Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Hope for the Future

Yesterday the state of Massachusetts had a special Senate race to replace Kennedy's seat.  Scott Brown, a Republican won the election.  That makes him the 41st Republican, which shatters Harry Reid's filibuster proof Senate.  However, that's not what I want to focus this post on.  This Republican victory means something much larger to me.  In a state where 11% of the voters are registered Republicans they still elected a Republican candidate.  How could that have happened?  I'd like to share my belief in how that happened.

50% of the voters in Massachusetts are independents.  In any election, they are really campaigning to the independents.  There are blocs of voters who will always vote along party lines, but it's the middle ground voters that turn elections one way or the other.  I believe the American people (as represented by those in Massachusetts) are tired of being lied to.  We're frightened that government spending is out of control.  We're concerned that we're told that we will have a transparent government but bills are negotiated in secret meetings that Republicans aren't allowed to attend.

When President Obama took office his approval rating was at 69% according to the Rasmussen poll.  Shortly after taking office he said that if we didn't act quickly the economy “could become dramatically worse” and face unemployment above 10 percent.  Unemployment reached 10.2 percent in October and still remains above 10 percent right now.  So now our nation is steeped in debt and still has a bad economy.

The American people know that we can't spend our way to wealth and we can't borrow our way out of debt.  President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 48%.(again according to Rasmussen)  Interestingly enough, he hasn't done any different than what he promised.  He told us beforehand that he was a Marxist and that he believes the Constitution is flawed.  Unfortunately, many people were excited by the rhetoric of hope and change.  Well, that has died down and reality has set in.

I predict that the reality will only get worse.  As a result, this November democrats will no longer have a majority in the House.  I think the Senate will be a closer fight but I think Republicans will gain some seats.

This whole scenario reminds me of a scenario from history.  Shortly before I was born, there was a man named Jimmy Carter.  He had engaged in government overspending which resulted in inflation rates as high as 18%.  (Could happen again if Obama continues the way he's going.)  After his 4 years as President, a man named Ronald Reagan came along.  During his campaign he said, "It's Government that causes inflation, and Government can make it go away by cutting out deficits and stopping the printing of money."  He won a landslide victory(electoral votes were 489 to 49), he cut taxes and cut spending.  It still took several years before the economy was able to recover but his policies allowed for some of the best years our country has had.  Republicans and Democrats alike appreciated his leadership.  When he was reelected the win was even bigger. (525 to 13) It has been 20 years since he left office and we're now facing a similar scenario.

The hope I see for our future is quite clear.  The American people will want to elect someone different in 3 years.  The Republican candidate is a shoe in to win.  The American people will be looking for another Ronald Reagan.  The only question is, will the Republican party provide another Ronald Reagan?  I honestly don't know who could fill that role.  Mitt Romney?  Ron Paul?  I don't know who it is, but we better find them, because we need a hero.  What do you think?


  1. Amen to everything. You are such a good writer. I really appreciate your thoughts on politics. Maybe you should run for president:)

  2. Yes, I regret to say it seems a lot of people should've considered the political issues/policies instead of sex, race, party, religion when they voted in this last presidential election. They voted on hearsay rather than sounded good to want change. And now our nation is struggling even more.

  3. I think Ron Paul would be Reagan on steroids. I don't think there would be any way to get him to spend a dime. And because of that, I don't think there's any way the American people will elect him. Sad as that is.

  4. I wish that people didn't put faith in parties and tried to deal with the real issues. Just because Obama is a Democrat doesn't mean that all faith is gone and just because Bush is Republican doesn't mean that things were going to continue in a surplus...(thank you Clinton). Why were in such debt to begin with? Oh wait it was from a Republican administration. Are you seriously regretting that McCain isn't in the White HOuse?

  5. To rox7205657: You're absolutely right. I agree that it shouldn't be about parties. I also agree that while Obama is a hardcore progressive, George W. Bush was what I like to call a "progressive-lite." You're also right in that the only reason I regret that McCain is not in office is that he wouldn't be as bad as Obama.

