Sunday, August 17, 2014

America's Plea

My Dear American People,

Have I not provided you with opportunities that are the envy of the world?  Are you not the most free and prosperous people on the planet?  Did you not rapidly ascend from a group of loosely aligned colonies to global powerhouse in the blink of an eye?  Has human potential been nurtured and unleashed to a magnitude not previously experienced by any other civilization in human history?  As the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, I ask but one more - Why would you surrender this state of exceptionalism for apathy?

I was but a fantastic dream until a very special people guided by a divine hand gave me life.  I am the product of a glorious revolution, a forceful rejection of the tyranny that was the Old World.  Against inconceivable odds, my champions prevailed.  With unparalleled foresight and legendary determination they achieved the greatest feat of human existence– a nation ruled by self-determination.  My short history is littered with a fair share of strife and conflict.  From each trial, I emerged stronger and wiser.  I am the ultimate gift of the ages; the defining monument to what mankind is capable of when unleashed to be inspired.  As the beacon of hope for all pining for the freedom to define their place in this world, I am the light driving away the weighty darkness of despair. 

People come from all corners of the globe because I offer something no one else does, a chance.  I promise nothing, failure and success are equal possibilities, but a chance is the catalyst that transforms potential into substance.  Your parent’s place in this world matters not to me; I see you for who you truly are, and the sum of your own actions is how I judge you.  Your place in my society is a product of your own making.  While achievement is not easy for most, I make it a possibility for all.  The steep price I demand for this prospect is skill, determination, and hard work.  I am not about dependence, I am defiance.  I was created with the knowledge that nothing worth having is easily obtained.  In this tradition, I forged a strong people through continual trials of fortitude.  It was this crucible that made you a people of legendary perseverance, the unique and essential quality separating you from all others. 

My worth is measured in the immense sacrifice borne by my patriots past and present.  Their love evident in the last full measure they have freely given for over two centuries to ensure I see tomorrow.  They have defended my cause of liberty on countless battlefields around the world and at home with their epic valor affirming my flag as the globally recognized guidon of freedom.  I am the bane of tyranny because they stand at the ready to confront and dispatch any that engage in subjugation.  My very existence threatens these disciples of the evil ideology that is suppression.  With their numbers being many, I am eternally thankful my protectors are so resolute.  My 238 years of greatness are an undeniable tribute to their service.  For this, they have my undying gratitude.    

 My elevated place in this world carries with it a tremendous burden.  Everyone looks to and at same time envies the one on top of the mountain.  Couple this added external pressure with the fact that I demand more of you, my citizens, than any other nation and you have a true test of allegiance.  You are blessed with the duty of selecting those that will implement your will, those that will execute the continual process of guiding and shaping me.  Your decisions are to be executed by these elected servants.  For reasons unknown, you seem to have forgotten that they serve you, you do not serve them.  These proxies must be chosen wisely, for being the preeminent nation on the planet means your decisions have far reaching effects.  You choose leaders not just for yourselves, but for the entire free world.  Each vote must be cast with the knowledge it is capable of being the deciding factor between a world of calm or one of chaos.  With so much hanging in the balance it imperative that only those of the highest merit be elected to the seats of power.  Unfortunately, my current state of decline along with that of the world shows you have failed miserably to meet this critical standard.  How very disappointing.

Being so very blessed can be a curse.  When extraordinary gifts such as freedom, democracy, and capitalism become the norm, their value is no longer recognized and the struggle that was necessary to attain them is forgotten.  How sad to be so very fortunate and so very ungrateful.  A people that does not honor the privilege of self-determination by being properly engaged, aware, and interested is not one that will long enjoy it.  Democracy’s greatest strength, citizen rule, is also its greatest weakness.  In order for a Democratic Republic to survive, it must be tended to by an astute electorate.  When votes are cast in ignorance with fickle and trivial reasoning in support of inept candidates, you willing condone the systematic cessation of my continued existence.  I am the highest form of human civilization; in turn you must be the most enlightened in order for me to survive.  You are my lifeblood, so I pray you hear my plea.  Do not succumb to the convenience of apathy.  Refuse to dwell in the prison of naivety.  Reject the excuse of victimization.  Seize the torch passed to you by previous generations and embrace the tremendous honor and immense responsibility that comes with the privilege of being a citizen of the United States of America.  I am, as I have always been, at your mercy.  Time is short and the point of no return is rapidly approaching.  Do not turn your back on the greatness that is your legacy because you fear the effort required.  People are defined by their actions.  In this, my time of great need, will you be my savior, or my end?

