The Choice


Picking not just the degree of government in our lives but our Commander-in-Psyche


On Tuesday voters will go to the ballot booth facing one of the starkest presidential choices in this nation’s history.

Never before has the electorate had the chance to affirm or refute a major government expansion like the one President Obama has instituted the past 4 years, from health care to energy to financial services.

When President Roosevelt pushed through social security in the 1930s, there was no question that it was a program that would not be repealed regardless of what some corners of the Republican party hectored. By the time Republicans had any chance of winning the presidency in 1948, such safety net had been in place for 13 years and it was foregone that no politician with self-preservation would ever dream of suggesting its repeal.

In 1968, after Medicare was put into place by Lyndon Johnson, it did not matter that he was not running again to defend it; like most social programs, once in place, it is impossible to end. Even today, the idea of just reforming it so that it is sustainable is political self-immolation to some degree, as Paul Ryan has found out.

So with Tuesday’s election, voters will be able to pick a candidate who has promised to repeal the third of the major social safety-net programs put into law, Obamacare. Regardless of how voters come down on such, they will hopefully appreciate the gravity of the choice they face.

Who will the voters pick as the country’s next Commander-in-Psyche?


But just as there is an important decision that must be made as to how and how much we choose our health care, energy and financial options, so too must we pick who will lead this country when it comes to enunciating its vision as well as defending our interests. One could call the U.S. President the chief spokesman for the country but Commander-in-Psyche would not be too far off the mark, not to minimize the other responsibilities of the office.

On that score, it would be difficult for the average American to choose President Obama over Mitt Romney.

From Mr. Obama’s dour acceptance of an 8% unemployment rate and 2% economic growth to his 2009 overseas trip that can well be described as an apology tour, Mr. Obama has nowhere exhibited the sunny optimism that Ronald Reagan showed, nor even Bill Clinton or Mitt Romney. In short, the president is like the salesman who believes he’s selling an inferior product and can’t avoid displaying such fact, but he must make the sale regardless. Such is not an attitude for the head of any country, and certainly not the world’s superpower.

Pundits have said that the results of this election will indicate not only the direction of the country but the state of the electorate. Probably so.

And if Mr. Obama is able to get re-elected, it will unfortunately say that all too many people have not just accepted a lower standard for themselves but for the U.S. also.

Let’s hope that Reagan’s optimism is prevalent.

-I.M. Windee

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