Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Can't You See It My Way?

To say that this is an interesting time for Americans would be a gross understatement. The most interesting of all of the various thoughts that occupy our attention is the presidential race and the divisiveness that the race is causing among our society. I regularly play golf at two different clubs; one in Lakewood Ranch, Florida during the winter season and the other in Mt.Clemens, Michigan during the remainder of the year. The average golfer at both places could adequately be described as affluent, white (mostly), smart, well-informed and mainly of Republican bent. I have other friends outside of golfing buddies who share this same basic profile. Where I differ right now with most of these guys is in the area of preferred presidential candidate. I prefer Obama for several reasons. The most important reason which clearly overrides all others is that this country needs a change of direction away from the last eight years during which the moral underpinnings of our 'life stuff' (as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution) has been damaged badly. The strength of our nation has been, and should be, the fundamental rule of law as a guiding force. Most simply put, we are a nation of laws, not men. The rule of law established by the Constitution recognizes three separate, but equal branches of government. In this balanced arrangement, Congress is charged with the responsibility of making laws and the executive branch with the responsibility of carrying out the execution of these laws. If there is a question about the wisdom of the applicability of these laws, the judicial system is the referee. The past eight years our current president (He Who Shall Not Be Named) has issued 'signing statements' on all of the important legislation passed by Congress indicating quite often that he would not honor or interpret the law as passed with the same intent of Congress. In other words, the current presidency is operating on the government model as a nation of men, not law. Once that gap is breached, the dam spews forth and we have an emerging semi-monarchial spin or neo-fascist on our government which has resulted in our current state of affairs. Example, there are already well established regulatory controls over most of what has gone wrong in the country and the present executive branch, because of its opinion that governmental regulatory control is wrong, has simply ignored the laws and allowed the various economic interests to run amok in an unsupervised setting. That said, the first order of business of a new administration is to restore the order of law; a promise made by Obama, but one not seemingly even understood or recognized by McCain. Most certainly he has not mentioned anything about this during his campaign. Until the past few days, during his entire political career he has espoused the current anti-regulatory approach which has led to the current crises. Only two days ago he switched and rotated 180 degrees and now talks, populist-style, about the need to take control. Hello!

Now Let me get back to my golfing buddies. The first and most frequent lament I hear is that they are conservative and Democrats like to tax and spend, so therefore they will vote Republican. I keep my mouth shut when I hear this because I find it difficult to understand how a bright person could make such a statement when the current Republican administration has spent money like a drunken sailor and has taken a 4.5 billion dollar surplus (under the aegis of a Democratic president eight years ago) and run our nation deep into debt. In my mind, the equivalent acts at a personal level would be to have charged a credit card for every expenditure for the past eight years with no ability or intent to repay the ongoing and increasing debt. No credit card company would tolerate such misconduct in a private individual for as long as 60 days and the voting population should not tolerate such an approach in our president. Stated more generally, the 'conservative' thing is a myth and a hoax perpetrated on the public and well meaning people by leaders who know if they get their hands on the purse strings, they can protect the financial interests of the people who put them in office at the expense of doing what is right and correct. (A government of, by and FOR the peo-ple).

The second lament that I hear, and it does make me cringe, is that Obama is black. I don't think I need to go into specifics about how wrongheaded this is, except to say that most people I know do not have the intellectual capacity (and I am including myself among them) to have graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School while running the Harvard Law Review unless they have some legitimate brain power and intellect. This qualification doesn't make someone an elitist. It makes them smart enough to run a country, color or no color.

Why can't you see it my way?

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