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Downeasta Through the Looking Glass

Politics in Wonderland.

by David S. Smith
July 14, 2008

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Downeasta Through the Looking Glass
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—Of cabbages—and kings"

The issues of this year's 'h I s t o r I c a l' presidential election may sound all too familiar to us 'baby boomers' and our parents, and even our parents' parents; 'The War', The Economy, 'The Energy Crisis', the Health Care Crisis, 'The Housing/ Mortgage Crisis'. Seems our whole world is in a crisis lately. Throw in the four horsemen of Al Gores global warming apocalypse and can 'The End of Days' be far away?

Didn't they promise to fix these things the last time these issues were 'Issues' or am I just expecting too much from our demigods of politics?

As for the candidates themselves, we have to wonder how gullible we Americans can be.

Sen. Obama may be the first black American to run for 'the highest office in the land', but already he has become a political cliché; His eloquent orations appeasing whatever audience he's addressing. His 'change' more of the same liberal 'tax the rich; give more to the poor, and snow the gun-clutching, bible-clinging working class into believing they aren't going to pay for any of it' rhetoric.

On the other side, we have a one-term geriatric who is about as exciting as "mom and apple pie". No disrespect intended, Sen. McCain offers little challenge to the messianic Obama. On the other hand, perhaps I'm more cynical these days than I was in my youth. After all, a president is neither a god, nor a king.

At least Ronald Reagan believed in the 'freedom' of free enterprise. Perhaps that is the problem with most conservatives today, capitalist apologists. They don't really believe that free enterprise can function without government manipulation and fine-tuning. Just as few Americans truly believe in "individual rights? without limitations to protect the 'general public'. They will proudly declare, "Home of the brave, land of the free", but few want to bear the burden of responsibility that freedom entails.

When the Iraqi War began we were all for getting Saddam and his "weapons of mass destruction". However, when only mass graves instead of WMD's were found, "Iraqi Freedom" became the battle cry and we took to the moral high ground to free the Iraqi people from the tyranny of a perverted despot. Victory was sweet once again.

Unfortunately, the terrorist skirmishes continued and the causalities rose. As our interest waned, the liberals waved the bloody red flag and the national checkbook. The rational to establish a stable democratic ally in the midst of a troubled region did not seem to justify the rising cost of oil and lives. The rumors spread that Bush's war was for 'Big Oil' interest, and not our safety against terrorists.

During the Clinton administration, NAFTA was signed. Cheaper imported goods began to fill the retail shelves and manufacturers supposedly took advantage of the opportunity to move production to the greener fields of cheap labor and fewer restrictions. All the while illegal aliens continued to sneak across our borders for the opportunities our country still had to offer. As the American economy slowed, the sub prime lender foreclosures rose. Minimum wage went up and the dollar went down. ?They? blamed Bush for doing nothing.

Gas prices, which had been steadily rising for decades, now became a crisis. Having throttled the development of our own resources with regulations and limitations to protect our environment, paranoia set in with the rising turmoil in the Middle East and competition from developing countries like China and India. Global warming alarmists and their environmental allies wagged their fingers with self-righteous indignation and glee at the gluttony of the American life style.

With all that, could the cost of health insurance and care be far behind, rising steadily with Medicare, Medicaid, and the age of 'baby boomers'.
Suddenly we were blindsided by our own midlife crisis of growing up and growing old.

Of course, Sen. Obama has all the answers in a 'Change we can believe in' while poor Sen. McCain offers only a cautious, conservative approach. Filled with the audacity of popularity to take on the power mongers, and corral big business, Obama peddles nuances of rehashed socialism in the vox populi.

Alas, Sen. McCain blundered when early in his campaign he admitted that economics was his weak point. However, how knowledgeable is a politician who bombastically proclaims that he will make the auto industry produce more hybrids and energy efficient vehicles in the midst of rising gas prices? With sales of gas-guzzlers falling , what else can they do to stay in business? I guess a man who has spent most of his adult life in public service can't comprehend the concepts of profit and loss, or innovation and competition. But, still his public applauded his pretense.

For the same reason, he believes socializing medicine in some fashion will solve the health care crisis. What do you suppose will happen when demand takes a drastic leap with no immediate increase in the supply of doctors, nurses, equipment or facilities? Yet, he has no plan on how he will contain cost and maintain quality when everyone has access to services through his scheme.

In November, some will go to the polls deluded in the euphoria of Obambastism while others will vote for McCain just to keep him out.

When I was a child, I believed our governments were run by 'the best and the brightest'. When I came of age in the '60's, I lost my innocent naiveté.

"Five year plans and New Deals wrapped in golden chains, still I wonder... still I wonder, who will stop the rain." (Credence Clear Water Revival)

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