Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why America desperately needs a different president

For me to really know how bad things are in the United States, I had to leave it. 

In August, my daughter and I camped our way through Alberta. Our route covered some of the most beautiful land in North America. We breathed clean air, created our own healthy meals, saw myriad wild animals, visited family, marveled at multiple natural and man-made wonders, and capably took care of ourselves. 

 The Rockies were breathtakingly beautiful, but the view of America from the outside was grim. As we walked through several thriving, productive Canadian cities, I couldn’t help but ponder the wrecked, financially destitute invalid that is America. For one small example, compare Edmonton with my city.  

Edmonton: Over 20 years, the population almost doubled – near 100% growth – from about 600,000 to almost 1.2 million.  
My city: Over 20 years, the population grew about 16.67%, from about 180,000 to about 210,000.

Edmonton: Supports West Edmonton Mall, plus at least a dozen other large malls and popular shopping areas. Streets are vibrant and busy. 
My city: Struggles to support a few malls and a dwindling number of businesses. Youth unemployment is high. Empty buildings often stay empty for years, resulting in vandalism. 

Edmonton: Despite being home to the provincial government, Edmonton appears to be focused on tourism and attracting businesses, large and small. 
My city: The city is NOT the state capital, yet its largest employers are nearly all government. Leadership concerns are therefore often driven by appeasing those agencies, unions and other non-business groups and allies. 

A Canadian relative told us Edmonton is going through a recession. We stared out at that lively city, perplexed. My daughter finally commented, “(My city) needs a recession like Edmonton’s.” 

Actually, a great deal of America probably could use a recession like Edmonton’s. The dismal reality of the overall American economy is hard to comprehend, much less to swallow. And why is that? What keeps America's citizens and business communities from taking off? In a word: Government. 

When one describes the American government of today, it sounds disturbingly dystopian. It can be a wearying and disquieting experience to describe in depth how things are now done at local, state and federal levels. At one point in a conversation about the Obama administration, a young Canadian relative said to me, “If it wasn’t you saying this to me, I would never believe it.” If I didn’t have the evidence in front of me, I wouldn’t believe it, either. But there it is. Four years ago, Americans were promised “hope and change.” We certainly got the change.

America has always been the place for individualism, freedom and possibilities. As quick as Canadians are to remind you that they AREN’T American, they’re just as quick to express appreciation for America. Canadians are aware that America’s financial future bears heavily on their own, and that America's strength acts as a stabilizing influence on the world. And Canada – although socialist-leaning and union-heavy – still is a lover of freedom. Canadians would be startled to know that today's American government appears to be at odds with traditional American priorities: Protecting and honoring the U.S. Constitution; ensuring that all are equal under the law; ensuring freedom of religion and freedom for the individual; encouraging free enterprise and small businesses; showing fiscal restraint; limiting government, especially federal government; holding government transparent and accountable to the people; honoring and protecting the nation's Armed Forces; showing respect for American symbols of patriotism; and providing a strong education for all. 

Alas. America's current Attorney General wants to be able to lie to the people about the existence of certain documents and was held in contempt of Congress over his failure (or refusal) to hand over documents. In the last three and a half years, the Obama administration has gained (or is working on gaining) the power to: 
As my daughter and I traveled, I felt a powerful and deeply emotional connection to the land – north and south of the border – along with a compelling kinship with those who long ago decided to immigrate to North America to find opportunity, prosperity and freedom. Does America’s president feel those connections? I doubt it. The president has:
  • Told business owners: “If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
  • Told the people: “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us, they can come for the ride, but they got to sit in back.”
  • Asked Latino voters to “punish their enemies and reward their friends” (basically calling law-abiding Americans “enemies” if they don’t happen to follow the Obama agenda).
  • Said about rural America: “It's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
  • Explained away opposition to his policies: “Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared.”
  • Mocked the 2010 citizen rallies and protests: “I’ve been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies. About taxes, taxes! You would think they would be saying, ‘Thank you.’”
  • Implied that Americans should modify our lifestyle to suit “every other country”: “We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times, whether we’re living in the desert or the tundra, and then just expect that every other country is gonna say OK.” 
  • Said he wants to share our wealth: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.”
  • Wants to select judges based on their feelings, not on their knowledge of the Constitution and the law: “We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges.”
  • Was overheard in 2012,when he thought a microphone was off, telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he needed some “space” but that after the election, he would “have more flexibility” regarding Russian concerns, “particularly missile defense.” 
  • Skipped multiple intelligence briefings, including one following the embassy attack in Libya, and then chatted at length with Olympic athletes as U.S. embassies were continuing to be threatened.
  • defended the First Amendment in his September 2012 address to the UN, while again condemning people who engage in it. The president also flatly stated that "the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam..."
In 2008, Obama called a $10 trillion debt unpatriotic. Since he took office, the national debt has increased by more than $5 trillion and just recently passed $16 trillion. Put it into perspective. It took more than 200 years to build a national debt of $10 trillion, but just three and half years of an Obama presidency to add more than $5 trillion. 

