ME has spent most of his retirement from service to the United States studying, thinking, and writing about the country he served.
The Vote is Fast Approaching
Actually, my audience for this blog is a bit smaller. The whole title should be "Independents and Conservatives With A Conscience Who Still Have Doubts About Supporting President Obama and the Democrats in the Midterm Elections, Answer Me This Please".
THAT WAS WHAT I ASKED FOUR YEARS AGO. Now I ask:
"... Independents and Conservatives With A Conscience Who Still Have Doubts About Supporting America in the Midterm Elections, Answer Me This Please".
It should be clear to all now that you have seen four years of the far Right at work that they are bad for America, in a political sense. I would argue that their voice still needs to be heard loud and clear so that we never look too far to the Left, but in the political process they are, to be polite, extremely counterproductive; they need to go and replaced by Republicans who are willing to compromise with Democrats. There has NEVER been a period in history when the progressives, be they Whigs, Republicans, Federalists, or Democrats, as a Party have never been willing to compromise. Until 1995, that has been true of the right side of the aisle as well.
It has always amazed me how little time many Americans give our leaders to solve problems. Now it seems that those in absolute opposition, those who live by dogma alone, whether it be right or left, will give leaders no time at all. But why is it that those who actually use their brain to sort out the issues fall into the same trap?
In 23, ney, 390 days, (remember, I wrote this four years ago) in my view, [I used to think] many right, as in "correct", thinking Americans will vote to throw the "baby out with the bathwater" because of two unfortunate yet predictable reasons. The First reason is that the Democratic Party, once again, shows the world that they care more about in-fighting than doing what is best for the country. That is a huge turn-off to me and I imagine the rest of the electorate. [2013 -This isn't so much of a reason anymore [It's now 11/2014 - yes it was] although Democrats still have an issue of holding it together which may end up hurting America's cause.]
The Second reason is that President Obama and the Super-majority of Congressional Democrats could not, reverse, in less than 19 months, all of the damage caused by the 2nd most destructive economic downturn world history; the Great Recession of 2007. I am sorry, but I have to just throw my head back and my arms out and scream at the heavens above in utter disbelief and frustration at that unrealistic but yet, I am sure, sincere expectation of many Americans.
2013 - I don't change, but only add to that.
Preliminary Question 1
Preliminary Question 2
Learn What Makes Right-Wing Conservatives Tick
First Reason: In-fighting and No Plan
I won't even attempt to address the First reason for the potential mass migration of independents from the Democrats. Hell, I want to as well! Why, you ask? For the first time in decades the Democrats had an opportunity to fix many of the wrongs visited upon us by the Conservatives Without a Conscience. They blew it!
The lack of cohesiveness, lack of an over arching plan, and in-fighting took good policies from President Obama and turned them into political fodder for the Conservatives, both With and Without Consciences. They had a feeding frenzy and rightly so. For that reason alone, the Democrats deserve to lose control, in my opinion ... EXCEPT!!
Look who they will lose control to!! It will not be to the Conservatives With a Conscience. It is not the Colin Powells or Olympia Snows or Charlie Crists (Gov, FL) who will lead the Republicans. These people understand the Art of politics, how to govern, how to work with the other side; in short, what is good for America. Instead, it will be the replacements for the Newt Gengrichs, Tom Delays, and Richard Cheneys; the Conservatives Without a Conscience. I don't need to tell you how they govern; we are still suffering from the effects of it. Consequently, even though I am miffed at the Dems, this will not stop me from voting for them.
Second Reason: History Repeating Itself
It is the Second reason I would like to address and receive responses about. My premise is this: it took seven years, from 1999 to 2007, to create the conditions for the dramatic economic collapse we are currently recovering from. Briefly, it started with the repeal, in November 1999, of the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act. This long, forgotten Act was sort of the Capstone of laws that were put into place to prevent a repeat of the Great Depression. The repeal of this Act was passed by the Republican congress and signed into law by outgoing president Bill Clinton in November 2007. The purpose of the original Act was to prevent speculation by commercial banks on the mortgages they made to Main Street Americans. The repeal allowed the speculation to occur again. Boy did it ever!!!
