the whitestick papers

looking at politics from a different perspective

Archive for September 2012

47 Percent

with one comment

There was a time in this country when people were embarrassed to admit they needed help. They wouldn’t accept charity because they believed it was their personal responsibility to provide for themselves and their family and that to accept help from others was to admit failure.

But today, things are different.  If someone points out that a certain political party gets a lot of its support because it promises not only to keep current “entitlements” flowing that certain party cries foul.  Since Mitt Romney has recently done that, the Democrats have decided to use the statements as a way to rally their supporters, as in this recent email direct from the Obama campaign:

From: Stephanie Cutter, BarackObama.com [mailto:info@barackobama.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:35 PM
Subject: “Personal responsibility”

 If you’d like to receive more emails like this, join the Truth Team.

Yesterday, a leaked video from a closed-door fundraiser showed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney telling a room full of big-money donors that Americans who don’t support him think they’re “victims” who don’t “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

So rarely over the course of this campaign have we gotten to hear Mitt Romney say what he believes in such a revealing, unfiltered manner. This is one of those moments. It’s important that we make sure that the people in our lives who are just tuning into this election know what disdain and contempt Romney has for half of the citizens of this nation he wants to lead. Take a look at the items in this tipsheet, and then share them with others.

#1 What Americans think of Romney’s comments
The secret video shows that Romney believes nearly half of all Americans won’t take responsibility for their own lives and don’t pay taxes. Watch this video of Americans listening and reacting to Romney’s shocking comments, and make sure others do too:

#2 Who Romney is writing off?
It’s worth taking a second to look at some of the people who make up the nearly half of the country that Romney has so much disdain for. Who exactly are these people that Romney rips for not paying income taxes? The overwhelming majority are seniors, students, people with disabilities, or working families. They pay payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and more. Those working families include U.S. soldiers in combat, receptionists, firefighters, and clergy, just to name a few. Certainly, those folks aren’t short on personal responsibility. Read this blog post highlighting some of the Americans that Romney has written off, and share it with others:

#3 Romney’s responsibility map
Romney has said that “my job is not to worry about” the people who don’t support him. But America needs a president who will stand up for all Americans, not just the half of the country who agrees with him. Take a look at this graphic about Romney’s idea of “responsibility” and post it to your Facebook wall.

Thanks,

Stephanie

Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

P.S. — Another way to fight back against Romney and his divisive politics is to chip in and help fund our grassroots campaign. Romney has big-money donors at closed-door fundraisers, President Obama has you. Chip in $25 or more today.

Paid for by Obama for America

Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible.

 

You should also note Mitt Romney owned up to the statement.  He could have, like President Obama with the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya, try to deflect attention away from the main issue by pointing out the clip ,ay have been obtained  illegally.  Or, again like President Obama with the “you didn’t build that” quote, try to weasel out of the statement and claim it was taken out of context, even though the clip on Mother Jones is clearly edited.  Instead, he stood up, admitted it could have been said better but the statement itself is fundamentally true.  That shows strength of character not seen in many political leaders, and most certainly not from the present Administration.

Founding Father James Madison said, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents…”.  We’ve wandered from from the principles of the Constitution, and have gotten to the point where many Americans – and 47 percent is not an unreasonable percentage – not only accept the slavery that comes with government benevolence, but crave and demand it.  Many politicians on both sides of the aisle seem content to not rock the boat and, in fact, work to make it ever larger.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve found one who will not only rock it, but sink the boat.

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

20 September 2012 at 6:20 am

A game of inches

leave a comment »

Political campaigns can be compared to a complex game; one with multiple levels of presentation, interaction and involvement, all with the end goal of seeing your guy elected and your opponent losing.  In simple terms, it has three basic layers, and each layer has its own strategies, approaches, ways to win and ways to lose.

The biggest and most expensive is also the most visible – the air war.  This is where the candidate is the most involved; the radio spots, the TV commercials, the interviews, the debates, the rallies and the visits to late night shows are all a part of this.  This is a game of miles and acres, seeking to blanket the electorate with the reasons to vote for your guy and vote against the other guy.   Few people are involved in this process, but they tend to be the folks closest to the inner circle and, except for the candidate, they have little, if any, direct contact with the people casting ballots.

