Thursday, November 08, 2012

Past, Present and Future

Well, I'm back from my travels, and yes, Tommy, we did 'get out of dodge' because we couldn't take election politics anymore.

But, as you said, it's over now and I am back with a few thoughts.  I had hoped Romney could pull it out but am not surprised he didn't. Consider his history in that department.  He couldn't wrest the nomination from McCain four years ago.  Had he learned from that he may have won, but as so many do, he surrounded himself with loyalists who did not serve him well.  I think his Mormonism was the least of his problems.  More that he never learned to connect with the people and didn't define himself before the opposition did. People had no idea what he was about until it was too late and even then for whatever reason he let opportunities to get the upper hand slip through his fingers.

As for we voters, we're certainly a mixed bag.  There are those of us who tried to look at the complete range of issues.  We are a definite minority.  Too many voted on single issues but we've become, in many ways, a single issue nation.  For some it's getting something free like a cell phone.  Others forgiveness of student loans.  Free birth control. Each special interest group was wooed with some specific. We are supposedly the land of the free but I don't think this is what the founding fathers had in mind.

In many ways I think the Republicans gave the election to Obama rather than Obama winning it. They had a weak field and weak candidates.  They are a party divided and I see no sign of that changing.  what was left of the Republican Party I once believed in and belonged to died with the Romney candidacy.  Moderates are no longer welcome. If the ultra conservative wing continues to insinuate themselves into how people conducttheir private lives they will alienate me even further - if that's possible.  At this point there is no party to which I can belong.

As for the next four years I see little changing.  The Congressional Democrats are already swaggering and threatening and claiming a mandate.  I don't think so.  The election was too close for that to wash.  Everything is status quo which means a weaker and weaker economy, more people out of work and health care in chaos.

The lack of a foreign policy remains.  Our adversaries now know who will be at the helm  and that the military will be weakened by budget cuts.  Pair that with a President who sees things as he wants them to be rather than as they really are encourages those adversaries to do as they will. Our people overseas, both military and civilian, have good reason to wonder if our government has their back as well do our allies.  To ignor the implications of our foreign policy or lack thereof is done at peril.

To me there is much more to being a strong leader than having celebrity status, an adequet golf game and NBA stars to play hoops with.  It's more than bashing the opposition and pandering to special interests. It's more than photo ops with a Republican governor or seeming more like 'us'.  One should be expected to actually produce results.  It no longer matters what was 'inherited'. Under new ideas, Obama's, if they were working, things would not be barely holding steady or continuing to decline.

Whether or not I'll see things differently as Obama moves forward with his agenda depends on whether or not he and his people are willing to work with those who represent the other half of the nation - those who did not vote for him.  It would require a complete change of character for a man not known for being interested.

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