Friday, June 22, 2012

Any Change is for the Better and Other Disasters

Only 6 more days until I turn 63. My, my, where does the time go?

When I look back on my life, I see a series of choices I've made, both good and bad. Those are the things that have gotten me where I am now. Of course, I make decisions every day. And I make mistakes every day, but not all of my mistakes have been the result of bad decision making. I don't worry about those. I worry about the things I did when I should have known better.

Barring the bad choices I have made while under the influence of alcohol (pretty much all of them) or an excess of testosterone (pretty much all of those, too), the worst choices I have made have come about as a result of anger, frustration, or hopelessness. Any of those things can put you in a frame of mind where you think that any change from where you are right now is going to be for the better. Now that I'm older and wiser, I've learned to avoid making decisions of consequence when I feel that way (although I have broken a few pieces of furniture occasionally).

We have a situation in this country. A lot of people are angry, frustrated, and feeling hopeless. The economy is in the toilet and nobody is making a serious effort to fish it out. And a national election is approaching. We are on the brink of a decision, and I fear that a lot of people are going to make a bad choice. The Democrats are merely feckless. President Obama is a likable fellow, but he's proven himself to be no FDR. Romney, on the other hand...

My parents were Republicans and I'm good with that. When I was a little kid, this guy:

was our President. "I Like Ike" was his campaign slogan, and you know what? I liked him. I still like him. I, a registered Democrat, am proud to say I believe Ike was one of the best presidents of the 20th Century. Sure, he screwed some things up. Like Iran, for instance. But for the most part, he was a friend to common Americans, one of the best friends science and education ever had, and the author of this:
I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
 I believe that if I went through some kind of Twilight Zone time warp, and suddenly found myself standing in my father's shoes, in a voting booth in 1952, I would mark my ballot just as he did.

Romney, on the other hand, is no Ike. He's no Reagan, either. If anything, he's the new Nixon: a failed former candidate with no principles, no conscience, and no regard for the responsibilities of the Office he wants so very, very badly. But that's not the worst of it. Romney stands at the front (if not at the head) of a political party that has gone off the rails. The party of Lincoln, Ike, and Reagan is now the party of Norquist, Limbaugh, and the Koch brothers. It is under total control of right-wing lunatics, and it is poised to take total control of the Federal Government.

I just hope that there are enough angry, frustrated, and hopeless voters out there who are nonetheless wise enough to understand that change is not necessarily good. Especially not now.

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