Friday, November 30, 2012

Memo to Obama: the Campaign's Over

President Obama has been campaigning for at least the past six years.  He doesn't know how to do anything else; he certainly doesn't have the qualities of a good leader or negotiator.

The president appears to not be serious about the fiscal crisis this country is facing.  He is mired in juvenile stubbornness and rigid ideology.  John Boehner offered him a good compromise that increased revenues through limits on deductions for the wealthy.  How did Mr. Obama respond to this overture?  He made a counter-offer that included raising the top rates and increasing taxes on capital gains and dividends.  Also, the White House wants more spending on a new stimulus, extension of unemployment benefits, new money to refinance underwater mortgages, etc., etc., etc. The icing on the cake is that President Obama wants Congress to give him the authority to increase the debt limit whenever he wants and as much as he wants.  What does Mr. Obama offer? In exchange for all these concessions, Obama says he will "consider" spending cuts next year.  Republicans are absolute fools if they fall for this slimy trick.  

It's obvious that Mr. Obama's idea of "compromise" is that Republicans simply roll over and do exactly as he wants. Whether it's due to his temperament or limited intellectual capacity, Obama is simply inept when it comes to negotiation. This caused Harry Reid to leave him out of the final negotiations about the debt ceiling last year.  

The president is probably not worried about this.  He knows that many of his supporters are not well informed about fiscal matters and they'll believe anything he tells them. So, he'll blame Republicans when everyone's taxes increase and the economy falters and the mainstream media certainly won't tell anyone otherwise.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 Questions for Black Voters

In the wake of the November 6 election, some questions continue to come to mind.  Approximately 93% of black voters supported Obama, so with that statistic in mind, I pose the following questions:

1.  Do you honestly believe that Republicans want to take away your right to vote?  
The very idea that Republicans seek to suppress or eliminate the black vote is absurd to reasonable people, yet that's what Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats were saying publicly, and apparently the more gullible folks believed them.  Using fear and resentment, the Obama campaign shamelessly riled up black voters to ensure their turnout, a tactic that is unconscionable.

2.  Do you really believe that everyone who opposes President Obama does so because of racism?
Racism, the "R word", is thrown about freely by Democrats in regard to anyone who doesn't agree with Obama.  Are there racists out here who don't like the president because of his skin color?  Certainly - I've seen examples of it firsthand.  However, the majority of people who oppose this president do so because of his liberal policies, not because of his racial background.  It's just so easy to throw out the racism charge instead of engaging in a rational debate, isn't it?  

3.  Why aren't you angry about the unholy alliance between Democrats and the teachers' unions that doom many black children to failure and poverty?
Many urban children are stuck in schools that are failing to provide a decent education.  Republicans support charter schools and school vouchers that would give disadvantaged children the option of attending the school of their choice, thus enabling them to get a high quality education. Democrats, beholden to the teachers' unions, oppose school vouchers and charter schools.  These same Democrats send their own children to exclusive private schools, yet want to deny inner city children the same opportunity.  

4.  For decades, blacks have been voting almost exclusively for Democrats, yet more and more black people are falling into poverty.  What are you getting for your vote?
Let's be brutally frank here: Democrats have been bribing people to vote for them with various social programs.  Since the 1960s, the government's welfare policies have been been decimating black families and keeping people mired in poverty and misery.  Furthermore, Democrats have a vested interest in keeping people poor and powerless so they can continue to offer them "goodies" in exchange for their votes.  How does it feel to know your vote is being bought and you're being taken for granted?  

5.  Although you vilify rich people, don't you really want to be wealthy too?
There's nothing wrong with seeking comfort and security; it's human nature to want those things.  The harsh reality is that the only way to achieve financial stability is through a good education or vocational training and hard work.  We must find a way to offer the opportunities that lead to success to as many people as possible, but make no mistake about it:  ultimately, traveling the road to financial security requires taking personal responsibility for your life.  We need a "safety net" for those who truly are unable to take care of themselves and lack family support, but being dependent on government puts you in a very vulnerable position, and as long as you are dependent on government, you will be poor, not prosperous.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Resisting the Frenzy

As the holidays approach, we're being bombarded with the usual messages: buy, buy, buy.  I don't blame retailers; after all, they're in business to make money so naturally they try every trick in the book in their efforts to convince customers to spend, even if they have little to spare.  

People line up days in advance of sales, even sleeping in front of the store.  Now they're talking about moving "black Friday", creating "black Thursday", Thanksgiving night. Some retailers won't even allow their employees to spend the entire day and evening with their families. This is insanity.  

Driving all of this is an intense materialism that has taken hold of our culture.  We seem to have lost the ability to live simply and make our families and friends our first priority. Instead, many people believe they have to have to the latest gadget or the biggest TV, but this is just "stuff" and it won't bring you happiness or peace because there will always be a newer gadget or a bigger TV to be had. Some people say they enjoy giving to others, and that may be true, but the best gift anyone can give is the gift of self.   

This holiday season, why don't we try to remember the real meaning of this joyous season?  Although many nonbelievers celebrate Christmas, the real purpose of this holy day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior. He is the only source of true, and lasting, peace and happiness. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Casting Stones

Mitt Romney has become the favorite punching bag of many Republicans, as they point the finger of blame for a lost election.  What's the point in that?  It's nonproductive and focused on the past.  

