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November 5, 2012


This will be my last blog before the election tomorrow. It involves my recollection as an elderblogger of another time and day in Republican politics, one currently ignored by many of that party today due (in large part) to their tea party hijackers who wish to go back to the Victorian Age both in matters social and economic. Such a desire by the current Republican leadership, either real or pretended, will never happen. Young people and demographics won’t allow it. With globalization in our marketplace and atomic weaponry increasingly dispersed around the world, our future is precarious enough without the luxury of political fights and civil commotion as the greedy among us pursue the buck instead of what is best for our country as we glide along into that future, whatever it may be.

I remember well the pre-Watergate Nixon who (now get this) advocated a so-called GAW (Guaranteed Annual Wage). His proposal didn’t go anywhere, but it should have. Amid cries of “socialism” and the usual rant from the right (the same people who screamed “socialism” when the Social Security Act was passed in 1935), Nixon’s suggested policy went nowhere. The right wing rant about welfare was what brought on Nixon’s proposal. He sought to remedy the welfare fight for good with provision of a guaranteed annual wage for everyone.

The right wing wasn’t and isn’t into solution of the so-called “welfare crisis.” One is led to believe that the right wing will never want a solution to the “welfare problem” because it is such a potent political tool to be unsheathed when running for election. An added advantage is that the working class and the poor are easy targets; they have no money to explain their position while those attacking them have ample propaganda funds from the Roves and the Kochs of this world at their disposal to further vilify the already disadvantaged. Some of these “merchants of greed” should read the Parable of the Good Samaritan and take a long look at themselves in the mirror – a very long look – and then ask themselves if this is the way they would want to be treated if they were members of that underclass (always a possibility in this volatile world).

Richard Nixon was wrong when he involved himself personally with Watergate. He was not wrong in proposing an end to welfare for good with his guaranteed annual wage idea. We passed up a golden opportunity to evening the playing table and getting rid of “welfare as we know it” in America, thanks to Republicans, members of his own party.

The pre-Watergate Nixon also signed off on the EPA during his first term of office. That was historic –  and necessary. Some of the tea party Republicans are to this day angry at his signature on that great piece of legislation. They apparently were not around when (literally) Lake Erie caught on fire. We were well en route to environmental disaster at the time. With clean air and clean water acts, one may now fish in Lake Erie without fear of immolation. Such legislation bought us time, though time is running out on us again thanks to global warming (which we continue to ignore at our deadly peril).

Eisenhower heard few “big government” and “socialism” screams when he proposed building the interstate highway system. It was built under the auspices of “Defense,” but it turned out to be an enormous plus for the civilian transportation of goods and people throughout the country. One may now drive coast to coast and never encounter a stop light. Think what that means in transportation of California produce to New York City, or the transportation of auto components to Detroit for final assembly of automobiles etc. It was big government at its best, doing what big government does best. Whether it is fighting wars or responding to Katrina and Sandy or building interstate highways, there is a role for the federal government that states have neither the resources nor skills to handle. As examples, would states have built the interstate highway system? Conducted and coordinated wars? Hunted down terrorists? Of course not!

Similarly, should FEMA responsibilities (as insanely proposed by Romney) be sent back to the states? Do any such states have the resources and skills to handle a Katrina or a Sandy? With a few exceptions, states these days are totally broke, laying off cops, firemen and schoolteachers. Someone who is sane tell me how these states are going to handle 50 billion dollar storms.

Likewise, we hear calls from Wall Street and tea party Republicans for sending social security and health care responsibilities “back to the states.” When you say “back” that assumes that the states were once in control of social security and health care programs. They never were and are totally unequipped to handle such responsibilities now. Romney, who talks of federal bureaucracy in the administration of these programs, would substitute FIFTY bureaucracies for one. Brilliant move!

So Romney wants us to vote for him because he is an experienced businessman? History is of no help to him. Hoover, a businessman, gave us the Great Depression. Bush, a businessman, gave us the Great Recession. The office of the Presidency demonstrably calls for visionaries – not businessmen – visionaries of the stature of an Abraham Lincoln (Republican) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) who were great presidents irrespective of party.

I am a bit deaf at this age, but totally deaf to those who would urge us to elect money changing plutocrats into office so they can parcel out our Treasury’s income to their friends on Wall Street, the multinational corporations and the rich and corporate class in general. We need not place moneychangers in charge of policy – that’s for visionaries, not accountants.

Romney in this last moment of pre-election desperation is now saying that Obama is inexperienced and unqualified for the office of the Presidency. I leave you with this parting thought – Obama has had four years of experience in being president. How many years has Romney had as president of the United States? If elected, he would start out four years behind the curve.

The choice is clear. We can hire accountants; we need not elect them to make policy for the United States of America. It is Romney who is inexperienced and unqualified for the office of the Presidency, and I urge my followers and anyone they can influence to vote for Obama, who is both experienced and qualified for a return to the job.

Romney can go back to the job for which he is experienced and well qualified – vulture capitalism. GERALD  E

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