From 2000 on, President Bush and the Republican Congress of CWoCs weakened or dismantled most of the other laws and regulations that prevented commercial banks and other financial institutions from doing the kinds of things that helped lead to, and some say caused, the Great Depression of 1929. There is no question it was the underlying cause of the Great Recession of 2007. (I will explain this in more detail in another Hub.) To me it is obvious that history repeated itself; the Great Recession of 2007 was predictable. Why? It is simple. You give the people who run the financial institutions the latitude and freedom from regulations they had prior to 1929 and they will commit the same kind of financial atrocities that led to the Great Depression. Greed is a very powerful motivator. I argue that recent events prove me right! Any Comments? Anybody Disagree?
What Does It Take Not to Live in Poverty?
- Poverty: Are Welfare Thresholds Too High or Too Low?...
What income does it really take to barely make it in America, meaning what goes into a
Now, in the Great Depression, the government tried the recovery tactics advocated by those who opposed TARP and the Stimulus today; do nothing and let the private sector take care of itself. That is what President Hoover believed then and that is what the CWoCs believe today..
Back then, there was no social security, there were no public works, there was no welfare. At its worse, however, there was almost 25% unemployment and the economy did not recover fully until WW II. In 1940, unemployment was still 15%!
It was FDR's massive stimulus program (the New Deal, 1933) that finally started getting America out of the Depression. Ironically, in 1937, the "Conservative Coalition" of conservative Democrats and Republicans rolled back parts of the New Deal and drove us back into a recession! It took World War II to finally get us on our feet again. Isn't that sad.
Fast forward to December 2007. The Great Recession begins. The stock market has peaked in October and is beginning its great decline; jobs are already being shed; the first snowflakes of the impending avalanche begin to slide downhill..
Fast forward another year to November 2008 and the avalanche is in full-force. Almost 700,000 private sector jobs are being lost per month and the stock market is in a nose dive; there is no bottom seen to this economic. All is doom and gloom; Barack Obama is elected President ... this was 23 months ago.
There is much debate over what the remedy is to be. It runs the gamut from the Hoover-style do nothing, let it run its course approach to the FDR massing stimulus and complete government take-over what was finally settled upon; the TARP and a punt.
It is now Jan 2009. TARP was passed by a Democratic congress and signed by President Bush. The idea was to prop up the guilty financial institutions to prevent another Great Depression. This was to be followed by some sort of a stimulus after the new President took office to put the brakes on the avalanche of job losses before they reached Depression proportions. The Conservatives Without a Conscience, on-the-other-hand, counseled the same tact used by President Hoover in 1929. At least President Bush, for the moment, became a Conservative With a Conscience. The stock market, after having leveled off after President-elect Obama's election started back down again; job loss accelerated, the economic avalanche gained even more steam. ... this was 21 months ago.
Jan 20, 2009, President Obama takes office (and the Conservatives Without a Conscience (CWoC) are wondering why the economy hasn't turned around yet, Obama must be failing). He begins to put in place is Recovery team. In late Feb 2009, after much sniping by the CWoCs about being too slow, the Democratic congress passes and President Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the much maligned Stimulus bill. The stock market is tumbling down again and there is no sign private sector job losses are slowing down, around 720,000/mo ... this was 20 months ago.
Failure is Predicted - From the Outset or So The Think
Mar 2009. The drumbeat against the President's stimulus plan begins. The stock market hits its low point. The GDP has its last negative report. The avalanche continues unabated, private sector jobs are quickly being shed, still around 700,000/mo ... 19 months ago.
July 2009. 5 months after stimulus. The "stimulus isn't working" rhetoric picks-up. The stock market begins its recovery, the recession is "officially" over but this won't be know for another 10 months, and the avalanche is finally slowing down ... a lot! Private sector job losses are "improving", in a back-handed sort of way; losses are down to around 250,000/mo. To me, that is a dramatic improvement that coincidentally happens 4 - 5 months after the hated Stimulus Act was made law. Hmmmmm, ... 14 months ago.
Jan 2010. Only 11 months after stimulus!This is a banner month because it is the first month where there was POSITIVE job growth in the Private Sector. This wonderful achievement is drowned out by loud and raucous and fervent calls for repeal of the stimulus and a few calls for the impeachment of the president.
How this great news got lost while the naysayers belief that the Democrats had already lost the midterm elections gained traction are beyond me other than to say, President Obama and his advisers and the Democrats and their advisers let it happen. Who in their right mind (except CWoCs) would have ever thought a President could have stopped the hemorrhaging of 700,000 private sector jobs per month caused by the longstanding bad policy of the previous administration could turn that around in a mere 11 months?
