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Advertise on the Tentacle

November 24, 2011

At Least We’re Thinking

Patricia A. Kelly

Our “Super Committee” has failed. We’re stuck without a solution to our national debt crisis, as limited a solution as it was planned to be. In spite of the alteration in party representation in Congress resulting from the 2010 election, there has been no change.


President Barack Obama promised us transparency, and has accidentally provided it. As we have struggled with bailouts, the debt ceiling, and our present financial crisis, the American people have had the opportunity to witness shameless wheeling and dealing in the face of a national emergency. And, thus, we can clearly see just how truly self involved are the people who went to Washington to represent us.


Our president was absent for the last weeks of Super Committee negotiation, instead of remaining engaged in the dialogue we so needed. Now, as congress scrambles to find a way out of the automatic spending cuts they mandated, he promises to veto any such attempt. Where was his leadership? And why can’t our elected professionals come up with reductions? Are we at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, or what?


Two opposition groups have arisen since Barack Obama’s election.


One, the Tea Party movement, reflects a desire for independence from government, and increased personal responsibility on the part of people, who just recently interrupted their personal lives to try and create change. Their naiveté about the workings of government is decried as stupidity, but it is actually not. Just as I recently heard that a college education can interfere with one’s ability to think clearly, too much comfort with the workings of government is a sign of unclear thinking.


The “Occupy” movement is a call for increased government responsibility for the care of the people. On one level, it’s hard to sympathize with this group, as their goals are very vague, and their behavior so offensive. Their decision to occupy public venues violates the rights of others to use it, and the rights of local businesses to operate without harassment. Many of them even decry capitalism, which is the basis of our success as a society.


Their disquiet, shared by the Tea Party activists, reflects the developing understanding by the people of this country that something is wrong with the way our government is operating. When even socialist wannabes are upset in spite of the ever-expanding government proposed by our president, you can be sure that something is wrong.


Independence, national security and our credibility in the world require that our debt be under control, just as individuals must control their debt to live in personal security. That means not buying everything we want if we can’t afford it. In this case, as in people’s personal lives, it is especially important not to buy what we don’t need.


We don’t need to buy what perfectly capable people can provide for themselves. If we can manage Christmas Cash for Kids, we can create local help for victims of our financial crisis.


We’re the good guys, independent, adventurous, hard working and generous.


Our government is growing and growing. We have an insider system where people who go to Washington make money outside of their salaries, become entrenched for life, and believe that they are some kind of elite who get to decide how life should go for the rest of us.


They tell us they’re doing what is best for us, but that is really not their interest. Dog bones like tax deductions are tricks to keep us happy while we’re plundered. Now that they’ve come close to the end of the gravy train, they’re paralyzed. They can’t figure out how to change course, even when all agree change is needed.


If any outsider comes along, an unconscious group-think comes along to destroy them. The minute Sarah Palin stepped on to the national stage, before anyone even knew her abilities, she was pilloried, even – and probably – especially because she had taken on entrenched political corruption in Alaska and won. I remember watching an Ellen DeGeneres show wherein Sharon Osborne was talking about how stupid Sarah Palin was! And we, as a nation, listened.


Now, conveniently for many, Herman Cain, another outsider who rose to the top, has been crucified on the cross of sexual harassment. How interesting that the charges arose in Chicago, of all places, home of David Axelrod, Sharon Bialek and Rahm Emmanuel, not to mention our president, and never the home of Herman Cain.


How interesting the fate of outsiders in general.


“They couldn’t possibly run the government. They don’t understand it well enough.” But John Kerry gets to remain a respected elder statesman, even as he can’t take one little step in the direction of a balanced budget. Any private industry person would be fired. Go figure.


Take Thanksgiving off. Be thankful you can still manage to get your own forkful of turkey to your lips without government assistance. But think about this on Black Friday.


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