Friday, September 17, 2010

As We Approach the Midterms, I'm Perplexed

As we move toward the 2010 mid-term elections, are you as perplexed as I am? I am referring to the candidates for major national office who have surfaced? I am also referring to the rationale that very conservative folks are using to support them. Put politics aside for a moment. Observe if you will, the quality, the depth, the nature, the values, the demeanor of some of these people. I do not think we would elect many of them PTA President in my town.

I have been looking through the UNC political photo archive collection of 20th century leaders in North Carolina. The stature and quality of the people who led our state and nation was impressive. Having watched the Tea Party develop over the past months, I am astounded. There are certainly some good, solid conservative candidates running for office, such as Nikki Haley in South Carolina. But I am referring to the recent emergence of Tea Party reactionaries such as the GOP candidate for governor in New York, and candidates for the U. S. Senate from places like Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada.

As I listen to the reasons given by those who support these people, I am similarly perplexed. They say it generally has to do with government spending and national debt. Just 10 short years ago, America had a huge surplus and strong economy as we transitioned from Clinton to Bush II. As this economy inevitably returns to strength and revenues increase as a result, and as we wind down senseless wars, get health care costs under control, and return the upper bracket tax rate to Clinton era rates, mainstream economists all are confident that we can return to a position of budget surpluses.

We are in a very deep, worldwide economic turn down and adjustment. The percentage of Americans in poverty is greater than ever. Unemployment is over 9%. This is hardly a time to pull back on spending and stimulus. All economists, accept the most conservative and fringe, recognize that economic stimulus is critical to helping America through this economic transition.

One thing is certain. All studies point to the fact that the changing demographics of America will not sustain a Republican Party/Tea Party as it is developing. A narrow, angry, Southern-based, white, ultra-conservative demographic does not fit, nor reflect, where America is, nor where it is going.

In my view, the Democratic Party set back in November will be a temporary dump-in-the-road. America will continue to maintain a strong and cooperative relationship between the public and private sectors. America will continue to be unique in it's ability and willingness to attend to all it's citizens, while free enterprise will continue to be the engine that drives us forward.

The world's economy, and certainly America's economy, is in transition, moving into what one author calls "the great reset", as we make quantum adjustment in terms of how we live, how we work, how we drive, how we consume, and how we interact with other nations. But my prediction is that America we not turn way from what made her great. Americans of good intent will continue to turn the ship of state, all so slowly, in the direction she was created it go.

As Bobby Kennedy once said, "few have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in total all of these acts will be written the history of our generation." May we observe closely what is going on around us, and help bend America toward her ideals.


  1. Are you not concerned about the debt we are throwing at your kids and possible grandkids? The National Debt has tripled in less than 2 years and there seems to be no stopping the spending.

    I see the problem as both parties have been too comfortable with our money.

    You are correct about a RESET. Our society has lasted longer than most throughout history. There are some who believe its time has come,

  2. Don, my position and concerns are stated clearly in the piece. Again, when the economy turns, wars end, Clinton-era upper tax bracket restored, and health care costs contained, the deficit will be contained. To try and balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and in a time of great economic stress is terribly ill-advised and wrong.


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