Beyond the Cusp

October 9, 2014

Why the United States Cannot Return to Greatness

You will hear how the United States will make a comeback and return to sane governance just as it did after President Jimmy Carter brought the nation to the brink of economic meltdown and had much of the public pessimistic to the point that the ‘Misery Index’ which had been used as a guide for politicians became a household word and was updated on many daily newscasts. Part of the reason that the United States recovered after President Carter was because they elected Ronald Reagan rather than trust President Carter a second term. President Obama was given a second term but there were some mitigating circumstances such as weak opposition by the Republican Party, the media almost taking a supportive position in backing the campaign of President Obama and foreign policy lapses had yet to prove disastrous and devolving to the threatening level it had with President Carter who faced a hostage crisis where Iran had held Fifty-two Embassy diplomats and citizens for 444 days, until President Reagan’s Inauguration Day. Had the foreign policy missteps by President Obama and his administration been made more evident before the election for his reelection, then he might have had a far more difficult time. Some may remember that the one area which Candidate Romney performed well was on foreign policy where President Obama made his best retort claiming when Romney answered that Russia was the United States number one adversary that, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for twenty years.” The clincher came not from President Obama but from the moderator Candy Crowley countered when Romney claimed that President Obama had not called the assault on the Consulate in Benghazi a terror attack and when Romney repeated his claim after President Obama challenged him to read the transcript and Crowley exclaimed with great authority and emphasis, “He did in fact call it an ‘act of terror.” That ended any challenge Romney might further make over Benghazi as he had been deflated and his argument flattened giving President Obama the impetus he needed to win that debate and escape any further claims on Benghazi, the subject had been poisoned.

Still, if anyone thinks that President Obama would not have received a far better bid for reelection than had Jimmy Carter no matter how the debates went or who he was running against obviously has no idea how almost completely President Reagan won that election, it was a virtually unanimous electoral vote except for the District of Columbia and Georgia, Minnesota, Maryland, Rhode Island, Hawaii and West Virginia. The electorate of the United States has witnessed a sea of change in the past ten years as certain critical demographics have changed with much of that change coming during President Obama’s time in office. Do not get this wrong, President George W. Bush made some huge influences which gave the changes an initial impetus which would have forced much of the change even without any additional shoves which they have received since. We need to remember that the prescription drug assistance granted to those who received government aided medical insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid very soon became the largest single government giveaway program. Sometime during the years when President Bush was in office the percentage of American citizens who were dependent on government at some level surpassed the fifty-percent fulcrum point where it had been theorized that their votes for increased government contributions to their pockets. This was predicted longer ago than many people are probably aware as it was said by Alexis de Tocqueville explaining the breaking point which would inevitable come and destroy the nation he saw as the most exemplary governance in existence when he stated, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

There was one Founding Father who foresaw and gave the resolution that would treat this eventuality when Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter upon receiving his copy of the Constitution in which Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” And earlier in the letter he commented on the frequency such watering the tree of liberty would require, he mentioned his view of the purity of purpose of the American Revolution and the necessity of the purifying fire of refreshment where he wrote, “And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.” Yes, that is what Thomas Jefferson predicted, that the government of men would so far run adrift from the founding principles that every twenty years the nation would require the reset of another revolution and the reinstatement of the Constitution anew. Well, perhaps Thomas Jefferson was wrong though a serious inspection of the governance of the United States over the years there have been the historians who have made a convincing argument that the twenty year measure may not have been as ridiculous as we might think. Even if the measure of twenty years may appear too drastic, would one offer the same argument should one suggest that perhaps a two century timeframe were the measure in place of twenty years?

Whatever the measure one might place, it matters not. The fulcrum point has been surpassed and the preponderance of weight of votes are now likely to be cast in favor of retaining the programs and expanding the payments and the loosening the requirements as the first grants greater funds into their pockets and the latter brings more people into the program thus guaranteeing its continuation and potentials for increased funding. Once we see evidence that the balance has gone to the side of those who receive more from the government than they pay in taxes of all varieties plus those who are dependent on government, state, federal, county, or other elected body for their salaries compared to those whose tax payments are greater than payments received from government programs, then as long as the former vote at an equal or greater percentage than the latter the government will continue to grant greater payments while increasing taxes as those paying the taxes will have been silenced at the ballot box. The predictions that this point was surpassed during the Presidency of George W. Bush may have been correct but when the line was crossed is not as important as whether it was crossed. The numbers of Americans who were collecting the majority of their funds from government; be they welfare, disability, salary or other forms of receipt of government payments; passed the tipping point by a sufficient margin that there may be no turning back. The demographics of the next Presidential election in the United States may prove just as important as who actually wins the election. Once the demographics are studied and become known we may be seeing numerous articles signaling the death of the America which so impressed Alexis de Tocqueville causing him to state as well as to give an ominous warning in the same quote with, “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” What would Mr. Tocqueville conclude visiting America’s churches and listening to the preaching within today? Would he surmise that the greatness persists or would he fear the empty pews and the generally milquetoast sermons and preaching just as empty as the pews signify the demise of American greatness?

