Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's Infomercial- Hope?

Hope for what??

"This is the land of opportunity. It is not the land of handouts".

Mike Ditka speaking at a Plain campaign rally in Pennsylvania

I vividly remember back when Gerald Ford was president in the 1970s and game one of the World Series was set to begin. I, like millions of other red-blooded American guys, was sitting in front of the TV, beer in hand and ready to watch the series begin.

Suddenly, without warning, the announcer broke in and announced that they were switching to Kansas City, Mo. for an "important" address by the President. So there we were, Gerald Ford was in KC giving a speech in front of the "Future Farmers of America", a bunch of young men and women who I guess lived on farms.

As I sat there dumbfounded, I kept hoping that Ford's speech would be brief and we could get on with the game. Instead, Ford (who was a terrible speaker on his best days) kept droning on about energy (there was an energy crisis in the country at that time). As the young people behind him started nodding off, and millions of beer cans were being hurled at millions of TVs around the country, Ford would not stop talking. He told us to turn off our lights. He read a letter sent to him from some old woman in Bullnuts, Iowa telling him how she would always turn off her lights whenever she left a room. Ford then told us to "clean our plates" (not let any food go to waste). Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Ford finished his speech and we got back to the game. I always figured that had a bit to do with his defeat to the hapless Jimmy Carter.

I was reminded of that day with Barack Obama's infomercial that pushed back the start of the World Series game 15 minutes. I didn't care much since the Series didn't interest me much after my cursed Cubbies got swept out the playoffs in what was supposed to be "the year". As a result, I didn't watch the speech. I have heard that man's voice enough to last a lifetime-with possibly 4-8 more years to come.

Reading the reviews, it seems Obama appeared in a room (or set) that somewhat resembled the Oval Office. He talked about certain individuals who are going through tough economic times and who are apparently looking to President Obama and his pals in government to ride to their rescue.

He also spoke of HOPE.

Well, at the expense of being the skunk at the garden party, I have something to say about that.

First of all, let's rid ourselves of this liberal illusion that we are living in Bangladesh or Dickensian England. We are not. In spite of our present economic difficulties, we are still living in the greatest and most prosperous country in the world. And guess what? It wasn't our government that made it the greatest and most prosperous country. It was the American people that did-in spite of government (and I say this as one who is a government retiree). If you are sitting around waiting for some president or some political party to make your life successful-you are already a loser.

You want to be successful? If you are working-keep working. The tough times will pass. If you are not working, get up off your duff and get a job. Everything is in place in this country for those people who have the will, the talent, the initiative and the ability to succeed. If you want to sit around and call yourself a victim, it will become a self-profilling prophesy.

Larry Elder, a black, conservative talk show host in LA, says it best, and he says it often: If you can finish high school, stay out of trouble with the law, and not have children before you are 18, you will not be poor in America. Is that a difficult proposition? Do you need government to accomplish that? Do you need a president to bring you hope?

Grow up people. There is only one person in America who is responsible for our success or failure in life, and that person is ourselves. Just because I will be voting for John McCain next week doesn't mean I want or expect anything from him beyond protecting the country. I do not look to McCain to add anything to my life or well-being. I can do that for myself very well, thank you. All I ask government is to stay out of my life.

Which is exactly what this vain-glorious, socialist huckster named Obama will not do. He and his minions that he will bring into government will enter into all our lives. (Don't believe me-ask Joe the Plumber.) And if 95% of you think he will not raise your taxes, you're smoking your socks.

So, if Obama wins, hang onto your wallets-and HOPE for the best. Me, I'm still hoping for a Cubbie pennant.


Lance Christian Johnson said...

In spite of our present economic difficulties, we are still living in the greatest and most prosperous country in the world.

What exactly is this based on?

Life expectancy?
Infant mortality?
Amount of vacation time?
Overall happiness? (Did you hear that the Danes rate as the happiest people on Earth?)

No, I don't want to move elsewhere, but I love my country too much to pretend like it's the best in all areas when it clearly isn't. I'd rather we notice our faults and try to improve.

Gary Fouse said...

Well, I didn't mean to say it's the best in all areas. We don't make the best beer.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I think that America is starting to get complacent, and if all we do is continuously say "We're number one!" while doing nothing to improve, we're going to lag very far beyond the rest of the world.

Oh, we're also behind in science and math education.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I could get in a really long debate with you about a lot of things said in this post, but I'm not sure it would go anywhere. I just want to point out that you're in a very comfortable, privileged position, up there on your soap box.

I graduated high school. I've never been in any trouble with the law. I don't have any children. I even went one step further than Mr. Elder suggests and went to college and worked hard to get my BA. Yet I am making minimum wage right now and have to start worrying about paying back the $20,000 in student loans I owe, because my family is too poor to pay for my college education. And that's after my father has worked DAMN HARD for 30+ years for the United States Postal Service. So please, don't waste your breath on telling me that I just need to pull myself up by my own bootstraps.

Gary Fouse said...


First of all, I am not priviledged in the sense I think you mean. If I am comfortable, it is because I worked long and hard to make myself comfortable (not rich) but comfortable. ( I am retired).

If you are making minimum wage, I assume it is because you are still young-in your 20s-right?

By Elder's formula, which I agree with, you will not go through life being poor. Elder's values were learned from his parents, who were also poor, just as I assume your values were learned from your parents, just as my values were learned from my parents, who were not rich either. (middle class). Incidentally, my dad was in the movie business, was laid off and only worked spoardically for the last 20 years of his life. My mom had to work to support us. My college was cheap because the 1st 2years were community college and the last two were under the GI Bill.

Why would I tell you to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps"? First, that's a term I don't use because it has old racial connotations. Second, it seems to me you are doing what you need to do in the first place. You got an education, stayed out of trouble and now you are working.

My (somewhat) defiant essay was aimed at a bunch of gullible people who think government is the answer to all their problems-as exemplified by the Obama candidacy. All it does is keep a lot of people down-and dependent on the government. To me, it is a mindset that must be defeated.

Keep plugging. You will be fine.