What are we?

25 05 2008

Cynical… Is that the word I’m looking for? Do we not really care anymore? Or is it that perhaps we don’t, or just flat out won’t, pay attention to the issues and facts of the goings on around us? Maybe all those problems with our educational system that they’ve been talking about the last so many years have finally caught up with us as a country, and, Heaven forbid, we’ve just gotten too stupid to know any better.

 

Barack Obama attracts HUGE followings wherever he goes. Large cheering crowds form. Change! They all cry for change. Obama promises change. What change they don’t know and don’t care. Just change. He’s different, so the promise of something different hits home with his candidacy. Different = Change. Obama = Different = Change. Hillary would be change… but with her it’s kind of ‘been there done that’ and that’s not really change as far as those with no other reasoning go…

 

Let’s stop for a moment and step back in time a few years (but not too many, I don’t want to confuse with too many facts). Let’s go back to say, a time when there was something called “The Contract With America”. Wayyyyy back then (just a few short years ago) everyone was pretty much fed up with big government and everything that entailed. We all felt like Washington had a mind of it’s own and wasn’t listening to “the people”. It was we who had put those Senators and Congressmen in power, but they weren’t paying attention to what we the people were saying we wanted our government to do for us. Big Government was more or less telling US what it wanted US to do. A group of conservative minded people came together and went about the task of finding out just exactly what it was that the people of these here United States wanted and expected out its government and its leadership, and then put in place a package and a plan to take back the government and give it back to the people to whom it rightfully belonged. All those things that Americans said that they wanted were put forth in a promise and a plan, and many an election was won on the promise of fulfilling those things that the American people had said they wanted and expected from their government. It was called “The Contract With America”.  It, too,  promised change.

 

But, it didn’t take long for those already in power (with sooo much to lose) to start with the whispers and the scare tactics. “It will hurt the poor…”, they said. “Education will suffer…”, “programs will have to be cut!”, “It’s a bad deal!!” The elderly!!! What about the elderly!!!!”

 

Pretty soon they (the Opposition [read that as liberals]) came out with the catch phrase – “The Contract ON America.”…, And once again they were able to convince the public that Washington knew best and back we went to the same old same old. Big Government and Big Programs and legislation that burdens Joe average. Right back to government doing what government wanted and the voice of the people just a lonesome cry in the wind. It didn’t matter that that ‘contract ON America’ was what the people had said it wanted, it was what government SAID the people wanted that mattered in the end. Just as quick as that the people forgot what all the fuss was about and went right back to the status quo. As a country we have a very limited short term memory.

 

In September of 2001 our nation was attacked by extremist that want to bring about a fundamental change, not just here in America, but though out the world. Oh sure, we were up in arms about it then, but again our memory is short. Once again they (the Opposition [read that as liberals]) came out with reasons for us not to be. Now now, it’s not that they didn’t believe that the attack on us was bad, or that we didn’t need to respond or anything like that. After all, they do have a love for this country that has provided them so much. But there was this little question of power. They couldn’t very well let the sitting administration (Bush and the Republicans [read that as conservatives]) run the show; and after all, Bush seemed to be doing a superb job of rousing the American spirit and response. Bush’s popularity was so high, and with an election coming, it looked like it might well be years before a democrat could have half a chance of getting back into the White House. Nope, they’d have none of that. In politics there are winners and losers and they couldn’t bare the thought of being on the short end again. And what’s that old saying? If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshi…

 

Again came the whispers and scare tactics- “It took Bush like NINE WHOLE MINUTES  to leave that classroom of kids where he first heard of the attacks! That MUST show he was indecisive!” they said. “Bush ignored  all the warnings that the attack was coming”, “We warned him…”, “Say, he’s using the War on Terror as a pretext to violate our Civil Rights!”, “Bush is just a WARMONGER, he was probably planning 9-11 all along.” “Bush just wanted to attack Iraq because of his father…” “It’s really all just about Oil…”, “they know where Osama is…” “Bush wants to undermine the Constitution!”, “He dumb!”, ”He’s Evil”, “A Religious fanatic!”,  “He only joined the National Guard to get out of going to Vietnam!”, “alcoholic…”, “Darth Cheney”, “Torture…illegal prisons…Abu Ghraib…” –most all of that hogwash and bullsh*t. But everybody seems to have bought it. We’ll buy anything bad about anybody after all. That’s why the National Enquirer does so well; we love to believe the worst about people. Some even want you to believe Bush caused Katrina and blew up the levees in New Orleans. Seriously, they do.

