These are primarily a group that I like to call "angry white men" and their "Stepford wives." Most of them fall into the 40-65 age range. Those over 65 just don't give a damn any more; that is, unless they are like me, who still does give a damn.
We old caring bitches, however, are in the minority. Most of us are too busy pre-occupied with our arthritis, our next colonoscopy, our blood pressure, and the neighbor's business to worry or care about anything else.
Since I am rapidly approaching that age--hell, I'm already there--when I can recall things fifty years ago with a damn sight more clarity than I can remember if I took my pills this morning, humor me for a moment as I meander back through my mind to those wonderful, halcyon days of yesteryear.
Fifty years ago, I was just beginning my sophomore year in college. The world I lived in was dominated most by the Vietnam War and how it was going to affect us....and it did.
We knew that our sweethearts, later to be our husbands, were going to have to serve, barring some miracle. They could postpone the inevitable until they graduated; but the mandatory draft would get them sooner or later, cause the gub'ment said, "We're coming for you", and you had better be ready to comply. Course, a few did hightail it to Canada, but that's another story for another time.
And when it did, there would be no instant communication with them, as there is today. Even if the technology had existed, the price would have been prohibitive. The giant government-regulated monopoly controlled all telecommunications in the United States.
You had better believe they charged dearly for long distance. Heck, it was even illegal to OWN a phone. All phones had to be rented from Southwestern Bell, the ONLY phone service provider in the U.S. unless you lived in isolated rural areas as I did.
Then, you had Maud on the switchboard and her husband running a small local phone service with lines that had grown through trees and lay as much on the ground as it did strung from poles. But even Maud had to connect us with Ma Bell if we wanted to talk to our family thirty miles away. Maud might or might not even be at the switchboard as she "moonlighted" on the side. as the only barber in town
But I digress. Back to the world as I knew it: Back then, the government regulated the price and route of every airplane, every freight train, every truck and every merchant ship in the United States. The government regulated the price of natural gas. It regulated the interest on every checking account and the commission on every purchase or sale of stock. Owning a gold bar was a serious crime that could be prosecuted under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
The top rate of income tax was 91%. And these rich folks complain about Obama wanting to roll their income tax back to the Clinton days.
Well, anyway, I think you get my point. If you don't, then you deserve whatever you get, Mr. Conservative. But, if I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about Obama leading us down the socialist road.
The United States did not vote for socialism. It could not do so, because neither party offers socialism. Both parties champion a free enterprise economy cushioned by a certain amount of social insurance.
The Democrats (mostly) want more social insurance; the Republicans want less. National politics is a contest to move the line of scrimmage, in a game where there's no such thing as a forward pass, only a straight charge ahead at the defensive line. To gain three yards is a big play. Used to be how college football was too; but things, they do change.
Whatever you think of the Obama record, it's worth keeping in mind that by any measure, free enterprise has been winning the game for a long, long time.
Obama has changes in mind that conservatives and Republicans will oppose. He will want to raise taxes; he will want to sustain social spending at a permanently higher level; he has in mind new regulations over health care, energy production and banking. I don't necessarily think those are bad things; but I am, after all, just an old bitch. Some people think "old" equates with "dense" or "stupid," unfortunately. Sometimes, even my own kids. However, the smartest people in my family are my grandchildren, who think I'm the wisest, most compassionate member of their family. They confide in me--not their parents--their beliefs, their dreams, and their heartaches. You can always trust the instincts of children and animals, I think. Animals like me too. At least I'm counting on it.
But, back to Obama. He'll win some; he'll lose some. To the extent that his wins prove injurious, future Republican Congresses and administrations will struggle to undo them. That's politics: a contest that never ends and in which the only certainty is the certainty of constant change.
The Republican challenge next is to reassemble a new coalition for limited government and private enterprise. That coalition must include Americans of all ethnicities. To assume from the start that only certain ethnicities will contribute, and that others aspire only to grab, is not only ugly prejudice; it is also self-destructive delusion.
People of all backgrounds want to create, save and contribute to society. A party of the center-right should make them all feel at home, regardless of how they pronounce their last name, the complexion of their skin or the way in which they express love and build family. Heck, I used to have prejudices too...still have some...but I've learned a lot from the "school of hard knocks". Most of it good, in the long run.
The Roman Catholic Church deems despair a mortal sin. To abandon hope is to reject the reality of goodness and to forswear future action. The United States is a great and good country, and it remains great and good even when we do not get all our own way politically. Crap! I haven't got my own way a bunch of times.
Nonetheless, I know this. The United States is a tolerant and free country, which means that there are no "tipping points" beyond which it becomes impossible to correct mistakes. If there were, we would have dropped off the cliff long ago,