Then there’s the ground game; the lawn signs and bumper stickers, the phone banks and neighborhood walks, the voter-ID and get-out-the-vote operations.  This is a game of feet and meters; putting a human face on the campaign, a local voice on the issues.  This consumes a lot of manpower and volunteer time, and these are the people touching other people, usually for a limited time and with limited contact.  It’s where candidates tend to forget to put time and money as it’s not as flashy or obvious, but it’s probably the most critical element to success as it brings the big effort down to the streets.

Finally, there’s the game of inches.  Many campaigns don’t even bother with it but, if the race is close, it can be the difference between a win and a loss.  It’s not involved with facts but with feelings, not with ideals or issues but with confidence and commitment.  At the same time, it’s something anyone can do and, in fact, it’s almost impossible not to do it if you’re informed and willing.

It’s simply a matter of influencing your friends and family.

This year, the Presidential race is one of the closest in recent memory – easily closer than the 2008 race and possibly closer than 2000, which came down to the difference of less than one vote in each of Florida’s precincts.  Every single vote in this election is critical – and anyone can influence one or two votes, which could make the difference between one candidate or another winning the election.

With the advent of social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, texting and the like – that ability to influence others, which used to be limited to lawn signs and bumper stickers, has taken on a whole new level.  So, the challenge is whether you are part of the game of inches or just let the opportunity –and, with it, the election – pass you by.

As the election enters into its final days, you’re probably getting political bits constantly.  To be part of the game of inches, all you have to do is pass them on.  If you get a statement by Reagan or Romney, Rush or Clint or Newt or Glenn that just says it well, whatever “it” is, re-tweet it.  If you get a photo or video that makes the point, “Share” it so your Facebook friends can see it, too.

Interestingly, this works best to undercut the opposition more than promote a candidate, so even those not all that found of Mitt can forward a chart showing Obama’s failure to grow the economy, a video demonstrating Obama’s saying the same things now that he said in 2008, or an article exposing his socialist policies or general disconnect with the American people.  You don’t have to support the Republican candidate; you can support a third-party candidate and still find value in targeting the flaws and failures of Barack Obama.

The amazing thing is anyone can do this.  If you want to add a comment, fine; it often makes the point all the sharper.  But it’s not necessary; all you really need to do is pass on something that comes across your computer screen to influence the vote of one or two other people.  The more that do it the better; the impact of getting the same information from two or three friends can change a vote or, at least, keep someone you know from voting for the wrong person.

The power is in the personal element; that friend knows you and your opinion makes more of an impact than all the fancy TV ads they’ll see during the election.  This election may come down to a game of inches, and anyone can play on that field.

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

18 September 2012 at 11:57 am

The lesser of two evils…

leave a comment »

It is perhaps the most frustrating of choices; to look on the ballot and try to pick the candidate you dislike the least.  Is there no one you can soundly support or are you forced to vote for one person because you’re determined to vote against their opponent?

The fact is, no matter who you vote for, you’re always voting for the lesser of two evils.

There are a couple of reasons for this, both of which trace back to basic human nature.  The first reality is that everyone is flawed.  Some more than others, of course, but the fact is no one is perfect.  This is true for everyone and seems to be particularly true for those who seek political office.

The second factor flows from this; power corrupts.  Those who seek political office often seek that power and, with it, the inevitable corruption.  Some resist more than others, but it taints everyone.

Taking into account that you will always vote for the person who, to you, is the lesser of two evils, let’s apply that to the current Presidential race.  Either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be elected in November.   Sure; there are those who hope others might but, unless you’re completely deluded, even the most loyal follower of one of the “also ran” candidates has to admit that.

Your choice comes down to someone who might be less than what you’d prefer but, in general, agrees with you on many, if not most, points.  Mitt Romney embodies the value of a free market, the necessity of a reduced government and the economic ruin caused by a runaway deficit.  He shows he understands that the country’s greatness has been built by people, not the government.

Or you can vote for a person who has demonstrated a total commitment to Keynesian economics, anti-colonial loathing of America and a willingness to reward some and punish others both domestically and as a foreign policy.  Barack Obama told the Russian President he would do even more in a second term and, since he wouldn’t have to deal with another re-election, he easily could.  Is that what you want?

