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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Election 2008: Does it Really Matter Anymore?

Stay with me, reader! This is a long piece, and I'm going to jump around a bit, but it all comes together in the end.

The point is does it REALLY matter anymore which candidate does ultimately win the 2008 Presidential election?

I've been a political junkie since I was 13 years old. My Grandmother (God rest her soul) lived in Miami and our family went to visit her, coincidentally during the the 1972 Republican Convention.

While my parents and assorted other relatives were poolside, I was handing out Re-Elect President Nixon campaign buttons; a self-proclaimed middle-school conservative Republican. I hope those buttons become valuable some day because I have a box left.

That wasn't a popular stance in those days, and I didn't walk around in a little suit: I was a child of the times, but fiercely loved America, what it stood for, and what it represented.

As I got older, I stayed focused on National politics, joined the Air Force right out of high school because serving my country was the thing to do. I lived through the Carter years (fortunately overseas for half of it) but saw how he decimated the military budget.

I came home to a depressed America, double-digit inflation and a country still reeling from losing the Vietnam War. I will never forget or forgive President Carter's going on television blaming the American people for the morose attitude of the nation.

But then came Ronald Reagan and his "shining city on a hill". Suddenly it was OK to be an American again. Suddenly, people were proud to be Americans again. It was the age of Rocky and Rambo and America is number one! The 1980's were a good time psychologically for the American people and a welcome break from the turmoil, anger, failure and confusion of the 1960's and 70's.

I'm speaking high level of that time: there were scandals, there were mistakes, and the racial uprisings in the 1960's were just the boiling over of America never really overcoming it's prejudice's post civil-war. It was bound to happen, it should have happened, and I am ashamed for America that we were the last "civilized" country to outlaw slavery.

But we also put a man on the moon and while the nuclear-freeze crowd hid under their desks, Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union for what it was and said it would not stand.

And in what history will judge as the greatest bluff of all time, Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union out of existence with the then (and barely now) technologically impossible SDI program. In derisively naming it after the fictional "Star Wars", the press almost let the cat out of the bag.

Many took Reagan's open, optimistic and positive attitude for stupidity. But he was far from stupid; he was shrewd. He had too many advisers and experts not to know that SDI was impossible to achieve during the 20th century, but he poured billions into it and kept repeating that we would have an invincible shield against nuclear weapons.

The Soviets knew it was impossible too, but between Reagan's rhetoric, the vast money spent, and their own paranoia, just couldn't ignore it: they had to compete. They couldn't afford it and it bankrupted them into the scrap-pile of history. I'm glad I never played poker against Ronald Reagan. And because of his courage, we are the only remaining superpower today. Today.

But there is a big lesson for America to learn from the breakup of the Soviet Union. Like us, they considered themselves the "worlds policeman" but from the communist side. They had an enormous defense budget, a world-wide military presence, and poured billions into the proxy wars they fought against us in Asia and Africa.

They spent billions more propping up "friendly" governments, billions more to bring "communist enlightenment" to other countries, and billions more to ensure a comparable or superior military machine vs the United States. And one American President used that against them and quickly destroyed them.

Lets fast-forward to 2008. The United States spends more on military spending than the entire world combined and then some. We have to, because we are still stuck in the Cold War mindset of being the "world's policeman", spreading our form of "democractic enlightenment" to other countries, and still operating under the WWII vision of America's role in the world, not today's.

And it will bankrupt us. It already has. The only unknown is whether it will bankrupt us out of existence, as we did the Soviets. But the enemy now is not another country, but our own mainstream media.

The media has always had a slant: conservative or liberal, but they would apply that to the News as it happened. What they learned in the 1960's and actively, blatantly, and openly are applying today is that, instead of reporting the News with their slant, they are CREATING the News to suit their slant and agenda.

The 2008 President Primaries was their first true open flexing of that muscle.

It didn't help that both on the Republican and Democrat sides, we probably had the worst group of candidates in recent history. That made it a lot easier for the media to shape the election.

For the first time in American history, the ENTIRE major mainstream press IN CONCERT predecided who the candidates would be. They acted together in not giving any coverage to certain candidates, marginalizing and trivializing others, and giving too much coverage to other candidates.

When they finally eliminated most of them, they started swinging their reporting from positive to negative on the few remaining candidates to keep, especially on the Democrat side, the race close enough to they could draw it out and milk coverage and ratings that the truth wouldn't have justified.

