The last time I had a choice of who to vote for was when Ronald Reagan ran for office. Every since then is has been the lesser of two evils. The 1980 election taught me that religion and politics do not mix well. The sitting President Jimmy Carter was a born again Christian. His leadership and policies were leading America into an economic hole. Reagan was an actor and came across as having the solutions. He also claimed to be a Christian. They may have both been Christians but they were polar opposites. One was a turn the other cheek Christian and the other was a stand up for what you believe in Christian. Thirty years later I see the same issues being replayed. However neither of the candidates have all the values I expect a Christian to have.
Actually it is not just the candidates but the parties that are neither one what they claim to be. They are both made up of extremists. The Republicans lean toward the extreme right and the Democrats toward the extreme left. My problem is I like neither of those points of view. I hate fence sitters. The thing I am discovering is that the center is not necessarily fence sitting. It is the path that sound judgment takes in all situations. It is the glue that holds our country together.
Four years ago I was shocked and surprised to see Barack Obama win the Presidency. It showed that there is truly a good side to America. That America is big enough to do the right thing. Yet the last four years have shown that America is definitely not over its racial issues. I consider myself an independent, but I lean toward the Republican party. The last four years have shown me that the Christian Right is really a White Is Right point of view. People I thought were open minded have shown their pure hatred for Barack Obama. It is a hate like I have never, ever seen in American politics. They spit their hate out like rabid dogs. The Republican leader in the Senate, two years ago, stated his only goal was to make sure Obama did not get reelected. He could care about the problems facing the nation. He would as soon destroy the American economy as see Obama get reelected.
What I have discovered is that America needs a third party. A Constitutionally based party that focuses on the foundations which this country was founded on. The party I envision will not try to legislate morality. Many of the issues today have no place even being in the political arena. Abortion should be between a woman and her doctor. The government should not even be involved. Drugs should be taxed, not regulated. It is not societies duty to pick and choose which vices should be okay. Alcohol, tobacco and prescriptions drugs are okay. Even though they destroy just as many lives as illegal drugs. A drunk can get a year for killing someone in a car accident, but a pot head gets ten years in some states just for possession. Yet in the next state he may not even get a slap on the wrist. There is a problem here. Addicts need treatment, not incarceration. Taxing drugs makes far more sense that wasting money on a war that can not be won. At least the abusers will be contributing to their own treatment. As it is now law abiding taxpayers get hit with paying for both, the persecution and rehabilitation.
Congress has totally failed in the three areas it was given the responsibility to manage. They were/are responsible for the budget, establishing taxes and duties on imports and finally the Welfare of the country. All three duties are in the same part of the Constitution. Looking at the national debt the village idiot can tell they haven't a clue how to control a budget. The second thing they were given to provide for the security of the nation. The were to raise and control the use of an Army and a Navy. Military spending and deployments are totally out of control. The Monroe Doctrine was America's guiding principle for years. Yet America is becoming a borderline imperialistic nation. Yes we needed to retaliate for 9/11, but the war in Iraq was a total waste of American money and especially of American lives. We need to bring our forces home and let the world take care of itself.
Who cares if Iran gets a bomb. To use it would be suicide. The solution to the problem in the Middle East is really simple. We need to make it clear that an attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on American soil and will be treated and reacted to accordingly. America has a habit of using sledgehammers to kill flies. That is why we have been in two wars for so many years. When we knew where Osama Been Shithead was at we should have let Russia and China know what we were going to do and nuked the side of that mountain. It was and is a mountain in the middle of nowhere. There would have been little collateral damage. Yet it would have made a major statement. Countries would have been rounding up al Qaeda and bringing them to us. We would not have to be hunting them. At a minimum we should have dropped a 1,000 pound bomb on the home of each one of the terrorists that were involved in 9/11. That is evil, but it would have made a statement. Don't tell us you are innocent when you back these evil people. They know who the crazies are and they need to take care of them and keep them in line. Now you can at least see I am not a peacenik.
Getting back on track this election has no upside. Let me do the Democrat side first. Obama grew up being fed the American dream and that he could be and do anything he wanted to do. He believed it, he pursued it and he succeeded in becoming President. He proved the American dream still works and anyone determined and focused enough can become President. The problem was and is that he had no clue what to do with it when he accomplished it. Of course he did not expect to get it handed to him with a broken piggy bank, a massive IOU and a job market that was imploding at almost 800,000 jobs a month. A stock market that had fallen 56% at the time he took office and another 11% before he could get the brakes applied. The country was on the verge of falling into an financial abyss equivalent to or worse than the Great Depression. Unemployment went over 10% before he could get it slowed down. If you consider that the Great Depression lost 89% of the market value, and unemployment hit 25% we came out okay. The problem is that the economy has been teetering between falling farther and recovering. Stocks are back up to 13,000 after hitting a bottom at 6,469 points. After a fall from a high of 14,164points. That is not all bad, but the job market is barely holding its own.
So what are the Republicans offering us as hope. An ex-Gov, businessman. Uh I think those were the qualifications of the one that got us into this mess. They plan to do a lot of cutting and downsizing, but I do not hear any plans about how or where they are going to get the money to fix the problems. Even the GAO says it can not be fixed only by cutting programs. Revenue has to be raised to stop the bleeding. Also they are talking about creating 12 million jobs. From their past record I assume those jobs will be in China, India and Mexico. I want to hear sound ideas about "HOW" they are going to create these jobs "HERE". One thing they plan to do that I do not care for is changing the Social Security system. It is working fine. It would work better if they just past laws to leave it alone.
From all I have heard so far, from both conventions I just want the party to win that can hold things together till concerned Americans can mobilize a third party to implement the repairs that need to be made to the budget and the government structure. Both of them are pretty iffy as far as I can see. The Republicans could not or did not even have their previous office holder show up. Of course with his record I kind of understand. Just based on what I have heard and seen so far. The Democrats are making a far better case than the Republicans. My personal view is that the Congressional races are the only ones that have hope of changing anything. If the Republicans win in Congress and Obama wins the Presidency we are looking at four more years of nothing getting done. If the Republicans win in both the Congress and the White House all I see is things getting undone. That is all they are saying they are going to do.
The Republicans need to quit asking the question. "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" It may not seem it, but my wife retired after watching half her retirement being eaten by the market collapse. The job market was in free fall. Yes gas was cheaper when Obama took office, but when I had to drive to the hospital every day in the spring of 2007 the price of gas was right at $4.00 a gallon. I mean if that was the standard I measured things by I would have to leave the country. When I started driving gas was 17 to 19 cents a gallon and 12 cents during gas wars. The minimum wage was 50 cents an hour. Pop and candy bars were 5 cents. Oh! and you got two cents back on the glass pop bottle. So yes there were better times in the past, but HEY!!!!We live in the here and now. Deal with it.
The real problem is the mandatory cuts and taxes. They will push the economy the rest of the way off the cliff. One foot is already hanging out in space. If something is not done to head off the mandatory cuts and taxes the situation is inevitable. The only cure is to mobilize a third party movement. It has happened before. The only third party candidate ever to win the Presidency was Abraham Lincoln. We know what happened then. It something is not done we may be headed that way again.
Like I said at the start. The lesser of two evils. However if the world comes to an end on December 21st as it is supposed to. What we decide will not mean much anyhow. However, if the world just happens to keep on ticking we need to start looking toward a solution that works. The definition of insanity is. "Doing the same thing, over and over, the same way and hoping to get different results." If we continue down this two party road we can only hope the looney bin provides free meals, satellite TV and Wi-Fi.