Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joe the Capitalist

Here is what I love about America. A Presidential candidate visits a middle-class town, strolling door-to-door, shaking hands and kissing babies. Essentially he is winning over some votes by simply showing his face in this town, giving the impression he gives a hoot about these people. One guy, impressed by the candidate’s presence but courageous enough to ask a simple question, gets his attention. And then he has the attention of the entire nation.

Since the confrontation, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has really felt the heat of the media scrutinizing his personal and professional life. Apparently, you must keep up-to-date on your plumber’s license before you may seize an opportunity to question the policies of Barack Obama with the man himself.

The heat hasn’t stopped Joe from standing by his principles, and even capitalizing on his 15ish minutes of fame. He recently launched 2.0 with a public forum to keep the discussion going. Oh, and you can also pre-register for signed copies of his book! Personally, I enjoy reading things I can nod along in agreement to.

In an interview for the Tufts University student newspaper, Joe described himself this way: “I am a lower-middle-class average guy who happens to have some common sense and wants a straight answer once in a while instead of a dissertation for an answer that when you’re done listening to it you’re wondering what the first word was.”

You don’t have to be blue collar, a guy, or even white to relate. To people like Joe, and me, it’s not about “how am I going to benefit?” It’s about principles. It’s about right and wrong. In this case, it is wrong, as a matter of principle, for the government to decide who makes too much money and who deserves to get a handout. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a moral responsibility to help those less fortunate. But it is on each of us individually to look out for our neighbor, and ourselves, for that matter.

Here’s to you, Mr. Question Barack Obama And Write a Book About It Guy… you are a real man of American genius.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why I dislike Barack Obama

The title of my post is really just to get your attention. I mean, who doesn’t love this guy? He’s got it all: looks, charisma, charm, an Ivy League law degree, a beautiful (and equally well-educated) wife, and even lovelier children. He always has the right thing to say (not counting the séance-Reagan comment), the right tie, and the right friends (who doesn’t love Oprah).

I’m being sarcastic, but let’s face it the guy is Mr. Congeniality, forget Sarah Palin. I can’t watch anything on TV (GMA, CNN, Access Hollywood…) without a clip about so-and-so who knew Obama back when such-and-such and he liked to eat this-and-that and was just your regular-mr-nice-guy. Contrast this with post-election coverage of George W. Bush in 2000-01. Back then we couldn’t get enough stories about the drunken frat-boy C-student who smoked this-and-that. Alas, just another example of the liberal media, but that’s not the point I was getting to.

Prior to Bush, America elected an equally dynamic figure to the Oval Office…hopefully you already know where I am going with this. He had an affinity for cigars, women and risky real estate deals. He was also, in case you forgot, impeached.

I’m not suggesting Obama is as perverse or a “ladies man” (as some would prefer to call him) as Clinton…even I don’t want to believe that. The point I’m trying to make is that the suave, under-control, well-worded person we elected is just that, a person. If you are expecting him to solve all your problems, to give you peace, pride and bring new meaning to your life, you are in for a big disappointment.

I should have titled this post “Why I dislike Obama-loving lemmings,” because that is what I’m really irritated about. If I hear the word “hope” uttered one more time by another American I’m going to vomit on my loafers. When did you ever lose it? You live in the best country in the world. Since when do you put all your h*p* on a politician, anyway?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Celebrating our freedom & remembering those who fight for it

It would be relatively easy to go about this Tuesday without much thought regarding the millions of men and women who have fought for our country in the past and present. There isn’t much hoopla around this national holiday. It seems to get buried between the trick or treat madness and the turkey-making plans, and for many of us—sadly—honoring our soldiers is an afterthought.

How lucky we are to live in times when military service is voluntary. As of tonight, 4,798 men and women have perished while serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Countless more have been wounded and sacrificed years apart from their families to fight a seemingly endless battle. Who are these people who give up everything? They are all my heroes.

This year I am making a personal commitment to give back to those who give us so much. I want my son to grow up with appreciation and gratitude for our veterans. Please feel free to share your favorite organization.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blowing off post-election steam

Day two following the historic election. Frustration has given way to disappointment although my blood still boils every time I hear one of my left winger friends proclaim suddenly how proud they are to be an American. Really? I’m not sure how the election of possibly the least experienced candidate in our nation’s history suddenly gives one pride, especially since we passed up a real American hero for the job.

I won’t go any further without addressing the significance of race in this election. I am not African-American and can’t begin to speak to the elation that must belong to those who are. Obama’s election crosses racial boundaries we are all happy to put behind us. Indeed it was a momentous occasion, and that is the last time you will hear me quote the Rev. Al Sharpton.

This mom didn’t vote for Obama based on his inexperience and his socialist agenda. Do I expect to live in the People’s Republic of America by the end of four years? No, no. But the intentions Obama expressed in his campaign set the stage for a socialized health care system and redistribution of wealth. I thought everyone had to read Animal Farm. Communism doesn’t just suddenly take over. It starts with a policy, an “option” even, as Obama has put it, to buy into or participate in the government’s system. More on that another time.

I wouldn’t be nearly as distraught if we had a balance of power in Washington, if I felt there would be a conservative majority in Congress that would prevent the liberal agenda from pervading the good middle-ground of our nation.

So now what?

Well I’m hoping the other half will come join me in reality, where the fact is most people are unhappy due to their own poor decisions, not because of something George W. Bush did or said. Did he convince you to buy the house you couldn’t afford, take out too many pay-day loans or cause your car accident when you didn’t have health insurance? Come on people. There are problems in our economy (predatory lenders, rising health care costs, and lackluster competition for American-made products) but how do you attribute that to the Executive branch? Bush made an easy target, especially after 9/11. How quickly we forget what this administration has done to secure our borders, hunt and capture our enemies and rebuild Iraq. Nobody said that would be easy, and I’m not surprised there are still troops there. It has been an unpopular war but I do believe it has been necessary. God bless our troops, they are not a waste of time or money!

Only after people start accepting responsibility for their situation can they work toward their own happiness and that increasingly illusive American Dream. Of course, don’t set your sights too high when it comes to that Dream. It wouldn’t be fair for you to finally start that business or eventually become a top executive; God forbid you might earn $250,000 and not share it.