But not to to give them complete credit, they were aided by two critical factors: the ego's of the States who were tired of New Hampshire always being talked about and so began moving up their primary dates so they could get some press too.

This resulted in the election race starting over a year before the 2008 general election. That's a lot of air-time to fill and a lot of opportunity for "creative reporting".

And as I stated earlier, the 2008 Presidential Primary candidates from both sides were an embarrassment to the Office of the President. This made the presses job even easier.

Let's not talk candidates to start with: lets talk ideas and facts.

Mike Huckabee, pushed by the press until his usefulness ran out, proposed eliminating the Federal income tax and replacing it with a 35% National Sales Tax. That concept was given a lot of credible positive attention by the press. I

t will bring in hundreds of billions in tax from "under the table" cash transactions and from illegal aliens who purchase primarily with cash. And no more Federal Income Tax! Notice he never said "no more IRS"; just no more Federal Income Tax.

Lets look at history first. Very similar arguments were made when the Constitution was amended creating the Federal Income Tax. And remember, it was sold and started because it was "only a 1% tax which would effect primarily the wealthy" One Percent.

And when the Federal Income Tax climbed to 90%, for top earners, the Government noticed there were so many loopholes that the rich could afford to slip through, they actually paid less than they do today.

So the "Tax Over-Haul" which promised lower rates but eliminated the loop-holes. But Big Government spent more, so the rates went up again; this time without the loop-holes.

You don't think the major reason George W. Bush was elected and re-elected President was because he promised and brought the rates down again...and continues to this day to keep fighting to make his reductions permanent?

And as his popularity drops to historic lows, the Big Government activists fighting even harder to eliminate the Bush tax reductions?

If not for the fact that Congress's approval rating was worse than the President's, this would already have happened. Instead they're trying to wait out the clock, stalling every attempt to make the tax rate cuts permanent until they expire.

A 35% National Sales Tax would affect the wealthiest Americans Discretionary spending, but would SAVAGE the middle class in paying taxes on Essentials. As history shows us, what starts at 35% will not remain 35% for long. And as history also shows us, "loop-holes" will be created for the wealthiest Americans so, along with their highly paid accountants, will pay much less.

Huckabee's National Sales Tax plan was given credibility and pushed because it enhanced the Big Government concept: the average citizen having to rely on the Federal Government to survive from cradle to grave.

And Big Government is popular with Big Media which is now owned by Big Business because they and their lobbyists literally control the Federal Government. They write the legislation, the campaign checks, create and support the PACs, receive the huge, often wasteful and unnecessary Big Government contracts, and provide lucrative jobs for "the right people" who leave Big Government but have influence and connections.

Now lets get back to history and look at a 21st century solution proposed by Ron Paul (and I don't blame you if you said either "who" or "that wacko!" Because that's how the mainstream press universally portrayed him.

His idea was to eliminate the Federal income tax for EVERYONE AND eliminate the Entire Budget Deficit COMPLETELY by simply STOP being the world's policeman. End the Cold War mentality and close the 160 US military bases abroad. Bring the troops home. Get back to what the Founding Fathers envisioned which was a military to Protect and Defend the United States. Period. It would save the United States $1 TRILLION a YEAR, and that's only the financial value.

Imagine if China had military bases on US soil. How would that affect public opinion about the Chinese? It would affect it negatively. And our military presence around the world, especially among the Arab nations, is the major cause of their hatred for the USA and their attacks against us. And who can blame them? We wouldn't tolerate foreign troop and bases on our soil either.

We have to accept that NOT every nation wants American-style "Democracy". Not every nation's culture will ACCEPT, or if forced upon them, be able to understand and function under American-style "Democracy".

In hindsight, the United States would have been more secure with Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Dictator, running Iraq then a "liberated" Iraq will ever be. His Iraq was a buffer between Syria and Iran. His Iraq was a threat to and major focus of Iran (hence our support of Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war).

Yes, he was a Dictator, a mass-murderer, and ran an iron-fisted regime completely contrary to American-style "Democracy". But look at Iraq today: are the people any happier? People who lived as neighbors for years (because they had to) are now killing each other and burning each other's Mosque's down.

The infrastructure is a mess, corruption is rampant, because corruption was a way of life in Iraq.
Soldiers and Insurgents change sides every day: a concept inconceivable to us but a way of life for them.

