Sunday, July 20, 2008


When I was looking for Admiral Stockdale youtube videos spurred on by my good friend Brett McNeill, I watched Al Gore's opening statement in the 1992 VP debate.  And it was very is the statement paraphrased....this is 16 years ago in the fall of 1992......"We need a major change in this country, we have a healthcare crisis, an enviornmental crisis, we have an economic crisis.....we need a drastic change."     We are hearing the same stuff from the politicians of today...I am not naming names, and I am not criticizing any one politician.  It just got me thinking...."What is change?"  Reagan talked about it, so did Clinton, so did W.  And all three of them beat an incumbent...(Reagan and Clinton on the Economy, and W thanks to monica lewinsky...(remember it was only 500 votes in the end)   Also all three were clearly more likeable, dynamic, and charasmatic then their opponents.    Anyways, is change just a buzzword?  Do the more things change the more things stay the same?  Do cycles just happen through natural pendulum swings without politicians?   Are our lives really that much different depending on whether a republican or democrat gets into office?   

One definition of politics is "the study of who gets what, how much?  And at who's expense"     What will each one of you gain or lose depending on whether McCain or Obama is elected?    How will it personally effect your jobs?  Your quality of life?  Your family?  And to what degree?     



mark said...

Good question Gar. The more things change, the more they stay the same. In general, I am more cynical about the political process than when I was a fired up 18 year old who could vote for the first time in 1992. I am a conservative at heart, but I am much less thrilled about the Republican party now than I was 10 years ago. Alot of that has to do with how they have abused their power and expanded government and spending to crazy amounts, with our budeget and deficit out of whack.
As much as I might not like it, I think our country runs better with one party controlling the WH, and the other controlling Congress. That way, they are forced to compromise and move forward on issues and legislation instead of just yelling back and forth at each other.
That being said, I favor McCain in the WH, as Obama socially is too liberal for me.

dole2obama said...

This is a very good topic! I believe the change that Obama is talking about is changing the process of how we campaign and elect our officials. In 2004 80% of all television advertising was spent on negative ads. It was not O.K. to simply disagree with a candidate, you must actively hate and root against him or her. This system has worked just fine for both parties until the 08 primary . Republicans manipulated people by appropriating public unhappiness for their own ends. Republicans told people they were unhappy because Godless liberal traitors controlled the media and were actively trying to take down Jesus. On the other side, voters were told they must unseat the horned Republican beast. American political movements seem to have an us versus them mentality. Huge masses of the population have been organized into two rival groups, trained to hate each other intensely. But what is happening now is that many people are beginning to resent being lumped simplistically into shallow, media-created Crossfire-style categories of "left" and "right"; they are starting to distrust they very media that celebrates these distinctions. With the advent of talk radio and the Internet the ruling emotions are distrust and rage. Both political parties learned that the way to get elected was to break apart our identity as Americans and put us into camps of conservatives and liberals unable to imagine a productive future with each other. The 08 playbook was for Hillary to square off with Giuliani to whip up lunatic enthusiasms of hate. Of course, the thing about America is you never know. We have a history of rising to the occasion. Obama was able to beat Hillary with a POSITIVE message and McCain was able to win the nomination with Rush, O'Reilly, and Hannity actively rooting against him! So, maybe decency, humility, honesty and a positive outlook do have a place in politics. After the 1992 election, when I really believed our country was going to hell, I was bewildered with our eight years of success and prosperity. Did Rush lie to me? In 08 I am bewildered with our foreign policy, wondering why we are paying 5 bucks a gallon, and why my tax rate is higher than Warren Buffett. Will anything really change? Who knows? But many people are changing the dial to tune out the carnival barkers of fear and hate. BTW I hear Obama is really a "Muslim".......


I am reading a very interesting book called The Politics of Freedom by David Boaz. It is a very interesting read. One of the more profound things he says in this book is that liberals and conservatives have more in common than we might think. Both believe in government "magic." They want us to believe that the President can be Superman, Santa Claus and Mother Teresa all rolled into one. He goes on to say that magical thinking is cute among children but adults should know that the world is complicated and that legislative actions often fail or backfire. Having quoted that I believe that one needs to vote for the person who is most aligned with ones thinkings and beliefs. While Obamas speeches have inspired millions I feel that most of his supporters are not really sure what he stands for except platitudes of change or that he will be a uniter. I am not accusing any of the bloggers on this site so please do not take offense. I am merely stating my opinion on the issues at large. I have always leaned to the right. The Republicans hold more of my core beliefs than the Democrats ever have. One profound difference in the two parties have always jumped out at me. That being that the Republicans say "you can do and be whatever you want to be on your own" and the Democratics seem to feel that "you cannot do anything without their help", meaning the government. I have always felt that to be true when I look at the 2 parties. While John McCain is certainly not my first choice by any means I feel that he represents the "can do on my own" attitude of alot of the American people and does not believe in government hand outs which result in higher taxes. Simply said, John McCain will change my life less than if Obama is elected. On a side note.
I am not putting the spin on race because it really makes not difference to me what color, race or creed someone is but could someone please explain to me why the media is calling Obama the first black Presidential candidate?
His mother was white and his father black, right? So why call him black. Clueless in San Clemente. Love ya, Susan

Brett said...

Thanks for the post Gar.

First things first. Al Gore called and he is furious that you called W more charismatic than him.

Second, I hate to sound like a broken record (okay I don't really hate it), but I think our society is in love with the idea of change - so much so that they will follow change no matter which direction it goes. Yes, I think your pendulum question is dead on - people, constantly frustrated by the currently reality, cling to whoever promises change without actively considering what the change is. Lest someone one who shares your DNA and has his own blog think I mean that no one thinks about change - that is not what I mean. Of course they do - they listen and think, 'yeah that sounds good. More money for education, more affordable healthcare, better military, stricter borders, etc, etc, etc.' Each side uses their party line to promise they will fix things. But both sides have this in common - they keep promising MORE. In other words both sides are necessarily (currently) promising bigger government. This is what I don't think people are engaging with - 'should government do more?'
For the past 150 years we have continually given added more and more to the governments job description - we have been changing. But are we better off? We are (in many ways) less educated, poorer, more in debt, etc. Government has a very important job and can be a very good thing. But it is not the Messiah. Our founding fathers believed in limited government. Today both parties changing to expand government - just with different versions.
What I would love is a candidate who had a list of thing he wouldn't do for me rather than would. I would love to hear one person stand up and say, 'I am not going to provide your education, your health care or your retirement. I am not going to teach you how to go to the bathroom, eat a meal, have sex or get exercise. I am not going to redistrubute your income for you. I am not going to treat you like an incompetent moron. You might be one, but I am not going to treat you like one.'