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November 10, 2011

Hard Times

Patricia A. Kelly

It’s discouraging to consider the upcoming presidential election for those interested in replacing President Barack Obama, and limiting him to one term.


He’s the one who got so many fired up with his promised change, but was so inexperienced, so lacking in leadership, especially in international diplomacy that he couldn’t really deliver.


The birds, tiny and fleet, are outside my window doing some last minute fattening up before the depth of winter arrives. It’s much more pleasant to watch them and consider the permanence of nature’s rituals, than to consider what mankind is up to in the world these days.


The economic crisis throughout the world, definitely including the United States, is ongoing. Governments are crashing as their finances fall apart. Leaders are being pressured to resign as their spending beyond their means is disclosed.


Here, our president continues his effort to spend his way out of the mess we’re in, stating that government investment is necessary to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Never mind the 20 bills passed by the Republican-majority House of Representatives which languish in the Democrat controlled Senate that attempt to reduce regulation and requirements in an attempt to free up the private economy.


We’re thinking of firing our president, as many don’t see government spending and increased taxation and regulation as the answer to our problems. Some have seen that the private insurance industry runs the medical system of our country, but few want the federal government to take its place.


We’re considering firing our president the regular way, by not voting for him in the next general election. Some of us can hardly wait for the autumn of 2012, and the hope that we can begin to disassemble the gridlock happening in our nation’s capital.


What about the Republican slate, though. Recently – and unexpectedly – at the top is Herman Cain, a straight talking businessman proposing dramatic economic reforms, actually coming up with alternatives to our present policies instead of just saying “no.” Mr. Cain now faces charges of sexual misconduct that could undermine his candidacy.


At first, the allegations, chewed and regurgitated and spewed throughout the world, were that he made three anonymous women feel uncomfortable more than 10 years ago, and some of them received money from their employer – the National Restaurant Association Mr. Cain led just prior to the allegations. Now, a fourth has come forward, ending the anonymity and clarifying the allegations.


Mr. Cain, we can’t say what you are actually accused of, but the public has a right to know that someone says you did something bad some years ago, and the world has the right to know, no matter your right to fair play and clarity in public accusations.


Now Gloria Allred, well-known attorney and sensationalism magnet, is on the case, and the allegations have been clarified. No matter. Mr. Cain was already in heaps of trouble, slanderous in appearance as the first round was.


One can only hope that Mr. Cain is telling the truth, that rare commodity; and, if he deserves it, he survives these attacks. The world would definitely be a happier place if one powerful man accused of sexual wrongdoing was actually innocent.


The bird, black and white, very small and acting like a woodpecker, is back to entertain. Keep it up. I need a chuckle.


There are other candidates out to topple our president, some of them quite credible, and there’s a long play to be acted out. Whether President Obama is fired or not, there’s a long road ahead to find solutions that don’t include bigger and bigger government. Just changing Congress, bringing more pro-individual people onboard, could be a great first step.


On the local level, there are people stepping up to the plate to create just that change in the legislature. There are Richard Douglas and Daniel Bongino running for the U.S. Senate, hoping to unseat Ben Cardin. Mr. Douglas is an attorney with long experience working in the Senate. Mr. Bongino is a former Secret Service agent who actually provided security for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He resigned to make life better in his adopted state.


In the Soviet Union, which I visited about five years ago, people, educated under communism, actually had difficulty grasping the concept of private property. In our country, people educated under an increasingly expanding government, have difficulty understanding personal responsibility, or taking the consequences of their actions, rather than being saved from themselves. They are being trained to think the government is there to take care of everyone, rather than to create a space for them to freely take care of themselves.


Let’s hope we can step onto the long road to personal freedom and accountability without making too many more big mistakes along the way. Let’s hope we can find a fair way to minimize the size of government and maximize its effectiveness in fulfilling its appropriate role, re-creating the United States as number one in the world again.


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