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Yesterday was both historic and a potentially globally changing event. The voting public of these United States stood up in outright opposition of President Obama's policies and agenda, in what I believe not to be based on what has actually occurred and will ultimately help millions of people in the long term, but instead based on the selfishness and "right now" mindset of how Americans think.
Many of you reading this are wondering what the hell I'm talking about so let me explain.
Here in the USA we live day by day, as most everyone does throughout the world, but instead of considering the long term country and global implications of our actions and policies, we are instead concerned with our own tiny world. Why has a family member lost his/her job? Why can't I get a loan from these banks that our new President bailed out with our tax dollars? Why should I want to be involved in a new health care system to help the less fortunate and/or sick when I'm not sick nor less fortunate? We ask these kinds of questions to ourselves and instead of thinking rationally for the greater good, we blame the man who is thinking rationally for the long term.
Yesterday the American voters made history once again by turning out to vote, in very low numbers but obviously primarily on the Republican side, to divide the House, Senate, and Executive branches of our government. Because of these selfish beliefs, that we are all guilty of at least once in a while, we have essentially stalled any further progress in this country for at least the next two years. Does anyone out there really believe that the Republicans will all of a sudden learn to negotiate with the Democrats? I certainly hope not because it's not going to happen.
Over the past two years we have seen a President and a Congress, both Democratically held, that continued to try to work with Republicans at every turn. For those of us on the left this was a very frustrating experience. I strongly believe that yesterday wouldn't have happened as it did if the Democrats forgot about trying to work in a bi-partisan fashion, and instead remembered that the people elected them, in record numbers, to go in and change Washington. Instead of holding true to their beliefs on important legislation, the Democrats ended up with watered down bills that included the same old earmarks the people didn't want. We wanted real change and we didn't get it. However, that's not really the entire story is it?
What we did get was pretty amazing if you look back at the last two years of Obama's presidency. We did receive healthcare reform that will do some real good. We did receive financial reform that will protect investors, including credit card legislation that we will all end up benefiting from whether we realize it or not. We did receive unemployment extensions that helped millions of American citizens, and continue to do so today. We did bail out an auto industry and financial system that would have collapsed the entire economy to far worse conditions than we see today if we had not acted. Oh and by the way, for those of you not keeping count, we received most all of the money back from these institutions.
I could go on and on but the bottom line is that none of these items, with the obvious exception of the unemployment benefits, directly addressed our selfish thoughts. The public only saw it as government spending once again out of control. The small businesses saw it as saving the giants but not the little guy whose restaurant or furniture store didn't survive. None of these bills put more money in our pockets, right? What about the tax cuts that so many small businesses and families received? The problem? The Democrats didn't tell you about it and brag of their accomplishments so the public doesn't know about it.
OK, so let's stop looking at what has already transpired over the last two years, and instead let's begin to look at what this country, unknowingly I believe, just did.
We have elected a group of people who have stated emphatically that they want to repeal our new healthcare reform policies. Who cares about the sick and/or less fortunate right? Those same people want to focus on reducing the deficit while at the same time extending tax cuts for the richest one percent of the population. How can this be possible? Easy, cut spending across the board, except of course for their own programs and the defense budget. Does this put any more money into your pocket? NO! Don't be fooled. In no way does any of this help you as a citizen of this great country. In fact, it gets much worse.
Ask your self what the quickest way out of any economic crisis is. Give up? GOING TO WAR. Read those three words very carefully because this is exactly what you are going to see happen in the years to come. Sure, we're always in some war or another but this is likely to be way more serious than you can imagine.
Here's how I see it going down.
We all know that big corporations are in the Republicans' back pockets right? Well, since the Supreme Court, in their infinite wisdom, allowed big corporations to donate unlimited sums of money to a campaign, the Republicans will have much farther reaching dollars than any Democrat. Although as CA's election of Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman proved that dollars alone can't buy an election, you can rest assured that it won't hurt anything.
The Republicans will spend the next two years of Obama's presidency stalling at every turn and holding up policy decisions that absolutely need to be made, until such time as Obama caves in because he has no other choice. It's really going to come down to letting this country fail on all fronts, which of course will be viewed by the right as an Obama failure, or bending to the Republicans, which of course will be viewed by the left as an Obama failure. Either way the left is screwed.
After the next election we will of course see a Republican take over the Oval Office. NOW WE'RE IN REAL TROUBLE! The economy will still be horrible, unemployment will still be horrible, and nothing will have changed. So, I foresee the next Republican president immediately figuring out a way to get us into the biggest world war this planet has ever seen, in order to "save us" from our economic situation. Bear in mind that it certainly won't be marketed that way. It'll be sold to the public as the fight for freedom and our way of life that is being threatened by whoever and whatever they come up with. Make no mistake. If this occurs, beyond the obvious implications and horrors of war, it is most likely that the technology we will employ will destroy us all. The economy won't be saved, the world will be destroyed at our own hand, and guess what? The American voting public will have demanded it once again in record numbers.
We as educated and logical American citizens can stave this off. Let us not forget our history or we are doomed to repeat it. Let's concentrate on the greater good rather than our own selfish beliefs. The Tea Party keeps saying we want to "Take Back Our Country" so let's do exactly that. Let's return to the American values that we all hold near and dear. We cannot keep focusing on today without also focusing on tomorrow. Change takes time, but if we hold true to our core beliefs and make educated policy and leadership decisions, we can overcome this turmoil and see a new day where things are much better than they are right now. It doesn't happen overnight and it's hell going through it each and every day, but we can make it through.
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