Beyond the Cusp

March 30, 2014

Obama Care’s Obama Scare

Obama Care is, as the Democrats love to remind its opposition, now the law of the land. In the ramp-up to the release of this Obama Scare Monster the public was fed a steady stream of reassuring deceptions accented with exaggerated descriptions of attractive features. What was excluded from their sales pitch was the huge appetite this Monster would have for the United States tax dollars. The basic theme was to hide the voracious appetite and the long claws and drooling maw filled with sharp shredding teeth and accentuate the pretty outfit they had dressed up the Monster to place the public at ease. It was the classic case of selling one item and delivering another which would result in prosecution for consumer fraud if you or I used a similar sales technique. The one valid central truth which the public was told was that for Obama Care to work it would require near full enrolment by the youthful and healthy members of American society to enroll in order for care to be affordable for the healthcare industry to provide for the older and less healthy members of the population. This would be the main element which would transform Obama Care into the Obama Scare Monster terrifying and feeding on those most needing healthcare by denying them the necessary care for them to lead a comfortable and productive life.


Then came the fateful day when the cage was opened and the Obama Scare Monster was released on an anxious and waiting American public. The entrance was less than spectacular as the Obama Scare Monster timidly crept from its cage half way before scurrying back into its protective cave refusing to interact with the anxiously awaiting American public. All attempts to coax the Obama Scare Monster to come out and interact with the awaiting American public fell on deaf ears. Something was not operative in the interface, or so we were informed but that given a few tweaks and adjustments and the promised delivery would be a wonderful and spectacular as had been promised. Unfortunately for the administration, the Obama Scare Monster continued to be more timid than scary. It remained lethargic and uncommunicative taking long months before it even began to interact with the American public. And then came the worst of all possible news, the enrollment numbers were lagging dreadfully behind what had been projected and necessary. The people were not taking to the Obama Scare Monster. Apparently the people were not as enthralled and this meant that expectations would need to be lowered.


This began the manipulations of the Obama Scare Monster to lessen its threats and allow only the comely adornments to be presented to the public. First they gave exemptions to the loyal segments to offer them immunity and protection from the worst threats from the Obama Scare Monster. Next came the pushing off for a year the employer mandate which clipped back the mighty claws of the Obama Scare Monster. Even this was not sufficient and the Obama Scare Monster was beginning to turn on its handlers and snap at them repeatedly. Next came the delaying of the individual mandate placing a muzzle over the Obama Scare Monster’s razor sharp teeth muffling its bark and neutering its fearsome bite. Still the Obama Scare Monster was not readily accepted, especially by the healthy youth so necessary for its wellbeing. Soon all that could be neutralized through postponing the most fearsome attributed of the Obama Scare Monster leaving only the pretty dressings viewable by the public but still the people were wary of accepting what the administration was selling.


What will be the future of Obama Care? Will the Obama Care be a successful system or will it really become a fearsome Obama Scare Monster eating up trillions of dollars and bankrupting the American budgets? Will all the postponed features ever be enacted or will the Obama Scare Monster die before it is fully revealed? Perhaps the Obama Scare Monster was never really something which was supposed to be loosed as it never had any real teeth or claws but was simply a sweet pet disguised as a monster in order to scare the public into demanding the government save them and instead of the Obama Scare Monster to give them the sweet and purring healthcare system like the Europeans and Canadians have already implemented. That may be the real secret of Obama Care, that it was presented as a terrifying plan that posed to destroy the American healthcare industry while bankrupting the nation thus forcing the transformation of the greatest healthcare system the world had known into another identical single payer government healthcare system that lurches forward with increasing delays and slowed advancement of medical research and developments. Perhaps the entire idea was to scare the American public into accepting mediocrity in the guise of saving them from an even worse disaster which the Obama administration was threatening to release. The final question is will the American people acquiesce to this devilish plan or demand that government do whatever is required to restore the healthcare industry to its former glorious and proven level by undoing every bit of damage they have wielded. Time will tell but it is hoped that the Americans will demand exceptionalism even if their President refuses to recognize such himself.


Beyond the Cusp


October 26, 2013

Transforming America

One of the mantras used by President Obama during his first Hope and Change campaign was that he would basically transform America. He claimed that he would make the United States Constitution into a promise of positive liberties instead of a document of negative liberties which tied the hands of government instead of forcing government to act. President Obama did not likely realize this at the time but he was simply following in the footsteps of the majority of former Presidents, he was just more vocal and moved the ball across the field of play faster and further than most. There was a reason why the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in such a manner as to strictly define those powers allowed to the Federal Government and then adding in Amendment IX that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. In addition the Founding Fathers went even further in the next with Amendment X restraining the Federal Government exclaiming that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. One trait of governance that the Founding Fathers knew all too well was the inclination for government to desire to grow in scope, size, power, and control. Having government do more is an easy task, just don’t oppose it and government will acquire new powers and simply continue to gather more power to itself hoarding everything it takes in and never relenting on powers assumed. My bet is President Obama knew this and was counting on there being no resistance allowing him to grow government through including goodies in the form of giveaways spread to varied and different groups such that everybody would feel like they were getting something for nothing. That is where President Obama may have gone too far as he awakened within an otherwise normally quiet group the spark of preserving that which they vaguely, some more so than others, the warnings from the Founding Fathers and other notable Constitutionalists from throughout American history. Probably one of the most pessimistic predictions came from the same pen that wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson who has been quoted, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”


