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December 30, 2011

Down The Wrong Road

Joe Charlebois

2012 is just around the corner and as I look back over the year, I hope for better times than what our country and world have suffered in 2011.


          We enter a new year that will eventually elect a new president or re-elect Barack Obama. The Republican candidates are doing their best to drum up support in Iowa this week. While they are preparing for the nation’s first caucuses there on Tuesday, President Obama is enjoying a respite in Hawaii, a break from stumping for his re-election.


There are still a number of candidates on the Republican ticket with an ever changing dynamic when it comes to the front runner. Even former Pennsylvania U. S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who has been mired in single digits for nearly a year – less than 10% support – has surged this past week in some polls in Iowa averaging 13.8% in the Real Clear Politics Average of the last five polls.


This year may be the most pivotal election this country has faced in over 100 years.


What we saw in 2008 was an election of inspiration over continuation. The results of that election may have brought little in the way of hope, but they sure brought change. But not change for the better.


When I sat down at my desk three years ago to pen my column, a New Year had dawned. It was January 2009; the country had just elected a young, charismatic, powerful speaker to lead our country. He promised to carry the hopes and dreams of the American people with him on his way to the White House.


As the newly elected president, Barack H. Obama, took over the reins of leadership from the embattled President George W. Bush in January 2009, I sent well wishes to the president elect. This is part of what I wrote:


“Even with all that our country has gone through since September 11, 2001, including the fiscal and psychological recovery, the continued war on terror, the drain on our military, the collapse of the mortgage industry and the associated financial destruction that it caused, we still live in the most free and wealthy nation on the face of the earth.”


“I know that our new leadership that takes over later this month would wish for nothing more than old times. However the new administration will be greeted with trouble in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan and other concerns with sleeping bears and eastern giants.


“Barack Obama, I wish you well as you lead our great country into these troubled times.


“It will be necessary to stand strong against our foes. It will require difficult decisions within our Congress and the ability to truly go against your own party when the time calls. You will not be able to pander to the world community as this will only show an inability to lead on the world stage. Do not lead by committee.


“As we head into the New Year and raise a cup to our friends and old times, let us pray that our future is worthy of raising a cup as well.


“As we head into the New Year and raise a cup to our friends and old times, let us pray that our future is worthy of raising a cup as well.”


(From – January 2, 2009)


My wishes for Mr. Obama’s administration have not materialized. Relationships with leaders in the Middle East have deteriorated. Our own allies have failed to see the support given by previous administrations, leaving them to wonder where America’s role as leader of the free world has gone.


Mr. Obama has failed not only to lead in foreign affairs but has stepped back from leading when it counts the most in domestic affairs as well. If he has not invented the phrase “leading from behind,” he has perfected it. He has developed this lead from behind mentality on domestic issues as well. He continually sends his congressional surrogates to present his ideas instead of leading the charge. He only steps in when the dirty work is done.


With the unlikely scenario of Mr. Obama becoming an actual leader and his continued unwillingness to compromise with conservatives to secure our country’s economic stability, a change in leadership is needed this New Year.


Whatever the faults of the Republican candidates may or may not be, none of the candidates that may end up with the nomination this summer will continue a radical progressive agenda that will lead to a European Socialistic America.


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