1) THE LIBERAL MEDIA
2) THE LIBERAL ELITE
The media report the news. Legitimate news organizations send reporters into the field who make observations, interview individuals and write reports. Editors vet the reports for accuracy and balance before they are aired or printed. The fact that an individual doesn’t like what is being reported doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the report. It is easier, however, to vilify the messenger than to admit one’s own bias. Thus, we call the media “liberal” and permit ourselves to ignore the good work and warnings of the fourth estate at our peril.
Liberalism, it is said, is something folks achieve as they are exposed to more knowledge, ideas and thought. People are better equipped to weigh one against the other, good versus evil, right versus wrong, and truth over falsehood when they have a broadened range of ideas through which a fact or a situation can be filtered. Time was when a college education was something to which everyone aspired. The time has become that the average Joe’s kid likely won’t be able to afford that education. Under such circumstances, how does our society advance? Who wins?
3) REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
4) CLASS WARFARE
Like the sands in an hourglass or the tides on a beach, wealth is constantly being redistributed. In some periods, the working class family does well, in some periods, not so well. Those who may be considered “haves” always seem to “have.” There is always that mansion on the hill that folks aspire to. Some folks, through hard work and smart decisions, climb the hill. Others borrow, and like Jack and/or Jill, are destined to come tumbling down.
Those at the top of the hill, it seems, are loath to allow too many people to enjoy the view. Specious arguments about taxation that benefit a small percentage of the wealthiest among us should raise questions about whether those in charge are actually acting on behalf of all of the people. Should the poor and middle class expect to be handed something from the rich? Absolutely not. But should they expect to have an opportunity to climb at least a portion of the hill? Absolutely. Who is preventing that from happening, do we suppose?
5) JOB CREATORS
6) JOB KILLERS
7) TAX AND SPEND LIBERALS
The wealthy have the potential to create jobs. But jobs are only created when there exists a demand for a good or a service. Not taxing the uber-rich does not create jobs. Nor does it stabilize the economy. Nearly a decade ago, the super-rich enjoyed huge tax cuts lowering their marginal rates to historic lows. Note what has happened to employment figures over that time period.
Government can create jobs. History is replete with examples. Tax moneys pay workers to engage in public projects. Those tax dollars go to workers who spend those dollars in communities in stores, restaurants, theatres and all manner of private enterprises. Thus, the economy is restored. Capping government outlay in times of need is anti-ethical to one of government’s most important functions. Capping government outlay serves somebody – just not “the people.”
8) DEAD ON ARRIVAL
My long-ago commute buddy, Evan, had worked as an ambulance driver for Mr. Van Hook in Chico while Evan attended college. On gray days, he would share the stories of those who were rolled into the Cadillac wagon with a pulse, but didn’t have one by the time they arrived at the ER. This is what “Dead on Arrival” is all about.
Mr. Boehner, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell, if you don’t wish to look at the fine work of those from the other chamber, kindly step aside and allow someone with more dedication and a stronger ethic to do so.
9) POLICEMAN FOR THE WORLD
10) CUT AND RUN
Long ago, we should have learned that our values are fine values but our values may not work in every culture or society populating the globe. We have yet to learn that military intervention is, at first, quite costly both in terms of the country’s treasury and in terms of the impact on the lives of the citizenry. Further, our intervention in far-off corners is viewed as saviorism only for a short time. An errant shell, an ill-advised remark, or malfeasance on the part of a uniformed nineteen-year-old – the exception, by all means, not the rule – can easily turn hearts and minds away from our sincere efforts.
The tougher decision is not when to intervene with our might, it is how not to intervene. The toughest decision is to know when to quietly slip out the back and allow those conflicted lands to resolve their conflicts with less help on our part. “Cutting and Running” means we somehow lacked courage, yet courage is all about making the right and learned decision in the face of forceful political opposition that demands something expedient and less reasoned.
11) TEA PARTY PATRIOT
The original tea party was organized after much thought and consternation by learned men who “more than self their country loved.” They pledged lives and sacred honor to a cause more dear than their own well-being or security. They forged this country by giving of themselves to others not by holding for themselves the paltry riches they may have had. Their argument was not about taxes, it was about representation. You can look it up.
The Tea-Party Patriots of the early 21st century fall short of recognizing this. Selected reading of history by self-described “constitutionalists” does not further the cause of the nation. Nor does selected reading of the Constitution itself. Or the Bible, for that matter.
12) CHRISTIAN NATION
We were never designed to be a Christian nation. This is actually a good thing. Cynically, this is good because collectively, we don’t play the Christian game very well. On the world stage, we’re not very good at loving our neighbor, especially if our neighbor doesn’t have a product or commodity we need. On the freeway, we’re not so hot at this, either. Practically, this is good, because our nation is enriched when peoples of many faiths coming together in a land that supports and defends their religious freedom.
YEARS AGO FORMER PUBLISHER of the Sacramento Bee wrote an opinion piece in which he asked “when did America become so self-centered?” In a letter I asked not be published (glibly thinking that it might) I responded: I don’t know, but I suspect it happened sometime in the span beginning when, in a Presidential inauguration speech, a young Jack Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you…” and ending when a successor asked: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
It is time we looked inward and turned outward. There is a greater good.