Sincerely,

America

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hillary Clinton - Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Somewhere along the way our concept of a qualified person became horribly skewed.  Reputations used to be something built upon achievement.   Today, perception is more important than tangible results.  Strangely, we have begun to place our faith in people who have done nothing to deserve it.  An unsubstantiated persona of prominence reigns supreme when we pick our leaders.  With great fanfare and a sense of inevitability we hold them up as legends in their own time.  Since none of them have done anything worthy of this distinction, the story’s unhappy ending is easily foreseen but apparently just as easily ignored.

In 2008, we elected our first African-American president.  It was hailed as a turning point in our country’s history.  We collectively patted ourselves on the back as we had finally reached the point where we could look past skin color even when electing our national leader.  It was a hollow victory though.  In the effort to be better we completely missed the point and went from one end of the spectrum to the other.  The liability of the past became the decisive advantage of the present.  Barack Obama was not a qualified candidate dismissed because of his skin; he was an unqualified candidate artificially elevated to victory because of his skin.  In our exuberance to make amends for past transgressions we ran rough shod over the Promised Land where we consider only those traits that actually impact a person’s chances of success.  Regardless of it being a detriment or benefit if either is the result of skin color it is racism.  The election of Barack Obama did not erase racism it was the product of it.  No new societal plateau was reached.  The sole result was that we elected a man president that lacked the necessary experience and leadership.   We naively dismissed our electoral responsibility to select a competent leader in exchange for the false claim of being a better country.  We made a monumental decision based almost entirely on a variable that had absolutely no impact on his ability to be successful.  What we cared about most, mattered least.  With the truly important criteria ignored it is no surprise we have empowered an incompetent administration.

The only virtue of a mistake is that it reveals what not to do.  This is why it is so maddening when this only positive aspect is ignored and the error is repeated.  A chance at enlightenment reduced to nothing more than an exercise in futility.  Though it seems to be an accepted explanation recently, ignorance is not excuse.  But here we are again, on the doorstep of making yet another mistake in selecting our national leader.  Historic status seems to be a trump card to such passé things as legitimate qualifications and experience.  Why elect someone with a professional foundation that enables them to have a fighting chance in this unparalleled position by building on their resume of leadership and achievement when you can feel like you have made up for some societal injustice?  Ironically in the effort to address the discrimination, whether it is racism in the last two presidential elections or sexism in the upcoming presidential election, the offense is propagated because it becomes the sole criteria in the voting decision.  The candidate is lost to the cause, but the elected individual is what must govern after the election is over.  Perhaps we will be able console ourselves with the idea that we have broken through the glass ceiling, even if the steep price is watching our nation descend further into the flames of irrelevance under the direction of another incompetent president.

Time and again people sing the praises of Hillary Clinton.  Completely baseless proclamations of her inherent greatness incite déjà vu.  Though she has more experience at the national level of government than Barack Obama did when he was first elected to the White House, that doesn't mean much.  What has she done with these golden and undeserved opportunities to prove she is among those chosen few capable of being the leader of the free world?  Eight years in the Senate and four years as Secretary of State resulted in nothing of distinction.  Being a place holder is not an accomplishment and provides no validation that she is ready for the highest office in the land.  A person’s promotion potential is best based on past performance while in a lower role.  Use this criterion on Secretary Clinton’s time in the US Senate and State Department and a ringing endorsement is simply not plausible for anyone with any semblance of impartiality.  Ask anyone, including her, and even the staunchest supporter with the most generous outlook comes up wanting when questioned about achievements while in governmental office.  Why is it that we become so imprudent once we decide it is time to topple a past ignorance?  So anxious to prove we have liberated our society from a past mistake that we foolishly forget to discerningly evaluate the one bestowed with the awesome burden of being the pioneer.  Being the first is not for the faint of heart or those lacking in skill.  Fair or not you must be exceptional when leading the way into a new frontier.   Our country is filled with women that have a legitimate chance at being excellent presidents, with resumes littered with feats of professional achievement and effective leadership.  The interesting part is that Hillary Clinton is not among this group and yet sadly for reasons unknown she is the one so many have pinned their hopes on.

