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My wife, daughter and I (our entire family) voted for Barak Obama for President of the United States.

We’re still glad we did, but not because of any accomplishments – there have been no major ones – but because the alternative was really scary. It is important to understand that Obama never had a constituency: American always turn to the Democratic Party in hard economic times, people were sick of the war in Iraq, and yes, he captured bloc ethnic votes. Before you argue that point take a look at the returns from, say, North Carolina or Virginia.

But his presidency is doomed. He will serve one term, that’s all. Here are the reasons why:

  • Americans have no patience. They’re accustomed to solutions in half-hour or hour intervals, as on TV.
  • Americans have no historical perspective: Remember, the Great Depression began 90 years ago. I’m 68 and only heard about it from my parents. Even WWII was over before I turned 5.
  • A President’s powers are limited and most American’s would fail a civics test about them. And, Barak Obama does not walk on water.
  • As Commander-in-Chief he could accelerate withdrawal from Iraq. And the war in Afghanistan is futile and destructive both to the economy and his presidency.

It takes an “opposite” to make momentous changes in America. People forget that FDR was an avowed fiscal conservative when elected. That it took a war-hero general to win election by promising to end the Korean War – any Democrat trying that would have been labeled soft on communism. That the Republican who claimed that Truman and Democrats “lost China” and who won election in 1968 decrying Robert Kennedy’s promise to support admitting “Red” China into the UN – Richard Nixon – also won by claiming to have “a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam”. Nixon was able to open a dialog with the People’s Republic of China. Democrats wanted to do that but could never have survived the political fallout.

Has anyone noticed that it was a Republican governor who got a universal health care plan passed in Massachusetts? It will be a Republican President who gets US universal health care passed: For the wrong reasons, of course. It will pass because hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies are feeling the pain, not because the people need it.

I still support Obama, except for Afghanistan and his political gifts to homosexuals. I’d like him to win a 2nd term and to get a health care plan, a good one, though, and turn this wretched economy around. But I believe I’ll be disappointed.

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12 Comments »

Comment by Todd Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-17 16:16:40

Dan,

Amazingly, I came across your post on the Dominica site, and it is ramblings of misfortune with Obama, though you still like him. I voted against him, and come from a life long, generation long line of Democrats. I voted against him because of the abortion issue, in that 4,000 babies die everyday which is not the big issue in the states, but the 4,000 or so who have died in Iraq in the last 9 years.
While I won’t argue your point, (Dominicans don’t deserve it), I will agree with much of what you wrote.

America is in decline due to its moral compass being out of whack, and the new Democrats have hi-jacked it. My family of old school Democrats (and my dad is 82 and lived to see the Depression and talks much of it), can hardly believe what the liberal Democrats are doing to the party.

A Frenchman once stated in the 1800’s after being sent to America as an emissary to see what makes the country great. He went all over the country, and happened to go inside a church. He said “what makes America great is because America is good. When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

I have visited Dominica and am buying property there as we speak. Let us hope that Dominica does not follow the same corruptable path that the U.S. has taken and Europe already followed.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-17 18:13:03

The Frenchman you refer to was Alexis de Tocqueville. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocqueville. I read his books while in college.

When he visited, churches had great moral authority in America and church/state separation was robust. Now any charlatan or kook can become a “minister” or form a “religion” and church/state separation has been forgotten, and the churches are rife with financial and/or sexual corruption.

Yes, the moral compass in the USA has been lost.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-17 21:43:12

You’re writing about de Tocqueville.

America has lost its moral compass and so have its “churches” which are rife with financial and/or sexual scandals.

Church/state separation has also been lost.

Alas.

 
Comment by Todd Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-18 12:04:11

Again, I agree with you. As far as I’m concerned, the church is becoming a reflection of the society it finds itself in. Instead of holding a standard, the church has caved in to the same social pressures that plague our political system. Churches are a microcosm of the society. However, not all churches are this way, and the one’s who aren’t, are painted by the liberal members of the Democrat Party as fundamental or worse. Neither holds a standard. For this very reason, I have sought residency outside of the U.S. and is one of the main reasons why Dominica is so refreshing to me. It is still innocent. However, as more westerners (like myself), move there, eventually it will be corrupted as well.

Hold on Dominica to your identity.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-18 13:51:41

“Democratic Party”, that is unless you intend to sound partisan. I am non-partisan; I trust no politician and subscribe to no belief or church.

Don’t fool yourself about Dominica. Human nature prevails and is the same everywhere. Only the scale differs. And fundamentalist missionaries spread ignorance around here.

Don’t come here (or go anywhere else) to escape — there is no escape from human nature.

