Category Archives: Our Current Political Landscape

Deep analyses on America’s political environment and how to move forward

Why Conservatism Isn’t Right for America

 

dabdbcbd075eff93e61ccdfdb158a7c1
by Richard Saunders – November 28, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)
Opening Argument

Every great movement forward throughout history has been an immense struggle.  And at the very root of every movement forward throughout history, it has been the Idea of Progress.  The Idea of Progress isn’t—by definition—more government.  In fact, progress could mean less government. Progressivism (the Idea of Progress) is the theory that advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to improve the human condition.1 The Idea of Progress is based on five guiding values—value of the past, worth of economic and technological growth, faith in reason and scientific knowledge, intrinsic worth of life on earth, and nobility of Western civilization.1

Progressivism believes we can become happier by improving quality of life (social progress), economic development (modernization), and the application of science and technology (scientific progress). The assumption is that this process will happen once people apply their reason and skills, for it is not divinely foreordained. The role of the expert is to identify hindrances that slow or neutralize progress.

Progressivism gained prominence during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, but the Idea of Progress has defined Western civilization for three thousand years.1 Some scholars consider the Idea of Progress as a secularization of ideas from early Christianity and a reworking of ideas from ancient Greece.  Charles Darwin’s (1809–82) theory of evolution by natural selection made progress a necessary law of nature and gave the Idea of Progress doctrine its first scientific formulation.1

We must understand that Progressivism—learning from the past on how to perpetually create a better future—should always be the main objective of our federal government and society.  And we must understand that Conservatism—which greatly values established and traditional practices in politics and society, and which greatly dislikes change or new ideas3—shouldn’t ever be the main objective of a federal government and society. Conservative Ideology, at its essence, seeks to preserve things as they are—emphasizing stability and continuity—and many times seeks a return to “the way things were.”4 Therefore, we can easily conclude that Conservatism—at its roots—is anti-progress.  So let’s review how the Idea of Progress—not Conservative Ideology—has continuously succeeded with providing us a better tomorrow throughout history.  In fact, Conservatism often has been a great hindrance to our progress.

We must follow science—not entrenched traditions

Who were the people initially against the idea that the earth was round and not flat ?  Conservatives.  Who were the people initially against the idea that the sun was the center of our universe and not the earth?  Conservatives.  Who were the people initially (and some still are) against the idea of natural selection (evolution)?  Conservatives.  Who were the people initially (and some still are) against the idea that the earth is much older than thousands of years?  Conservatives.  And who are the people that still adamantly oppose the idea that humans contribute to the earth getting warmer?  Conservatives.  History has clearly shown us—beyond any reasonable doubt—that Conservatism has been an immense impediment at almost every major scientific breakthrough.

Evolution of our democratic government

The changing from a monarch/dictatorship government to a democratic government was a progressive idea—not a conservative one.  Conservatism–-remember—looks to its past traditions and culture to solve current problems, because past traditions were successful answering past problems.  When we decided to change from being a British colony to becoming an independent and sovereign nation—this was a radical and progressive idea.  If you fervently believe in The U.S. Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, then you must understand that these revolutionary and inspired works were progress—inspired from earlier works and ideology (such as the Bible, the Magna Carta, past democracies, past writers, past philosophers, the British Common Law, and many others). Our forefathers didn’t come up with all these brilliant and enlightened governing principles themselves—although they were indeed remarkably brilliant and enlightened.  The point here is that we have created a far-superior and better government today by learning and improving upon past governments—not by re-establishing a past government.

Perpetual improvements to our democratic systems

Any new type of system within our government is Progressivism because it changes the status quo (i.e. not conservative).  The changing from a barter-and-trade system to a currency system for trading everything was absolutely a progressive idea.  The changing from a feudal system to a free-market (for-profit) system—along with the creation of the stock market—was absolutely a progressive idea.  The changing from an agricultural to an industrial to a technology-based economy was absolutely a progressive idea.  Evidence-based improvements to our current systems with the creation of the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations are all absolutely progressive ideas that have helped our country and world in immeasurable ways.

Amendments to The U.S. Constitution (and most laws)—propel us closer to a more perfect union

Amendments to The U.S. Constitution have morally and permanently propelled our country towards the original intent of The U.S. Constitution.  The following progressive laws—none which were conservative—include passing of the 13th Amendment of The U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery (not originally a conservative idea); passing of the 15th Amendment of The U.S. Constitution, which gave blacks the right to vote (not originally a conservative idea); passing of the 19th amendment, which gave woman the right to vote (not originally a conservative idea); passing of the Civil Rights Law, which helped to desegregate the segregated South (not a conservative idea); passing of the 26th Amendment, which allowed 18-year-olds to vote (not a conservative idea); and the passing of many other law.  The Civil Rights Law—along with all these other Amendments to The U.S. Constitution—inarguably changed our society for the better.  Perhaps not so much with just the statutory law being passed through Congress and signed by President Lyndon Johnson, but more importantly with tangibly changing society’s perceptions towards race—because if the Civil Rights Law were repealed today, there would most likely be only a few businesses in the South that would actually revert back to segregating their customers.