    So let me clarify my position, maybe I didn't state it the way I should have. I believe in conservative principles. The Republican party is the party that claims to believe in those principles as well. There have been some crappy Republican presidents. Herbert Hoover raised taxes in the middle of the great depression, thus prolonging it for another decade. Teddy Roosevelt said that nobody owns private property; the government owns it and lets them use it. These men were members of the Republican party but were opposed to the ideals that I believe in.

    That's why I tried to express that the Republican party has a chance to give us another Ronald Reagan. I don't know if they will. If they nominate John McCain again, I don't believe that he's the man to fix the problems that Obama has introduced.

    I named two men I thought could possibly be the right one. I almost didn't included Mitt Romney because of the healthcare system he implemented in Massachusetts. As for Ron Paul, I very well think he could be that man. I just bought a book by him that I am eager to read to better understand his policies.

    So, in conclusion, thank you for setting me straight. It is not about parties, it is about policies. I would love to see the Democrats take this as a wake up call and try to do some bi-partisan work. If they do, I will be completely wrong, the people won't want to remove Democrats from office. That's one case where I would love to be wrong. But, if that doesn't happen, I hope the Republicans can pick a truly conservative candidate who will honor the constitution in the light the founders meant it to be understood and who will also have a better understanding of economics and the free market.

  6. I (wish I could say I) like politics. Haha. I'm very glad you do though.

  7. I thought that Obama was the chosen one. Isn't he supposed to bring balance to the force? Well maybe this is how he does it. I am excited for our hope for the future.

  8. I agree that we need to find someone who understands the Constitution and economics. One who will be willing to help the people help themselves. I wish more people understood the impact some laws and programs have on our country. Maybe we all need to take economics 101 again so we can get leaders who understand it as well. Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. I don't know who the man is to do the job but I hope they find him and support him. I also hope he (or she)can have the guts to stand up and do what is best for the country, not just their own political agendas.


    Mitt Romney is a very poor example of a good republican. He's nothing but a liar who will tell you what you want to hear (so I guess that technically DOES make him a good politician...) If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If you followed only his campaign for president, you'd swear he was a red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the cost. Pay attention to both, and you're left to wonder if there's anything at all at his core.

    Ron Paul, while having the respect of non-spenders in the country is quite the nut job:

    Either way...these two guys and, heaven help us, Sarah Palin are NOT the people anyone, including conservatives, should want running this country.

  11. Jeff,

    Hmmmm... that was a very slanted view of who Ron Paul is and what he stands for. I won't try to refute it, but suffice it to say that there was plenty of bias, so much so that it's hard to distinguish what is an actual Ron Paul view from what is the author's interpretation of a Ron Paul view.

    I read one of his books a few months ago, I really liked what I read. I'll admit that there are a few things that he believes in that aren't quite my cup of tea, but I think he has a lot of things figured out.

    As for Mitt Romney, he has definitely vacillated back and forth on a number of issues. It's hard to know which Mitt Romney you're electing, if he is the nominee. I really want to like him but I have a hard time with some of the things he has done in the past.

    Ultimately, I don't know if either of these men is the one. The whole point of my post was that we need to find someone who can really take us in the right direction.

    The mid term elections showed that I predicted pretty well what would happen when I said, "this November democrats will no longer have a majority in the House. I think the Senate will be a closer fight but I think Republicans will gain some seats." Now it remains to be seen if Republicans will do anything with their gains or if it will be more of the same.

    Democrats will be the new "party of no" which will fuel more anger at the presidency and will give Republicans a shoe in victory in 2012. But I still wonder if Republicans can find someone who will be willing to do the things necessary to make some positive changes or if they will give us another John McCain who is just another progressive.

  12. Obviously we have very different takes on politics, which I think is wonderful. I love speaking (or reading, in this case) with someone who truly knows their stuff, even if it differs from my views. So please don't take any of my comments or ramblings as anything more than that.

    I disagree with you though about a conservative president being a shoe-in in 2012...just like the republicans were a shoe-in for the '96 election after winning back BOTH the house and senate in '94? Who won that presidential election? Oh yes, Clinton beat Bob Dole quite easily.

    Then the conservatives spent over $100 million to investigate his adultery and lying under oath compared to the paltry $15 million they spent on investigating 9/11 a few short years later. It's great to see where their priorities lie. And even after all of that, the people decided to elect Al Gore as president, only to have it overturned by the flawed electoral college and a conservative Supreme Court.

    What I'm getting at is that midterm elections have historically been a poor prophecy for how the next presidential election will turn out. I'll give it to conservatives though, they certainly know how to rally (scare) their base into movement, and this midterm proves it. Liberals in Washington certainly could learn a thing or two from republicans about getting their constituents out for the non-presidential elections.

    Quite honestly, I'm sure Obama's team is hoping, serious HOPING that Sarah Palin somehow gets the republican nomination as that would mean a landslide victory in 2012. Romney, if he gets the nomination, will not beat Obama based off of Romney's inability to stick to his guns, liberal or conservative. Romney's gross flip flopping on health care, gay rights, gun control, etc would be his downfall, similar to why John Kerry lost in 2004 as he was simply branded as a someone who couldn't make up his mind on any given subject or policy.

    For the right to win in 2012, they will have to produce their own version of Barack Obama; some hugely charismatic politician with no history of flip flopping or pandering for power (Obama's votes of "present" did him well politically, rather than establishing his opinions on a number of votes while in the Senate).

    If the conservative base is getting older and older and the liberal base is catching the youth vote at every major election, republicans must change their politics AND their candidates soon, or they will simply go extinct. No more McCains, Romneys, Palins or (heaven help us) anyone from the Bush family.

    Quite honestly, republicans need a new strategy...for the past 30 years they've been quoting Reagan. They need to realize that there are adults living and functioning in this country who are actively contributing to its greatness that were born after he left's time to cut the umbilical chord. That's why I feel Obama (and Clinton) won so easily...they offered a change from the dogmatic theology of republican philosophy. Whether or not you like that change doesn't matter. It WAS a drastic change, each time. Conservatives cling to Reagan's legacy as if it is still relevant in the 21st century. Regardless of how much they love him, Reagan needs to be laid to rest, and a new champion of conservative politics needs to emerge if they wish to survive further.

    That is probably the one point you and I agree on ;)

    Once again...good chatting sir.


  13. Jeff,

    Thanks for sparring with me a little bit. I hope you know I haven't taken offense at anything you've said in the various threads. I hope you also haven't taken offense at anything I've said.

    Politics can often be dicey because we're talking about matters that pertain to our freedom, our security, our property and so many other things. It's easy to be passionate and sometimes too heated.

    For me, I think it's good to hear the point of view of someone who disagrees with me but is able to do so in an intelligent manner. I don't know if you experience it as much as I do but it seems that the most vocal ones to disagree are also the ones who have such a small understanding of the issues. I feel like you actually know your stuff and so it's been good to see an opposing viewpoint. Sometimes it's too easy to see the world in black and white. I'm constantly reading books to learn more, and as such my political views are constantly evolving.

    All that being said, I think you're probably right that the presidential election is not as much a shoe in as I may have portrayed. I have made the assumption that the American people will be pleased at what the newly elected representatives try to do and that they will be unhappy that the democrats will stand in the way.

    This assumption could be false for 2 different reasons. One could be that the new republicans won't truly stand for the conservative principles they have claimed. Another could be that the American people aren't as conservative as I thought. Either way, that could paint a whole new picture for the election.

    The biggest thing I'm worried about is something that you brought up. I can't figure out who the republican candidate should be. I like some of the conservative principles that Sarah Palin stands for, but she doesn't seem like the leader we need. The media has painted her as not particularly intelligent and I haven't done enough homework to decide if that is a true representation of her or not. But, either way, if Americans think she's dumb they won't elect her.

    We've already discussed other candidates so I won't go into them here. I guess it remains to be seen if anyone else runs that I don't even know yet.

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I hope you always feel welcome even when we vehemently disagree.

    On another note, I find it amusing that anyone who comes along will think I'm debating with myself because we're both named Jeff. At least your username isn't capitalized so that will remove some confusion.


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