It’s 5:15 a.m. on Day Lights Saving Time Sunday morning and my clock just fell back. In American politics, it feels like we are falling back in time also. Are we near a cultural Civil war and isn’t “civil” war the ultimate oxymoron. The one thing that is sure is that we need to have a better understanding of other’s points of view and the governmental process under which we function and live.
The Tea Party is a good place to start. By Tea Party, I mean the original Boston Tea Party. We have conveniently forgotten that the British taxes at the center of the debate were to recoup funds spent on the colonies’ defense during the French and Indian War. War and defense cost money. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t a protest inside the current form of government; it was an effort to overthrown the current form of government and some current protest today have the same thing in mind.
President Obama and most reasonable Americans know that the fundamental concerns of the Tea Party Movement are valid: federal spending and debt; size and role of government; and grow of entitlements. The nation would be better if all America “carried themselves” with a moral compass and a sense of shame as we did in the past. The government currently addresses problems that shouldn’t be problems at all. However, extremists on both ends of the political spectrum would ignore the U.S. Constitution and the foundation of this great nation.
It would be socialism if the government provided a nice house for every American. The government should provide a fair climate where every American has an opportunity to grow and prospers but if that doesn’t happen, you deal with the cards resulting from your actions or inactions. On the other hands, extremists on the far Right would interweave church and government for better moral fiber. Would America be better if we all followed a faith? Yes. But, the question becomes should the government mandate this faith and which one? As much as we respect them, the founding fathers at times goofed. Slavery is one obvious time and some believe that Christianity should have been the official faith with tolerance for other faiths.
We shouldn’t play with the intent of the founders or the foundation of this country. We are in a mini Civil War in the South base largely on energy policy and health care policy. President Carter was correct in the 1970s: we need a comprehensive energy policy to end our dependence on foreign oil. The Cap and Trade provision of the energy legislation passed by the U.S. House fueled the Tea Party protest. New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman has written several great books on our energy futures and we must make tough decisions and changes. Of course, the agriculture community gets my deference because we all must eat the food they grow but we must figure out farming methods that use less energy. The last Farm Bill promotes research on producing renewable energy.
I must be half asleep because I am about to type: the problem with President Obama. Okay Tea Party people here it is: We Obama supporters and President Obama himself know that some things could have been done better or differently. The same could be said about Bush 43 who I actually liked on some level. President Obama is real…straight real…too real. We elected him to implement big changes but the adoring crowds weren’t listening to the guy. He constantly said, “It won’t be easy…It’s won’t happen overnight….I can’t do it alone…we must do the hard part.”
As quiet as it is kept, Michelle Robinson Obama was raised in the model conservative family environment and if she starts speaking freely and sternly about how we are “carrying ourselves,” her importance in history might overshadow her husband. The residual benefit Sanford Bishop’s congressional service was always his positive image for the all kids. The Huxtables on the Cosby Show and the Obamas in the White House have the same benefit. The Georgia GOP botched the opportunity to have Dr. Deborah Honeycutt in Congress as a conservative example from a southern family but Mario Rubio and Austin Scott will be there to provide a fact-base form of conservatism that moves the nation forward with dialog rather than fear.
Obama’s The Audacity of Hope outlined problems and solutions with healthcare. He pointed out that preventive care that comes with having every American seeing a doctor regularly could save billions and fund changes. Obama was half right because what was also needed was far Right teeth. I don’t mean a dental plan; I mean public policy with teeth, bite or strong consequences. The kids in my family love their Uncle Teddy and their uninsured Uncle Teddy has made diet and exercise adjustments to stay under 240 pounds. A doctor would tell me that 260, 280 or 300 pounds would trigger health problems that require expensive treatment.
Wait a second; if the doctor and the healthcare plan told Uncle Teddy that buffets could lead to a certain point where expensive treatment would be self-funded or not administered, I basically dug my own grave and they should spend that money on a nice fat double-breasted suit for my funeral. It sounds cold but that is the reality of avoiding taxing or charging some people to pay for life choices of other. While we are working out on the tennis courts, cats drop by with triple cheese burgers in hand. “What’s up, man.” What’s up?…your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure…that’s what’s up.
These mini Civil Wars could be avoided if good conservatives worked with moderates sincerely. In the South, we often find those individuals who feel they are more American than others for some reason. I am proud that I had a dorm assignment at UGA and briefly attended grad school at UF (Go Gators) but I knew that I want to be at my HCBU to study from people who reminded us that we helped built this great nation for free while not free. We actually toiled in southern fields for over a hundred years before America was America in 1776. How difference is “go back to Africa” from “I want my country back.” President Obama likely thinks that we can all join hands and sing “This land is your land…this land is my land” but he did grow up in my dirty South so he doesn’t know that no one is giving up or shares money and power without a struggle.
Oops, I am flashing back to those revolutionary days of youth when radicals hit us with too much “knowledge and wisdom.” That stuff could come in measured dosages. From the Boston Tea Party to John Brown to George Wallace to the Black Panthers to the current Tea Party, Americans must remember that our opinions and plans must be coordinated within our framework of government and among all Americans. If the people decide to move slowly, not at all or in another direction, we must respect the process.
After the ballot drama Bush v. Gore, Democrats acknowledged President Bush as leader of this nation. When President Bush decided that military actions in Iraq rather than Afghanistan only was the course, I respected that jacked-up decision (Cheney lied to 43). Oh, but don’t let regular people elected Obama; folks start talking about second amendment remedies and secession.
Big corporations, unions and lobbyists are fueling these civil wars…pitting Americans against Americans. It is shame that some politicians on both sides think the objective for the next two years is winning the White House in 2012. The clear objective is to reduce federal spending while growing the economy and creating the climate for job creation while keeping us safe.
New members of the congress should put the best interest of the nation above partisan politics because the people in this fast internet age have no problem tossing those guys out every two years…work together.
I need to go because it is communion Sunday at church. Yes, Democrats and moderates go to church and try to practice what is preached during the rest of the week. During my lifetime, overhyped people killed folks while they were worshipping in church…be careful with that fun rhetoric because civil wars are nothing with which to play.
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