Unemployment hit double digits during Obama’s tenure and remained high, and manufacturing has lost 661,000 jobs since January 2009. Obama’s $831 billion stimulus went to … well, where did it go? In 2009, Obama gave education an extra $100 billion; do we know where that money went? And the total cost of his health care and education mandates aren’t yet known. 

Why is the president getting a free pass on these things from most of the media? I don’t know, but former White House communications director Anita Dunn, reportedly a fan of Chairman Mao Zedong, once publicly boasted about how well the 2008 Obama election campaign had controlled the American media

America’s government has gone so far off the deep end of what made this country great, it’s hard to recognize the Republic. These actions, philosophies and policies are the antithesis of traditional American values. 

“I did build this,” a Montana campground owner told us in August. “I resent Obama saying I didn’t. I worked long hours, seven days a week, and my husband and I sacrificed, and we did build this. Obama didn’t build it. What has he ever built except bigger government and more debt?” 

Things are very wrong in America. While breathing in the cool, clean air high in the mountains, I felt I could see for miles, geographically and politically. I saw that we freedom-loving Americans have one more election before we lose it all. The president isn’t the only problem we face, and Democrats aren’t the only party to blame. A new administration is always an unknown, but four more years like the last four will bury this country. Already, the Republic has been buried in presidential Executive Orders, czars, “rule-making,” arrogance, federal dictates and self-absorption. 

Through the well-kept roads, lakes, bridges and overpasses of the Canadian Rockies, through busy central Alberta and down through lovely Waterton, I surveyed my beautiful birth country. I pondered America, thought by many to be heading into socialism, but which looks nothing like its unabashedly socialist-leaning neighbor to the north. I felt a great love for them both, and a great fear for both. Should America take that one step farther to fascism, both countries will feel the fall-out. 

It’s hard to see the truth past the layers of self-interest, corruption, arrogance, contempt, condescension and self-importance that seem to drive American politics. In our tent one night, I told my daughter, “It’s hard to see the truth of a thing when you’re in the middle of it. It’s only in hindsight that you’re sure.” But there is no doubt that America is teetering at a frightening precipice. That precipice doesn’t lead to socialism. Actor Clint Eastwood reminded us recently that American citizens own this country, not politicians, and that politicians work for us. Clearly, many politicians see it differently. We must jerk a decisive knot in that chain.

There's an old political question about which candidate we might want to go out with for a beer. The more important question this year for us to ask and answer is: "Which of these candidates do we want setting policy to defend our borders?"

Voters must put aside political grievances and come to America’s aid. If we choose to not vote -- or to vote for an unviable candidate – Obama will win and the downward slide will continue -- the federal takeovers; the unproved and obscenely expensive initiatives; the lack of transparency or accountability; the thinly veiled contempt for American values; the threats against our people; and the handing over of the economy and decision-making to people who are not accountable to us

Please vote this year for people who respect the law and the U.S. Constitution; our founding principles; individual rights, initiative and responsibility; and the American dream. Just one election, folks. That’s what stands between us and the abyss. Those who push us toward the abyss have had an unprecedented head start.

The author of this article has provided all outside links as a service and does not take responsibility for their content, intent, or accuracy. Requests to republish, quote from, or to clarify any content on outside material should be directed to the authors of that material. 

The author of this article, however, is providing permission to quote from and to repost and publish this blog article. Credit should be given back to this Web site, with a link back to this Web site. 

Thank you. Please vote. Please encourage others to vote. And thank you for standing up for this country and the future of our children and grandchildren.

No comments: