WE NEVER LEARN
There’s an old saying that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I’ve been a political and history junkie most of my adult life. Election after election I am dismayed by the fact that the vast majority of voters cast their vote based on 15 to 30 second sound bites and based only on what the candidates say in the few months prior to the election. Please consider this… If you really want to know what a candidate stands for there are 2 ways to find out.
1. Look at the candidate’s previous record and the positions he or she has taken over the last decade or longer. The positions a candidate has taken in the past are a pretty fair indicator of his or her ideology and belief system and is, therefore, a fairly good indicator of what he or she will do once in office. (Note: I’m not implying that a political figure can’t legitimately change position on a specific topic over a period of years but his or her ideology and philosophy regarding their social and political views rarely changes significantly, and even more rarely, if ever, overnight.)
2. Look at the company he or she keeps. The old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together” is true. Your close friendships are generally with those who share your values and beliefs. It would be uncommon for a person to bond with people who disagree with them on most important issues. The truth is that people generally associate with others who share their ideals, views and philosophy of life. In politics, candidates choice about their associations can’t be ignored.
3. Look at the legitimate life accomplishments of any candidate. Has that person left his or her mark through their life accomplishments or only contributed lip service.
MY, “PLEASE DON’T VOTE IF YOU”, REQUESTS
Please don’t vote if: Your knowledge of current events is based primarily on 30 second sound-bites from political ads.
Please don’t vote if: You are so entrenched in an ideology that no facts that justifiably contradict that view could ever change your mind about a candidate.
Please don’t vote if: If you believe that anyone who honestly disagrees with you is either stupid or is out to destroy the country.
Please don’t vote if: If you are so sure that you are right that you have closed the intellectual door on further discourse, or what might still be available for you to learn.
Please don’t vote if: If your first priority is your party affiliation. (Be an American First)
Please don’t vote if: You have forgotten that elected officials are “Public Servants” there to serve us, not the other way around”
Please don’t vote if: If you have forgotten that free speech doesn’t apply only to you and those who agree with you. (Free speech is in fact primarily about dissenting points of view.)
Please don’t vote if: You adamantly think you are right and those who disagree with you are not equally entitled to their opinion.
Please don’t vote if: If you have checked your common sense at the door and are forming an opinion on only raw emotion.
Please don’t vote if: If those things for which you condemn the opposing view, are somehow excused or rationalized away when your candidate acts in a similar way (The Old… But that’s different rationalization).
Please don’t vote if: If you are voting as a “One-Issue-Voter” or out of some gender or racial bias. The world is a big place and far to complex to throw your vote away on one issue.
POINT IN FACT
(So as not to use the current candidates as examples)
I remember back when McCain was campaigning against Obama… The interviewer was doing a man on the street interview, asking individuals who were planning to vote for Obama if certain specific positions were the reason they were planning to vote for Obama. The twist, however was… The interviewer would attribute McCain’s positions to Obama. For example, the interviewer would say… So then, you agree with Obama about… And then would state one of McCain’s positions. Repeatedly the “man (or woman) on the street” replied with the affirmative. “Yes… That is what I like about Obama” without ever knowing that in fact, it was McCain’s position that he or she was agreeing with. Those people obviously knew nothing about the issues and should definitely stay home on Election Day. More recently, college students were asked questions like, “Who was your favorite president”. One answer he received was Benjamin Franklin! The scary part is that… these people vote.
I was watching “The Century In Review” (The “On War” Vol.), a history documentary series hosted by Walter Cronkite. While watching, it occurred to me that it would be of great value if politicians studied more history and less political science. When I state the importance of studying history I am referring only to real history. Not the Revisionist/Politically Correct History often taught today. To study anything other than “actual historical fact” results in basing future decisions on a false premise. “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. I suggest that all Americans who love their country take a more active interest in history before going to the polls. This is especially important regarding the history of Europe and Germany in the 1930s leading up to the Second World War. In doing so it is clear to see how easily socialism can rapidly evolve into fascism and how easily people give up their rights when promised the moon and stars in return.
