A Different View

Most blogs are either liberal/progressive or conservative/TeaParty.

I am going to do something different. First,  I am intentionally going to be ambiguous.

I graduated from high school in the 1950s in a small town in New England.  There were between 20 and 50 other students besides me that graduated that day from that high school in that small town.

I have recently had email contact with one of those graduates.  We have not been in contact with one another in around sixty years.  I believe him when he tells me that after getting a BA from one of the most prestigious schools in the country, he enlisted, not an officer, in the Marine Corps, was awarded at least two Purple Hearts and spent some time recuperating in a Naval Hospital.  Following that he got an MBA from that same prestigious school and has made tons of money.

Now, this is what I am going to do.  What follows in this post and the next one will be email exchanges between us that highlight our very different view of the political situation in which the United States finds itself.

Warning:  The personal names have been xxxx’d out and place names are disguised.

I sent this:

I used the term “civil conversation” for the following reason.
I am a member of a mail-forum that has one distinct requirement.  Most of the members are ex-Navy enlisted and most of those are retired Navy.  Mostly Senior & Master Chiefs.
The one distinct requirement is to have been to Antarctica.  Actually, having been south of the Antarctic Circle is qualifying.  I am the only member of which I am aware that is a liberal.  All members that spout off seem to quote verbatim Rush Limbaugh or Beck.  I seldom comment because it is not worth it.
The conservative members seem to put no thought into what they are saying but just repeat what they have heard, which appears to be thinly-disguised racism against Obama.
So, a thoughtful discussion would be welcome.
He responded:
I certainly harbor no anti-Obama sentiment because of the color of the man’s skin – there are more reasons I dislike his politics than I am capable of counting but skin color has nothing to do with it!
Some off-the-cuff comments on my concerns for this nation of ours and you can better judge my thought process, if you are so inclined to do so!
  • the USA needs to reign in government for two major. make-or-break reasons:
    • we are broke, getting broker and unless we decide to take the bull by the horns, develop and execute a responsible budgeting process to demand responsible actions on the part of the men and women we elect to represent us, we are, at most, a generation away from becoming a second-rate nation mired in mediocrity.
    • hand-in-hand with going broke, we are putting government ahead of people and the rights of government ahead of the rights of our citizens.  These events are intertwined and yet people, or a majority who bother to vote, disregard this connection and the terrible consequences that derive from them.
  • My view of Obama is that he is a self-absorbed, immature but agenda-driven person bent on subjecting the private sector to the power of big government in the name of some silly idea that this is good for the middle class or whomever he decides to pander in his most recent pronouncements.  He wants government to be the “big banana” and his massive, irresponsible deficits are entirely consistent with that aim.  Tragic.
  • Respectfully, your view that “the rich” need to pay more” strikes me as mean-spirited!  Why should that happen?  To do what for whom?  (my name), if “the rich” were asked to pay 70% or more of their income to the public treasury, it would not make one effing dent in the deficits we’re now accruing, would dry up any new tax revenue within a year of imposing such egregious tax burdens on these individuals and businesses and prove what?!  JFK cut taxes, he didn’t increase them, and history is fraught with the tragedies associated with higher taxes to pay public sector bills.  Just look across the pond to Europe to find the evidence that spending more than you can afford is the formula for disaster – or look at people you know who have tried the same formula.  It doesn’t work!  At some point the money runs out.
  • I was not a Bush fan (either one) but view the current crew in the White House as disaster-on-steroids!  We cannot survive multi-trillion dollar annual deficits and I defy anyone to say we are not headed down the wrong road.  We must temper our expectations for what government can deliver (not much) and ask more from the individuals who make up this country – by that I do not mean “raise taxes” on the citizenry but ask each to solve our problems, not turn them over to government to solve.  The government will screw it up, take away our options and continue to spend us into oblivion.  This is a trend that has “progressed” within our culture since FDR and it is a terrible slippery slope.
I could go on but there are a few thoughts for you to gnaw on.  I do not listen to Rush, never heard a word from Beck and view myself as a reasonably intelligent person able to make my own observations, not rely on someone else to tell me how to think.  My view of life includes minimal government, not maximized government, and leaving our citizenry alone, free from government-sponsored programs as much as possible.  Never seen a society prosper for long outside of that standard!
More later
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