The other day as I was driving along a familiar road I spotted the same weather worn “For Sale” sign on a corner lot which I had seen for years. Then I remembered calling the Realtor once, five or six years ago, inquiring about the price. I had visions of a new business there. It made me wonder, what has changed?
In today’s climate I am no longer interested in taking the risk of starting a new business at that location, and I wondered, why? My first reaction was that I lacked confidence that the economy would support a new business and felt that my chances of success were very risky.
As I continued to ponder the situation I wondered what was different now than before. I felt as if there was a day when I was much more willing to take those risks and wondered if my attitude was due to growing older, wanting more security now than before. Then it hit me.
Taking upon risk is the American way. In a capitalist society people put money at risk in the hope of making a profit. They measure that risk by any number of factors, one of which being their optimism about the future.
It’s an old story, but an apt one. I’d say that the investment dollars for buggy whips dried up pretty quickly, as did the jobs at those factories and at the factories of their suppliers, when it became pretty clear that the world was moving more toward the automobile than an increase in buggy building.
Though that story has more to do with a reality than optimism, it illustrates my point. When Americans look out upon the future today we are uncertain what lies ahead. We do not enjoy the same optimism we did before 9-11-2001.
The world is more dangerous. Our old enemies have waged economic warfare upon us, taking our jobs, taking our money and taking our pride in American made goods.
Our new enemies threaten to surround us with communist dictatorships, forcing us to do business with, and make nice with, those who we despise as a threat to the lives and liberty of the people of their countries. We know we cannot afford to fight all those battles on all those fronts. All the while they threaten us with random acts of terrorism, chipping away at our comfort.
And as of today, we are uncertain where we are headed as a nation. Do we still strive to be the biggest, best, most respected republic in the world, or have we begun kowtowing to others, bending at the waist, lowering our stature?
What we lack is the optimism we once had, that America’s rise would continue. We are timid, rather than bold, and for good reason. Our economy is in decline.
I have pointed this out before, but there is a very distinct point in our history when that decline became precipitous. While the Obama crowd loves to say they inherited the problems we now face, the question has to be, “When, in January 2009 when you took office?” And of course the answer has to be yes. But the next question has to be, “when did that decline begin, if before January 2009?”
The answer is that it began when this nation saw, in 2008, that the matchup was going to be between Barack Obama and John McCain, when it became clear that Hillary was going to lose the nomination. Yes the problems were there in January 2009, and they may have begun UNDER Bush, but not BECAUSE of Bush.
The single most important change in the predictable future of America in July 2008 was that Barack Obama was likely to become our next president. Then he did and the bottom fell out.
He says he has a plan to fix things. He says he is struggling to repair what he inherited. It is now obvious that he has spent a trillion dollars on his plans and that those plans don’t work. More people are out of a job, more people are facing foreclosure and more people have lost optimism about the future under his leadership than at any time in the last 50 years.
We have a chance this year to stick our toes in the water and try to find people for elected office who can restore our optimism, but they have to be clear in what they say.
They MUST oppose deficit spending. They MUST oppose raising taxes. They MUST oppose losing the trade wars with China. They MUST oppose terrorism, and even though they might have been scared off from the Bush doctrine by the screams and cries of “Code Pinko” and others, they MUST firmly resolve to defeat the enemy who attacked our confidence on 9-11-2001, pursue them aggressively without bowing down to the world, and they MUST resolve that the friends of our enemies are our enemies too.
The TEA party bunch can do a lot to restore confidence, but so far they’ve treated the war on terrorism like the proverbial third rail. Now is the time to reach out to the Bush conservatives, grab a bull horn and tell the world that they will hear from us.
Like Reagan did, give the world plenty of notice that within months of taking office the new Congress will insist that the president issue an ultimatum to the world that they have a matter of days to cough up Bin Laden, his top men, terrorists where ever they may be found, and to put the Muslim world on notice that it either steps up to the plate, turns in the extremists, or suffer the consequences of the perception that they are consorting with our enemies.
Bill O’Reilly said last night that during WWII we were not required by political correctness to call out only “Japanese extremists” or “German extremists”, but were free to say our enemies were “The Germans and The Japanese”, which of course included some citizens of each country which perhaps did not wish us ill. It has been argued that his analysis is flawed, that we were at war with nations, not individuals, and that today the extremists are a small group, that it is wrong to say we are at war with Islam.
Then let Islam decry terrorism as a movement. Let the Muslims of the world unite, and state unequivocally that they do not want Sharia law for the United States, or to see the Flag of Islam flying over the White House.
Leaders are not found in the shadows, they are found at the front. The last brick in building a strong TEA party movement in this nation is to tackle not only the economic malaise and lack of optimism which is holding our nation back from our next generation of greatness, but to stand boldly and vow to fight with every fiber of ones body those who have begun the methodical process of destroying us.
Once we see a brighter future, we will begin building again, investing again, taking risks again with steady confidence in America’s future which, like all the decades of preeminence before, provided the foundation for this, the last best hope for mankind on earth. Hope rests on optimism, not rhetoric.
Our best days lie ahead. Finding the shortest distance to that point depends upon the vision, and reslove, of we the people and those we select to lead us.
May God bless America.