Saturday, February 28, 2015

Choices in a Bi-Polar World

In so many ways I wish I saw the world in the simple terms of the right or the left.  It seems so easy to live without thinking, condemning those you view as wrong, and praising those you believe best represent you.  I blame my parents for this fault in my personality.  As a child I learned the world was not black and white, but made up of various hues and shades.  A college in the heart of West Virginia reinforced my belief the world was complex, and I had to learn to think for myself, form my own opinions, and assume responsibility for my life.  Oh, but how I yearn to see only one side, and condemn as evil the other.  As I see so many do.

It must be wonderful to believe the Democratic politicians are out to make the world a wonderful place and the Republican opposition is stupid and ignorant.  Or that the Republicans are most interested in protecting individual rights and the Democrats are all died in the wool communists out to take your guns away.  You may label me a pessimist, but I am caught in that ugly middle ground, that sees the federal politicians as individuals who will bend any fact necessary to gain reelection and maintain their position of power and authority.

For example, when the honorable Ms. Pelosi comes out and complains the poor Congressmen and Senators are living pay check to pay check and can appreciate the struggles of those federal employees of the DHS who could loose their pay because the Democrats believe it more important to stand united against the Republicans on immigration; I find that plain old stupid.

On the other hand when Senator Inhofe, brings a snowball into the chamber to discuss the issue of climate change I have to wonder has he been drinking or is he really just that foolish? 

But of course the issue of climate change is settled isn’t it?  Just because data has been “manipulated” to reflect changes where they may not exist, or that federal funding of studies come with certain expectations, or that personal agendas may be at play there is no reason we should ever question science.  Wasn’t it scientists who said man could never go faster than sound, or that there was nothing smaller than an atom?  For some reason we questioned those facts and discovered the beliefs were flawed, but clearly the issue of climate change and man’s cause of it is settled!

So what happens when the climate changes and the sun spot activity slow and the earth is cooled?  What then?

How about this new issue of “Right to Work?”  I have to laugh at the union outrage, although I certainly agree with many of their points.  As I have grown older I’ve come to believe some unions play absolutely critical roles in protecting their members, but beyond political organization the value of others are questionable.  For example, federal employee unions can’t strike, don’t negotiate for employee pay, or do much beside tell the government managers they need to give them 30 days notice before they change the furniture.

How much easier to only believe unions are good and ignore unions like the American Medical Association that limits the production of doctors or the public employees unions that serve little real purpose other than to support the Democratic Party with funds and activist support.

Those who advocate for the “Right to Work” do so not because they are interested in individual freedom or the unfairness of union rules, but because the unions have become a political force that opposes their views of government.  So far I’m leaning towards the right to work side, but would be happy to support union shops if there was a law that unions could not be politically active and/or must be politically neutral.  For every dollar or hour contributed to one party they must contribute an equal amount to all the other parties. 

Tell you what!  When this list shows unions at something that approaches 50/50 I’ll begin to feel sorry for the unions and support closed shop unionization.  Until then I guess I remain passively on the sideline but leaning to the side that seeks to crush  balance union political activity.

How about racism in America?  I think only a fool, or a politician (perhaps one and the same) would say racism doesn’t exist, but what has this administration done, beyond using it to cover their flaws, to truly address it?  You know when there are jobs for everyone, and individuals believe in an optimistic future racism doesn’t seem to be the issue it is when people are rioting in the streets because they have nothing better to do.  

I love Attorney General Holder’s exit interviews when he claims racism is the cause of all the animosity towards him. Was it racism that drove the “fast and furious” cover up, or racism that drove the lack for transparency into the IRS targeting of conservatives.  I agree it was racism that drove the federal involvement in local criminal investigations in TX, FL, and MO.  The only question really on the table is whose racism was it?

Here is what I’ve learned over the past number of years.  The difference between a leader and a politician is action.  It is easy to talk, it is hard to do, especially when others disagree with you.  My hometown President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a leader.  He unified a frightened nation; in a time they needed that comfort.  While I don’t necessarily agree he chose the best courses of action, I do have to admit he left the nation better off for his terms.

John F. Kennedy, inspired the nation; upon his death Lyndon Johnson and the his Northern Republican support overcame the Southern Democratic resistance to move civil rights forward faster in the 1960s than the 100 years since the civil war. Of course I doubt this would have happened without the courage and strength of Dr. King, but to listen to today’s advocates it was all done by the Democrats out of their love for equality.

Reagan was a man of similar capability.  He helped a nation that had been divided by the Vietnam conflict, and was in financial turmoil.  Today’s youth won’t remember it, but interest rates for home loans were sitting at 14%, inflation was escalating, and the auto industry was on the verge of collapse.  His comforting approach reassured the nation, brought us back to a stable fiscal approach, despite his growth in government spending, and at the end of the day he bankrupted the Soviet Union, ending the cold war.  There is much I would question about his choices, but at the end of his term we were a better nation for them.

In simple terms, we won’t be better at the end of this President’s eight years.  He has made choices that divide the nation, and weaken the United States as a world power.  The question is why?  Is it lack of the skills to lead or something else?

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