Another statement from President Obama was noting that people from every nation believes their home country to be exceptional and that American exceptionalism is no different than British or French or any other nation’s exceptionalism. There is much truth in that statement from President Obama as his actions in remaking the United States such that should he complete what he envisions for the United States, the United States would be indistinguishable from any European nation and would fit perfectly within the European Union and could just as readily adopt the Euro and drop the dollar. This would very probably be seen as a great stride forward by President Obama though there are a fair number of Americans who would recoil in horror from just the thought of such. Already the United States has approached the European national average for unemployment, is currently installing what will eventually become a single payer government run healthcare system, expect it to be sooner rather than later, and there are record numbers of people collecting a wide variety of Federal Government monetary payouts from numerous programs and the workforce has dropped to one of the lowest percentages of eligible workers in modern history. In foreign policy President Obama has gone to great lengths to make the United States as unremarkable as possible. He has almost completely lost any influence or other gains that may have been the result from the Afghan and Iraq wars by completely mishandling the peace efforts resulting in Iraq becoming just another arm under Iranian control and being used by Iran as a friendly skies and highways for funneling weapons and IRGC troops to Bashir al-Assad in Syria. Meanwhile the Taliban has become resurgent in Afghanistan while al-Qaeda has turned much of Iraq into a bomb range setting off car and truck bombs as well as suicide bombers detonating themselves often in police stations or at checkpoints making the position of Iraqi policeman an extremely dangerous position. The violence has risen to levels not seen since before the surge, which should have resulted in victory had the peace been handled more competently. The coup de grâce to the United States reputation of being the turn to nation and the exceptional friend in times of need came in two parts, the first in Benghazi and the second over the Red Line and Syria. In both cases the inability of the United States to either back their own and rescue men fighting valiantly for hours and still not receiving any relief or reinforcement despite numerous assets within close proximity was a disgrace that reflected badly on American armed forces despite that the real collapse was from somewhere much higher and the American servicemen and servicewomen were prevented from responding despite their readiness and willingness. Whomever originated the stand-down order should be shamed as well as tried for crimes against the nation and those who died valiantly trying to protect others as well as themselves and the American honor. The debacle that was the lack of response, direction, clarity, or any definition would be the response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In what should have been a ready response already been assigned to special forces units who would have then planned, practiced, and trained for every conceivable contingency just needing the go order to response as President Obama had threatened instead turned into the Keystone Cops meet the Three Stooges except nowhere near as amusing. The inaction, dithering, lack of leadership, and apparent vacuum of leadership from the very top was an embarrassment especially when Russian President Putin of all people had to ride to President Obama’s rescue. There was sufficient egg on Uncle Sam’s face to feed an entire battalion breakfast. The entire affair was a complete embarrassment period.


There is some good news that I saved to end. Much of what has dragged the United States down off her pedestal, a place she has earned numerous times by aiding and rescuing others and then giving them a helping hand in rebuilding or rescue or whatever the need without asking for anything in return has been the responsibility of the lack of honest leadership in the White House. When the United States elects a President who has it as their main effort to restore the reputation of the United States, then she will once again climb back on that pedestal. It is as the Carlie Daniels Band says it in their song, “In America”, “This lady may have stumbled but she ain’t never fell.” There have been times in American history when isolationism has been the policy and politics of the day but when the world needed a savior the United States always has awakened and saved the free world. The one hope is that the United States has recovered before the world comes calling to be saved another time. There is little doubt that the American people will be ready even if that day comes tomorrow and even if the leaders of the nation would prefer to sleep through and not respond, the people will make the final choice. What many do not realize is the greatness of the United States does not lie with the day-to-day leadership but rather it lies in the leadership, philosophies, and radical ideals upon which she was founded. Never before or since in the history of man has a more enlightened, knowledgeable, wise, and able group of people come together to form a nation based on the guarantee of human and individual rights, the noble nature and creation of the human being, freedoms, liberties and faith that there is a higher source which defines goodness and provides guidance for behaviors which allow for the betterment of the human condition. The Founding Fathers wrote the documents upon which America was built and that foundation was strong and can still be resurrected and applied today. The magic is that they wrote the entirety of these documents in what was plain language of the day and is easily understood still in modern times. They used a great efficiency of words, something our current politicians should learn to emulate and have no more multiple thousands of pages legislation written in legalese codes. Perhaps we can limit all future legislation to being in total less words than used in the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights combined. I wonder if the long winded fools currently in Congress could manage such a task, and I know there are a select few who do not fit that description, but it is unfortunately a select few and not the majority. That is the electorates’ fault and something that would require an educated and involved electorate which I have no idea how such can be brought forth. But there is always hope, but always ask what the change is when somebody links hopes to change.


Beyond the Cusp


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