Iraq was a "created" country. Family, Clan and Tribal loyalties centuries old trump any mandated 20th century re-drawing of the map by the "Western Powers" after WWI and WWII.

Now in fairness to George W. Bush, in a post 9/11 world, when a Dictator like Hussein keeps asserting over and over that he is creating chemical, and more importantly, biological weapons and would continue to not only do so, but subtly hints that some of these could one day end up in the hands of terrorists, could Bush have afforded to risk that he wasn't telling the truth?

What Hussein WANTED was the same level of respect and treatment that we give North Korea. He tried to ACHIEVE it by doing a "Reagan Bluff", and during the Clinton years it might have worked. But not post 9/11.

Back to Ron Paul, his advocacy of ending "Pax America", and returning the Federal Government to the Founding Father's vision and The Constitution being strictly interpreted. That policy was COMPLETEY the opposite of what Big Business, and thus Big Media wanted.

And frankly, some of Ron Paul's other policies are not practical in the 21st century. But there are three branches of Government in America (although that line; especially between Congress and Activist Judges) is blurring.

Ron Paul could propose, but Congress would have to approve. But as Commander in Chief, he could have accomplished that ONE REALLY GOOD policy of bringing the American Military home and let it fulfill it's Constitutionally mandated mission.

Big Media, Big Business, and the infamous Military/Industrial complex crushed him in short order. Dr. Paul had the largest grass roots support base via the internet then any candidate in history. His Official Campaign Team failed miserably to capitalize on that: if they hadn't, he would have been untouchable.

But Paul and his Campaign Team didn't understand the depth, size or power of that movement any more than the mainstream press did. The mainstream press paid attention to Dr. Paul for one week, asking "where is all of this coming from?" And when he repeatedly answered "I don't know." The mainstream media then had full license to twist the truth, later giving credit to Barack Obama for having an amazing internet base.

Without direction from the Paul Campaign and with the constant, organized, and intentional negative portrayal of Paul by the press, his grass-roots movement became discouraged and fell apart while the average big-media informed Americans just wrote him off as a kook; as planned.

The one opportunity to REALLY change America and open a SERIOUS dialogue on our place in the world today wasted, and then crushed.

So what do we have forward to look to in November? John McCain, a third rate politician-as-usual Republican candidate, who is so in the middle of the road on most issues, he's in danger of getting run over.

Hillary Clinton: the poster child for not big, but HUGE government. And we really don't know how HUGE or what else she will try to accomplish since she has a largely secret 30 year old agenda for America, unless she is elected.

And finally, Barack Obama, flag lapel pin on one day, off the next, on the next day. We really don't know what he will propose as President except bigger Government since we don't know if his campaign platform is real or not, and we don't know if he's up to or can grow into the role of President of the United States.

And what does that mean for America? A continued slide into Second-World status. A bi-lingual, balkanized, "diversified" country where your personal heritage is more important than your American heritage.

A bigger and bigger divide between the poor and the rich, with the middle-class being all but eliminated.

And with oil prices skyrocketing, the dollar sliding to new lows constantly against the Euro and other currencies, China and Europe owning most of our debt and our dependence on them to keep buying our Bonds for us to survive.

Our accelerating transformation into a service-based economy, we are destined to be the county others will outsource their call centers and cheap labor needs to. And if we try to flex our muscles again, the before mentioned will stop buying our bonds and we'll go bankrupt almost immediately, considering a half trillion dollar deficit that keeps growing.

If they can clean up their history of corruption and get their act together, look to China as being the Superpower of the 22nd century and the focus for new technology and ideas shifting from America to Japan and South Korea.

But we'll still have over a thousand rusting but hopefully function nuclear weapons which should give us some security. And our Grand-children, if not our children, will be able to say "Would you like fries with that?" in Spanish and English.

Won't we all be proud to be Americans? Will there be a 2nd American Revolution? I doubt it. We don't teach history anymore, not unless it's been re-written to portray our ancestors as the bad guys, so by then, few will even factually remember the 1st American Revolution.

I wonder what derogatory names they will call the illegal American aliens slipping over the border into Canada?

So Obama, Clinton, or McCain: will it make any real difference? All the really important decisions will be made in Corporate Board Rooms and Editorial Staff Meetings.

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Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"