There is nothing Romney could have done differently that would have won this election for him.  Conservative talk show hosts are fond of saying that this is a "center-right" country, but could it be that that is no longer true?  As secularism has grown in this country, increasing numbers of people are shutting God out of their lives and becoming more lax and tolerant of things that used to be frowned upon, if not condemned outright.  

Couple this with the formidable data-gathering machinery of the Obama campaign and you have a nearly insurmountable obstacle.  President Obama has been campaigning the whole time he's been in office and has accumulated a great wealth of information about donors, as well as psychological information about how various groups are likely to respond to different messages.  This has allowed them to tailor different messages to various groups of potential voters.  

Let's give Mitt Romney a well-deserved rest as we look to the future.  Republicans should, of course, learn from past mistakes, but they would also do well to become more technologically savvy about nurturing likely constituents and attracting new voters.  We have much to look forward to, so let's get busy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Old Dog, Old Tricks

Are you having deja vu yet?  We're hearing the same old lines from President Obama. Those who argued that he would start seriously negotiating with Republicans in an effort to solve our budget problems have to be wondering when this transformation will begin. It appears it's going to be four more years of the same thing.  

Obama is not serious about avoiding the so-called "fiscal cliff".  His policies and tactics are designed to engender anger and resentment between the races and to divide people along economic lines. He is a profoundly immature man who isn't fit to lead this great nation.  

If (when?) we fall deeper into recession, I'm sure he will find a way to blame it all on the Republicans and the mainstream media will be running interference for him, enabling him to get away with his vicious lies. 

Brace yourselves - it's going to be a bumpy four years.     

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Should Conservatives Soften Their Views?

In the wake of the Republican defeat this week, the second guessing has begun as expected.  Not only is the Romney strategy being dissected and criticized, there are voices saying the Republicans need to change their principles to fall more in line with contemporary society or abandon social conservatism altogether.  

I would argue that the conservative message is basically a good one, but we've done a poor job of selling our principles. I understand the anger and frustration of many conservatives, as I feel that way too. However, I also believe we must soften our tone, not the principles themselves. We must try to win hearts and minds and that cannot be done by yelling at people or bashing them over the head, figuratively speaking, of course.  

I'm becoming increasingly annoyed and turned off by some of the conservative talk show hosts also.  I am a regular listener of Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, among others, and the strident, angry tone, particularly of Ingraham, is a turn-off to me, a conservative.  I'm certain she changes no minds among those who call themselves "moderate".  She likes to cite Ronald Reagan, but he had the knack of communicating firmly and clearly without ever sounding harsh.  

We have a different country today than in the day of Reagan.  I believe it's more secularized and I'm not convinced that it's still "right of center".  It's clear we need to reach out to blacks, Hispanics and Asians more effectively if we're to win elections in the future.  

People tend to vote for whatever they perceive to be in their own best interests.  Thus, it is imperative that we demonstrate in a clear, concise manner how conservative policies can help people become more financially stable, secure and independent.   I think that would resonate with a majority of people, because government dependency puts one in a vulnerable position and keeps people poor.   

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Are We Mortally Wounded?

No one can deny that the United States has had a history of rocky race relations.  It was my perception, however, that things had improved over the last two decades.  We've had two black Secretaries of State, we have a black president and black attorney general, as well as a black Supreme Court justice.  

In spite of these strides, I believe the relationship between blacks and whites in this country has suffered during the Obama administration and, moreover, I believe this has been deliberate on Obama's part.  He has fostered anger and resentment in a blatantly political effort to turn out his base of support for the election.  How cynical does one have to be to engage in such despicable tactics?

I fear that if Obama wins re-election there will be violent event in cities along the lines of sports celebrations that get out of hand and result in looting and burning.  On the other hand, if Obama loses there may well be violent riots such as the LA riots of a few years ago.  

This country is more divided than any time I can remember. It's whites against blacks, poor vs. rich.  Check out some of the comments that appear after online news stories and on Twitter.  Many of them are vile, including name-calling and threats of violence and even death.  

This attempt to rip this country apart will be part of Barack Obama's legacy.  I just pray that we can put an end to this today, election day, and hopefully get this country on a healing path, although I believe that will be a long and sometimes painful road.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why the Chaos?

Having lived on the Texas Gulf Coast all my life, I've experienced several hurricanes.  The people here know that when a hurricane is approaching, you do some common sense things:  put gas in your cars and gas cans because you may not be able to pump gas after the storm, fill up containers and bathtubs with water and stock up on nonperishable food items.  

Apparently, the people on the east coast didn't realize what they should do to prepare.  They're now suffering with lack of electrical power and, in some cases, lack of food.

What I'm wondering is why in the world doesn't the governor or the president call out the National Guard to fly supplies in to these people? Good grief - this is the United States, not Haiti!  

I know the havoc that a hurricane can wreak and how long it can take to get things back in order.  It seems to me, however, that a little advance preparation could have possibly prevented some of this.  

My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this storm.  I hope things get back to normal soon for you.