Secretary Clinton gladly accepts the title of strong woman.  An undeserved accolade that is easily toppled by the fact that her notoriety is nothing more than a byproduct of her husband’s eight years in the Oval Office.  Additional evidence comes from the very public act of marital betrayal that still was not enough for her to rightly cast off her adulterous husband because she knew his legacy was her political meal ticket.  Strong women don’t stand by their man when they violate the intimate trust that is the basis of a true marriage.  The first female president will need to be strong as the position demands it.  She will need to be a person that has faced the test of trial by fire and passed, creating her own legacy based upon her own achievements, not someone whose reputation is the product of marital association. 

What is in a name?  For Hillary the answer is everything.  She has nothing else.  Ironically she kept her maiden name in an effort to establish herself as her own woman only now to have to completely rely upon her married name for a chance at her Holy Grail.  Many of Hillary’s supporters have fooled themselves into believing the influence that the Clinton name now carries, especially in Democratic circles, is the result of Bill and Hillary’s combined success. Truth is the Clinton name is not a product of Hillary; it is a product of Bill.  A spouse’s support is a powerful thing, but it does not mean that the pair is interchangeable.  Facts are that only Bill was a five time governor of Arkansas and two term President of the United States.  Hillary did not attain elected office until after her husband’s presidency.  The power of the Clinton name is that it evokes fond memories of more prosperous times.  Though electing someone with the same last name will not lead to the same result, that doesn't stop fools from hoping. 


There is no position that compares to the Presidency of the United States, and expectations for a historical president are elevated still.  This means that success demands an extraordinary woman.  Without any basis, Hillary Clinton has been anointed by many as this extraordinary woman.  If we make the mistake of buying into this and electing her I’m sure we will all pat ourselves on the back again as we erroneously believe we have knocked out another ism.   The presidency should be the culmination of a professional life that is the embodiment of leadership, achievement and tangible results.  The person should have a laundry list of examples where they have proven their mettle in dealing with a multitude of conditions and challenges.  The presidency is not a position for pretenders and it is not a place to make a social stand.  We should not elect people to check off a box, we should elect them because they are the best qualified regardless of race, gender, religion, or political party.  We already made the mistake of electing an unqualified candidate because of reasons that had no bearing on his ability to succeed.  Let us not make the same mistake again.  We are a nation loaded with talented leaders capable of being president, and they come in all races and both genders.  If one removes emotion and logically looks at the professional life of Hillary Rodham Clinton they will clearly see that she, just like Barack Obama, simply isn't one of them. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day

Two hundred thirty-eight years ago yesterday greatness was born.  A nation forged in revolution not just against the rule of an empire, but against an accepted fate devoid of choice.  Thirteen colonies united in the defiant cause to cast off the oppression that pervaded the old world.  An audacious Declaration of Independence boldly proclaimed self-determination as an inalienable right of all.  Centuries of darkness were swept away as the light of a new beacon of hope was ignited.  The new world was no longer just a geographic term it was now a legitimate expectation of a better life guided by one’s own hand.  Humankind had finally been liberated from its own self-imposed bonds and the time had come to see what we were truly capable of.  A nation like none before it defied overwhelming odds and found a way to not only survive but prosper and flourish as the world’s greatest creation. 

America is truly exceptional.  To deny this is a fool’s errand for the body of achievement we have amassed in our short existence is simply unparalleled.  Two hundred thirty-eight years to rise from colonies to world super power has no explanation other than we are a nation of people unlike any this world has ever seen.  Our democratic republic was the creation of genius.  Its promise of freedom and opportunity speaks to a primal human desire and in doing so people flocked here to capitalize on what only we offered.  We drew from the four corners of the globe and with the masses came the talent and desire to achieve.  In an environment that nourished potential milestones fell and the success benefited all.  A legend emerged and the world had a new champion.

