Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks that McCain Lost

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”
Eric Hoffer

As we linger in the trough of the recession, I have to admit that America has had a tough couple of Thanksgivings. Here in the midwest, the real estate market looks like Amy Winehouse’s hotel room after a weekend binge and if we were to make a movie about the local employment picture we would have to call it “Dim and Dimmer.” Friends and associates have seen their pensions de-funded, their companies shuttered, and their families strained by fear and financial insecurity. Several local car dealers have committed suicide, recalling the depths of despair reached during the Great Depression where once-wealthy tycoons leapt to their demise from tall buildings. One might expect widespread angst to pervade our daily lives and steal our joy.

But most Americans are made of sterner stuff. Thanks largely to our Christian roots, our American ideals and the common sense approach to daily life that they entail, we remain buoyed by the gift of gratitude. At least those of us here in my neck of the corn do, here in Indiana. Despite the kind-heartedness and gratitude I see in those around me, a great many Americans seem to be sorely lacking in the spirit of thankfulness we celebrate this week. Our President, for example, who probably has more reason to be grateful for the life he has been given than any of the rest of us, focuses instead on whining and complaining. Rather than recognizing the greatness of the country that made his life and rise to the most respected office in the world possible, B.O. focuses instead on apologizing for our country’s lack of perfection and derides our nation and its founding heroes at nearly every turn.

“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality”
Alfred Painter

The best tool in our spiritual tool-box remains our ability to focus our attention on the positive things in our lives. While our consciousness is comprised of both attention and intention, it is what we pay attention to in our lives that determines our state-of-mind and whether or not we can be happy. Unfortunately, one of our two political parties has decided its raison d’etre is to focus on, and develop grievances. Thus we have a constantly stoked sense of victimhood in that large percentage of our American population agitated and serviced by the Democrat party. Democrats attempt to maintain a nearly continual focus by their constituents on what is wrong with their lives. And my, oh my, what an unhappy bunch they are.

“There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people.” R.H. Blyth

I, for one, choose to be happy. So I set out this Thanksgiving week to make a list of all the things I am grateful for, that I might recognize how much I might be taking for granted, even in these somewhat difficult times. While the usual suspects populate my list: good health, lovely wife, bright, happy children, and a nice home in a good community; I realized that the things at the top of my list where somewhat more intangible.

When one sees the squalor and struggle in sub-Saharan Africa or other third world nations, it’s easy to be grateful to have been born here in our healthy, wealthy nation. Regardless of the best efforts of the American Gang of Four to create an American Cultural Revolution, the worst efforts of B.O., Nanzi Pelosi, Harry Reid and their Alinskyite Geppetto, George Soros, America still provides an opportunity for anyone from anywhere on the planet to thrive and prosper here. Yes, the American Dream lives on, even though the Gang of Four has most of us losing sleep. If one remains as positive as one can be, and as flexible as one can be, the results here in the U.S.A. remain overwhelmingly likely to be fruitful in most any pursuit.

The most startling result of the enumeration of that for which I am grateful became the realization that I am perhaps most grateful that John McCain was defeated in his pursuit of the Presidency in 2008. Of course, I reluctantly voted for him. Anyone who has read my work or has had a casual conversation with me realizes that I am no fan of Barack Obama. The evidence of his incompetence and lack of preparation at nearly every task he pursues grows daily. His domestic policies are dictatory, uninformed and childish and his foreign policy is prissy and weaker than circus lemonade. He lacks the economic comprehension of a child running a kool-aid stand while worshipping at the altar of big government-run-rampant.

The suggestion by his promoters and the sycophantic media that B.O. is a uniter is like some sort of sick joke. Except for the Civil War era, our nation has never been more divided than it is at this time. For a brief moment in time, Barack Obama was carried to the zenith of political power by an anti-establishment left working like moles beneath the radar since the late 1960’s. Embedded in various American bureaucracies, particularly in the media and education, they strove to enlarge the size of government and to expand and enforce their sacraments of multiculturalism, wealth redistribution and political correctness.

A large majority of Americans, however, remain what were once called Reagan Democrats or what Nixon termed members of The Silent Majority. The defeat of John McCain and the Plastic Man


over-reach by the Democrat left generated the re-birth of that long silent majority:

“The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly… and who did not enthusiastically participate in public discourse or the media.

The Silent Majority was mostly populated with the blue collar people who allegedly didn't have the ability or the time to take an active part in politics other than to vote. They did, in some cases, support the conservative policies of many politicians. Others were not particularly conservative politically, but resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions. (Ibid wiki)

As a result of the tin-earred, over-confident leftist majority’s over-reach, a large contingent of white-collar folks, including small business owners and professionals have joined this no longer silent majority.