Government-created services (Technology/Education and Welfare)—should always be temporary
Technological and Educational programs

Government-created services are always progressive—not conservative.  Government-created services, however, should only be temporary until the private sector can adequately provide these services to the public.  With that said, government-created services have provided so many positive benefits to our Great Nation yet today so many people believe as religious doctrine that our government has no role with progressing our society forward—this is fundamentally incorrect.  In America’s brief history, our government was instrumental with creating our railroads, our roadways, our universities, our utilities (hydro/nuclear electricity, telephone lines, internet, mobile technology from satellites, space travel, and the most advanced weaponry ever conceived).  All these undeniably successful government-created services have propelled our society forward positively.  And as with so many of these government-created services, our government continuously steps aside and allows the free-market to take over these services when it has the capacity to do so (i.e. railroad, building roads, energy, telephones, mobile technology, Internet technology, space travel, etc.).  Contrary to the pervading myth in our society, the American private sector is growing far faster than the American Federal Government and continuously provides services that were once provided by the federal government.  After countless immensely successful government-created services, why now do so many Americans incorrectly believe that our government doesn’t still have a constructive role to play?

Welfare programs

All the above government-created services are widely accepted to have been appropriate and were the right things to do.  Unlike the above mentioned government-created services, government-created services of welfare (social programs) are contentiously debated.  But empirical evidence still clearly shows us the huge positive impact these welfare programs have had on our Great Nation.  These progressive social programs include Social Security (imagine the poverty of our elderly without Social Security); The GI Bill (arguably the most influential Bill passed to improve our middle class—providing college education and business start-up benefits to our veterans); Medicare, Medicaid, and now Obamacare (health care should absolutely be a right for the richest developed country in the world); Urban-housing development; food stamps; and other welfare programs (can anyone really argue intelligently that the poor would be better off without these programs?).  As our free-market continues to grow with evermore capacity to provide needed services to our society, we may not need any more government-social programs.  And once our society finds a way to increase wages and revert back to full employment, so many of these social programs just go away and disappear.  Eventually, as our country continues to prosper—like it always has—these programs do go away.  Hence these social programs are and should be only temporary.  But that doesn’t negate the fact that these social programs have provided so much help to countless individuals who really needed the help—like we all need from time to time.

Conclusions
Progress through smart governance

In the past our federal government has helped to teach our society right from wrong by implementing laws to combat wrongs—i.e. Emancipation Proclamation, Abolishing Slavery, Woman’s Suffrage, Civil Rights Law, Gay Rights, and others.  Today, the American government has taken the military option off the table with Russia over its dispute with Ukraine, and is establishing new precedencies on how the world should engage with its enemies—not militarily anymore but economically and ideologically. This is good because it reduces world stress of potential military war with a major foe

Progressivism uses government—not just the free market—to push society forward positively, because progress happens more efficiently and effectively this way than progress without the use of government.  History tells us that major leaps in progress (advancement in technology, science, living conditions, etc.) has happened under strong central governments–-i.e. Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottoman, England, America, etc.  And sometimes smart governance and progress is regulating certain industries of the private sector.  Some examples:

President Theodore Roosevelt said that “great corporations are creatures of the state and the state not only has the right to control them but is in duty bound to control them wherever need of control is shown.  Regulations are needed when major problems arise from business conduct (financial calamities, air/water/food pollution, widespread business malpractices, etc.).  However, after federal regulations are implemented, they should be removed once an industry successfully proves to society that it can prudently and appropriately regulate itself.  The federal government should be the people’s conscience to help guide the free-market system to an ever-more prosperous state.

After the Great Depression of 1929 when 80 percent of the stock-market value evaporated, the unemployment rose to 24.1 percent, and our country’s Gross-National Product decreased in half, 5 President Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to understand and see clearly that a collective external force (the government) could, in fact, help guide our free-market system when the private sector fails our society with its booms and busts.  FDR so eloquently said during the Great Depression, “I paint the one-third despair in our nation so that we all can see that we can collectively with government paint it out.”  Therefore, FDR correctly believed that people who could see the problems could figure out how better to solve the problems.  Therefore, government obviously has a role to assist us forward—we just need to continuously debate what that government role is.  And that’s exactly what many Americans are doing today—albeit quite ungracefully.

Conservatism is not the path forward

The main problem with Conservatism is that it essentially believes only past generations had the knowledge and capacity to create a better society—why?  Most of us are nostalgic of the past but conservatives are just much more nostalgic of the past. Conservatives are against change—that’s the fundamental definition of a conservative: one who believes the past had the best ways.  Throughout history, conservatives have been against progress with science, the evolution of governments, improvements to our systems, new laws, and new government-created services and social-welfare programs. Therefore, it has taken much longer for past successes and acknowledgments to prevail as obviously right and correct.  Conservatives don’t understand that we have been constantly building upon prior successes since the beginning of time.