Nothing that involves humans will ever be perfect, but the United States comes very close.  Our history does include times for which we cannot make amends, but they are few in comparison to our deeds of liberation, loyalty, and charity.  When one truly wants to measure their worth they must ask themselves if the world is a better place because they were in it.  For America, the answer is a resounding yes.  We were not only the first to put freedom to the test of reality, we have also gladly shouldered the responsibility of being its guardian.  American military might has seen jungles, deserts, beaches, and farm fields in the crusade to defend liberty at home and abroad.  Our friends have known no greater ally and our enemies no greater foe.  Our assistance comes in many forms as American aid fuels those still seeking their own deliverance and comforts those that must pay the steep price freedom demands.  In a world that will always have those employing oppression in their quest for power, may there always be the vigilant watchmen standing at the ready to dispatch the next threat.


July 4th is not just the day a nation was born; it is also marks the beginning of a new age in human existence.  People came here because the old world and it limitations did not suit them.  History is filled with kingdoms, empires, and dictatorships that ruled through suppression and class systems.  The United States was the first country founded on freedom and individual rights.  The American Revolution was not just between thirteen colonies and the crown they felt unjustly ruled over them, it was between two different views of how the world should be.  Old and new clashed and the world won.  Despite inconceivable odds, America not only prevailed but supplanted the empire that once ruled it as the global power.  What is even more remarkable is that this feat was accomplished through the liberation of human potential.   Americans are different, some view it as arrogance but they are wrong.  We are different and extraordinary because we are the product of a revolution that won our right to be.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Global Power Vacuum

The world is a better place with the United States as the preeminent global power.  As Americans are famous for, we boldly redefined the role.  Historically a position seized with an eye toward creating or expanding an empire, we have done neither.  In fact, our actions are more in line with those of a comic book superhero than dominant world power.  Regardless of the completely baseless propaganda of some of our detractors, we have not embarked on any great campaign to colonize other nations nor have we used our unparalleled military might as a hammer to subjugate the masses.  In fact, we have done quite the opposite as our military is not a weapon of tyranny, but one of liberation.  We obtained global super power status by being the essential factor in the defeat of the axis nations of World War II.  It was our combined military and industrial might that stymied the German Blitzkrieg in Europe, and repulsed Japan’s efforts to rule the Pacific.  We were defenders, not conquerors.  When the hostilities concluded we did not set about to survey our new possessions, instead we rebuilt the nations we had just defeated so they would not fall prey to the new threat rising in the East.  We did not take advantage of their weakened state opting instead to restore their self-rule.  This unique approach is the same manner with which we have conducted ourselves ever since, and it is what sets us apart as the world’s best hope.

Why is America different?  What has allowed us to resist the enticement of attempting world domination?  Perhaps it is not all that surprising that the United States has no aspirations for a global empire since we are a nation born of the rejection of this very concept.  A fate we did not see ourselves deserving of is not one we want to impose on others.  I’m not saying we are divine; we just do things differently because we see the world differently.  Our successful revolution against the realm the sun never set on was the genesis of the modern age.  A young and brash nation blazing a new trail of self-determination was the force that relegated the old world concept of an empire to the status of relic. 

Come natural or manmade disaster, there is one who is always offering assistance.   Regardless of how those in need feel about us, American aid will be among the first to arrive.  There is no more generous a people on the planet.  We willingly put aside political and ideological difference when more important things like survival and justice are at risk.  There is but one nation that has the ability to touch any place on the planet in a matter of hours to begin the process of returning to normal. There is but one nation that has the wealth, expertise, and desire to help regardless of the situation.  To have the most powerful nation also be the most generous and helpful nation is the optimum situation, an unheard of combination outside of fairy tales.  The world is currently the benefactor of this fairy tale, but for how long is the burning question.

Superheroes do exist.  With powers, skills, and achievements beyond those of mere mortals they fight for others in support of the cause of a better overall world.  Their actions do not necessarily reach the point of benevolence, but there is definitely an essence of selflessness, an overarching theme of promoting the general good.  This goal is pursued in the face of logic, personal risk, or even a clearly defined and personally beneficial end state.  When problems arise, the superhero is the one expected to confront the threat.  During good times, the superhero is treated with righteous indignation as a tolerated irritant, a source of envy by being a constant reminder that all others pale in comparison.   It is a thankless job where the appreciation exhibited during times of need quickly fades.  The superhero must be motivated by something other than approval or adoration.   Superheroes do exist as America checks all the boxes.

