Thoughts on Presidential Elections, the Housing Crisis, etc., or
Doesn't Anyone Else See the Obvious?
By John Ross
Copyright 2008 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.
These are astonishing times. I donít know where to start. Perhaps I should begin with some commentary directed at members of my own family who have long scratched their heads at some of my political leanings, such as my undying respect and admiration for Ronald Reagan.
Many people, including some members of my family, felt Reagan was an intellectual lightweight. He was a graduate of some little college in Illinois that no one had ever heard of. He was an amiable B-list leading man who made a movie (with a chimpanzee) called "Bedtime for Bonzo." To these people, and for those reasons, Reagan was a bad joke. Can you imagine a lightweight like this successfully dealing with Russia? They couldnít.
However, Reagan had one quality that to my mind trumped any embarrassing superficial past history: Ronald Reagan had an unshakeable belief in freedom and free-market capitalism. Reagan believed that the unchecked talent and ingenuity of Americans, individually and as a whole, was the greatest engine for growth and prosperity the world has ever seen.
He was right. And that one core value was so important to the prosperity of America that it didn't matter that he went to a no-name college, or liked to eat Jelly Beans, or that he called his wife "Mommy," or that he mispronounced certain words, or made a movie with a chimp.
Ronald Reagan, who had once been President of the Actorís Union, fired all the FAA air traffic controllers when they went on strike. Why? Because the contract says you donít strike the government. Bye-bye, ATC union. Weíve got plenty of military controllers that would like the jobs. As the Wall Street Journal put it at the time, if you think being an air traffic controller is overly stressful, try being unemployed...
The Russians saw this, and took notice. (What do you think Jimmy Carter would have done if heíd been faced with an ATC strike? Right.)
Reagan's belief in freedom, capitalism, and free markets was so strong that he called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire" for suppressing it, and called for them to tear down the Berlin Wall. And they did. And we won the Cold War without firing a single round of small arms ammunition, let alone fire a missile or drop a bomb. And to this day, my mother and some other members of my family only remember that Reagan went to a no-name college and made a movie with a chimp. They are currently swooning over Obama. He's handsome and he's (sometimes) articulate and he went to Harvard and he's pro-choice. That nutty Sarah Palin went to a no-name college and she doesn't believe in abortion and she thinks the universe was created less than 6000 years ago. And John McCain is too old. And besides, Republicans want to ban abortion and gay marriage.
There is no (electable) candidate that feels exactly as I do on every single issue, and there never will be. So Iíll articulate the three most important issues I have:
1. Personal Freedom. Gun rights are the bleeding edge of the spear on this one, as they are our ultimate guarantee on this issue. Minimal government intervention in free markets and minimal taxes across the board come close behind guns on the freedom front. Avoid Socialist policies.
2. Protection from foreign attack on U.S. soil. This includes not only intelligence issues and military defense but also drilling for oil on our own land instead of sending the people who want to kill us billions of dollars to use for that purpose.
3. Maintain the interstate highway system.
For my money, every other issue pales compared to these three. If you'll keep hate-filled religious fanatics from killing me, and let me make my own fortune in the world while traveling freely, Iíll be happy, and I think most of the rest of us can be, too.
Here are the hot-button issues for many people I know, and why they donít really matter:
1. Abortion. Abortion is NEVER going to be legally unavailable. NO ONE in a viable position of political power supports imprisoning women who have had abortions. So the worst that can happen is that abortions will cost more, because you may have to travel farther to get a safe, legal one. How many abortions might you need to have? Five in a lifetime? Ten? Ten trips to somewhere with safe, legal abortion doctors is a lot cheaper than losing most of what you have to Socialist fiscal policies or losing your life to terrorist attack. Get real.
2. Gay Marriage. Are you kidding? The people pushing gay marriage are divorce lawyers. Tattoo each otherís names on your boobs or butts and be done with it. Call yourselves "wife and wife" or "husband and husband" and worry about something important, like saving for retirement. Don't be so eager to have the government be part of your union. Youíll probably break up one day anyway, and you'll hate paying all those legal fees.
3. Education. Whether you want to have the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily, or teach Creationism, or are hell-bent on keeping the Ten Commandments out of the schools, you are wasting your energy. Public schools are a subversion of the free market, and you should avoid them like Plutonium. Home-school or pay for private schools. Your kids deserve to learn in a results-oriented environment, not the anti-learning cesspools run by the incompetent slugs in the Teacherís Unions looking to hang on to their overpaid jobs.
4. Social Security/Medicare. FDR set up a Ponzi scheme. Face that fact, and man up. Do you want to saddle your children and grandchildren with an even worse fate? I didnít think so. Assume you wonít see a dime of the money, plan accordingly, and quit whining.
Hereís my take on the candidates:
John McCain. FAR from ideal. Being a "Maverick" in his case means regularly embracing Socialist ideals. This should surprise no one. He spent his career in the military, which provides everything for you in a Socialist environment, then he married an heiress and went into politics on her family's money. I'd feel a whole lot better about him if instead of a POW he'd been a successful small businessman that had had to cope with government regulations.
Sarah Palin. She was a beauty queen who went to a no-name college, eschews abortion personally and wanted to see Creationism taught alongside Evolution. So what? She's the most pro-gun candidate we've ever had, believes in Capitalism, and understands the need to drill. She doesn't want to put women in jail for abortions or convert me to her religion, and I'll never send my children to any public schools, so what's the problem? Reagan in a skirt, anyone?
Barack Obama. Change? How is corrupt Chicago machine politics and tax-and-spend, big-government Socialism "change?" He's "written" two autobiographies but examples of any other writing are nonexistent. Almost no voting record, and what there is is very bad. Heís surrounded by people youíd never want anywhere near the government, and he wants to spend your money to "help others" while his own brother lives on a couple dollars a month in Africa and Barack doesn't do anything about it. An empty suit into which the people have poured their hopes. The Arabs are not going to give him the time of day, let alone their respect. Hates guns and any personal freedoms other than abortion. Jimmy Carter II, but in a MUCH more dangerous world. Be prepared to endure inflation and many more terrorist attacks. I'd say he was a sleeper agent, if I could figure out who might be running him. How the media is in the tank for him baffles me.
Joe Biden. A serial plagiarist whose near-constant gaffes show an utter lack of good judgment and should be an embarrassment to everyone. No fan of guns, freedom, or free markets. Next.
Free market capitalism lives and dies by results, as it should. If you owned a bank and had your own money at stake, you would never make mortgage loans with no money down to home buyers with no jobs or credit. You would know that these borrowers would all walk away in a real estate downturn, as they would have no equity at stake.
If politicians put a figurative gun to your head and told you theyíd fine you out of the business unless you made such loans, and they'd guarantee them, you'd reluctantly do what they wanted while realizing disaster was coming. Socialist Democrats are 100% to blame for this financial disaster, and about half of the people in the country are clamoring for more of it with Obama and his cronies.
Americans are innovative and resilient. Our world will not end because of an election. A little less than a decade ago, I lost over 80% of my annual income, I had a stroke that left my right side paralyzed, and my wife cashed out on me, all in the space of less than twelve months. I'm still around, and prospering once again. Seen in that light, I can't get too worked up about an election.
If Iran gets nukes, double digit inflation and unemployment return, and terrorists kill thousands (or millions) on our own soil, America will go on. And if those things happen, there might be a silver lining.
Maybe the electorate will come out of its mass delusion and we'll get another Reagan.
John Ross 10/24/2008
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Most of my suppliers have dried up.
(10:30 AM - 2:30 PM)
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S&W .500 John Ross