No one can deny that life is harder than it used to be. We have an unemployment rate that does not seem to want to come down, we keep getting into firefights in the Middle East, and prices at the supermarket keep rising yet salaries don’t keep pace.
I have identified at five reasons (and there are more) that are feeding this decline spawning from our Federal Government and the actions they force upon the general population.
Cloned politicians holding the same office time and time again – This one takes on many forms. We have issues in this country that need to be solved. We have tried a certain set of solutions and it didn’t seem to work. We can look at Senate and Congress and realize that some of those people have been there for 3-4 decades. When this is not the case in all but a few cases congressional seats seem to never change parties, and the next person to hold the office is virtually the same as the last. The same ideas come out again and again.
We can turn back the metaphorical clock for a few decades and realize that sitting in the Oval Office there has not been a wide range of views.
We have President George Bush Senior, a reasonable man who did set some goals and solve problems that existed at the time in the Middle East by building an international coalition.
We have President Bill Clinton who oversaw the .com boom and a healthy economy spawned by Silicon Valley inventing a new industry. To his credit President Clinton stayed out of the way of Silicon Valley and there was some growth. Once regulation started to hit we saw a .bust but I suspect those policies came from Congress not the oval office.
We have President George Bush Junior. He tried to rerun parts of his father’s presidency after we were attacked on 9/11. We got hit and hard, were his responses reasonable and appropriate? I think it was well intentioned but I think naïve that just re-running the last set of solutions would fix it. Our enemy evolved and we really didn’t.
We have President Barack Obama who is trying to re-run the great society. He brought higher taxes and more government spending to stimulate an economy that was being crushed by a crash due to exploding mortgages (a policy begun under President Clinton). Now he seems to be re-running a weakened version of the first President Bush’s Middle East policy by bombing ISIS/ISIL targets. The trouble is he wants this to stay as an advisory role. This sounds suspiciously like the start of Vietnam to me. We can only have mission creep from here. This is an era I have studied carefully; so much so I wrote a fiction novel about it (Forest of Assassins is available on Amazon). When I say the similarities to that failed policy are eerie I mean eerie.
Now leaping into 2016 we have many people talking about running. We have former Governor Mitt Romney, former Secretary of State/Senator/First Lady Hillary Clinton, and former Governor Jeb Bush. Sounds like a lot of repeats to me.
As voters we need to recognize the insanity of this and find a new direction that offers real solutions not just speeches and platitudes.
An economic policy that matters – We have an economy policy that ensures a few things. First is guarantees that government spending will continue to expand. How can this happen and not crush those who don’t work in government? Federal spending can’t expand forever without massive increases in taxes or high inflation rates. Which of these two would you prefer? One or the other could happen.
An international policy that doesn’t piss off the rest of the world – In our recently announced, soon to become reality, air campaign against ISIL that told the public where this would they would take place. I did a little digging and realize that there are troops from other nations imbedded in that area. Those nations are Iran and Russia. Does it sound like a good idea for us to drop bombs that may kill people from either of those two locations as collateral damage? It sounds like something that could cause our well intentioned bombing runs to go badly very quickly, especially without ground troops to tell us who are the ISIL targets and who aren’t. Combat can be a confusing place and you either go all in or you don’t go. Air strikes only are not all in. We need to either be serious about this path we are on or go back to the entry point and not enter.
No longer separating Americans into groups – People have a natural tendency to group themselves in a variety of ways. Some years ago some marketing guru involved in politics starting keying in on this and came up with hyphenated Americans. Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, etc, etc, etc. How about if we go back to being Americans. All equal under the eyes of the law, all equal under consideration to one another. I know judging people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character isn’t a new idea, but how about we put it into practice instead of just as a line in a speech?
Government isn’t always the answer – So often when things happen we are turning to the Government. We think the neighbors make too much noise? Oh no, don’t go next door, call the cops. McDonalds runs out of Chicken McNuggets, don’t go to the next McDonalds, call 9-1-1 (sadly that happened). I could go on but I think the point is made.
We are a Nation in decline. There is no good reason for us to be. We have natural resources, we have hard working people, we have engineers and doctors and farmers…What we need is a Nation where we once again work together to solve problems and stop yelling at each other for the mere fact that I might be of one political party (or insert your favorite hyphenated American type) and you are another.
Let’s fix this nation and stop yelling about it, and for goodness sake, let’s find a President or other Federal Official we are excited to vote for, not someone we will vote for just so that that ‘Other Guy’ doesn’t get the job.