’ll actually stop some of the blatant corruption that has run so rampant during Bush’s terms.

But let’s get back to tonight:

Barack Obama does speak of hope in a time when we need it dearly. His victory is a real opportunity for the children of United States who, until now, have always looked at the portraits of American presidents and never saw their own race represented. He does represent calmness and clarity and a willingness to listen… qualities that have been so damagingly absent during the Bush II era. We have a lot of work to do in order to recover our standing the world… but at least we won’t thumb our noses at the global community anymore and we might save a few lives by not calling out cowboy remarks like “bring it on” as our valiant soldiers fight and die in other lands. Obama represents a return to civility and respect that has been slim or entirely missing in our national discourse.

I guess we’ll see how things go… but I’m glad I’m not having to pack for Canada tonight.

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