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Pep Rally Is Over: Game Begins

By Ken Poland
Opinion | September 8, 2012

COLBY, Kan. - The Democrats, just like the Republicans, have come away from their pep rally with the hope that they have fired up the team. The crowd was behind them in the rally. The question now is: Will the expanded crowd that wasn't at the convention, in person, have caught the fever and enthusiasm?

As Dr. Mark Hansen pointed out at the Colby Community College's "Max Pickerell Lecture Series" the other night, the older generations of both parties tend to be in the center and more moderate than the younger generations. We (the older generation) are more aware of historical trends. I'm not nearly as excitable as I was some sixty years ago. We have survived a lifetime of failures and successes, and the sun is still rising in the east and setting in the west on a predictable schedule. We have learned to adapt to the changing seasons, heat cycles and cold cycles. We haven't always predicted, with absolute accuracy, the conditions and haven't always been prepared with proper adaptation.

As all you readers are aware, I am a Democrat. And, contrary to what I keep hearing from a lot of people, there is a distinctively vast difference in the platforms of the two parties. There are some very basic differences in their economic policies and what role the government should play in our everyday lives.

The Republicans champion the free market system to regulate business ethics and morals. They tend to want government assistance in policing the personal ethics and morals of the individual. They trust the corporate boards, CEOs, and upper management to make decisions that set the standards for social responsibility of business. They seem to be blind to the demands of profit over compassionate concern for the masses. Their system is dependent upon 'everyman for himself' providing a level playing field and opportunity for all. They don't seem to think a Democratic Republic form of government should be concerned about monopoly control of the economy. They do seem to be concerned about organized professional and laboring individuals encroaching upon the standards and freedom of self regulation of business.

The Democrats, on the other hand, champion individual freedom and responsibility. They trust individuals to organize themselves to equalize individual power with Management and Corporate policy. They think government should not control individual choice in matters of religion (theology), sexual orientation, procreation, and emotional attachments. They think government should protect majorities from the tyranny of minorities and minorities from the tyranny of majorities. Democrats, in general, respect both the discipline of science and the discipline of religion.

I don't think the Republicans can destroy our nation in the next four years and I wasn't expecting the Demicrats to create utopia in the last four years. The Demicrats have not convinced me that every proposal they have made is going to give us heaven on earth. Neither have I been convinced that all of the Republican proposals will create hell on earth.

I do have a problem with undoing the last three and a half years and returning to the status of our nation at the end of the last administration. So far, I've not seen any significant new policies being proposed by the Republican team. Lowering income taxes and deregulation hadn't worked in those eight years. Your personal freedoms were being taken away and the economy was in a precipitous decline. So, let's try some more of the same?

Whether it is because of government programs or in spite of them, General Motors and Chrysler are still alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is no longer the dominate force in the Mid East. Your checking account and CDs are safe and sound. The bank bail outs were actually in the legislative and administrative process before the Democrats gained the presidency. Raising the debt ceiling was inevitable before the last presidential election.

It appears to me: If you want the government to control your own personal morals and theology, the insurance companies to control your health care and multinational corporations and holding companies to control the economy, you should join the Republican team. If you want to decide your own morals and theology, have equitable medical and health care, and reasonable opportunity to at least maintain middle class economic level, then perhaps you should join the Democrat team.

Obviously, there are many more nuances in both party's platforms. It takes more than a short editorial to point out all the fine points. If you are really interested in making informed decisions at the voting booth, you need to study both sides and look at the reality of what is fact and what is fiction. Campaign rhetoric is often taken out of context, making it less than truthful. Our court system depends upon both sides presenting their evidence, and then, the judge or jury must weigh all sides of the issue before making their decision. If the court only considers one side's testimony or witness the verdict is very suspect. If you vote only on the basis of one side's evaluation of what we need, you run a good chance of not voting for what is in your best interest.


1 Comment

Ken--You have summarized the situation well in your next to last paragraph. I'm amazed that certain people say they're "disappointed" in Obama because he didn't do everything he said he would do. Do they not realize what he accomplished under impossible circumstances? Do they not realize what we would be in for under a Romney presidency? The polls are favoring Obama right now. I hope that holds up after the Koch money starts paying for the last minute attack ads. Diane


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This page contains just one story published on September 8, 2012. The one written previous to this is titled "Political Convention Season" and the story published right after this one is "Rev. Brownback's Pious Ogallala Rhetoric"

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