You will hear lots more rhetoric in the next couple of months by politicians of all stripes and parties telling you about how important this election is to the future of the Nation. Phrases like this is a turning point and defining moment will be tossed out. You will be told that it is the most important election in a generation. You will hear that it is “historic” and that the outcome will determine the very future and existence of our Nation. Those proclamations will come from Democrats and Republicans. Every election is important but they are not all life or death issues for the very viability of our country. I have been told these scare tactics by politicians since I was a young person and straight through to today.
Well, I for one don’t buy that theory at all. This is another election and it is important as they all are but we will survive regardless of outcome. The only thing we have to fear is when the pendulum swings too far in favor of one party or the other. When both the legislature and the White House are controlled by one party then you also have a Judiciary that will reflect that same party bias. Of course defining what is swinging too far one way or the other I realize can be tricky and certainly is influenced by one’s ideology and cultural viewpoint. What I consider to be way too far left wing might appear quite moderate to a Naderite. But I trust the people over the long haul as long as our American culture remains essentially intact and based on Judeo-Christian ethics and tenets. It is the politicians that don’t trust the people. Listen to their speeches, they more often than not talk down to us; choosing every word so carefully and afraid that they might offend some voter or voting bloc. Both parties treat us like we can’t think for ourselves way too much. Which party do you think is worse about talking straight with the people? We have managed rather well all things considered over our history with the swings in both directions. Since Woodrow Wilson until Reagan the left pretty much had their way and did much damage but we managed.
I know we had Ike and then Nixon but they were both burdened with Democratic Congresses. There wasn’t a real sea change in direction until Reagan. The attitude finally shifted away from believing that all good resided in Government and all bad in individual enterprise. Even Reagan had to deal with a Democratic Congress but got his policies mostly adopted because the ideological battle had been won. We have seesawed the last 20 years and a new direction is not yet set and don’t you believe for one minute it will dramatically change with this election. There are certain fundamental realities that have to be faced by the winning Party. Debt is the biggest issue at the moment and for the next generation. If we expand Government even more then the debt will explode beyond all recognition. For a while we can get by with just having the Government “print” more money and they know doubt will if the expansive programs proposed on the national level are adopted. But don’t forget that will only lead to inflation which is a cancer on the economy. It will also cause us to become more of a debtor nation and weaken the dollar. Do you want the Chinese foreclosing on America? Over time you do NOT want the dollar to be devalued. These are issues that will take years to emerge and really won’t affect my life but they might yours.
Iraq is winding down and the Afghanistan situation will too. Remember your history and be confident they both will have a denouement as those matters always do. Yes, we will save some money. But not anywhere near enough to pay for propsed new programs and fixing Social Security and Medicare. Rather than letting all these billions go to Washington wouldn’t we all be better off if the money stayed home and was spent by the individual States on programs they each believe best fit their own citizens needs? We send that money to Washington and then the Feds in their graciousness deign to send such portion of it back they think we deserve in grants, loans, and subsidies. Unfortunately the money gets “filtered” by the Feds first. We don’t get back what we send. We simply don’t get our money’s worth from the Feds.
What business is it of the Federal Government to fund No Child Left Behind, school lunch programs and any matter dealing with education. Those should be strictly local concerns and dealt with by each State as it thinks best for its citizens. The States are closer to the people and could fund the programs its citizens want. The States would have the funds if its citizens weren’t hammered by the Federal taxes. There are many other examples of issues that could and should be handled at the local level rather than from Washington–like law enforcement. Why in hell are so many local police departments these days depending on Federal grants as a regular part of their budget needs. Check that out and you will see I am right. Once again why are we dependent on Washington for such things. The appettite for money and the power that goes with it are incapable of sating in those halls in Washington. Their greed for power is without limit. It is only a matter of degree between the parties. But choose the one that at least says it wants to leave the most power and money with the people.
We have a Federal system. It is a wonderfuly republican and democratic method for governing a large nation like ours. My fear is that the current politicians will convince too many that this election is about some proposal or the other and that the house will burn down if they are not elected. Don’t let any more power flow to Washington, it already has too much over your daily life. We need Washington out of the way more and Albany, Austin, Sacremento and Dover more involved in our lives. Great power centered in one location (Washington) inevitably leads to a much greater risk of abuse regardless of party.
Those late planted tomatoes should be coming in about now in many parts of the country along with some fresh corn. Of course with the ethanol debacle I hope we can all still afford a roasted ear of corn this holiday.