 

Never mind that those nine whole minute where used by those around him to garner information and decide if and where to move him to. Never mind those “Civil Rights” issues were about insuring the safety of the American public from those that wished them harm. Never mind that Bush would have to be far more than genius to pull off planning and caring out the 9-11 attack under the watch of literally thousands of civilian government employees (especially as it was conceived and planned under Clintons watch). Never mind Hussein’s history of using WMD’s and the thousands of his own people he killed. Never mind we could have had their Oil with just the removing of a sanction. Never mind he has a Masters Degree from Harvard and the thousands of National Guardsmen that were sent to Vietnam and so on and so on…

 

Now we clamor for change. But what change? Are we sure we want change? After all, we’ve seen some fairly recent change, and it hasn’t been all that good. After six years of a soaring economy we’ve seen it start down after a change in the minimum wage. We should have expected that, after all, it’s happened each and every time we’ve done so. Since the last election, when the democrats took control over congress, we’ve seen some pretty radical changes with other aspects of our daily lives. Employment had been at its highest level perhaps ever, but that’s started south now. Interest rates had been low low low, but now we face a credit crunch. The stock market had soared to record heights, but there is a good bit of uncertainty in the market now with volatile movements with each piece of bad news. Lowered taxes had put money back in our pockets, but now the democrats say right up front that they will take more of our hard earned money from us.  Everybody says we need more oil, but the democrats just voted not to seek it here at home. We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel, but Barack wants to cave that back in on everybody and pull out our troops (the only sure protection for a new hard won democracy that is so badly needed in that part of the world), and thereby assuring what would certainly be viewed by the world as an American defeat. Well, that would be change. Indeed it would.

 

What else has Mr. Obama told us he wanted to do? For one he says he plans to stop development of new weapons systems, at a time when several not so friendly countries are speedily developing their own. That sounds like a bright idea! Their threat becomes closer and closer to reality, so let’s make ourselves more and more vulnerable. That’s change. He says that it’s time we started talking to rogue regimes and terrorist organizations. That would be change. Not that we haven’t ever talked to those people, we have. It’s the context of those talks that is different under his plan. Some people don’t understand that difference. There is a big difference between negotiation and communication. Talk softly and carry a big stick we were always told. Obama says that we’d do better with them if we had no stick at all.

 

What other changes has he in store for us? Who knows… he’s kind’ a tight lipped about it. He’s a mighty good talker. Catchy phrases and all that. But how much reality is there in what he says? He has the most liberal record in the Senate, but he talks as if he’s more conservative than Hillary Clinton. He can tell you absolutely nothing in a speech and make you feel really good about what you heard. And for some reason his ability to articulate nothing but feel good niceties’ seems to have won him favor with those that put a lot of blind faith into popular  ideology and a sort of new age intellectual, almost hypnotizing, mind massage. He’s “one of them”, they think. Actually, he nothing like ‘one of them’, but they really don’t care, because it’s the perception that counts. He’s no Kennedy. Not even close. But they christened him as such. The adopted son.  An outsider by his own accord that now finds himself at the very center of the inside. He’s new. And like jeans and shoes, new is better. At least to that crowd.  Different, new, maybe even a bit… unique. Maybe.

 

He did write a book. In his own book we get a bit of a look into his mindset. A lot of what he wrote may come back to haunt him… That is if anyone cares.

 

-Al

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