We live in a world where the laws of opposites function.  Since the superhero exists so too does their alter ego – the villain.  Those determined to subvert the actions, motives, and reputation of the champion in defense of their own efforts to amass power.  They seek the position held by the superhero, but intend to conduct themselves in a much more self-interested manner.  The general good is not a consideration, using the influence that comes with being the strongest will be maximized only to enrich themselves.  They view the world as a place where the masses are not there to be protected; they are there to be exploited.  If no one capable of confronting these dark forces chooses to accept the challenge things become simple very quickly, to the victor go the spoils.

What happens when the superhero decides they no longer want to bear the burden of being exceptional?  The answer to that question is what we are seeing play out right now.  The current president believes that America’s elevated status in the world order is the primary cause of international discontent.  He also believes that if all nations are perceived as equals a state of global harmony will be the result.  As with most of his socialist ideology, this thinking is absurd and proven to be flawed by real world examples.   When anything is grouped, a leader will rise.  Guidance must be given and decisions must be made.  Within a group opinions will vary as to what is best so weather the leader is beneficial or detrimental to the group depends on their motivation.  The influence the leadership position exerts makes it quite desirable.  If the best qualified does not accept the role or vacates it in the name of some foolish perception of equality, someone else will seize it.  There is no shortage of countries that would gladly relieve us of the title of global superpower, and they do not seek a community of equal nations.  Their ambitions are self-serving and more in line with the empire builders that previously occupied the position.


The United States is not the only nation that benefits from its super power status.  Western Europe rose from the ashes, South Korea repelled invasion from the North, the Soviet Union crumbled, countless victims of natural disaster have been given solace, and many a dictator have fallen since America became the world’s sentinel.  Rarely are those in power useful to anyone but themselves, so it is even more amazing how the stars have aligned.  Sitting at the head of the table is not always a rewarding experience.  Being the target of those that clamor for the seat of power can be wearing.  This is why leaders are not those faint of heart.  At no other time in human history has the most influential nation also been the most generous and cognizant of the needs of others. We are a nation born of those beliefs that give humanity its best chance at realizing its full potential.  We defend the weak, we give aid to those in need, and we stand boldly defiant as the guardian of self-determination.  Unfortunately, after a short seventy years America seems to have grown weary of being the world’s patron saint.  Electing a president blind to the responsibilities that are the price of greatness; he openly advocates our abdication of the position of leader of the free world.  Let us hope this is a temporary lapse and not a prelude to America hanging up its cape.  The American experiment is mankind’s greatest leap of faith in itself.  The success we have enjoyed shows the leap was worth taking and that we are the only ones capable of providing this opportunity to the rest of the world.  History is a great teacher and what it shows is that the United States serves the world best by leading it. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Great Democratic Deception

To make one believe you are helping them all the while siphoning away their desire and ability to resist is a most devious charade.  Only those truly obsessed with power or lacking a soul would lead another down this destructive path for if left unchecked, the result is a descent to the often dark place of dependence.  Dependence is the ultimate tool of subjugation for it changes want to a perception of need.   This deception is the core of Socialism and ironically the reason it will always fail, for a people wholly dependent on a national government will never be able to sustain a functional and prosperous society.  Regardless of this ideology’s inevitably self-destructive ends, the Democratic Party’s leadership has embraced it with great fervor and is implementing it with a disturbing amount of electoral support.  They have enjoyed such success with this ruse that despite a reality of benefiting no one outside of themselves, they continue to be cast as the compassionate party.  Even their ever mounting failed body of work does not seem to deter their faithful supporters.  The task is made easier by being the benefactors of a seemingly endless benefit of the doubt from half of the electorate; while most of the other half is either not paying attention or squabbling over ideological purity.  "Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

