February 6, 2010
Beyond Hope and ChangeBy Steve McCann
According to a recent Rasmussen poll (January 24), only 29% of Americans believe the country is on the right track. This loss of confidence is driven not only by the dire prospects of the debt time bomb and the economic and security devastation that would bring, but by the fear of government intrusion into every aspect of daily life.
Trillion-dollar annual deficits, high unemployment rates, a bleak tomorrow for future generations, and unprecedented erosion in the public's trust of the nation's leaders are becoming the legacy of President Obama and his administration.
The Obama presidential campaign ran on and promoted the cynical slogan of "Hope and Change." This catchphrase was designed to appeal to both the basest and most optimistic parts of human instinct: the desire of something for nothing and a guarantee of a prosperous future without pain or strife.
Hope is often defined as a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen. Around that expectation was built a web of deceit made up of promises that could not be fulfilled and of soothing words meaning nothing but spoken in a calm, reassuring manner. The messenger, a cool yet accomplished reader of prepared speeches trading on his ethnicity and demeanor, became the first part of the equation to sell this deception to the electorate.
The balance of the strategy was to utilize the useful idiots at the once mainstream media to continue unabated with the demonization of the Bush Administration. The inability or deliberate abdication on the part of the Bush White House to aggressively counter the lies and innuendos made the task all the easier.
Coupled with the concerted efforts of the Democratic Party operatives and donors, it became an effortless undertaking to portray the United States as a country in disrepair, unfair and uncaring, and in need of an undefined "change."
Change has turned out to be a president and his policies driven by an adamant adherence and unwavering belief in big government/socialist ideology (which the vast majority of Americans oppose). Hope has evolved into a sense of foreboding for the future of the country.
The American people now awaken from decades of indifference; they have begun to cast their eyes toward solutions and the politicians that can provide and execute them. But no real problem-solving is possible unless the people can trust their representatives and have confidence in the future.
If the United States is to reclaim its position as the leading nation in the world, the electorate must be able to have faith in the integrity, honesty, and dedication of the politicians in Washington, D.C. and the various state capitals. The current well-placed cynicism by the electorate, further exacerbated by President Obama and the Congress, toward the government can be overcome only by a new generation of candidates willing to run for office in 2010 and 2012.
These candidates must be judged on their integrity, honesty, and hands-on experience in dealing with challenges. In turn, they must understand that the future of the country, as no time before in its history, rests in their hands. They must not be averse to propose, explain, and enact the harsh measures needed to reverse the present course the ship of state is sailing. Reelection and personal aggrandizement cannot be at the forefront of their thinking.
The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with citizen-legislators in mind. They knew that holding office for a lifetime or a career was anathema to the trust necessary between the citizen and the government. Difficult decisions cannot be made if allegiance to party or self rises above the best interest of the people.
Today, trust in our elected officials must be reestablished; then and only then can the public begin to have confidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That path must be based on shrinking of the size and scope of government, resulting in less dependence on the largess of Washington, D.C. and the state capitals.
The majority of the American people would be willing to endure the hardships necessary to bring unsustainable spending and debt into line if the path were clearly and equitably laid out before them.
More importantly, these steps would reestablish confidence in the future of the country and spur the economic engine that is capitalism.
By knowing that government policy, taxes, and regulations will be scaled back and the oppressive hand of Washington, D.C. withdrawn, the natural entrepreneurial drive of the American citizen will come to the fore. Small businesses and the job creation that comes from them will flourish.
The United States would again become attractive to new investment and venture capital, opening the door to new technology development thus creating jobs and industries.
By growing the economy, the revenue to the government would naturally increase, making the difficult withdrawal from uncontrolled government spending easier to tolerate. It would also move the country closer to a balanced budget in the near term.
Nothing is more important to the future of a nation than its citizenry having unbounded confidence that the years ahead will be better than the present. It is how the United States became the greatest country in the history of mankind. But confidence is a fragile thing, and it can be easily destroyed.
We are witnessing such wreckage today.
By deceiving the public as to his real agenda, ignoring virtually all his campaign promises, dealing with his cronies and contributors behind closed doors while rewarding their loyalty, and by his profligate spending, President Obama has done more to destroy faith in the future of the United States than any of his predecessors.
Instead of the cynical cereal-box slogan of "Hope and Change," we must promote and understand the indispensable need for "trust and confidence." If we do not, then the wrong track 71% of the people believe the country is on will never be corrected, and inevitable second-class world status for the United States will become a reality.