In this hyper-caffeinated political environment – in which it seems that, about 45 percent of Americans will hold on to a vote for a Democrat no matter what – and about 45 percent of Americans will hold on to vote for a Republican no matter what – I dare venture into an area to throw out what I feel are a slew of sentiments and positions and emotions on which 75 percent or so of Americans can agree.
Really. Please stay with me here.
And even as I throw out these arguments, I need to declare where I am coming from. I am a registered Republican who is fully committed to vote on Nov. 6 for Mitt Romney.
I believe the choice is clear – and that Governor Romney is better for America than President Obama.
I am also someone who has volunteered his time in an effort to elect several Democrats – even liberal Democrats. This work includes walking the street and going to door to door for Democrats.
I worked in the Massachusetts state legislature for a Democrat, and I have raised money for a Democrat, and I have made calls soliciting support for a Democrat.
I also strive to get beyond the ridiculousness and posit and throw my support behind positions on and in which I believe most patriotic Americans can believe.
Let's start with this – neither President Bush nor President Obama won a war or took out a monster. Both of them fretted and looked over and analyzed and consulted with experts before making the tough decisions – those that required and demanded of them bold leadership and chutzpa and verve and fortitude.
They both fretted and anguished over the consequences of their decisions.
They both sought to do what was best for America.
But for sure – every inch and once of freedom protected and reclaimed, and every diabolical carbon-based filth removed and punched out through military action, were done so by the men and women of the U.S. Armed forces. It was they, in the end, who put their lives on the line and sometimes sacrificed their lives to accomplish and close out a decision and policy to keep the USA safe.
And I make another point. I voted for George W. Bush – and I believe that he believed that to send the best and bravest of our nation – which were primarily men and women not far removed from adolescence – to lead an international coalition fighting force to oppose and defeat Iraq was the right thing for America.
But he was wrong. We should have never sent the sons and daughters of our republic over there. And I need to confess, that as the war engine was ginning up, that I – someone who never served, never wore the uniform of our nation – actually in a small and rah-rah way supported it. I supported it with my silence as much as I did with my voice approving it.
And it was just so wrong for him to do that number in spring of 2003 when he was flown on to an aircraft carrier and he walked among the troops wearing that flight suit. Then – and behind him was that banner that read – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” – dressed in a suit and tie, and at the podium, he told the world that the war had been won.
But it hadn't been won. When he delivered that speech, 139 Americans had been killed in the invasion of Iraq, and 542 had been wounded. As of today, almost 4500 Americans have died serving in the war in Iraq.
Inestimable is the suffering and anguish that war causes.
On to money matters.
And here I am inspired by some commentary I heard a while back. Don't you think that even some slightly scary right-wing John Birch Society Republicans can sit down with some freaky and left-wing Occupy Wall Streeet democrats and agree that crony capitalism is screwing everyone over? Huh? Don't you think?
Hey, America – WAKE UP!! Powerful democrats and republicans cut sweet deals with the masters of the universe. Do your own Google or Bing or whatever searches of these terms – “Barack Obama Wall Street fundraising” and “Mitt Romney Wall Street fundraising” – and please tell me what comes up.
Decision makers in both the democratic and republican parties enjoy special relationships with – and derive special perks from – hand holding and helping BIG MONEY PEOPLE and BIG MONEY FIRMS.
These are perks that about 95-percent of America does not enjoy nor receive.
Another thing – about you pols creating jobs. Can you please explain to me, when you tell America about all the jobs you are going to create or have created, where you will be and what you are doing at 5:30 in the morning every morning, including at least one weekend day, when the owners of a breakfast and lunch spot on a Main Street in America, are getting the grilles and deep fryers up and jumping and the coffee percolating – as they shake off the cobwebs from five hours of sleep – because that is all the sleep they were allowed after closing up the business last night and then going home and completing their book keeping and paper work and payroll and other administrative chores?
I'm just wondering.
Where were you?
Then again, I don't really care all that much. But I do care about, and what I want to hear from you – and that is you have pushed and commandeered policy that goes a long, long way – but it will never be perfect – toward ensuring that there is tremendous opportunity for all people to make a go of it and make a living from either growing a business or working for a business – or both.
I want to know that you have supported smart and necessary regulation that provides for the public safety – and you have managed to get out of the way in a manner that allows people to carve out a place in society – and to strive and struggle and risk and claw toward a better future for themselves and their families.
The rich are always going to get richer. I don't get all in a tizzy about the woman who made a million dollars last year making two million dollars this year. And, you know, if this woman makes a million dollars and she pays somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000 in income taxes on that money, I say that that is about right. She's paid her fair share.
Then, again, there are also the state income taxes she might pay. And if she owns her own business, the taxes that business pays may include a property tax, excise tax, business income tax, and a payroll tax.
Yeah, I don't have so much of an issue with the rich getting richer. I just want there to be ever lengthening and widening paths of opportunity for all the rest of us.
There are too many in this country who can't get their arms around the concept that rich people becoming more affluent can coexist with – and that this circumstance actually is conducive to and supports – the poor and middle class improving their lot.
Let me tell you, rich people build and own businesses that employ a lot of people.
I could go on all day – but I will end with this.
What is the big deal with requiring someone to submit proof of identity when he or she shows up at the polls to vote? The vote is a sacred compact that the citizen and our republic share with one another.
Vigilance must ever and always be applied to making sure that the sacredness of this compact is respected – and that the potential for corruption of the voting process is understood and that there are in place measures to ensure that corruption doesn't take place.
If you have difficulty getting an official government photo ID then I have no problem with the government providing you one free of charge. And if you are not able – because of having a disability or you are too infirm or you don't drive, or you have another legitimate reason you can't make it to a place where official IDs are created – then government can come to you with the camera and forms.
And as for getting to the polls on election day, there is no dearth of political campaigns, political parties, government departments, and civic organizations that will drive you to and from the polls.
To get back to this ID business, the fact is that I vote in Easton where the poll workers know me, so I don't have to show an ID when I vote. But if I move to Stoughton where the poll workers don't know me, then – at least for the first time I vote there – I should be required to show an ID.
Simple. Really. This shouldn't be a big deal.
Can we agree on this? Isn't this common sense?