A Gradual Shift


John Wright


A variety of events in the past few weeks appear to indicate that Bush’s hold on the presidency is weakening. First there was the drop in approval rating for his performance as president. Then there was the pathetic position taken by Alan Greenspan opposite mashing Social Security benefits, which was openly denounced by some Democratic presidential candidates, but not by Bush. Then there was the sour jobs/unemployment report during our economic "recovery." Finally, there was the terrorist attack in Madrid, followed by the elimination of the government that sided with Bush re. Iraq. The new Spanish government noted that they are pulling out of Iraq.

The stock market has reacted with expected schizophrenia. Friends who have been solid Bush supporters are suddenly recognizing all the damage he has done to our economy, both in excessive federal spending and in letting international outsourcing and uncontrolled immigration just happen. They now state that "he has to be removed." Oil prices are skyrocketing with no apparent solution in sight. Yes, there is an obvious confluence of events and situations that bode poorly for Bush’s re-election. But will things stay that way?

One wonders what rabbit the Republican Party expects to pull out of the hat to reverse this situation. Might John Kerry have some hidden flaw in his past that can be exploited just prior to the November election? Might Kerry’s voting record kill any hopes for a better future regardless of who wins the election? Could it be that Osama’s whereabouts are known and that he will be captured or killed at the "right time?" Will we also experience a terrorist attack closer to election time? After the reaction in Spain, it is no longer clear that an attack would aid Bush, especially since we have tightened security so much. I plead ignorance on this last point as I have no crystal ball to tell me how American voters might react. And I am very uncertain about Kerry if he does win.

There is one thing I do know that is pertinent to our future. Electing John Kerry will not be enough, even if his stance re. the issues above becomes activist and useful to protecting our economy and the future of American workers. In short, you have to have a cooperative and gutsy Congress to fly in the face of our controlling corporations and international trade agreements. Ditto our involvement at any level in Iraq. This means the Republican controlled Congress must be soundly thrashed in November. To do that will require serious funding of congressional candidates who strongly and vocally oppose what our Congress and our President have done to hurt ordinary Americans. The money to accomplish that must come from you.

Howard Dean proved that a grassroots effort could raise serious capital. My hope is that the Democratic Party is wise enough to seek congressional election funding from we little guys who want major change in the future course of our nation. It is damn certain that campaign money will not be forthcoming from corporations for any party or candidate who opposes international outsourcing or further tax breaks for corporations. We have to do it ourselves, and we must understand that electing a different president is simply not enough.

Those of us who are and have been capitalists for most of our lives find ourselves in a most peculiar predicament. We don’t want a return to absurd entitlement programs. We don’t want socialism. We want government spending and government control over our lives to be reduced and we want a balanced budget. We want no debt. These wants pit us against the socialists, who are essential in any effort to unseat Bush and his Republican Congress. How maddening!

We want educational opportunity and good jobs at the end of that pipeline, but not for marginal performers. We realize that a renewed forward vision of limited isolationism is essential, predicated on trade parity, and carries with it the inability to buy some things that we no longer produce, up to the time we again produce for internal use. We expect and deserve a "living wage." We support more, smaller companies at the expense of conglomerates. We want a hands-off foreign policy regarding the Middle East. We are ready to travel less to reduce our oil consumption, and we expect full cooperation from employers regarding working from home to aid reduction in oil consumption.

We want laws to reduce ugly usury practices to rational interest rates no higher than 12% for anyone. This is especially important when you consider that the poorer and less intelligent segments of society are targeted and fleeced. As I said in Destiny, it is the amount of credit offered, not the interest rate, that should be aligned to the demonstrated responsibility of the borrower. What our federal government allows now, not to mention states like Delaware, is unethical and I believe criminal. Ditto our lotteries.

I wonder if there are any candidates who would take the torch and run with it for the above issues? Indeed, I wonder if we have even a few candidates incensed about environmental issues (other than Nader). Do we have candidates ready to support the wants and needs of those of us who have paid high taxes faithfully for the past forty plus years, as well as the future needs of our children and grandchildren? Does anyone in the Congress have holistic future goals on behalf of the bulk of USA citizens driving his/her introduction of new bills or voting?

The silence is deafening, folks. Those who need to be controlled are not, while those who do not need to be controlled continue to lose ground, i.e., liberties and freedoms. We need far more than a "gradual shift."