Tuesday, September 18, 2012
"Are You Better Off?"
I. I have always found the premise of the politicized question "Are you better off now than four years ago?" in very poor taste. The suggestion that we should vote based on how well we personally are doing financially under a particular president is a politics-by-fear and an appeal to personal greed that should have no place in a healthy republic. Where is the more noble call, "Ask not what my country can do for me, as why I can do for my country..."?
The question ("are you better off...?") was famously asked by Reagan in 1980, beginning his years of popularity by calling upon fear and greed. Poor form. Cheap politics.
II. Nonetheless, on a more holistic scale, it can be a reasonable question - are we heading generally in a better direction now than four years ago? It is not a question that I think the GOP really wants to raise, though.
III. For me and many, many others, that question is EASILY answered. No matter how disappointed we may be in many directions Obama has gone, there is no contest. The direction the GOP and George Bush were leading us in was an historically disastrous direction. We are infinitely better off now than four years ago. Light years.
There is no question, no contest, no doubt: Yes, I and we are better off now than four years ago.
IV. We can see that we're better off now in the hints by Romney/Ryan of the direction they'd like to take us in - the direction BACK to the Bush year policies.
For instance, Ryan and Romney (probably the better clarification of the direction of this team) have stated that Obama is not doing "enough" and is not "strong enough" a leader when it comes to foreign policy. What are they suggesting they'd do instead? Invade more nations under questionable pretenses? Spend even greater amounts - hundreds of billions dollars more? - in a never-ending war against the rest of the world-as-national defense?
No thank you. We've gone that route and it costs dearly and we quite frankly doubt the efficacy of foreign policy by bomb.
V. We see in Romney's just released comments about the so-called "dependent" and "thoughtless-ness" 47% of "victims..." Romney's contempt for the poor and middle class and, well, those who disagree with him and the GOP.
"I'll never convince them (the 47%) they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives... What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful." Romney said.
Oh, really? We're a bunch of leeches living off the gov't teat that won't take responsibility for our lives? We're not thoughtful?
We, the people are TIRED of these politics of demonization and demagoguery. We're tired of the Dems engaging in it and we're tired of the GOP engaging in it. Those who disagree with me are not mindless, they are not worthless, they are not evil. We disagree. Let it go at that.
Yes, I think we are solidly better off now than four years ago and I don't see any suggestion that Ryan/Romney want to take us any direction but backwards. We, the thoughtless and dependent, think we're doing better, thank you very much.