Thursday, February 23, 2012

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IV, Issue VIII

E Pluribus Unum: IDEAS Drive this Election

Back in the 1970's my wife was teaching fourth grade in Louisa County. In the newly integrated elementary school system, she made this observation: "Who were the kids who were best friiends... the white kid and the African American kid who both liked math. Common interests brought them together... at least in the waning years of youthful innocence." In more recent times,, school choice became a bit of common ground for Black urban Mothers in Cleveland, Ohio, home of a successful voucher program and Homeschool Mom's in very white Virginia suburbs. The common thread of wanting solid opportunity for their children was more important than heritage.

Faces of Freedom
From album "Faces of Freedom," photos from the 09/12 rally.

This week the 'other' weekly news magazine makes the statement that Hispanic people will pick our next president. Indeed they will, along with African Americans, Irish, Germans and Native Americans... every people who's rich heritage is folded into the land of 'E Pluribus Unum.'

No question, America is home to a growing Spanish heritage population, but past centuries saw an influx of people from Europe and our own lifetime has seen immigration from around the globe.

In the Nineteenth Century we worried about the influence of each successive wave of immigration only to see them interwoven into the fabric of our Nation. Only recently have we seen a desire by some to capitalize on the politics of division. Observers such as Star Parker address this straight on. Parker's writings, such as Uncle Sam's Plantation document the actual effect of policies supposedly designed to help 'disadvantaged' minorities. Programs designed to aid poor single Mothers actually contribute to the breakup of the family. Subgroups are then tied politically to their supposed benefactors rather than incorporated into a culture of opportunity.

Faces of Freedom
From album "Faces of Freedom," photos from the 09/12 rally.

Thus members of an urban subgroup languish at public expense while new immigrants from Asia build lives providing basic services for them.

The rise of alternative media has allowed for the exchange of ideas to gain wider footing. The Republican primary process is actually a very healthy example of this. There is a more open vetting process where candidates' strengths, records and exchanged ideas have all been put on the table.

In the past a man of Mitt Romney's experience and steady hand might have easily clinched his party's nomination coming into Michigan, indeed Ronald Reagan was relatively free to evolve in ideology before facing the unending media circus, but knowing that allows us to examine the present process for what it is.

From album "Faces of Freedom," photos from the 09/12 rally.

The final Republican Presidental Debate showed a strong performance by the TEAM I believe is necessary to beat Barack Hussein Obama.

Newt Gingrich, the thinker, did well to keep focusing on the failures of Obama. Newt pretty much says what he's thinking. He'd make a great college professor. He takes the long form when he discusses energy independence and matters such as National security. There is a place for ruminating about colonies on the Moon, but not when we're facing record deficits and the need to up our defenses to meet the madness of Iran and North Korea. I LOVE Newt in an advisory role. I can't quite see him as President.

Ron Paul is a brilliant defender of limited government. I actually wish he had more opportunity to complete his thoughts sometimes. When he compared his foreign policy to that of Dwight Eisenhauer, I wanted to hear the long version. He really understands the Federal Reserve, and if he could run it that would be interesting. He fundamentally disagrees with what it does, but the possibility of real reform makes this thought appealing. His inability to address the threat of mad dictators with nuclear capability makes him unpresidential.

Rick Santorum is very well informed on international threats. His appeal to traditional values and morality rings true with the vast majority of Americans. The popular promotion of 'tolerance' makes it all to easy to paint him as extreme, but Newt did very well to point out that Barack Obama's vote, as a Senator, to allow infanticide does not sit well with the American Conscience. Santorum's support for Arlen Specter and his voting record do not necessarily disqualify him, but they do call into question a lot of his criticisms of other candidates. He often appears as passionate, but sometimes it seems like he's losing his temper.

Mitt Romney is cool under fire and shines best when he's taking on the Obama record. He is by far the best debator. His toughest job right now is to sell 'pure' Conservatives on his integrity as a candidate. If he cannot, he must at least underscore how disasterous a second Obama term would really be. History shows us that Ronald Reagan made a similar pilgrimage on his way to the White House. I must confess, I openly salivate at the thought of Romney taking on a teleprompterless Obama. "He'll eat Obama's lunch."

From album "Faces of Freedom," photos from the 09/12 rally.

Controlling overreaching government, seeking energy independence and national security and handing off a strong America to our children are all ideas that must be repeated over and over as we approach the next election. Barack Obama made a point of blaming the country's woes on George W. Bush. Keynesian stimulus after Keynesian stimulous only resulted in higher unemployment numbers than the President claimed were unnaceptable under Bush. Blocking the Keystone Pipeline and stalling domestic exploration in Virginia need to be brought up every time rising gas prices are mentioned.

Every time the President wants to send more people to college, he needs to be reminded of how many graduates are seeking 'alternate' employment in today's economic reality. We need to build a robust and diverse economy that employs hands as well as brains.

Most importantly, we need to remind the dividers among us that an African American Mother and I share the same dreams for our children. We want them to have a safe place to grow up and learn, and later on a chance to aspire in a country built by those who aspired before us. Let's kick Jeremiah Wright and James Cone out of the White House and bring in Star Parker. Let us once again look to build Reagan's 'City on a Hill.'

Faces of Freedom
From album "Faces of Freedom," photos from the 09/12 rally.

"I've thought a bit of the ``shining city upon a hill.'' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, G-d-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, G-d bless you, and G-d bless the United States of America."
-- Ronald Reagan, from his farewell address.


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