All human action is the result of one simple thing – the proper motivation.  A desired end state is the driving force behind all decisions, good, bad, or indifferent.  The greater the craving, the greater the lengths people are willing to go to satisfy it.  As any drug dealer, con man, or cult leader could tell you, things such as loyalty, logic, morality, and even one’s own well-being can quickly become casualties in an effort to obtain whatever it is an individual yearns for.  Understanding this very basic premise of human behavior is the key to understanding the current state of our nation.  The left has found out what people want, what they really want, and provided it to them. Though no one would stand up and say they want to be a victim, the sympathy and the relief from responsibility that comes with the designation sure has its appeal for an increasing segment of our society.  Providing excuses as a convenient replacement for meeting expectations and supporting the entitlement movement plays well to the increasing numbers that believe government exists to provide.  Uncle Sam can be quite the sugar daddy, and he is all too eager to oblige in exchange for the control that comes with being the company store.  Vote the wrong way and the now depended on subsistence is no more.   When you believe you are at the mercy of some great threat with your very existence or way of life in the balance then there are no ends to what you will do to support those claiming to be your salvation.  In this fairy tale, anyone preaching such outdated ideas as accountability, standards, and earned success is the Big Bad Wolf.

Sadly, the Democratic Party is very in tune with the true desires of a changing American society.  This understanding and their exploitation of it are the keys to the great success they are experiencing in capitalizing on their campaign to fundamentally transform our nation.   It is unfortunate, but the political party with thinking more in line with our foundational beliefs and those that enabled our rise to prominence is the one now flailing wildly in their attempt to connect with the American electorate.  Cherishing the chance to earn a better life that drew so many here and set us apart from the rest of the world is now routinely labeled as the cold and heartless ethos of the privileged.  How the mighty have fallen when the condescending message of individual success being unobtainable without the assistance of government wins out over empowerment through self-reliance.  We are a nation in decline because that is where our motivations are pulling us.

Liberty is not a venture for the faint of heart.  This is why subjugation is so much more prevalent than independence. Few have the fortitude necessary to endure the rigors of the perpetual burden of vigilance that freedom demands.  From the time the last shots of the Revolution were fired there were those that were looking to find a way to wrestle freedom from the people’s grasp in order to endow themselves with power.  The people’s defense was a natural distrust of government and a deep reverence for the liberation possible only through self-reliance.  Allow this defiance to be tamed with the marginalizing effects of growing dependence and citizens quickly become subjects.  Show me a people lulled into an increasing comfort with expanding government intervention, and I will show you a people not long for self-rule.  In our current scenario, where the people have replaced reliance on self for reliance on a governmental benefactor, we have willingly forfeited our greatest leverage against a national government hell-bent on increasing its sphere of influence.   


Our nation was founded on a single principle, the opportunity to define one’s place in society through personal actions and decisions.  Here, you would be a product of self-determination.  Apparently the shine has faded from that gem as the very debilitating view of a government dependent society is now preferred by many and has earned the increasingly leftist Democratic Party an extremely loyal voting bloc along with a benevolent reputation. Who knew that telling people they couldn't make it and the world was against them would result in an almost unshakable following.   It should be no surprise the Democrats were successful at getting a man wholly unqualified elected and reelected president, for it is a small accomplishment in comparison to the deception they pulled off in getting many Americans to abandon self-determination to kneel before the altar of government dependence.  This situation serves as a reminder that every great civilization falls, and the worst pain is that which is self-inflicted.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Politics of Racism



How ironic that the election of President Obama was supposed to herald in a new age of racial harmony.  Through the election of a biracial president, we as a nation had finally made a grand enough gesture to show our sincerity about the notion of all men being created equal.  The United States was now a sufficiently color blind nation that we were able to look beyond skin in the selection of our national leader.  The problem is, however, we didn’t look beyond skin.  Instead of being the reason why someone wasn’t considered, it became the main reason they were.  Unfortunately, the new age has not materialized in the naïvely hoped for manner as the last five years have been riddled with incessant claims that racism is at the core of all opposition to the Obama administration.  To disagree with the 44th President of the United States cannot be due to having a differing political ideology, opinion, or vision; no, according to those that ardently support and defend the president there is but one factor, race.  Evidentially racial harmony doesn’t have quite the political advantage as labeling one’s ideological opponents racists, and dismissing qualifications that truly matter for skin color does not a competent president make.

