We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Success in life" is one of those useless, maybe even insidious terms, like "happiness." Perhaps the rare independent thinkers among us rebel against such hollow terms and follow the beat of their own inner drummers, but most of us accept the default socio-cultural standards of whatever socio-cultural milieu we live in. Fish in water.
As one example, I gave up my delusions of grandeur in late adolescence as most people seem to do when the reality of our limits sinks in. Change the world and all of that. As far as I could tell, I had no rare talents, passions, or bold new ideas but I liked to work and to learn so I pursued the conventional bourgeois format of education, financial security, raising interesting kids, and becoming a member of the gentry like my parents and grandparents. Some comfort, some security, a warm home, lots of hobbies, interests, and friends. I bought into the conventions of my personal background. Is that "success"? Security and comforts seem like lame aspirations, lacking in adventure and risk, but what else can an ordinary person do?
Ah get born, keep warm Short pants, romance, learn to dance Get dressed, get blessed Try to be a success Please her, please him, buy gifts Don’t steal, don’t lift Twenty years of schoolin’ And they put you on the day shift Look out kid They keep it all hid Better jump down a manhole Light yourself a candle Don’t wear sandals Try to avoid the scandals Don’t wanna be a bum You better chew gum The pump don’t work ’Cause the vandals took the handles
In middle age, we reflect on these things. Have I used God's gifts as best I could have? Have I been as benevolent and constructive being as I could have? Sacrificial enough for my conscience? Did I make enough money? Will I leave behind me things and memories of charm and beauty if not a handful of inspiring ideas? Thus far, lived with integrity and to my standards of behavior? Make a lovely, rich- (not money-rich) enough life for my wife and kids? Helped enough people through life messes? Loved my neighbor as myself? Admittedly, these are socio-culturally-determined questions but I think they are typically-American.
Most of us here across the pond are amazed that Americans are so surprised by the actions of President Obama. Think about it...all his predecessors who shipped jobs over seas, allowed corporate bail outs with tax dollars, and stripped your Constitutional freedoms with laws like the Patriot Act did it in the name of a "a better and safer America".
President Obama told Americans to your face he was going to "fundamentally change America" and he never said it would be for the better. And so you voted him into office, not once, but twice so he could keep doing exactly what he said he would do.
And now you're surprised?
And I thought Germans were slow to learn.
Karl Horst (Germany)
true words, Karl, save for the universal "you" - plenty of us knew this travesty would happen, warned against it - but the left in this country is a collective, a group of lemmings rushing towards (and over...) the cliff.
In the past three election cycles, we on the Right have given the opposition party the reins of government, sufficient to have exercised the power of the purse against mr. hussein's shredding - only to find that the majority of the opposition party really doesn't oppose him. It's not a fight between Right and left, between Republican and Socialist (the democrat party died long ago); it's the People against an ever-expanding government.
And a still small minority - growing, but still too few - of true Constitutionalists in office. Who can change it, from within the system, if time allows. A doubtful proposition which a betting man might walk away from.
Still, there is hope. As Churchill said, "... You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing. After they've tried everything else."
I think there is a strong enough remnant of We the People here who are about to take our government - and country - back. If only because we're not like the aforementioned gambler who can walk away from what looks like a bad bet. The gambler has somewhere else to go play. If this land should fall, where will those who cherish Liberty go?
No sir, I won't run - and I'm betting millions of my fellow Americans won't, either.