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State of the Union

November 14, 2011

There is a stiffening breeze in the air, blowing our citizens in weird and wondrous directions. Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party Movement and the awakening of the American sense of disaster are direct results of this singular wind despite their completely different stances on the issues.

Clearly, we are seeking change. We elected a woeful president on the need for change, but like an accident victim with broken fingers, we’re pointing in different directions at who to blame and how to fix it.

Pundits and polls claim any of the Republican candidates will have a hard time defeating Obama. This seems nonsensical to me. With Greece and Italy falling, with our own and the global economy sinking past its knees, clearly everything we’ve been doing before hasn’t worked.

When I hear progressives say, “come on, we’ve raised the debt ceiling for every other president, let’s do it again” I want to scream. That’s how we got into this mess!

Tea Partiers are blaming the government.

Occupiers are blaming, I think, corporations (they don’t seem to be sure what they’re protesting, but that one seems to be the loudest).

I’m blaming the people.

It’s we, the citizens, who allow our government to do dumb things. It’s we, the buyers, who allow corporations to do dumb things. And so I applaud both the TPs and the OCWs.

While the sleeping Americans marginalize Tea Partiers and while the occupiers marginalize themselves, these TPs and OCWs are doing something.

The Tea Party Movement has been interesting and telling. They were the first to send firm messages to the government that we don’t want politics as usual. Like any group, they could self-police a bit more. Signs like “Keep the Government Out of Medicare” don’t help the cause. But the truth is, these are Americans from every stripe, from highly-educated to self-uneducated. Their stands may be a bit radical, but they want change and know to get through to hard-of-hearing politicians, you need to yell loud.

God Bless the Occupy Wall Street movement. Such good intentions, even if they don’t quiet understand civil disobedience. Tea Party wackos are just stupid, OWS wackos are violent, profane and dangerous. It’s fascinating that in such a short time they’re own microcosm is imploding. Martin Luther King Jr. succeeded because he was a strong leader. OWS thinks leaders are the problem, forgetting that a lack of leaders means anarchy and we’re seeing that in the criminality of the movement. MLK’s civil disobedience displayed the stupidity of the laws they were breaking. OWS’s civil disobedience displays their stupidity. For all their misguided efforts, however, they are screaming for change (albeit in a language nobody speaks).

When our Founding Fathers said government is a necessary evil, and when Ronald Reagan said government isn’t the solution, government is the problem, they were evoking timeless wisdom.

As I watch the Republican debates, I see many of the right issues being properly addressed. Herman Cain would never have risen to the forefront during a prosperous economy, but he firmly represents our distrust and loathing for politicians. I fear between the unfounded allegations and his peaking too early that Cain will not be the nominee.

At the same time, should Romney take it, I will be perplexed. He is the one candidate who represents the evils addressed by BOTH the Tea Party and Occupiers.

I heard a quote from Newt this morning, pointing out that Romney doesn’t have the experience to handle all the change that the next president must drive through, and he’s right. I’ve been all over the map in my support of candidates, first liking Paul, then Perry, then Cain… though I never thought I’d say this, I think Newt Gingrich is the right guy. He’s worked with a Democratic president, helped balance the budget (as he says, for the first time our lifetimes), has a thorough view of history, AND has now run several businesses. In the debate when he said he’d challenge Obama to several Lincoln/Douglas style debates with no moderator for three hours each… I’d pay to see that.

Things that resonant with me:
 Let’s move from an entitlement society to an empowerment society (Cain).
 Let’s introduce transparency and simplify the tax code (Cain, Newt, Perry) (and for the pundits who say the sales tax would escalate, no way. When we see just how much is coming out of our pocket to fund runaway spending, we’ll get serious).
 Do NOT raise taxes during a recession! (All of them)
 Let’s solve the problem, not the symptom (Cain, Newt)
 Let’s let the states me laboratories of invention for education, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. (Perry, Newt, Cain, Bachmann)
 Let’s SLASH SPENDING (Cain, Paul, Perry, Newt)
 Let’s introduce training as requirement for unemployment and welfare (Newt)
 Let’s allow purchase of insurance across state lines and let the market drive down prices (Bachmann)
 Let’s reestablish the doctor-patient relationship (Paul, Cain, Newt, Perry)
 Let’s cut redundant, unconstitutional federal departments (Paul, Perry)

The fact of the matter is, we can’t do what we’ve done and expect to survive the economic black hole. I do not understand how Democrats can think spending, entitlements, and raising taxes can fix this mess. The entitlement era ushered in by FDR is a failure.

What about the people who require entitlements to survive (I don’t mean the disable or mentally challenged)? Need fosters revival; revival fosters private charity. Tearing off the bandage hurts, but healing demands it.

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