In 2008, Barack Obama was the benefactor of a perfect storm.  Coming to the end of eight years of Republican occupancy of the White House with the country engaged in two increasingly unpopular wars, many voters were ready for a change.  They were so ready, that the always slippery mantra of “Anything is better than this” was gaining traction.  This was fertile ground for people to easily convince themselves that the candidate the other party put forth was the better choice, regardless of that individual’s experience or core political beliefs.  With this most enviable position, the Democratic nomination was just a formality in the selection of the next president.  Though Hillary Clinton believed she had the nomination all but locked up, during the primaries there emerged an upstart.  The junior Senator from the state of Illinois who hadn’t even served half of his first term, and sported a resume completely void of executive level leadership examples, somehow derailed Hillary’s presumed coronation.  Even the allure of national prosperity that many associated with the Clinton name was no match for the momentum summoned by the Obama machine.  With Hillary dispatched Obama’s ranks were swelled by the Democratic faithful who vote for whatever candidate their party puts forth.  This support was further bolstered by scores of voters wanting to be part of something historic and others anxious to punish the Republican Party for a financial crisis that fortuitously broke mere weeks before the election.  The stars aligned and with an unprecedented defensive effort by the majority of the national media, Senator Obama was bestowed with an aura of majestic flawlessness.  Christened with lofty though baseless expectations, he was touted as the one that would deliver us from the doldrums and lead us to the Promised Land.

“There is just something different about him.”  These words were repeated incessantly during the campaign by the scores quickly becoming enamored with candidate Obama.  But when asked to elaborate as to what special quality he possessed, an explanation seemed to escape most voters.  Was it his message of change?  Every non-incumbent candidate since the dawn of time has spoken of change, so that couldn’t be it.  Was it his perceived charisma?  Political history has no shortage of people that displayed this trait.  How about a professional life full of experiences and accomplishments that could only properly culminate with being selected as President of the United States?  A state congressman serving his first term in the US Senate with no previous executive level leadership role in government, business, or the military is not the optimum set of qualifications to be a successful leader of the free world, let alone one that would redefine excellence in the position.  The difference people were reluctant to verbalize was something that had no impact on his ability to be president, but greatly impacted his chances of being elected president.  To say it out loud would be racist, but somehow using it as the basis of one’s vote was noble and made us a better nation.

There is no doubt that slavery and the racism that fostered it are grievous blights on our nation’s collective soul.  We were founded as a nation that embodied freedom and the premise that one was defined only by their actions, nothing was to be preconceived.  Racism is in direct opposition to this, so it is not just morally reprehensible, it is inherently un-American.  The problem comes in when we try so desperately to right this wrong by perpetuating the wrong.  The mistakes of the past must be learned from not continued as a misguided notion that it will make amends for previous transgressions.  Simply electing a man of color to be president does not make up for sins of the past, especially if that was one of the defining reasons for his election.  The historic significance of the election of the first African-American president is tarnished because he was selected in large part due to skin color.  He was not elected because he was a qualified candidate that happened to be black; he was an unqualified candidate that was elected because he was black.

Racism is an accusation where one is believed guilty until proven innocent.  It touches on something that we as a nation are rightfully very ashamed of; a scarlet letter that usually evokes immediate and lasting condemnation.  This makes it an extremely effective and tempting political weapon, especially when the facts and results are not supporting your party’s message.  The best way to stifle a strong legitimate counterpoint is to discredit the person or people delivering it.  The validity of the cause is lost if the messenger is labeled an undesirable.  When the truth is inconvenient, distraction is the only course of action.  It just so happens, that the perception of hate is very distracting.

While the increasingly illogical standard we live by would disagree, anyone who voted for President Obama because of the color of his skin is just as racist as anyone who didn’t vote for him because of the color of his skin.  We must recognize that whether it be an advantage or a disadvantage, if race is a factor in the decision, it is racism and it is unacceptable.  President Obama’s election did not make us a better country; it made us a delusional one.  A man wholly unqualified was elected leader of the free world because it was believed to be time, historic, the right thing to do, or cool.  If you believe this to be untrue then ask yourself would we be in the second term of the Barack Obama presidency or the Hillary Clinton presidency if Barack Obama happened to have two white parents?  How sad that President Obama will hold the historic position as this nation’s first African-American president, for he has proven himself most unworthy of the honor.  And shame on us, for we as the American electorate are responsible.  While many heralded President Obama’s election as a triumph, it was in fact a tragedy for it is proof that we are still not up to the challenge of being a nation that judges a person not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Mistake We Currently Call Our National Government



As we continue to collectively rant and rave about those out of touch politicians that are making a mess of our country there is something we must remember, this government is our fault.  The very definition of dysfunctional we see playing out in Washington currently is a creation of our making for it was our votes that placed them in office.  It is really quite simple, when knowledge and prudence are not part of the selection process an effective government is not a realistic possibility.  Further, when something is not held accountable there is little motivation for it to act responsibly.  So, we have a government chosen by an ignorant electorate and then allowed to freely exhibit its incompetence without fear of retribution.  These facts make it much easier to understand how we arrived at the point we are today.  We have a president who has absolutely no clue about or interest in leadership, a Democratic Party that has allowed itself to be shanghaied by a trio of deceitful political thugs, and a Republican Party wallowing through a schism between moderates and ideological purists.   The result is the spiteful, confrontational, and failing government we have presently.  One that has already far exceeded its intended role, but continues to insert itself into more facets of our lives all the while becoming increasingly derelict in the execution of its Constitutional duties.

The key ingredient in our government of the people is an electorate that is aware and cares.  First the citizenry must be well-versed on the true role of government, and be vigilant in keeping it confined to its important but limited role.  Qualified people must be chosen for elected office and then their performance must be staunchly evaluated.  Only the very best should be rewarded with the honor of reelection or election to an office of greater responsibility.  We must understand that the immense power that is the ballot far exceeds our petty desire for state bestowed benefits and is deserving of better than our lazy selection process based solely on party affiliation and the extent to which a candidate will cater to us.  When these standards are not adhered to the result is present day America: a nation without direction, a people without a clue, and a government without limits. 

Thomas Jefferson once stated, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."  Unfortunately, the nation he helped to create seems determined to dismiss his sage advice.  Today there is no interest in being engaged in the process.  Politics are boring for many and ignored by most.  This has created an environment where we willing offer up this nation as fertile ground to those eager to exploit it in their efforts to amass power.  Sadly, the nation that defied the old world order and set a new standard for governing is now patronizingly looked upon by those of other countries as a people who willing allow themselves to be taken advantage of.  Ironically, the country that was created to show that self-rule was man’s natural state seems instead determined to prove that the masses are not capable of the rigors of such a burden.  The power of choice must be guided by the knowledge and prudence to choose wisely.   But such is not our current state, for we allow ourselves to be easily sold a bill of bad goods and then be endlessly strung along with promised results that never materialize.  Lies are the gospel and prosperity a thing of the past for ignorance is bliss only for those that ride it to the very heights of power.  We are in the midst of the ultimate nightmare of our democratic republic, an elected government chosen by an electorate of fools.  
   
Ideologues beget ideologues.  Regardless of the flowery campaign rhetoric about creating a new age of abundant bipartisanism, naïve is an understatement for anyone that believed an ardent lifelong member of the far left would be capable of the type of political tolerance and leadership necessary to achieve such lofty aspirations.  To add insult to injury, not only have we not experienced a great coming together but instead an exponentially more adversarial relationship between the two major parties, and in turn their supporting constituencies.  This situation of hardening views is the direct result of the election of a socialist president who along with a small and dedicated patronage has eagerly moved the Democratic Party progressively left and the rise of an ultraconservative contingent in the Republican Party in response.  We now have a government capable of creating only gridlock and stalemate with little prospect for anything better.   The fundamental changing of America that many voters bought hook, line, and sinker in the past two presidential elections has yielded only a government increasingly at odds with itself as each party fortifies positions on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Ideologues by their very definition are incapable of compromise, and a two party system grinds to a halt when compromise is dismissed as an option.

We are upset with a government of our own choosing, and according to recent polls sentiment is growing that we should expel all currently in office and begin anew.  The problem with that idea is that it does not address the root cause of our current ineffectual government.  When the same electorate uses the same selection criteria and then holds them equally unaccountable, the result will be more of the same.  It is much harder to admit a problem when you are the problem, so we point the finger at the result and curse the mysterious external force that burdened us with this endlessly bickering government of liars, cheaters, and crooks.   The key to fixing our government is to fix the way we select those that serve and our expectations of them.  Mistakes are lessons about what not to do, future elections will determine if we have learned the lessons of this mistake we currently call our national government.