Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Undecideds

By Alan Caruba

We are now into the seemingly endless countdown until the November 6 elections and the agony of waiting is already wearing upon a vast portion of those people who know for whom the will vote. They have already made up their minds, leaving the outcome to a slim margin of those identified as either “undecideds” or “independents.”

These are the people who tend to forget your birthday and send a “belated” card to make amends, but it is always too late. They are likely the ones who file their income tax late despite months in which to prepare it. These are people who ignore parking tickets. They are not studiously studying the candidate’s positions on issues. They haven’t been paying any attention to them.

This election, like all elections, is deemed the most important one in the history of the nation, but despite electing some genuinely bad previous choices for President, there is an ominous quality to this election because the nation is dead broke and, curiously, arguing over whether to let Social Security and Medicare become insolvent in a few years or whether to keep the latest destruction of our health system, Obamacare. It is a piece of legislation that literally takes $700 billion from Medicare and includes some twenty hidden taxes.

So, yes, it really does matter who gets elected or reelected.

How America has managed to split so dramatically along partisan lines of division is something that I will leave to future historians to determine. We have spent the second part of the last century and first decade of this one swinging wildly back and forth between conservatives and liberals. The conservatives like Ronald Reagan were usually elected to clean up the mess left behind by liberals like Jimmy Carter.

Muddying the problem for conservative voters are men like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush who were nominally Republicans and conservatives, but who just as often left a legacy of a liberal expansion of government. In Nixon’s case, it is the horror of the Environmental Protection Agency and, in Bush43’s case, the failure of No Child Left Behind, the expansion of the federal government into the education sector; one that has been rendering generations of Americans ignorant of history, civics, math and science.

What makes this election so grotesque is the mind-boggling record of failure of the current incumbent, Barack Obama. He has literally imposed more debt on the nation than all the previous presidents combined! His “solutions” have been a string of costly failures. And his campaign is a series of lies and blunders that are setting new records for mendacity and deceit.

The wisest thing Lyndon Johnson did was to announce that he would not run for reelection in1968 after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. He had blundered so badly in escalating the war in Vietnam that he stepped aside. He was arguably the most liberal President, remembered for his “War on Poverty”, until the advent of Barack Obama, a Marxist who is likely to be remembered for his war on America.

The Republican Nixon replaced Johnson, promising that he had a “plan” to end the war, but it did not end until his second term. Then he was forced to end his second term by resigning over an insane effort to influence his reelection, Watergate. Why do I cite such matters of history—because Americans in general seem to have no memory of history even when it has been fairly recent.

So the nation now finds that its future is in the hands of a slim margin of voters who, we’re told by pollsters, are undecided. How can one be undecided about a President who has not solved unemployment for the past forty-two months?

# Who has waged war on Wall Street and Main Street.

# Who has waged war on the energy sector of the economy, coal, oil, and natural gas.

# Who has ignored the advice of his own commission on ways to turn around and save the economy.

# Who has engaged in the worst examples of crony capitalism, all of which resulted in the loss or waste of billions.

# Who now allows his surrogate super pacs to engage in the most scurrilous slanders of his opponents, claiming that they are literally murderers!

# Who lies about their efforts to save Social Security and Medicare, saying they intend to end these programs.

In the 1980s, Americans understood how poor Jimmy Carter’s term in office had been and turned to a sunny, optimistic, and unapologetic patriot, Ronald Reagan. One has to wonder if the current generations of voters—old and young—understand just what a disaster Barack Obama has been?

That is why we must endure more weeks and months until we learn the answer. For most voters, the decision has already been made. Some care deeply about the future. Others care more deeply about their welfare checks and food stamps in an economy driven into the ditch by politicians they have blindly supported.

America teeters on financial collapse and there are people who will vote for a man who is telling them that whatever success they have had in their lives is due entirely to a government that is too large, too intrusive, and a growing threat to their hopes and dreams.

It should be a no-brainer. It isn’t.

At times like this, I am reminded of John Adams, a Founding Father, who said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

It is an apt description of those who will vote to reelect Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


Bruce Mohns said...

That was so eloquently put it made a tear well up. I hope and PRAY the undecideds realize this very blog and bring us to a refreshing restart, just like we did in 1980. RIP Ronald Reagan.

Zamir said...

As an independent, I do take offense to some of your generalities. It could easily be argued that blindly signing up into either political camp is just as repulsive as the ignorant who don't pay any attention to the issues at hand. That being said, I understand your point and do not take what you say personally. Apparently as an independent, I also have no ability to vote in any of the primaries in this great state of Florida. So I get to sit and seethe and wait impatiently for the time of actual voting for the next President. My only consolation is that this time I am not in the military where my vote will not count..again. Oh, and regarding my income taxes, I always file as soon as possible so as to not forget about them. :)

Have a good day Alan, and hopefully the "undecideds" really are paying attention and swing this election away from the Grand Canyon we're all about to fall into.

Alan Caruba said...

Zamir, being an independent does not mean you have not made your choice, but that you have done it on the basis of merit, not blind loyalty to a party. I wish there were more like you.

Zamir said...

Aww, thanks Alan!

Sadly, I wish there were about 10 million more people that thought like me too, when it comes to elections at least. Having 10 million people thinking like me in general is downright creepy and scary. :)

Hugh Petersen said...

Great article, Alan. I have been saying basically the same thing for some time now to my wife & friends. I have heard that the number of true liberals in this country is in the low 20% range. If Obama now has approx. 50% of the vote, that means some 28 or so % are not paying attention. When the stakes are so high I find this outrageous.

William Claffey said...

Obama's $700 billion will still
be devoted to health care. There are to be tax credits to children and the non-elderly, money to fill the prescription donut hole for seniors, annual wellness exams and some cancer screenings.

The money remains in healthcare
but it is to be administered differently. Paul Ryan's Medicare
savings involve tax cuts.

There is scope for a valuable referendum on the role of the federal government in this country. But it is essential that both sides tell the truth.

Alan Caruba said...

@William. Who do you want deciding what medical care you receive? Your personal physician or some bureaucrat? Obamacare is a nightmare that will destroy what has been known as the finest health care system in the world. It doesn't work in England or in Canada. It doesn't work because it is socialism.

Free Forester said...

And so the sad drumbeat continues. First of all, the 'undecideds' are slim in number only because you do not count the adamant non-voters, who techically are 'undecided' as to which candidate stinks worse. Add those in, and you have a majority, one which (I pray daily) will swell. It is said that the lesser of two evils is evil nonetheless. Nothing could be more true of recent elections, and especially this one. If Obamacare is a nightmare, then what do you call Romneycare? I care not whether the boot on my neck is laced right over left, or vice versa. I will not vote for either, preferring to cast an honorable blank.