To vote for someone else or to not vote is to let Obama win by default.  For a person of principle, who wants a restoration of American liberty and rule of law, the only logical choice is to go with the one who could turn things around.  Even though flawed, Romney is more likely to stop the current devolution than to continue, much less accelerate it.

Sure, Romney’s not perfect.

Who is?

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

13 September 2012 at 8:21 am

Romney: Obama’s “Mini Me”?

with one comment

Repeatedly over the past few months, Liberty Movement members – the name supporters of perennial minority Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul give themselves – have derided Republican nominee Mitt Romney as virtually indistinguishable from Barack Hussein Obama.  Pointing to the government health care program instituted on his watch in Massachusetts and quoting his statement that he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it, they claim Romney’s very nearly as progressive as the President, and not someone lovers of liberty should support.

It’s not the intention of this article to defend Mitt Romney; he’s said what he’s said and has to live with the consequences.  It’s also not the intent to convince the Liberty Movement that Romney is something other than what he is.  The intent is to look more closely at the differences between his ideology and that of President Obama, investigating, however briefly, the question of whether Mitt Romney is merely a scaled down version of the current inhabitant of the White House.

Whatever else Wendell Mitt Romney might be, he’s a businessman.  More to the point, he’s a capitalist, familiar with and an advocate of the free market, both in word and deed.  While the Democrats demagogue his connection to Bain Capital, everything about that relationship reflects an understanding and appreciation for letting the market, not government, determine winners and losers.  To paraphrase a line from Game of Thrones, “In the game of business you either win or you go bankrupt.”

This is, at its core, the fundamental fact of American success as a nation; of American economic strength even in the face of progressive efforts to win the hearts (and votes) of the citizenry using snares disguised as safety nets.  And it means that, whatever progressive tendencies Romney has, they are incidental; they’re a political addition, and not necessarily part of his core belief structure – his ideological DNA, if you will.

By contrast, Barack Obama is unquestionably a socialist.  At the same time, he’s not a typical socialist; he’s done and said things that are at odds with most American socialists.  There’s his aversion to the American flag; declining, in that famous photo from the 2008 election, to salute it even as other socialists on the stage did so, and it’s removal from his press room and Oval Office.  There’s his catering to Occupy Wall Street, his bowing to leaders of other countries, his apologizing for America.  There’s no other socialist in the national political spectrum that have gone to this level, and it reveals something key about the man.

The recent documentary book and subsequent movie, 2016: Obama’s America, in turn largely based on Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father, builds a strong case for the President being a different sort of socialist.  It shows that, for the President, socialism is a means to an end; the fulfillment of an ideological commitment to the overturning of the world’s last colonial power.

Rare here in the United States, and even virtually unknown in Europe, anti-colonialism is common in third world nations like Obama’s father’s native Kenya.  It’s prevalent in Indonesia, where “Barry” spent his formative years and in Hawaii, where he lived with his activist grandparents.   Obama’s mother was enamored of his father, an anti-colonialist polygamist, and left her second husband after he began adopting capitalist ideas.

Anti-colonial ideology blames every problem and ill on the colonial masters, and there’s a lot of abuse that’s taken place under colonial rule to justify that point of view.  However, unlike the American Founders, anti-colonialists don’t want just independence from the “mother country”; they want it driven out and all its influences destroyed.  In this scenario, the United States is the last – and, possibly, the most evil – of the colonial powers.

So, America needs to apologize for its past and current colonial efforts.  It needs to recognize and even bow before those who have overthrown their colonial masters and established their own rule.  Its symbols are offensive and shameful, not promoted publically and proudly.  And, most of all, its ability to be a colonial master must be undercut, and the best way to do that is by ruining its economy and increasing its debt.

You don’t have to change your mind about Mitt Romney’s supposed similarity to Barack Obama.  You do, however, need to consider the difference.  You’ll make your own choice as to what’s really important to you; the parallel or the disparity.

See the movie.  Read the book.

Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

4 September 2012 at 11:39 am

%d bloggers like this: