Wednesday, June 17, 2015

'Making History!' Versus 'What Are You Gonna Do As President To Help Make My Life Better?'

'I voted for the First Black President and the First Woman President!
'Way!' Not way!'
In 2008, many Americans faced this choice when they voted for President of these United States:
  • Vote for a perceived third term of George Bush 43 in the form of Republican Presidential candidate John McCain with the attendant baggage of the Iraq War and pending economic implosion; or
  • Vote for a fresh young face in the form of then-Senator Barack Obama who also gave them the chance to 'make history' by voting for 'America's First Black President'.

They chose the latter. Twice.  Even though Bill Clinton still insists that he was the First Black President for some reason.

Many people both young and old knew very little about Barack Obama. We still know very little about him relative to the living autopsies we have been forced to watch when Mitt Romney ran for President or virtually every other major candidate ran for the Nation's Highest Office.

Just watch how the press will dig into Donald Trump's kindergarten records or Marco Rubio's driver's ed class records in high school. We will know more about Carly Fiorina's tutoring of football players at my former high school in Durham, North Carolina than we will ever know about Barack Obama's records in high school, for example.

Not many people knew the depth of his commitment to the government being the primary means of solving problems versus the private sector. Certainly no one understood that when he said he would 'get American troops out of Iraq' that he meant 'for good', regardless of whether the Muslim Brotherhood and The ISIS Empire would raise their ugly heads.

Hardly anyone young we know asked the serious political question everyone should ask themselves before voting in any presidential election:

'What is this Presidential candidate going to do for me if I help get him/her elected by giving them my precious vote?'

Go ahead. You are free to be selfish and think about your own personal circumstances for a moment. There is nothing in the Constitution against you dreaming about fulfilling your own potential and destiny as much and as far as you want. You can share all of your riches and new found wealth down the road with others like Bill Gates has done through his foundations. Or you don't have to if you want to do something else with your money such as save it, invest it or just blow it.

If you are not going to become the next Bill Gates or Steven Jobs, you still have the freedom to vote for people who will not over-burden you and your business with taxes and regulations to the point that the life is choked out of both.

Let's face the truth of the matter: If you knew for sure ahead of time that a certain candidate would NOT be able to help create the political and economic conditions to support a booming economy so you could get a good, high-paying job; help keep gas prices low; keep us safe from invading marauders or make progress on solving the big problems of our times, no matter how 'historic' their election might be, would you vote for that candidate anyway?

Is it so important to you that you would cast a symbolic vote for the first black president or the first woman president or the first rotund president or the first ambidextrous dyslexic ADDHD transgender president just because you wanted to say you were part of 'making history' instead of doing what is right for you and your family?

Today, we are faced with another historical 'first': Hillary Clinton who has declared it is time for Americans to set another 'historical first' in the span of 8 years of American history by electing the 'First Woman President!'

We have had some great transcendent presidents: Lincoln, FDR and Reagan usually come to mind first in such discussions. We have had some close to great presidents, some for what they did before they became president even though the grind of the office tarnished their star some: Jefferson, Madison, Eisenhower come to mind.

We have had more than our fair share of terrible Presidents, that is for sure. The run from 1837 to 1859 was particularly dismal from Martin Van Buren to William Henry Harrison (who died within a month of being inaugurated); John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and then whom most historians consider to be absolutely the worst President in American history, James Buchanan. All one-termers. For very good reasons.

Mr. Buchanan left a note in the desk in the Oval Office to be opened by the new President, Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861 which read: "If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man."

This from a man who did next to nothing to avert the coming scourge of war, or much of anything else truth be told.

Where will history rank Barack Obama not just as the First American Black President but just as an 'American President'? If Hillary Clinton is elected, will she be remembered pretty much as the 'First American Woman President' or as the 'Successful American President who led us out of this sluggish economy, restored peace through strength throughout the Middle East and the world and led to solutions on the federal budget, deficits, national debt, climate change and everything else that has not been solved over the past 15 years at the very least?'

It makes a profound difference, you know. You either are going to elect someone who can help get this economy turned around so you can find the job of your dreams if you are a young person....or you are not. If you vote for the 'first' of anything and they fail to deliver in terms of helping you get to where you want to be in your life and career, then is voting for 'history's sake' all that it is cracked up to be?

We thought it might be interesting to listen in to the conversation of two 38-year old guys in 2024. Both voted for Barack Obama to be The First Black President in 2008 and then one of them voted for Hillary Clinton to be the First Woman President in 2016.

Assuming that the economy stays as stagnant as it has been for the past 6 years, (The Fed just announced they are not raising interest rates and have lowered growth targets for 2015 to 1.8% down from 2.7%) ; the national federal debt has exploded to $30 trillion and engendered double-digit inflation again, entitlements consume 100% of all incoming revenue of any sort and America is still 'leading from behind' in the Middle East as it is today, their conversation in 2024 might be pretty interesting.

We are assuming, of course, that Hillary Clinton will not run against President Obama's policies in any way. Mostly because she was there for the implementation of all of them from the failed stimulus packages to the 'Cash for Clunkers' program to the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and, of course, the passage of Obamacare that 'promised' to reduce the costs of the average American family by $2500 per year.

She has to agree with all of them or else she will be campaigning against herself in 2016, won't she? Just as John McCain had to lug around the baggage of the Bush 43 White House years, so too will Hillary Clinton have to tote the baggage of the Obama White House years.

Anyway, here's the conversation of these 2 guys in a basement somewhere:

Garth: 'How you doin', man? Scored any new jobs lately?'

Wayne: 'No, not really man. I have had a few interviews but nothing really substantial has turned up yet'.

Garth: 'You've been saying that since you graduated from State Tech in 2008, man! What the heck is going on?'

Wayne: 'Well, you know, as soon as I graduated, that damned Great Recession that George Bush 43 and the Republicans caused wiped out the highly-paid IT job I was supposed to get in one of the major banks in Charlotte. Those Twin Towers of Wachovia and Bank of America melted into the pavement of Tryon Street and with it went my degree and chance to success'

Garth: 'I remember Wachovia. Barely. But that was a long time ago, man! That was 16 years ago! That is almost as long as it took for you to get born and graduate from college!'

Wayne: 'Yes it was, man. But I felt pretty good about voting for Barack Obama, whom you will remember was The First Black American President, you know.'

Garth: 'But his policies didn't work! Look at yourself! You are still living in your parent's basement and you haven't had a job with a company for any length of time so you could get any benefits yet!'

Wayne: 'Yes they did, you moron! It was just that the Republicans had screwed things up so badly under W with their 'trickle-down economics' and giving tax cuts to the rich and bailing out the Big Banks and all that that President Obama's policies didn't have a really good chance to work, you know?'

Garth: 'Well, what did you do after that?'

Wayne: 'Well, my parents were pretty nice to me and let me hang out here in the basement, at least while I was trying to get things settled under my feet you know. I kept interviewing but there just were no really great jobs out there. And then the mean old Republicans cut back on the number of weeks I could receive unemployment which really ticked me off.'

Garth: 'And what did you do then?'

Wayne: 'I went on disability for awhile just to make ends meet, you know, and then I went back to community college to get another degree, this time in solar power mechanics'

Garth: 'That sounds pretty cool, man. How did that work out?'

Wayne: 'Not so well. The Republicans around the country all canceled the solar power tax credits in their states despite Obama pushing for them at the federal level and that industry went kaput just like that'

Garth: 'Well, you live by the sword; you die by the sword, know what I mean? Didja vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016?'

Wayne: 'Of course I did! She became the First American Female President you know!'

Garth: 'Yep, I do know that. How did that work out for ya?'

Wayne: 'Well, she tried to get another stimulus package through, just like Obama did, this time to build high speed monorails all over the country but the mean old Republicans didn't approve of that either so nothing happened on that front. She vetoed every tax cut/job stimulus plan put forth by the Republicans for 8 years so essentially nothing really happened to help me out, bro!'

Garth: 'Did she work with the Republicans in the House or the Senate?'

Wayne: 'What am I, a flipping talking head on EmbedNUrHead TV nowadays? All I know is that she said she would veto every Republican idea that would allow rich people to make more money with tax cuts; the people of the peaceful ISIS Empire in the Middle East needed to be protected against nuclear aggression and proliferation on the part of Israel and she would never change one thing in the 'Grand Society' entitlement programs which used to be 3 programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.'

Garth: 'Which she didn't! Now 100% of every tax dollar that comes into Washington as income, payroll, corporate, excise, death or internet taxes goes to cover just those 3 programs in the Grand Society: SS, Medicare and Medicaid!'

Wayne: 'Hey, man! You sound like you know what the heck you are talking about! What are you doing nowadays, Garth?'

Garth: 'I became a Republican consultant and lobbyist a long time ago, Wayne. I figured there would be plenty of opportunities to help get Republicans elected running against the policies of Obama and then Hillary and I was right: 45 states now have Republican Governors and Republican control of both houses in the state legislature'

Wayne: 'Do you have a good salary and fringe benefits?'

Garth: 'Wayne, in the real world, you eat what you kill. I have clients all over the place and they pay me to do work for them. I pay more than my share of taxes in my humble opinion but yes, I have a good job with a good income. I bought a house and put away some money for retirement. My first son is going off to college in a couple of years but we set aside a 529 plan for him when he was born and bought some Google stock that will basically pay for his 4 years at a private university.'

Wayne: 'What happened to you, Garth?'

Garth: 'I grew up I guess, Wayne. I guess I just grew up'

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