To better understand why Conservatism isn’t the correct pathway forward for America or the world, take a minute to record your feelings or perspective of the conservatives of other countries. Who are the conservatives of Russia?  Putin and his ilk who want to revert back to the Soviet Union and are the biggest enemies of America.  Who are the conservatives of Iran?  The Ayatollah and the Old Guard, who both adamantly oppose change and who both are the biggest enemies of America.  Who are the conservatives of China or North Korea?  The most traditionalists that oppose change.  It’s the conservatives in other countries that Americans have the most problems with. And it’s the American conservatives that foreigners—including the majority of Americans—have the most problems with.  Shouldn’t this tell us something?  Why is it so difficult for conservatives to understand they’re so wrong on so many things?

Progressivism always does win eventually—Conservatism always does lose eventually.  Progressivism believes diversity is for the better—Conservatism is not convinced of this.  Conservatism, however, absolutely plays a constructive role in preventing our Great Nation from implementing any ill-conceived policy.  Every new policy idea—especially today—has to have overwhelming public support before it can be implemented into law because conservatives so rightly revere the past.  Conservatives are so afraid to implement any new policy into law—fearing policy changes make things worse.  This entrenched Conservative Ideology in America is definitely inhibiting our federal government from making any progress.  Every country has conservatives that undeniably hinder their countries’ progress as seen in China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.  However, these same conservatives do prevent their countries from changing too quickly, which could potentially have devastating consequences to a country’s cultural and traditional systems as we’ve witnessed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, etc.

Progressivism Principles

We are all the sum product of past humans and their achievements (creation of language, ideology, information, science, education, governing systems, etc.). Therefore, we should all be extremely thankful for all the past progress and achievements for which our forefathers worked so very hard—providing us today with so many more opportunities and blessings.  From nothing to a single cell to a multi-cell organism to eventually a human, reveals to us just how powerful nurture (environment) has had and will always have on us.

We all must understand that we really just need to build upon prior successes—this is Progressivism.  We are not asking for any revolution here, we are asking for you to do only your duty—as an American endowed with its great history and riches—to help progress our society forward.  Be more engaged within the American political system—educate and learn about the issues that matter so that you can help make a difference.  We have many problems that America faces today, and America needs help from its citizens to help her perpetually progress. Be blessed and build upon all of our past progress that we’re so fortunate to enjoy now. We have to respect our ancestors for what they’ve built and we have to have prudence for our heirs for what they will inherit.

As stated earlier, the Idea of Progress is based on five guiding values—value of the past, worth of economic and technological growth, faith in reason and scientific knowledge, intrinsic worth of life on earth, and nobility of Western civilization.  Through evermore evidence, we can conclude that the fundamental principles of these five guiding values of Progressivism are accountability (personal responsibility), empathy, fairness, faith, free-will, integrity, reason, service, and transparency. If we all follow these principles, we will achieve great progress in America and the world—this is each of our duty.

Free-will (free market)—increases innovation and creativity

Fairness of laws—reduces conflicts and improves performance because more people buy into the system

Service or work—improves the quality of life for someone or many people

Transparency—decreases suspicions of others so that more work can get done

Accountability of ourselves (personal responsibility)—decreases dependencies on the government

Empathy of others—increases understanding of others so that win/win compromises can be reached

Faith that we perpetually progress—increases our hopes, which decreases are fears, which increases progress

Integrity of ourselves—increases right, which makes might

Reason—decreases emotions from clouding our judgments and actions

 

Citations
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea_of_Progress
  3. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservatism
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism
  5. http://www.shmoop.com/great-depression/economy.html

America “Weak?” Evidence convincingly says otherwise

 

Lincoln - America quote

by Richard Saunders – September 28, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

My fellow American Patriots, we must understand our present situation more clearly so that we can make better choices as Americans going forward.  There’s a pervading false narrative that America is getting “weaker” or is “weak.”  As usual, false narratives that penetrate the many consciences of our society are conceived by FEAR.  It has been well documented that fear is one of the most powerful human emotions; therefore, fear convinces us of a false reality.  And “fear-selling” is rampant in our free-market society because fear can easily attract our attention to people’s products, ratings, and ideology/message.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,” said Influential American author, H.P. Lovecraft.  Marketing wizard Martin Lindstrom—author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy—said, “fear absolutely sells! Our primal instinct as human beings is to survive; therefore, fear is key to influence people’s behavior.  Fear relates to our survival: Do I have enough to eat? Will I have enough money when I retire? Is that product safe?”  In this respect, Lindstrom claims that political fear-based advertising is effective because it taps into our primal concerns of survival.

The bottom line is that fear is an easy sell or a quick way to make a buck for any corporations or individual trying to sell their product, ratings, and ideology/message.  We must understand that this constant peddling of fear causes enormous anxiety within our society and produces so many false realities that many Americans don’t know what’s real anymore.

We must understand true reality so that we can calm down and make logical and rational decisions—not fear-based decisions, which blind the truth.  This is fact: our decisions as a society are greatly impaired anytime emotions are involved.  So let’s look at the overwhelming evidence, which categorically reveals that America is absolutely stronger since the 2008 Great Financial Recession—contrary to what so many media outlets espouse.

What really makes America strong?

So many media outlets incorrectly and overly attribute America’s strength to our current President.  They have all these arguments and analyses that overly scrutinizing the “weakness” of our current President (“leading from behind”) as the sole and fundamental reason of “America becoming weak.”  Almost always they fail miserably to explain what really makes America Strong—which are our democratic and free-market system, our economy, and our military power.

