The State of the Union

So I took a sabbatical from politics to concentrate on putting the final edit on my novel. I also joined a writer’s group to spar short stories back and forth and see how creative we could get. And look what happened while I was away? Barack Obama is back in the White House. What the hell happened? Didn’t we, here, at Freedom Cocktail give you enough data to see that big government is a very poor way of governing? Perhaps we didn’t.

A funny thing happened after my last posting about September 11th. On that day in 2012, we had the United States Embassy in Libya put under siege. That snowballed into other U.S. embassies around the Middle East being attacked by disgruntled civilians. Or were they? Hillary Clinton didn’t seem to care to explore the motive when she said, “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” (Which, if we did explore the reason, might expose the American public to the fact that the U.S. has used and nurtured Muslim extremism even after 9/11).

Then, in November, Barack Obama was re-elected. When the Republican Party settled on Mitt Romeny as their candidate, I was certain Obama was going to win this. The Republican Party overlooking Ron Paul, again, and also thumbing it’s nose at Gary Johnson, made it clear they are not the party of small government they advertise themselves out to be. With their pick of Romney, I was sure Obama could stay home, not participate in any debates and not run any ads and still win. But Romney gave him a run for his money and by early October, I thought it really could go either way. Yet, in the end, Obama took the office. But he didn’t win it by a landslide. In fact, you have to go back to the 1984 election to find a major difference. (Reagan: 54,455,472; Mondale: 37,577,352). After that, it’s as if voters were flipping a coin. Take a look at the vote totals from 1988 on and you’ll see the results are so close, it’s as if voters see no difference at all between the candidates. But that’s because, to me, their really isn’t unless you entertain third party options.

So a few weeks before the November election, I was in my living room looking over my absentee ballot. And damn it, no Gary Johnson for President option! The Libertarian Party got screwed again and weren’t allowed on the Michigan ballot. I’ve voted LP since 1996 and haven’t looked back. What was I to do? Well I held my nose and had an affair on the Libertarian Party and marked in the oval for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But it wasn’t enough. Obama won anyhow. 2012 was the most expensive election in the history of elections (by some estimates, costing six billion) only to end up where we already were. If anything, this should tell you how government works. The next time you hear someone declare that we could have better schools or less violence or whatever if only the government spent more money, well…I digress.

Speaking of schools, on December 14, 2012, the Big One hit. And everyone went ape shit. Shortly after 9:30 AM that morning, Adam Peter Lanza, douche-bag extraordinaire, took his mother’s Bushmaster rifle and gunned down twenty first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary. This one choked me up. My son is a first-grader. And my wife is a pre-school teacher. So this was really close to home. But reason and logic always prevails after the tears. I don’t think teachers should be required to carry firearms but should have the option. A better solution would be to have armed security. Paper and coin are protected better than our children. In fact, how pitiful we actually advertise the vulnerability of our schools by posting signs that read “Gun Free Zone”. Might as well also read, “Psychos and Maniacs Welcome”.

The Libertarian Party released the best Tweet shortly after which read, “To the celebrities and politicians who are demanding stricter gun laws: how about first disarming your own bodyguards, as a show of faith?” Tru dat. The most secure individuals are always the first to argue that the common man has no need for an assault rifle. I’ve often wondered what a Holocaust survivor would say if they got some media time. Or these guys:

Gun-control-japanese

No need to reinvent the wheel or divulge into a pro-gun argument. I already did that. But I will make a quick addition to it. It’s been said that the Founding Fathers couldn’t envision the power of today’s firearms. I disagree. They were well aware that rocks gave way to swords which gave way to muskets and cannons. That was a larger leap than the musket to the Bushmaster. Yet despite their knowledge of the evolution of weaponry, the 2nd Amendment was created. Why? Again, not for hunters. Bearing arms has to do with securing your personal self defense and repelling invaders, domestic or foreign and; most importantly, repelling a tyrannical government should it arise.

Now we come to the State of the Union Address. Every time I hear a president deliver it, they start off by saying that the State of the Union is strong. And I always disagree.

My vision for America remains stuck in about the year 1800. Without government interference in every little detail of life (as it is now) look what happened. All the great revolutions and inventions from 1800 to 1900 were huge leaps in raising the standard of living for everyone, rich to poor. Yes, yes, I am aware slavery was still legal until the Civil War clarified things. It’s forever a black eye on my country. But note that in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution, it did end. I sometimes wonder if the Civil War had to be fought at all. The Industrial Revolution, which culminated in the 1840s, gave rise to energy and machinery that would have gone on to replace slave labor without need for a war.

In this year’s State of the Union Address, we were treated to more of the same. More government solutions to solve what prior government solutions couldn’t fix. These government programs are like a game of Opposite-Jenga. Keep adding and adding, piling and patching, until you can’t recognize the thing you started out with.

As an example, in the 2013 State of the Union Address, Obama said, “Already the Affordable Health Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further.” (emphasis added). So the AHCA wasn’t right the first time? Where does it end?

President Obama also proposed making high quality pre-school available to every child in America and raising the Minimum Wage and working to strengthen families, securing the Internet, etc. Apparently, there’s nothing the federal government shouldn’t be a part of. Obama said, “…the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades, by connecting more people to the global economy, by empowering women, by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed and power and educate themselves, by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths, and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach.” That, is pretty much everything. Yet in the beginning of the Address, he acknowledged, “The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue.” So which is it?

Let me be clear. I want all of this too. All classic liberals like myself do. We just see government getting in the way of achieving all this. Left to the free market, all of this would happen. But it’s clear from the Address that we’re going to continue down the path of government trip-ups and missteps.

President Obama also continues the Fencing-for-Dollars between the States. He proposed rewarding schools that develop partnerships with colleges and employers and “The States with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings receive federal support to help make it happen.” It makes no sense at all to be collecting money from the States only to have the States send their congressmen and women to Washington to try to get it back.

The most revealing part of the State of the Union Address was when Obama, in one sentence, pretty much told us that the Federal Government screws us. He said, “The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.” Yep, that’s exactly what keeps happening. I’m reminded of Michael Cloud’s Road Runner (free market) / Coyote (big government) analogy.

Again, we here at Freedom Cocktail want all the good things in life too. We are just certain that government solutions are no solutions at all. And with the re-election of Barack Obama and all the government interventions laid out in the State of the Union Address, it’s clear we here at Freedom Cocktail have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of convincing to do. Time to get started.

And now for a game of Pictures That Make Democrats Whine. My kids are ready if we’re ever invaded. See?

willowrun379

Pic courtesy of the British 9th Parachute Battalion.

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