Sunday, August 26, 2012

In Times Gone By

I've been reading Truman, by David McCullough, a Pittsburgh area native and two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  Its a mamoth book on the Democrat President who proceeded FDR.

Legendary basketball coach and President of the Miami Heat, Rick Riley is said to of been so inspired by its in depth portrayals and details that he changed his style of coaching as a result.

I read a lot about a lot, but not so much about Truman, so I'm learning a lot.  Especially a lot about what Democrats where like back in the proverbial day.  Take a moment to read this excerpt from congressional testimony of David Lilienthal, head of the TVA(Tennessee Valley Authority) and prospective head of the Atomic Energy Commission.  He was asked about his stand on communism, which in the day was the big Red Scare and politicians feared them lurking every where.

Regardless, the view on communism is one thing,  his interpretation of what it means to be American, coming from a son of Eastern European immigrants is quite the point for me.

Democrats, do they believe this way today?  Do people who vote Democrat, because they always do, ever think of these things, or think of them this way?

Conservatives do, liberals don't I reckon.  What about President Obama?  Actions speak louder than words, do I have to list the encroachments on personal liberty?

Read and think on this:

I believe in, [he said] and I conceive the Constitution of the United States to rest, as does religion, upon the fundamental proposition of the integrity of the individual; and that all Government and all private institutions must be designed to promote and protect and defend the integrity and the dignity of the individual...
Any forms of government, therefore, and any other institutions, which make men means rather than ends in themselves, which exalt that state or any other institutions above the importance of men, which place arbitrary power over men as a fundamental tenet of government, are contrary to this conception;  and therefore I am deeply opposed to them...The fundamental tenet of communism is that the state is an end in itself, and that therefore the powers which the state exercises over the individual are without any ethical standards to limit them.  That I deeply disbelieve.
It is very easy simply to say one is not a Communist.  And, of course, if despite my record it is necessary for me to state this very affirmatively, then this is a great disappointment to me.  It is very easy to talk about being against communism.  It is equally important to believe those things which provide a satisfactory and effective alternative.  Democracy is that satisfying alternative.
And its hope in the world is that it is an affirmative belief, rather than simply a belief against something else....
I deeply believe in the capacity of democracy to surmount any trials that may lie ahead provided only we practice it in our daily lives.
And among the things that we must practice is this:  that while we seek fervently to ferret out the subversive and anti-democratic forces in the country, we do not at the same time, by hysteria, by resort to innuendo and sneers and other unfortunate tactics, besmirch the very cause that we believe in, and cause a separation among our people, cause one group and one individual to hate one another,  based upon mere attacks, mere unsubstantiated attacks upon their loyalty.... 

As I said yesterday,  I can understand why my grandfather was a Democrat.  But to think that being a Democrat today is the same as being a Democrat back then is mere fiction.

There are a million reasons to be for one party over the other, and we all do find that one weighty issue that defines for us our loyalties, so be it.

Would it be that harmful though to look past some of the innuendos and sneers, against the 'rich' for example,  and do a little internal reflection on what our loyalties, by way of a vote, for a party really support?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Not A Democrat

"Now let me urge upon you:  Get in line, get on the team, do a little work; help make the United States what it must be from now on:  the leader of the world in peace, as it was the leader of the world in war.  I urge you to be good workers in the ranks."
     ~ Harry S. Truman

Now then,  I can understand why my grandfather was a Democrat.

However, have you noticed what the Democrat Party encourages now a days?   Welfare, amnesty, blame it on Bush.


That's why I'm not a Democrat. (but not the only reasons)

Friday, August 17, 2012

On Greed

For just a moment, if we can spare one, I'd like to share my thoughts on greed.

Greed is a hot topic for many people now a days if for no other reason than the soon to be GOP nominee for President is a wealthy man.

Admittedly now a tax payer! (There had been some speculation that he hadn't been, but Harry Reid smoked him out.)

Some may never mind that the Treasury Secretary had tax issues, or lack there of, and so did the much ballyhooed oracle of Omaha, and eponymous tax rule proponent,  Warren Buffet.

Let's be frank, we are all greedy.  To those quick to pin that on Romney, as though you've made some profanely and insightful commentary, one question please.  Did you find such an insidious trait in John Kerry?

But its not about wealth then, now is it?  Its really about party politics, and I can spend more than a minute on that, but I want to point out the greed.

I believe its an even more diabolical greed that dwells in the beings of those that don't dwell on the concept that if the government is spending more than its taking in, that's greed too.

I believe that when we have to borrow trillions of dollars, on a yearly basis, that has to be paid back tomorrow, that's greed.  That's out sourcing our future to the Chinese(mostly.)

I believe that when we vote, and we don't pay mind to leaving our children with our debt, we are greedy.

