This coming Presidential Election is probably the most important and significant election in our lifetime. This is not a beauty contest! Whoever wins the election will set the direction of this country for the next twenty years. At this point in time, there should be NO undecided voters! If they are, then they are, then they have been living on some island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in a coma for the past decade! The choice is whether we continue into the Twenty First Century or do we go back to the Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century! Although the Economy is forefront in the mix, but we are a divided nation and the real debate is not only on the Economy but also on Social Issues.
If anyone has looked at the projected map of electoral states, what does it remind you of? Take a look ant any American History book and you will see nearly the same may that preceded the American Civil War. That’s how important this election is! In fact, we are facing some of the very same issues that faced the American Public in the Election of 1860. That question is what is the role in government in our respective lives. In 1860, one question was do we become an industrial or an agrarian nation? We have answered that one, but we have never truly dealt with the underlying differences that brought about the Civil War. We have avoided this dividing question, but the Depression in which we find ourselves has finally has brought it to life. Hard times have nearly always brought out the internal problems of every nation. Germany is the perfect example. Having nearly won the First World War, the American entry in 1917 turned the tide and they lost. Mired in debt and depression throughout the struggling Weimar Republic in the 1920s, they elected Adolph Hitler in 1933. In a brief fifteen-year period, one of the most liberal nations in Europe became totally reactionary and threated the world with destruction. Many Germans didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. By then the course of self-destruction was set and the world was turned upside down.
I may be overstating the situation, but Germany in the Twentieth Century is an excellent example of my argument. My point is that when times are tough, we may seek different paths to follow. The Republican Party has chosen to move to the Right, even further than Barry Goldwater and the Conservatives of the 1960s. I know! I was one of them! They believe that government has no place in the marketplace and that it is a hindrance to economic growth. They follow the Adam Smith belief in Economics: that left alone, a Free Market Economy is the only way to right the ship. The Crash of 2008 is a result of removing regulations! However, a Free Market Economy is the best of all worlds. It just needs a watchful eye, whether it be the government or Labor. On Social Issues, however, the Republican Platform would move us back nearly one hundred years on the topics of abortion, gay rights, the status of women and health care. All of these topics have been hashed out over decades, as it is not the first time that we have dealt with them. The United States has a long history of Social Conservatism. Those beliefs were brought over by many of the founders of this nation. Puritans settled in New England. Quakers settled in the Mid-Atlantic States. These beliefs are held deeply in those “Red” states, which political pundits have named for the Republican Party. These beliefs are a part of our legacy and should not be brushed aside as “old-fashioned” or “out of touch.” They are widely held and the Republican Party has embraced them into their political platform.
The Democratic Party is and has been a coalition of Moderate to Liberal politics and as acted as an umbrella for those who look outwardly for new solutions to old problems. They follow in some fashion, the economics of John Maynard Keynes, whose “General Theory” believed that government can play a role in growing the Economy. Unlike many nations in Europe and elsewhere, Keynesian Economics have not played a major role in the United States. Democrats, like Republicans, believe in a Free Market Economy. Unlike the Republicans, Democrats look more for government investment in the Economy and with the recent “Economic Crash” of 2008, believe in tighter regulations on financial institutions and large corporations. Nothing in our lifetime has brought attention to the misdeeds of Wall Street than what we have experienced over the past five years. We are in uncharted territory, as the Depression of the 1930s did not have to deal with a World Economy. Seeking the right path is not unique to the United States, as the Europe struggles with the same problem, as do much of world economies. On Social Issues, the Democratic Party has led with legislation regarding gay rights, the status of women and health care. They concur with the Supreme Court in their “Roe vs. Wade” Decision to allow abortion. Their platform assures that the above issues will remain intact and that other issues such as child-care, education, the poor and disabled will dealt with. Democrats hold a different value to the “Social Conscience” of America, than many Republicans, who believe that we have an equal opportunity and we are responsible for ourselves and should be self-reliant. Democrats believe, in general, that we have an obligation help those who, for many legitimate reasons, cannot help themselves.
So now it’s up to you, the voter to decide which side of the fence you’re on! It is my opinion that the Republican road could begin to take us back into the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century, or at best, placed right back to where we were just before the Crash of 2008! We’ve been there and most of us do not like it and do not want to go back! The Democratic road will take us into the Twenty-First Century, with most of the other nations, as we try to find our way out of this Depression into the unknown future. What is at stake is not only our future, but those of our children and grandchildren. All of us want to leave the World a better place than we found it in when we were born. The choice is yours!
Bill Maher on voting for Romney!
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