Who our current President is matters far less than our democratic and free-market system, economy, and military power. Think of our worst president in recent history—let’s say Richard Nixon.  Were we stronger or weaker as a nation after Nixon left office?  During Nixon’s Presidency (1969 to 1974) the Equal Rights Amendment was implemented, segregation ended, and tensions between Beijing and Moscow decreased—a precursor to ending the Cold War.  During Nixon’s Presidency, American’s economy (Gross Domestic Product—the most revered economic indicator for individual countries) grew from $901.5 billion to $1,486 billion (a great increase) and NASA had the remarkable technological breakthrough of landing the first human on the moon—greatly improving our National Defense’s technological advantage in the world.  Could anyone really argue intelligently that America became weaker right-after Richard Nixon Presidency?

Although America has experienced an undeniable and perpetual progress towards a better and stronger country since its independence in 1776, it appears, however, that America hasn’t made much progress with our over-the-top FEAR-based rhetoric.  In Nixon’s inaugural address in 1969, he said the following, “In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontents into hatreds; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading. We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another, until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices, however.”

We’ve been brainwashed by much of our political media and politicians—overly emphasizing that America’s strength comes from smaller and temporary things (such as one President—as if one American President can really destroy our democratic and free-market system, economy, or military power).  Ronald Reagan is deserving a cherished American President—however, did Ronald Reagan really defeat the Soviet Union or was it America’s superior economy, military power, and free-market system?  I think we all can conclude the ultimate reasons for American’s triumph of the Cold War.  Think about what really makes a country strong (recently China, Germany, Singapore, etc.): the overwhelming factor that creates a strong nation is its economy – more than anything else.

Since the 2008 Great Financial Recession, America has created a fairer democratic system of equal rights—marriage and woman’s pay equality, and closer to healthcare for all.  Since the 2008 Great Financial Recession (worst recession in 80 years), America’s economy (GDP) grew from $14.2 trillion to $17.6 trillion (2014 forecast)—an astonishing increase of 24 percent after this horribly deep 2008 recession—although most Americans wouldn’t know how well our economy has done since 2008 from listening to our media (especially, when comparing America’s economy with other developed nation’s economies—America’s economy has greatly outperformed the other developed nations since 2008).  And finally, America spends on its military power more than the next nine highest-spending military nations combined—does anyone really believe that America’s military power has become weaker since 2008?

So where do these nonsensical arguments that “America has become weak” come from?  Simple: we must remember that it comes from these fear-selling individuals and companies that are trying to sell their product, ratings, and ideology/message to make money or gain power.  fear tends to be more easily persuadable than hope in short-term to motivate the public to act.  Right after the 2008 Great Financial Recession, fear became ripe for MANY to capitalize on its power—we just must know the truth so that we can be calmer and make wiser and less-reactionary decisions.

Stop FEARING and start HOPING…

 

 

America Should Only Arm the Syrian Rebels with a Broad Intl Coalition

by Richard Saunders – August, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

Let’s broaden the normal narrow perspective we usually hear from our politicians today and take a look at ALL the major foreign issues facing America now to obtain proper context why not choosing to arm the Syrian Opposition (Rebels) beyond minor assistance and small arms was the best option without broad international support.  Studies show that arming rebels rarely helps the situation unless the broad external forces are on the same page.  Beyond this Syrian issue, there are four other major foreign issues—Ukraine, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  You must know that the Syrian issue has deep ties to these other issues.

Syria is currently ruled by Bashar al-Assad—a western educated and secularist leader who many contend exploits sectarian tension.  Regardless of Assad’s crimes against his people in Syria (as awful as they are), he has built over many years strong alliances with Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah—a Shi’a Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon.

Choosing early on (or now) to GREATLY arm the ragtag Syrian Rebels without broad international support would have become not only a war against the al-Assad Regime but also a heightened proxy war against Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah—who all would be very determined (much more than we) to keep one of their few allies left in the world in power against the United States.  Do you think Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah would’ve stood idly by while their friend, al-Assad, was being overthrown by the ragtag Syrian Rebels being financed and supplied weapons by the United States?  How long and bloody would this choice have been for us?  Was there REALLY any Syrian coalition that could have stabilized Syria after toppling al-Assad?  We’ve already spent trillions of dollars in Iraq along with thousands of American lives and isn’t the situation less stable now than it was before—isn’t it?  Why do we really think that this time in Syria we could have implemented a stable government among all the sectarian divisions in Syria when facing many fiercely opposing nations?  Can’t we learn from our past mistakes?  Furthermore, how many times have we seen weapons given to our “allies” in the Middle East fall into the hands of our enemies—Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.?

Early on without any broad international support to support the Syrian Rebels, chances of success in Syria were absolutely bleak and we honestly couldn’t have known if the outcome after supplying military weapons and support for the Rebels in Syria would have created a better outcome—one could easily argue that a worse outcome would have transpired based on historical evidence and all the opposing parties (Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah).

