Thursday, December 31, 2009

Politics in 2010-What Must be Done?

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Let's keep it up!

There is growing anger in the US since President Obama entered office and began instituting his changes-with the help of a solid Democratic majority in Congress. If I were to choose a Person of the Year for 2009, it would be the men and women who turned out for the Democratic town hall meetings and tea parties across the nation to voice their outrage at the rapid socialization of America. Now with the Christmas day attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit by a man who never should have been able to even get near a plane to begin with, the nation is reacting to the sheer incompetence and neglect shown by our national leaders in their most important responsibility-to protect the American people. In 2010, we have a mid-term election coming up. That will be the big test. Can the American people sustain their anger until next November? Given the propensity of our president and Congress to rush and shove as much down our throats as they can, I think the anger will continue.

But what to do? The most obvious answer as a conservative is to say that we must vote as many liberal Democrats out of office as possible in 2010 followed by Obama in 2012. I don't say that as a Republican because I am not a Republican. I am a (small-i) independent who votes Republican because they are the only alternative to a Democratic Party that is going progressively to the left-and beyond.

However, the long-term answer for America is not to establish the Republicans as the one party holding power for a couple of reasons. First of all, one party rule in any nation only leads to abuses of power and corruption-at the expense of the people. Remember 1994, when Newt Gingrich instituted the Contract with America and the Republicans took power? What happened? New politicians came to Washington, learned the system, which was entrenched, and liked what they saw; the power, the cameras, the public recognition, the perks, and the sex. Came next election time, the only thing that mattered was re-election. They joined the system, made the deals, and the promises were forgotten. Result? They got their punishment in 2006 and 2008, and they deserved it.

The question is; have they learned their lesson and if so, for how long?

I don't wish for the destruction of the Democratic Party, as many Democrats have been trying to put the final nails in the Republican coffin by gaming the political and electoral system to ensure their own elections-fair or not (ACORN). Obviously, I would like to see the Democrats move to the center, just as liberals want to see the Republicans move to the center.

The idea of a third party merits at least consideration. Currently, neither party is satisfying its members to any great extent. Michael Medved correctly points out that today, a third party only splits the vote and guarantees defeat for the party which suffers the defectors; thus, it is merely a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Yet, what happened in 2009 with the tea party protests raises the idea of a Tea Party in 2010. Could it be successful? Probably not unless it had access to large sums of money, prominent candidates and mass defections from the Republican Party.

The other argument against more than two parties is that it would paralyze government and lead to a situation as you see in European countries like Italy, where fragile and temporary coalitions have to be formed to accomplish this and that.

Paralyze government, you say? Actually, That may not be as bad an idea as it might seem to be on the surface. Currently in California, there is a petition going around to put a measure on the state ballot that would limit our legislators to serving only 90 days a year. Preposterous? Not really when you consider the massive damage our Democrat-controlled legislature is doing every day. I will gladly vote for this measure. To me, what is going on in America today is reinforcement for the argument that "the government that governs best governs least".

On the other hand, there are two areas in which the government must be active; that is in the areas of national defense and protecting our citizens from crime. Guess what? Those are the two main functions of our government. Our government (according to the Constitution) has no role in getting us a job, a promotion, or otherwise putting money in our pocket. Some of you may find that shocking, but it is true. All these massive government programs that have taken over our lives are an intrusion into our lives that has nothing to do with the Constitution. We need leaders who will begin the long process of drawing back from a welfare state mentality. It will take a long time, but we must begin the process.

We must also demand-now-that our government get serious about protecting the American people from an enemy that is fighting a war whose intention is to kill as many of us as possible, wipe out Western civilization, and install a theocratic system of governance called Shariah over the land.

The first step is that someone has to lead our leaders by the hand and insist they identify and openly acknowledge who that enemy is. It is fundamentalist Islamism-maybe not as a religion, per se, but as a political ideology that would strip away all the rights we enjoy as a free and Democratic nation. Yet, go to the Department of Homeland Security's own website. Click away to your heart's content, and see if you can find any mention as to who the terrorists are. It might as well be Casper the Friendly Ghost.

(At least they are using the word, "terror".)

Does that mean we stigmatize millions of innocent Muslims in this country as the enemy? No, but we must vigorously investigate and identify those individuals who pose a threat to us. It also means we use our common sense when trying to detect terrorists as they attempt to board planes. As I have pointed out before, criminal profiling goes way beyond looking at a person's ethnicity. On the other hand, those at our security check points know exactly where the threats are coming from. Strip-searching or giving full-body X-rays to people who are obviously not terrorists is nothing more than an exercise in covering their butts from lawsuits.

So, in this day and age, would this result in thousands of innocent Muslims, particularly young Muslim men being subject to closer scrutiny before they are allowed to board a flight? Unfortunately, yes, just as innocent Colombians and Nigerians (I thought) have been subjected to increased secondary searches because of the huge amount of drugs being carried on international flights by Colombian and Nigerian couriers. If the Muslim community in America or elsewhere is offended by constantly being examined every time they fly, they should reserve their outrage for the terrorists, who are causing us all to be increasingly inconvenienced. They should remember that it for their protection as well.

In the meantime, we must keep the pressure on Obama and his administration by protesting their woeful performance. We must keep clamoring for people like Janet Napolitano to resign. Should that occur, she should be replaced not by another politician, but by someone who has a solid background in anti-terrorism, knows who the enemy is, and will not be concerned about political correctness.

And we must keep speaking out. We must not allow ourselves to go back to sleep as we did after 9-11. If we don't keep the spirit alive, we will miss our chance next November.

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