Now Romney may or may not be greedy, any more so than the rest of us.  I don't know.  But I do know that he has asked the lead player inside the beltway with any credence on reducing the debt and deficit to join him in making a case to run this country.

Obama, who may or may not be as greedy as Romney, had a chance to live by his promises, too many to produce, too few fulfilled, but reducing the deficit being one and he failed.  Miserably.

So do we point out the greed in others only and damn the wealthier candidate, unlike in 2004 when the wealthier candidate was John Kerry?

Or maybe lets think about what kind of greed is more detrimental for all of us?

I know this, Romney may have more wealth than many of us, but his efforts to amass that wealth far surpass  the efforts many are taking in their own lives and his taxes paid are doing more for the balance of payments on our greed than many of us commit to, even when its our children that will bear most of the burdens that Barrack Obama and his lot has cast upon us.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two Sides of the Story

Just yesterday I had an encounter with a clan of Democrats, pure lever pulling Democrats, that could be construed either as direct evidence that Obama is going to win, or quite the contrary, that Obama's base is not fired up, and therefore less likely to show up.

There were about five of them, at a festival, having a good time.  One came right out and asked me if I want to talk politics!  Does shit stink?

But it soon devolved into, on their part, a demonstration of all the nonsensical reasons to vote for anyone, but particularly linked to the liberal left.

Feelings, wasted vote, straight party proclivities.

I attempted one plea,  "Why should I vote for Obama?"  That was after honest assertion that I didn't know who I was voting for in November.   Left unanswered

I also attempted one point, that I was Catholic and cherished religious freedom and that Obama Care is at odds with that constitutional plank.  Lost.

Its not that they couldn't comprehend my concerns if they understood me, but I was left with the impression that they had no idea what I'm referring too.

Catholic Hospitals forced to perform abortions, 'natch.

So there you have it, my contention is that Obama does not suffer from loss of support of the people who voted him in in the first place.  They don't care much about anything other than the letter "d" after his name.

Others may read into the lack of energy and particulars among his supporters as evidence of tepid support in  November -- low turn out.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Sooo Not Alone,0,4846333.story?track=rss

I've been adrift a few days, taking in life, mostly learning; today I got back to the gym and back to giving out my life's advice.

I guess I've been looking for signs that my contrarianism hasn't regressed to individualism because I've been finding them.

Take the story above,  the Tea Party movement is indeed a live and well, and that makes me smile.

I don't know what constitutes membership in the Tea Party, which isn't to say I'm longing to find out, because I do like my own private individualism, albeit with a Republican registration.  I do however feel a kinship with those good people.

Presidential elections, I believe, are the litmus test of Americans.  We dip that stick in the mud every four years and analyse the numbers and results. Obviously, but where I go is that as an individual, what does how I vote mean?  Further, is it a validation or disregarding of any learning I've done in the previous four years, or a turning my back on positions I'd taken since the last election.

The voting booth is sometimes the most courageous event we take, one that sometimes requires a tremendous leap of faith, a blind turn if you will.

That's my generalization, voting is a courageous act, because courage is linked somehow to doing an act that has great trepidation attach to it.  A sense of danger.   Voting has never been that way for me, but based on the statistics, not many people change the way they vote every four years.  Which I find uncourageous because people change and political parties change, although much slower.  Voting based on party loyalty, if not based on principles is also an indication of no personal growth.

For those people, whether they know it or not, voting is a courageous act.  So courageous in fact that many blow it and do nothing but the usual,  pull the party lever.   To hell with that point about immigration or deficit spending that was so vital to hold as the loyal opposition, its the Party on election day, not the principles.

Principles take courage.

Principled also vote for something, not against something.  That would be against principles, unless of course if your principles and the opposition candidate were your only choices.

Yes, if every four years you compromise on your education and principles and vote party, rationale being against the other candidate, that to me is simply lacking courage.  Maybe this year its because this is the most important election ever and the fate of the nation hangs in the balance.  Reflect on twenty years of that rationale and I think its safe to say one's principles aren't so important after all.

A devout liberal or conservative voting Green or Libertarian is likely principled based each and every time, but some of those folks I've run into over the last ten years have complained about so much, but only when as it applies to the other party.

Take this years election.  Hypothetically,  Obama vs. Romney vs. Tea Party.  What would I do?  Principles. Tea Party.  That's for me.  Maybe for someone else its Romney.

We'll see what happens, how the numbers come in on the first Tuesday in November,  hopefully the numbers show a true reflection on the principles of America, not just how lacking in courage we are.  Either way the numbers will become truth, and quite possibly halt the last best chance America has to changing the system or at the very least providing real pressure to change the system.

Occupy protesters were ardent, but disruption in the voting booth is where it matters most.  The Tea Party may be our last best hope.