We like it her because it is unhurried and far less costly living. And the weather is better than New England’s. But people are the same everywhere.

 
Comment by Todd Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-18 15:12:33

Okay, you got me there. Human nature is the same everywhere, and of course Dominica is at a smaller scale – which is good.

Nope, of course I’m not trying to sound partisan. I am a registered Democrat (been all my life) and even held elected political office and won by popular vote. This I can substantiate. I know the party well. I’m very close friends with, and have been to the home many times, of our state’s Governor, a very popular Democrat. In fact, he won Governor of the year in 2008. He is however, a Catholic, as a lot of old school Democrats and does not conform to many of the Democratic platforms on social policy, and neither do I.

My homestate is registered Democrat by more than a 2 to 1 margin but overwhelmingly supported Hilary in the primary and voted for McCain. I on the other hand, was in Calibishie during the election.

 
Comment by Steve Foerster Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-29 09:39:55

I’m not religious, but I don’t see America as in decline because of a withering of the separation of church and state. I think it’s because in the last few decades the ideas of personal responsibility and accepting the consequences for one’s mistakes have gone out the window. Make bad business decisions? Get a bailout! Don’t like how something has turned out? Sue someone! Want to buy a thing but can’t afford it? Borrow some more money! You haven’t earned something you want? That’s okay — you “deserve” it! And everyone gets a trophy!

The macroeconomic corollary to this is that Americans have come to believe that the federal government can magically supply them with programs for free. To meet this expectation, Congress has come to see borrowing trillions of dollars as standard operating procedure to fund those programs. This unsustainable approach is placing the American economy on a long term road to ruin. I do hope that the rest of us don’t get entirely dragged down with it, and that the ECCB has the foresight to consider alternatives to USD-backing now so that a plan can be implemented should it seem best for our islands’ economies.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-29 09:53:47

Steve, I agree in part. And like you, I don’t subscribe to religious beliefs. But I suspect that I am older and thus have a different historical view.

Yes, people have lost a sense of responsibility. The best example of that is when people commit crimes that they knew in advance that should not have, and call it a “mistake”.

But it was government deficit spending that pulled the USA out of the depression. FDR was a fiscal conservative who did not want to do that, but changed his mind. He also was worried that the FDIC would create an umbrella for fraud by bankers at the same time that it saved small banks and depositors’ life savings. My perspective is that “big government” is only the people (by the.. of the… for the…) and no form of government is immune to human nature, of which greed is a major part.

 
Comment by Steve Foerster Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-29 19:27:10

Hi, Dan. You write that it was deficit spending that ended the Depression. Yes, that’s one theory, and a very popular one here in Washington these days. Another is that it was government action that created the downturn, and ham-handed federal attempts to cope with it that exacerbated it. I suppose since we don’t have a different twentieth century against which to compare ours where there was no Federal Reserve or FDR, there’s no way we’ll never know for sure.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-29 19:47:15

Steve, study your history. Hoover wouldn’t spend a nickel. Like GW Bush, he was against all regulation. Unregulated capitalism doesn’t work. The USA is cyclical, between upswings of greed (the 20s, the 80s) and the need to make and enforce some rules. JP Morgan avoided the crash by observing that elevator operators were getting inside info (or what they believed it to be) and buying stocks on 5% margin — he got out of the market.

Were you my age you’d know that while Republicans (like Ayn Rand) loathed FDR for what they termed “creeping socialism” (their words for a check on greed), communists hated him even more — for putting a system of checks and balances (e.g, the SEC, FDIC, Social Security) that rescued capitalism from the brink of its own collapse.

Hint: Never think about “these days”. Look instead to the lessons of history. Check out the on-line PBS series on the history of money & finance.

 
Comment by Steve Foerster Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-30 13:04:46

Well, Hoover signed the notorious Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930, so it’s not like he was a proponent of unregulated capitalism. More generally, as for the suggestion that George W. Bush or other Republicans are against all regulation, I’d say that their rhetoric may often suggest that, but that their voting records as legislators and their policies as chief executives tell a very different story. But that’s sort of an aside, as I don’t hear many people calling for unregulated capitalism (or total socialism for that matter).

By the way, I’m not sure what it really adds to say things like “study your history” and “were you my age”. After all, neither historians as a profession nor the elderly as a group agree on economic and political issues. It seems to me that history, economics, and politics are complex enough that people of all ages and education levels inevitably see them through the lenses of their own experiences and ideologies, and that it’s challenging for any of us to examine other perspectives dispassionately.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-08-30 18:28:00

Well put, Steve. And I don’t think that I want to be lumped with the elderly! I read on-line that 70 is the new 50…

 
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