Independents and Conservatives With a Conscience, please note that it took, what, WW II in 1942 to finally get unemployment below 15% after the Great Depression. Please note also, this, 15% unemployment, is where we would have been if the Conservatives Without a Conscience had held sway in 2007 and where we may still end up if they are voted in again on Nov 2, 2010! ... this was 10 months ago.
The TARP and the Stimulus Really Did Work!
The stimulus worked. President Obama and the Democratic Congress, in spite of all of their bickering, were able to limit unemployment to 10%, well below the 25% that was possible and only slightly above the predicted 8%. A prediction, I might mention, that was made when nobody had a good idea of the full extent of the damage done by their predecessors. If President Obama's economic team had waited few months longer to collect more information, there is no doubt, their estimate would have been more on target.
Jul 2010. 17 months after the stimulus. Congress passed and President Obama signed, over the vehement objections of the CWoCs, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This Act, for the first time in American history, created a cabinet position dedicated to the protection of Main Street Americans rights as well as reestablishing most, but unfortunately not all, of the financial protections against abuse in that industry. The economy, stock market, and private sector jobs are in recovery ... this was only 3 months ago.
Sep 2010. Only 19 months after the stimulus.We now have six quarters of steady economic growth, a wonderful stock market recovery, and an astounding 860,000 private sector jobs added since December 2009! TARP, another program to save the country which the CWoC taught Main Street America to hate, has actually worked!Of the $700 billion authorized, only $350 billion was handed. The program is now expected to only cost about $9 billion, if that; a far cry from bankrupting the country as the CWoC had claimed. So ...
this is where we stand today with only 3 weeks to the midterm election. If the polls are correct and something isn't done in those 3 weeks, the electorate will be turning control of their lives right back into the hands of the Conservatives Without a Conscience that just finished destroying them less than two years ago!!The CWoCs have vowed to do everything in their power to reverse all President Obama and the Democrats have accomplished in the last 19 months. This scares me to death.
OK, Now the Question - How Can Obama Do the Impossible?
If World War II had started on January 20, 2009 instead of December 7, 1942, this country would be on the verge to throwing the war effort into a cocked-hat because FDR and the current Congress hadn't won the war yet. After all, they have had 21 months to win it. Anyone can win a war in 21 months, right? Just ask President Bush. Oh yeah, I forgot, he couldn't do it in eight years.
Where were we then? America had taken a thrashing in the Pacific and had finally managed to start to turn the tide against the Japanese. We had just captured Guam in August 1942, about an equivalent time period from when President Obama took office. In Europe, we were still advancing in France with the outcome not all that certain. The enemy still had a lot of capability.
We didn't expect our leaders to have wrapped up WW II by August 1944 did we?. We knew the war was going to be hard and complex and was going to take a lot of time and sacrifice; probably well past 1945. So here is my question. Why do you not think this economic crisis that was seven years in the making, one that affected the whole world by almost bringing it to its economic knees, is not any more complex and hard to solve? Why would it not take as long a time to recover from this debacle as it did to prosecute WW II and recover from the Great Depression? Why, if you are one of the ones that are not giving the current administration and Congress the leeway and time to let their programs work, are you not doing so? Would you not have given FDR the same luxury of the benefit of the doubt?
On another tact. How is it possible that intelligent people can believe that the four million people who are still without jobs, because of the policies of the CWoCs who want your vote to put them back into power, could be put back to work in less time than it took them to lose their jobs in the first place? I submit that that is impossible!!
Finally, to pick up on my avalanche metaphor. What President do you think would ever be capable of stopping an avalanche in its tracks? Do you think McCain, Bush 1, Bush 2, Gengrich, DeLay could do it? I think not Why should any reasonable, thinking person believe President Obama and the Democratic congress would be able to stop such an avalanche of job losses in the 12 short months before the denouncements reached fever pitch? An avalanche that started in earnest only four months before President Obama's inauguration. It simply doesn't make sense to me why most Americans pronounced the Stimulus plan a failure in 12 months without 1) looking at the facts and 2) giving it a realistic chance. Do you agree?.
It is my belief that President Obama has done a miraculous job in staunching the flow of losing 700,000 jobs per month in Feb 2007, and reversing it to job gains of around 100,000 per month inside of 19 months. If I have convinced you of this or at least got you thinking, I hope you will get others thinking before it is too late.