CAPITALISM / SOCIALISM / FASCISM / COMMUNISM
Nationalizing banks, limiting free speech and allowing the government to become our parent is a slippery slope. We as Americans need to say STOP through our voice at the ballot box. Our elected officials on both sides of the isle chose to simply kick the ball further down the road passing the problem down to future generations. (Remember… Government doesn’t have any money. It’s our money.) Our national debt is now owned in great part by foreign countries meaning that our children will be paying both principal and interest to other nations because of our representative’s unwillingness to address our problems in a meaningful way now.
Both Socialism and Communism can both be made to look good on paper. In a perfect world made up of perfect people they might even work. The problem is that we are not perfect people. As well, both socialism and communism run contrary to human nature. People excel and try their hardest for gain and to “make their lives better”. By nature most people would not go to work each day and try their best to succeed if they knew that they would be expected to split their paycheck with their neighbor, or if no matter how hard you worked you would receive the same compensation as the person who chose not to work as diligently.
Capitalism is not a perfect model but then what in life is perfect. Capitalism is, however, the model that within a little more than a couple of hundred years, enabled the United States to rise from being 13 British colonies to being the world’s greatest superpower and most affluent nation in history. Look at the facts… As government programs have grown larger and more socialistic, people now have to work harder and longer for less. There was a time not all that long ago when many families could live comfortably on one income. Now in most families both adults/parents must work. When I was younger people actually had “Spare Time”. Today many people are either working longer or holding down more than one job. Socialism and communism didn’t provide the advances in technology, medicine and the luxuries of life that we have enjoyed. Capitalism did! Socialism and Communism for the most part, have proven to be dismal failures. Why then have we as a nation moved away from capitalism that has a proven track record of success, to socialistic programs that have a proven record of mediocrity? I’ll tell you why… Most people don’t study history and the politically correct revisionist history, often taught in our schools has little resemblance to the facts.
Our recent economic woes are a perfect example of this. It is not capitalism as a philosophy or methodology that failed us but rather government intervention into the private sector (socialism) that has brought us to a disastrous precipice (19 TRILLIAN IN DEBT AND GROWING). The very people who caused the problems that we are now experiencing are essentially being rewarded while the victims of their mismanagement (you and I) pay the price. Please understand… I have no problem with reasonable government regulation. There is a difference between reasonable regulation and intervention. Regulation sets parameters within which a business entity must function. Intervention is when government takes an active role in the fundamental operations of business and engineers the winners and losers.
THE FOUNDING FATHERS
The founding fathers envisioned that people would come into Public Service for a short time and then return home to their regular lives. A government structured this way is a government where the representatives are in touch with the people because they themselves are one of the people. Career politicians were not part of the plan, yet that is all we have today. Most politicians are obviously not looking out for us. It is a power game. Each wants to win but doesn’t accept responsibility when things turn sour. He or she doesn’t want to look like the bad guy when the crap hits the fan. Their focus is on re-election.
It is said that one criteria for insanity is when someone keeps repeating the same behavior, resulting in a negative outcome, but continues to repeat that same behavior somehow expecting a different outcome the next time. We as a nation keep electing many of the same career politicians over and over again… We must be insane? As well, it was intended that there be a balance of power. Now we see “Executive Orders” to create policy and law, that should be done only by the legislative branch of government.
I would hope that all Americans who are LEGALLY eligible and registered to vote, do so only if he or she truly understands the issues and are able to put those issues into historical context. Someone voting solely on emotion or without a base of knowledge from which to make an educated decision would be doing the rest of us a great service to simply stay home on Election Day. The risks are too high and the losses too great to vote without truthfully studying both sides of the issues. It is such a great privilege to be able to vote, so let’s all appreciate the great gift we have and use it wisely.
PS: Election day should be a legal holiday so every taxpayer and citizen has a better opportunity to get out and vote… Not just the unemployed!