If we had supplied military weapons and support for the Syrian Rebels, then:

  • Russia and Iran would have supplied EVEN more weapons to the Syrian Regime
  • Iran and Hezbollah would have supplied more fighters and personnel for the Syrian Regime
  • Russia would have used this pretext and moral equivalency to supply even more weapons and military support to Ukrainian Rebels in Eastern Ukraine with unforeseen outcomes
  • Iran and Hezbollah would have used this pretext and moral equivalency to supply even more weapons and military support to Hamas in Gaza with unforeseen outcomes
  • Russia would definitely have been less likely to help us eradicate chemical weapons in Syria
  • Russia would definitely have been less likely to continue supporting economic sanctions on Iran to stop Iran’s nuclear program
  • Iran would have been less likely to continue negotiations to stop its nuclear program
  • Hezbollah would have become even more radicalized against America and Israel for our trying to topple its strongest ally and Hezbollah lives right by Israel in Lebanon
  • Russia and Iran would have felt even more indignant about America eroding their power around the world causing greater desperation—desperation causes desperate actions
  • More Muslims would have absolutely been radicalized—rightly or wrongly—from seeing America interfering with another Islamic country’s sovereignty

Over these past five years, Iran has gone from President Ahmadinejad, a fiery-rhetoric and antagonist Anti-American Crusader, to President Rouhani, a measured and conciliatory-toned reformer reaching out to Americans; over these past five years, Iran has received the most crippling economic sanctions ever; and over these past five years, Iran has finally agreed to negotiate on its nuclear program.  The framework for engagement with Iran was initiated by President Obama even before he was elected President of the United States in 2008.  Much progress has been made between our two countries and toppling the Syrian Regime would have greatly undermined this progress.

This now brings us to Iraq, which Iran has benefited the most from our 2003 invasion.  Before our 2003 invasion:

  • Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies fighting a decade war in the 80s and weakening each other
  • Iraq was controlled by the minority Sunnis (34%)—now it’s controlled by the majority Shiites (64%), which also is the controlling religion of Iran (90%)
  • Iran had little influence in Iraq’s government and politics—now it has GREAT influence
  • Iran had little influence in Iraq’s military—now it supplies and supports Iraq’s military

Quick summary: Iraq used to be controlled by the minority Sunnis, who are enemies of Iran and who have been much disenfranchised with the new majority run Iraqi Shiite government.  To complicate things further, Sunnis are the MAJORITY in Syria (64%) yet the minority Shiite’s (22%) control the government run by Bashar al-Assad.  With Syria the only other Shiite controlled government besides Iran—and now Iraq—one can easily understand the desperate measures Iran would have done to maintain their ally in Syria.  All the other Middle Eastern countries besides Israel and Lebanon are Sunnis.  Confused yet?

The extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who became the victors of all the various rebel factions inside Syria, have now taken control of large swaths of land in both Syria and Iraq with military precision—not to mention seizing control over military equipment and billions of dollars provided to our “allies” (the Iraqi government) along the way.  ISIS is composed of Sunnis, who, once again, are enemies of Iran.  Iran borders Iraq.  Who do you think is more concerned about ISIS—America or Iran?  Iran IS much more concerned than the United States of ISIS insurgence because of proximity and all the historical conflicts with the Sunnis.

Because of our limited involvement in Syria, we now have:

  • A willing and eager partner in Iran to help us tame the situation in Iraq and Syria instead of an opposing partner—a chance for America and Iran to build a working relationship
  • A willing and eager partner in Hezbollah to help us tame the situation in Syria
  • A more willing partner in Russia and Iran to help us solve Iran’s nuclear program issue
  • A more willing partner in Iran and Hezbollah to not undermine any Israel/Palestinian peace agreement
  • An Iraqi government who has FINALLY recognized its need for a more inclusive government—thus nominating a new Prime Minister on August 11th

Of course, we could continue to beat our heads on the ground—not learning from our past mistakes—and continue to listen to all these neocons who haven’t found any conflict they don’t call for war.  It’s our choice to choose—old ways of thinking that don’t work need to be challenged forcefully!

 

Why Congress Blew Immigration Reform, AGAIN

Immigration-cartoon

by Richard Saunders – August 5, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

Shortly after the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 signed into law by Ronald Reagan essentially providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, the illegal immigrant situation in America became a problem again.  After decades without any immigration bill passed in Congress to fix the root problem of illegal immigration—including George Bush’s valiant push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007—the public has become outraged with righteous indignation towards our politicians and political system.

Recent attempts to solve this problem have been thwarted by the hyper-partisan Congress, which currently couldn’t pass a bill that would allow us to grow a new plant that could feed the entire world for fear that we’d be turned into a communist dictatorship or, worse yet, somehow become a very weak nation.