Question 3 - Did Your Opinion Change
Question 4 - Did Your Opinion Change?
© 2010 Scott Belford
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on March 12, 2019:
Brad, as I already said "Brad, Once you read John Dean's book "Conservatives Without a Conscience", then get back to me. He talks about you a lot."
Brad on March 12, 2019:
Once again, you don't answer and questions or comments.
"The premise of putting in a conscience is a vague, ambiguous and irrelevant criteria for how people vote, or even how people think. It would also be irrelevant if the question asked if congress has a conscience when they serve their time in office. Instead of conscience the question for the congress should be are they upholding their oath to office which is more objective to determine that the concept of conscience.
The voters and the congress are relevant to your article and your article is not relevant to any answer.
Are you still pondering?"
Stop making these personal insults and innuendos.
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on March 12, 2019:
Why do you read ANY non-fiction book, Brad, to become more educated. Or do you not believe in education as well?
Brad on March 09, 2019:
Why should I read John Dean's book, my answer is about your article.
Once again, you don't answer and questions or comments.
Stop making these personal attacks.
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on March 09, 2019:
Brad, Once you read John Dean's book "Conservatives Without a Conscience", then get back to me. He talks about you a lot.
Brad on March 09, 2019:
The premise of putting in a conscience is a vague, ambiguous and irrelevant criteria for how people vote, or even how people think. It would also be irrelevant if the question asked if congress has a conscience when they serve their time in office. Instead of conscience the question for the congress should be are they upholding their oath to office which is more objective to determine that the concept of conscience.
The voters and the congress a relevant to your article and your article is not relevant to any answer.
Are you still pondering?
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on July 02, 2012:
It is still true this election, PHD, thanks for reading it.
You speak the truth, Suzett. Naples is a very pretty town. If Bush had read my Hub "A Short History on Depressions, Recessions, ....", he would have known not to get rid of all those regulations, LOL.
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on July 02, 2012:
Very well thought out and well written article. My point is that the Bush administration should never have let the economic problem get to the point where we needed bailouts of banks to save our economy. It is because of having the least banking regulations possible that we got in this messs in the first place. Also, the Wall St. investors were crooks who knew all the loopholes and how to get around all the laws and what few regulations we do have. It was the Bush's administrations duty to see that the economy was run honestly and fairly and they did not do that. Obama inherited a mess. He tried to fix the problem, but I don''t believe he went far enough either. Wall St. is back to its same old games and there is not enough regulation of what they do and how they do business. I understand all your points and yes, we are repeating history and that is the saddest part of this of all.
In the long run, if presidential administrations would run the country with honesty we wouldn't have half the problems we do today. Our country makes its own problems.
Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on July 01, 2012:
Excellent hub. Sorry I didn't get around to reading this when you first posted it. Thank you. Sharing,
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on June 03, 2012:
Thank you for reading my hub and taking the time to leave your thougts, slcockerham. However, I need to provide some corrections, perspective, and clarity to my use of the term "Conscience".
First, the loss of jobs in 2008 and 2009 are indeed monthly numbers, they aren't reported weekly.
Next, for perspective, the lowest weekly first time unemployment claims I could find is what looks like 175,000 in 1969. During the Reagan administration, the average appears to be (I am looking at a chart)about 375,000 four the four year recovery period following his two year recession; it then fell to around 325,000 before increasing again leading up to Bush 1's recession. During Clintons term, claim fell from a high of 390,000 in 1995, to a low of 275,000 in 2000. Bush II quickly found himself with 490,000 cliams at the beginning of 2001, which fell to 410,000 through 2004, then fell again to 320,000 until 2008. From there it skyrocketted to a peak around 650,000 when he left office (this was the second highest on the chart, somewhat below Reagan in 1981 (675,000).) Finally, for the five month of 2012, the only periods that have turned in lower numbers are from 1967 (where the chart starts) and 1974, the last halfs of Reagan, Bush I. and Bush II'S terms and all of Clinton's term. I find that interesting, don't you, given all of the heated rhetoric about how bad a job Obama is doing? It would seem like he is on par with every other president from Nixon on, except Clinton!
Finally, as to the term "Conscience". That is taken from John Dean's book "Conservatives Without Conscience" and it refers to the current brand of conservatives who disengage their brains and follow their political or religeous leaders without questioning them. These are called Right-wing Authoritarian (RWA) follerws by socioligist who study the phenomenon. I have written a hub on the subject with a survey to see how high you score on the RWA scale.
slcockerham from Tallahassee, Florida on June 02, 2012:
My Esoteric, I found this quite interesting although I think the number of weekly unemployment claims are still 270,000. At one time the weekly was 650,000, not monthly. We are still not in recovery, as businesses are not hiring because of Obama's policies, which are over-regulation, against capitalism, and punishing small businesses for success. I would let God decide who has a conscience, those who push abortion agendas for profit might be a better fit, but even I'll let God decide. I believe he did say something about the blood of the innocents polluting the land.
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on December 18, 2010:
Thank you Petra, I see I got a few more votes both the top and bottom ones and it looks like I changed somebodies mind :-)). Hope your count has gone up as well, it is nice to see people take an interest. Cross-pollenating between hubs like you have is a great idea and I have reciprocated.
I am just about done with my hub to you on America, I hope you like it.
I have so many things I want to write about. With 50 years of silence and thinking (I figure 13 would have been a good time to have started because that was when I started seriously thinking about God and religion), I am bursting.
Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 12, 2010:
I did leave a comment, but I see it did not take. I added my polls last night after I read this hub. Not too many people visited me since, but let's see what happens next.
What I would really like to see happening is that some of the people who read my hub would come up to read your hub about education and the one wrtitten by HS; I linked both hubs to mine as I see them not only being closely related, but also complimentary to each other
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on December 12, 2010:
Petra, P.S, I saw that you have as much problem getting people to vote has I do. I think I was voter number 3 on one of yours. I wonder why people are so reticent to give their views.
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on December 12, 2010:
Thank you again for reading and commenting on my hub, Petra.
First let me make a plea - never stop voting! Even though you may be supremely frustrated and angry with the American political system, as am I, it is the one right that truly means something. Where you were born and raised, you had a right to vote but there, but under communism, it really had no value. In America, if 2000 people, I think that is about right, in Florida (my wife included) had decided their vote meant something and had voted for Gore instead of Ralph Nader of the Green Party, the world would be very different today starting with no war in Iraq! All because people didn't vote or misused their vote. As miniscule as a single vote may seem, it is one of the most powerful things a people can have if it can be cast and counted freely and, for the most part, honestly.
If you haven't already (I am trying to earn money here, lol) you might read John Dean's book "Conservatives Without Conscience". It delves into the psychological make-up of those who we see as unyielding, uncompromising, blind followers of the right-wing ideology. They, of course, don't see themselves that way. There are actual classifications, which I have picked-up on and use in my hubs, such as Social Dominators and Right-wing Authoritarian followers. I listened to the book-on-tape and decided I wanted the hardcover as a resource. There is an Amazon.com ad in the middle of the hub if you are interested.
Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 11, 2010:
This is an important, factual and very well explained hub, which unfortunately, will not change anybody’s mind.
I am amazed at how people will blindly follow a political party and never use their own head or question any of the nonsense they are getting from just one source (either Fox or ABC – depending on the political views of the individual), without ever considering their agenda or looking at who is financing those stations. Seeing life in black and white is a dangerous thing and only proves how narrow minded a person can be.
Should Obama be able to walk on water, it will still not be enough for some people; if you ask them what his biggest fault is, they may tell you that Obama sank the Titanic.
I am done voting; I believe it is a joke and I don’t want to be part of the charade anymore; for more details you may want to read my hub “I will not longer prostitute myself”.
Scott Belford (author) from Keystone Heights, FL on October 14, 2010:
Thanks for your comment HSchneider. I saw your site and see we have similar interests.
Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on October 11, 2010:
Wow! This is a very comprehensive and impressive Hub. Also a wonderful and accurate chronological history. I agree this all started with the repeal of Glass-Steagall which Greenspan and Rubin championed. I worked on Wall Street and I could see the disaster this was going to wreak even back then. The Bush Administration regulated nothing and the chickens came home to roost. TARP worked just as it should have and we'd be in a great depression now without it. I do wish the original stimulus plan had more long term investment items such as infrastructure and alternative energy and less pork. But still it kept the recession from being worse. Let's hope the Democrats keep their losses relatively low. Some of these Tea Party candidates are dark ages scary. This was an awesome Hub and that's how I'm rating it. I look forward to reading more.