If John McCain had somehow been able to defeat Barack Obama in the Presidential race in 2008, the silent majority would likely have remained silent. One might argue that this enormous block of conservative voters did, in fact, remain silent and weren’t motivated enough by the wishy-washy Republicanism of the aisle-crossing Senator from Arizona to actually come out and vote. Our first glimpse of the re-birth of the Silent Majority as an activist voting bloc came with the nomination of Sarah Palin as McCain’s Vice Presidential candidate.

With the advent of the Obama administration and its huge majority in Congress came a rush to capitalize on what the left perceived as a mandate for their policies. Obama’s electoral victory had nothing to do with policy, however, for he was never really required to reveal any policy ideas in his brief strut upon the political stage prior to his election as POTUS. Assisted by Rahm Emanuel and Nanzi Pelosi, the rush to “let no crisis go to waste” began immediately as the Democrats took power and exacted a hard left..

Many of us remain incredulous at the audacity of the leftward lurch the Democrats have tried to impose upon us. From the non-stimulating stimulus, to the government takeover of the auto industry, to the outright lies put forth to support the government takeover of our health care system and on to Obama’s mulitplicity of czars, nearly every day Americans are faced with news about some attempt at American government reform that appears to be right out of the Communist Manifesto.

If John McCain had been elected President, we would have been likely to be willing to endure the inexorable leftward drift of our country. McCain’s selection of campaign staff and the laughable campaign he ran against a thoroughly beatable candidate clearly demonstrated once and for all how it was possible for the young McCain to finish last in his class at Annapolis. Why should we believe he would be any more intelligent about running the country?

McCain’s policies on illegal immigration, global warming and the stimulus are very little different from Obama’s. And Senator McCain is every bit as vested in the whole PC- multiculturalism-diversity canard as our underperforming Scattergood-in-Chief. Don’t ever forget that it was John McCain who refused to discuss Obama’s connections to Reverand Wright and Bill Ayres, or to even utter Obama’s Islamic middle name during his campaign. In hindsight, these campaign malpractices were probably the deal-breakers.

If John McCain had been elected President, Cap and Trade may have actually passed and the chimera of bi-partisanship would have truly been enshrined in the White House. B.O.’s in-your-face patisanship has thankfully dampened Republican enthusiasm for the crossing-the-aisle shuffle. Since taking power, the left, egged on by the combativeness of Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel and Harry ”Pugilistic Dementia” Reed, has clearly drawn its lines in the sand

And the no-longer-silent majority, in the form of the tea-party movement and a revitalized Republican party continues to marshall its resources and is assuming the battlements. The results in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections are only the beginning of the American pendulum’s dramatic swing back to the right. Would we have seen the dramatic blue state takeovers with cranky, old, Gang of Fourteen Johnny sitting in the White House? Not a chance. So this Thanksgiving, let’s all send out a special thanks to Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace and John McCain for forcing us to face the reality of the abominable leftward drift we have passively accepted these last 30 years.

Thanks to the revitalized Silent Majority, we can continuing striving for 30 and out.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
John Wooden


Anonymous said...

Brilliant essay and exactly how I feel about McCain and what would have happened. I to voted for him out of fear of Obama. My immediate thoughts after voting for him were "what have I done, what if he wins".
It was a vote for the lesser of two evils. I was very angry with the people who stayed home but I can see if I'd been really true to my feelings I would have done the same.
My other fear about McCain winning was the effect it would have on Palin being there with him for four years. I was praying she would be able to hold to her beliefs and not be unduly influenced by Washington and McCain. Thankfully this was only a stepping stone to the national stage. It does now seem ordained to be that way, doesn't it?

Ronbo said...

It is clear if McCain had won in 2008 he would have taken the Republican Party down the same path to socialism as that taken by the British Conservative Party after Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997.

Today in Britain all major political parties - and even the new kid on the block - the BNP - favor socialism in one form or another.

This is the reason the productive elements in British society are taking ships and planes to less regulated parts of the world, because in the words of one British Ex-pat, "In Britain we ruled by a traitor-government."

Dymphna said...

Ah, Deo gratias for all that did not happen.

You forgot one additional horrible specter: Obama out of office, whining and whingeing for 4 long years. Now we only have to ignore his ponificiations and try to build a work-sround for the messes he makes.

My gratitude is more basic this year: that our son, home with asthmatic pneumonia and the swine flu is still breathing and is actually geting better. He's in that "young mortality" group and we were reduced to sitting by his bed watching him breathe far into the nights...he's on a slow mend, but he's going to be okay.

As James Lewis, a fellow-essayist of yours at AT said:

Gratitude is a noble virtue; you have to respect yourself to be grateful to others. Only those who feel blessed can be filled with gratitude. It is a kind of courtesy of the heart.

Before we became poor thru this financial muck-up, I got great joy out of giving. I am learning to do the same with receiving. It's a kind of surrender.

Thanks for the essay. These are things I've thought about, but never managed to elaborate so coherently.

You forgot another thing, though: the thoroughly fascinating attire of the First Lady. Only the nouveau riche would buy 500.00 sneakers. Only the politically tone-deaf would actually wear them.

The woman's a corker.