Economics, Barack Obama and the Beginning of Kumbaya Politics
It's been a really long time since I've written anything. For that, I apologize. For those of you reading this because I've forced the link on you... just read it will you?
I've been trying to avoid getting swept up in the frenzy and emotion of this Presidential Election. It's been painfully obvious for over a year that the Republicans were going to have an extremely difficult time maintaining the status quo, let alone maintaining any semblance of power in Congress.
The bottom line is, when bad stuff happens, people's first instinct is to blame others. Is it Bush's fault that the Big 3 in Detroit hadn't adapted to a changing marketplace? I have a hard time even believing that this housing disaster is on him. However, one has to believe that there are enough smart people out there either in his cabinet, or that know someone in his cabinet, that would say, "Dude. If this keeps happening, we'll all be up shit creek without a paddle."
There is a fine line between successful capitalism and stupid capitalism. When huge amounts of credit are being extended to unqualified applicants with poor or no credit histories, this is bound to happen. I'd like to coin a new term here: "Trickle-up economics." The top is now being affected by the bottom.
I read an unbelievable stat the other day. Something like 65%-70% of our economy is based on consumer spending. Pretty shocking, huh? 70% of the biggest, most powerful economy in the world is based mostly of people satisfying "wants" as much as or more than "needs."
Well, I'm not gonna lie. I fit right into that too. Do I need this Eddie Money shirt I just bought? No. Do I need that Diet Dr. Pepper from Safeway? Probably not. The bottom line is, when Americans are unable to satisfy their wants because of financial instability or uneasiness in the marketplace-- this directly affects others trying to satisfy needs for themselves and their families.
That's where we're at now. It's tough to listen to the news. I cringe every time I hear about massive job cuts and layoffs. As an American, it hurts me. I don't want to see this. Real Americans in blue collar states, as well as fringe Americans in blue states (I'm a jerk, couldn't help it), are having a difficult time. There is just no cash flow because of a lack of liquidity at the personal and corporate levels. And of course, if there is no credit to bail out the fact that you have no cash... well, it looks like we took the wrong fork in the river and we're up Shit Creek.
Enter Barack Obama.
I had to just take a deep breath. Hope? Change? Okay, I hear ya man. My question is:
I'm extremely worried and uneasy about this.
I'm willing to admit this stuff as a staunch conservative, even if it upsets my stomach to say so. Obama is a smart guy, he's charismatic, and he has excited people politically in a way that I haven't seen in my lifetime. But my question is, is this man ready to be our President and lead us out of this mess, while achieving victory in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the general War on Terror?
As his Veep Joe Biden would say, "I think he can be ready, but right now, I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
But I believe it's true. Obama's resume is impressive when compared to a school teacher or administrative assistant, but compared to someone with meaningful political experience? It's just not close.
Community organizer in Chicago, state Senate in Illinois, and Illinois' Junior Senator for 2 years makes you qualified to be President? Of course, this ship has sailed and the the election is over, but the fact that this guy is a political novice in terms of military service, military strategy, and foreign policy is unsettling at best.
National security and the two wars on the Eurasian continent have taken a seat on the backburner in favor of the struggling economy for now. But the fact remains that our boys are still over there, putting their lives on the line-- putting their lives on the line for a Commander-in-Chief-elect who voted against badly needed Iraq war funding, and twice, didn't even bother to show up for votes to put General David Petraeus in charge of Middle Eastern operations, and a second funding package.
Now I hear that Obama is already taking steps, even before being sworn in, to close the Guantanamo Bay facility. This was one of his campaign promises, but it scares the absolute hell out of me. This is one of the first things he's going to do? He hasn't completed his cabinet yet, he has no Secretary of Defense, or any other advisers with any military knowledge, and this is his top priority?
This means that terrorists, foreign nationals with extreme anti-U.S. sentiment (they've been locked in Gitmo, remember), and other hardened extremists will be transported onto American soil, and tried in civilian courts, defended by lawyers.
THESE PEOPLE WANT US DEAD! THEY'RE TERRORISTS! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MIND?
It is these kind of things that worry me. You know what else worries me?
Instead of taking a hard line against radical dictators and nuclear threats, he naively has said that he'd take the nuclear option off the table, and sit down with these people.
Fidel Castro and Co.? Raging communists.
Hugo Chavez? Nutzo socialist, and is quickly destabilizing South America
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Sit down and talk. Drink some tea. Behead some adulterers.
Kim Jong-Il? Forget about him. He's harmless.
Reverend Wright? Oh he's my spiritual adviser and mentor.
William Ayers? We're friendly.
This is what I call "Kumbaya Politics."
Let's all just talk about it. We don't care if you said "Death to America" last year, let's just turn over a new leaf.
Barack Obama has this idea in his head that America is not something to be proud of. It's an idea that it's been broken since its inception, and that he's the one who knows how to fix Her.
I've got news for you buddy, that's BS.
Everything goes through ebbs and flows. Could be marriages, stock markets, the weather; it could be anything. Obama swooped in at just the right moment with his rousing speeches, choir-preaching to Bush haters, and promises that if he keeps, will result in a less secure nation.
What will he do in Iraq? We knows he hates the war. The reason he beat Hillary is because he could say he never voted for it. Has he said anything about it in months? Will he be able to admit that EXTREME progress has been made in the last two years, INCLUDING Dubya's troop surge?
Is he just going to pull out like some frat kid upstairs at a house party?
No one knows. He doesn't even know. He has no plan. He knows what he likes, and what he doesn't like, but that's about it. He has no experience implementing policy, solving difficult geopolitical problems, and has never been in charge of a company.
At least Bush ran the second most important state in the country and owned a baseball team. Obama ran a presidential campaign and voted "present" in Springfield, Illinois.
Others like me are worried too. Like Joe The Plumber, and my boss John the Hotel Owner. Small businesses are already struggling mightily right now. Hey, I've got a good idea! Let's raise taxes on them and force them to provide expensive health care to part time workers!
Yeah dude. That's really gonna help a lot.
Taxing the job creators is no way to create jobs. Unless of course you aim to build a "job optional" society where those who work hard and create jobs are forced to give up more in order to provide for those who do not.
I'm not the only one who's worried. People are stocking up on guns all across the country. You can chalk it up to paranoid gun nuts, or you can actually see that this is a manifestation of the uneasiness that all conservatives feel right now.
Which brings us back to my new term Kumbaya Politics (seriously, use it on talk radio, let's get this going). While Obama pow-wows with his liberal bretheren like Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Harry Reid, Cindy Sheehan the Cal-Berkeley tree sitters, gangsta rappers, and illegal immigrants, we conservatives aren't invited.
Of course, liberals weren't invited much during the Dubya years (and thank God for that), but let's see just how much Obama's bipartisan skills have deteriorated since his campaign speeches. I expect our voices to be drowned out by the crowds of leftists singing post-Beatles John Lennon songs, while half get high on power and the other half get high on dope.
Okay conservatives. We've got four years. Let's finish licking our wounds quickly, and get back to the drawing board.