In 2013, surprisingly to all of us, the Senate PASSED a very reasonable BIPARTISAN comprehensive immigration bill—called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013—with 68 senators (Republicans, Independents, and Democrats) voting in favor of this bill.  Attaining 68 senators (out of 100 senators) in favor of any bills these days is virtually impossible but the Senate DID IT, to its credit, passing this reasonable bipartisan bill.  The bill includes:

  • The bill would make it possible for many undocumented immigrants in America before 2012 gain legal status after paying fines and back taxes, passing a background check, and applying for legal status.  It would also make the border more secure by adding up to 40,000 border patrol agents. It also advances talent-based immigration through a points-based immigration system. New visas have been proposed in this legislation, including a visa for entrepreneurs and a W visa. It also proposes new restrictions on H1B visa program to prevent its abuse and additional visas/green-cards for students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees from U.S. institutions. The bill also includes a $1.5 billion youth jobs program and repeals the Diversity Visa Lottery in favor of prospective legal immigrants who are already in the United States –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Security,_Economic_Opportunity,_and_Immigration_Modernization_Act_of_2013

So with such surprisingly and overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate support for this comprehensive immigration bill (not to mention overwhelmingly public support), why hasn’t this bill become law?

Well, if you thought the Senate was dysfunctional, let me introduce you to our present dysfunctional, at an unprecedented level, House of Representatives.  You must understand that Congress (both the Senate and House of Representatives) base so many of their procedural rules of passing laws on precedence—do what our ancestors did before.  Congress following precedence doesn’t mean the precedence occurred in 1776 when we passed the Declarations of Independence.  Precedence in Congress could have occurred last year if someone in Congress wanted to do things differently than before—and therefore, create a NEW precedence.

Do understand that so MUCH of our current GRIDLOCK with our Congress has to do with NEW precedencies being established over the years by random congresspersons—people who weren’t divinely inspired like our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and Our Constitution were.  One of these very debilitating precedencies established in the mid-1990s is the Hastert Rule, which is a governing principle NOW followed by the Republicans of the House of Representatives to ONLY bring forth a bill that has the support of the majority of the majority.  Which means, if Republicans occupy the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, say 235 of the 435 total seats—therefore, controlling the Speakership—then the Republicans will ONLY bring forward a bill IF at least 118 of their 235 members support the bill regardless if ALL the other 200 members from the other party support the bill.  Therefore, a small interested minority of the entire United States can hold up legislation at unprecedented levels.  This Hastert Rule was NEVER established by our forefathers and one could easily argue its unconstitutionality because it has no principle of rightness.  There are other debilitating precedencies (i.e. the filibuster) but let’s just focus on the Hastert Rule precedence, for now.

So back to why this overwhelmingly bipartisan support for this comprehensive immigration bill hasn’t become law.  Blame the Hastert Rule because everyone knows if John Boehner (Speaker of the House) just allowed a vote in the House on the Senate’s bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill, it would pass and become law.

So instead of passing solutions in today’s Congress to the many problems we face, we are in constant gridlock.  John Boehner has the POWER and CAPACITY to bring forward this bipartisan immigration bill and, therefore, void the old Hastert Rule precedent.  However, he would undoubtedly lose his Speakership.

After all the chaos and hoopla coming from the right about all these unaccompanied children being apprehended at the border—due to doubling the number of border agents under Obama—we still find ourselves in total gridlock with no solution in sight with Republicans still constantly, relentlessly, and directly blaming Obama for this and every other perceived problem the United States finds itself in.

Even more baffling and confusing for President Obama is the fact that after the Republican House of Representatives couldn’t pass their OWN immigration bill (written solely by republicans) last Thursday (July 31st), they pleaded for Obama to take executive action to fix the current immigration problem…. This plea to Obama to use executive action was a day after the Republican House of Representatives passed the first-ever lawsuit to sue this President for using executive action were needed due to such Congressional gridlock.  Confused?  So am I…

BTW: Obama has used far less executive orders per year than his five predecessors (Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II).

GOP – STOP being outraged!

download

by Richard Saunders – July 9, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

Do we REALLY want to live in a nation that openly and willingly allows mean-spirited bullies of a homogeneous race to continuously and mercilessly spew their vile towards our LEGALLY twice-elected President—espousing over-the-top AND out-of-bounds rhetoric that he’s Unconstitutional, UN-American, Kenyan-born foreigner, Muslim, Fascist, Communist, Dictator, Murderer, Welfare king, Liar-in-chief, American destroyer, and the Worst-President ever?  We MUST condemn these venomous and contagious arguments that only foment hate and anger within our society.  Enough is enough—REAL PATRIOTS MUST Stand-UP and push back against these destructive behaviors!  Real Patriots DON’T constantly and continuously criticize our President for every real or imagined reason (mostly imagined)—these types of behavior produce only greater divisions and problems within our society. I say:

Quit cowering and making excuses for these contemptible actions within our political discourse, stating that this is politics as usual and they’re all corrupt—this is a total cop-out to make YOU feel better!

We—as a society—can’t afford to let cataclysmic propaganda and hate to permeate our society by these constant mudslingers with NO POSITIVE agenda.  We all know that every action produces a reaction; therefore, every NEGATIVE action produces a NEGATIVE reaction.  Let’s not be naïve about this NOT being true—it’s happening in our society right NOW.  Fact: negativity begets negativity.

We’ve come too far and made too much progress as a country, since our Founding Fathers conceived our Declaration of Independence AND our Constitution.  The main guiding principles of our Declaration of Independence AND Constitution ARE Equality (fairness), Freedom (free-will), Prudence (careful judgment), and Democracy (always more good people than bad people).  So let’s use these bedrock principles from our Founding Fathers to help guide us:

  • Is it FAIR and just for individuals to contort every argument into criticizing our President?  At what costs to our Great Nation?
  • Should we use our FREEDOM of speech to distort truths and exploit fear?  At what costs? to our Great Nation?
  • Is it PRUDENT to reflexively  JUDGE our President for any perceived adverse American situation?  At what costs to our Great Nation?
  • Aren’t there many MORE individuals who subscribe to these above principles THAN those who subscribe to unfairly and imprudently using their free speech to criticize our President (DEMOCRACY)?

We are SO lucky that every decision we make isn’t scrutinized to the nth degree with what ifs, hindsight, and any perceived negative motives… Every decision ANYONE makes can be distorted and spun—when you go through an endless loop of other potential BEST-CASE Scenarios without any repercussions since these hypothetical situations are what ifs.  How do we Americans expect to attract great individuals to RUN our country if all we ever do is constantly judge them.  It’s absolutely a formula to put future less-qualified candidates to run America.

Judge less my friends—judge less.  Those who judge the most ARE the ones who WILL be JUDGED the most.  Matthew 7:1 Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged!  Our free market accurately represents our society’s virtues and vices at the primal level.  We MUST continue to learn from ourselves to understand how we can perpetually build a fairer, freer, and more prudent democracy.  In life I hope we can finally acknowledge that we should avoid constant complaining and judging (negativity) because it only increases negativity.  America is STILL the world’s conscience and its strength comes from its system and people—not the President.  However, we can’t become too prideful to blind us from what IS right.  Have these past five years REALLY been as bad as the naysayers continuously claim—I say absolutely NOT.  Look around and smell the roses once in a while, and realize just how great you may really have it in America.

I leave you with this relevant and wonderful Bible passage from Philippians 4: 6-9 to let you ponder about what is RIGHT:

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Love). And the peace of God (Love), which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

The Misinformation of Obama being a BIG Spender – this & so many things

slowest-spending

includes stimulus bill and spending cuts (sequester) during Obama’s Presidency

by Richard Saunders – June 29, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

Over these past five years—since the 2008 financial recession stoked the undercurrent of fear within our society—our current far-right republicans have been peddling this fallacious narrative that our Federal Government has become increasingly overbearing, herculean, and running amuck with our tax paying dollars.

“FEAR” sells immensely well in our free-market society—this can’t be emphasized enough!  “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is FEAR,” said influential American author, H.P. Lovecraft.  Marketing wizard Martin Lindstrom—author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy—concluded the following:

Fear absolutely sells! Our primal instinct as human beings is to survive; therefore, fear is key to influence people’s behavior. Fear relates to our survival: Do I have enough to eat? Will I have enough money when I retire? Is that product safe? In this respect, Lindstrom claims that political fear-based advertising is effective because it taps into our primal concerns of survival.

So the bottom line is that “FEAR” is an easy sell or a quick way to make a buck for any corporations or individual trying to sell their product.  We MUST understand that the constant peddling of “FEAR” by the far-right and Fox News isn’t the true reality—it’s based on selling their product (ratings)!  These organizations and individuals are absolutely opportunistic—taking advantage of the “FEAR” spawned by the 2008 financial recession and the election of the first black president.

So why are there so many fearful individuals today?  It’s absolutely a direct result of the immensely successful selling techniques by the far-right media and Fox News.  Fox News continuously gloats about having the best ratings among the cable news channels, yet what DOES it really sell?  Journalism with REAL “Fair and Balance” news?  No it doesn’t. It sells a constant theme of “FEAR,” doom-and-gloom scenarios, and what ifs.  At what cost does this constant “FEAR” peddling have on us?  It should be quite obvious—look at the behavior of our politicians.  Our politicians’ behaviors are a direct reflection of what has been propagated and sold to our society and their constituents.  The root of our dysfunctional government ISN’T our politicians—it’s the “FEAR” and anger being sold to us by the far-right media.  So what are the consequences going to be to these organizations and individuals who sell exclusively or predominantly “FEAR” to us at such destructive costs?

Contrary to the “FEAR-SELLING” far-right organizations—let’s look at the REALITY of what has really transpired over these last five years of Obama’s Presidency:

  • We avoided a TRUE financial depression because of CORRECT government policies based on the tried-and-true Keynesian theory—increase demand during market crashes
  • America’s homeland has been extremely safe from foreign terrorist attacks—not easy since many more terrorists have been created since the Iraq War began
  • Al Qaeda mastermind and spiritual leader, Osama Bin Laden, has been killed
  • Benghazi mastermind and Leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, has been captured in less than two years from the attack—much faster than typical for terrorist attackers
  • Private-Sector economy is adding around 200,000 new jobs every month—about the same rate as before the 2008 financial crisis
  • The Stock Market (Down Jones Industrial)—our most revered indicator of our economy’s health—has increased from 6,500 in March 2009 to 16,800 in June 2014 (an ASTONISHING and AMAZING 158 percent increase in just five years)
  • A record-breaking increase of 1,250,000 New U.S. household millionaires in 2013 according to Boston Consultant Group
  • The national average Real Estate Market has increased from 140 in March 2009 to 170 in May 2014—an increase, NOT a decrease, of 21 percent—based on S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home index
  • Corporation profits are at ALL-TIME record highs
  • Crime rates in America are at the lowest rate since the 1960s based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Inflation has been at the lowest rate since the 1950s
  • Medical Inflation is also at the slowest pace in 50 years—according to The Wall Street Journal and contrary to any conservative talking point

Now let’s finally debunk the far-right’s MAIN “FEAR-SELLING” argument that they have been peddling these past five years—excluding their entire anti-Obama agenda, which is another whole issue that would require its own article.  The far-right has been peddling this fallacious “FEAR-SELLING” narrative that our Federal Government has been growing out-of-control—especially over these last five years—and that we should be “frightened” about our liberties being violated and this out-of-control Federal Government.

To understand if our government is truly getting larger or not, we MUST establish some consistent parameters to measure the size of our government over a long period of time—this is the only way to really understand the truth.  So what’s our baseline to measure the historical trend of our government size?  The baseline measurement should BE the  annual Federal Spending as a percentage of our GDP—Gross Domestic Product, which is a measurement of the size of our economy.  This measurement is BEST because it shows the proportion of our government spending to our GDP; therefore, if our government were ACTUALLY becoming more burdensome on the free-market economy, then the proportion of our government  spending to our GDP would be increasing, correct?  This measurement is also BEST because as our GDP has grown so has our population, companies, industries, infrastructure, and foreign affair relationships and assistance; therefore, more Federal Government overall has been needed.  A government that provides its services to a population of 100 million must increase its size to provide its services to a population of 350 million—does anyone disagree with this premise?  So if we use the annual Federal Spending as percentage of GDP to measure the size of our government, you can much more correctly measure the growth or burden, if any, of our Federal Government on our free-market economy.

Since 1974 the average annual Federal Spending as a percentage of our GDP has been 20.5 percent.  After we implemented the 2009 American Recovery Act—which was TEMPORARY spending to off-set the lack of demand due to the 2008 financial crisis and was GREATLY needed (ask any TRUE economist, not a political talking head who doesn’t have the expertise in this arena)—we are NOW back at the average annual Federal Spending rate of approximately 20.5 percent of GDP in 2014.  See chart below:

Federal Spending

A few side notes:

  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the annual Federal Tax Revenue as a percentage of GDP has been at a historical low of 15.3 percent during the Obama Presidency yet the TEA Party (Taxed Enough Already) was created—quite baffling indeed and undoubtedly stirred up by the “FEAR-SELLING” far-right machine
  • When Federal Revenue as a percentage of GDP is lower than before, We Americans ARE KEEPING more of our money – not less as so many people believe.
  • The 2008 Financial Recession caused a fall in our 4th Quarter 2008 GDP by 6.3 percent—worst since 1982.  Therefore—using simple arithmetic—when our GDP decreases so much in any year (i.e. 2009), the annual Federal Spending as a percentage of GDP will naturally increase.  ALSO, during recessions, safety-net spending (unemployment benefits, food stamps, increase of medicaid recipients, and other Government assistant programs AUTOMATICALLY increase without any Legislative Bill

However—this CAN’T be emphasized enough—the percentage of Federal Spending in 1974 towards Social Securing, Medicare, and Interest Expense on our debt represented about 25 percent of ALL Federal Spending.  In 2014 the percentage of Federal Spending towards Social Security, Medicare, and Interest Expense on our debt represents OVER 50 percent of ALL Federal Spending—according to CBO.  Therefore, in 1974 using simple math, total Federal discretionary spending  (excluding SS, Medicare, and Interest Expense) was about 15 percent of GDP (total Federal spending was about 20 percent of GDP X 75 percent that was for Federal discretionary spending); AND NOW using simple math, total Federal discretionary spending (excluding SS, Medicare, and Interest Expense) is about 10 percent (total Federal spending is about 20 percent of GDP X 50 percent that is for Federal discretionary spending).  One must conclude discretionary spending has decreased.

DO understand that Federal Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Interest Expense go directly TO regular individuals—NOT to governmental agencies to pay for government employees (only a fraction does)—and we have deemed these Federal Spendings sacrosanct or absolutely necessary for our society—see charts below:

usgs_piecol

U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2011

entitlement-interest-budget-squeeze-data-580_1.jpg (580×380)

Entitlements

Therefore, we MUST conclude that the Federal Spending towards EVERYTHING else—besides Social Security, Medicare, and Net Interest on our debt—has been GREATLY decreasing.  Can anyone conclude otherwise?  I’m not at all a proponent for a larger government—quite the contrary.  In fact, I believe that the Federal Government provides its services ONLY until the private sector can provide these services instead—realizing that this is a very long view point.  This has been the long-term trend since the establishment of our Federal Government.   A non-exhaustive list of many industries that have gone from predominately or exclusively public to more-and-more private over time below:

  • Railroads
  • Universities and other Schools
  • Energy
  • Telephones
  • NASA
  • Defense Spending
  • Long-term care
  • Roads and bridges

Have we really become this paranoid nation with all this indignant anger?  We need to Stand Up and push back against this “FEAR-SELLING” far-right machine—don’t’ buy it anymore!  Don’t argue that the left DOES “FEAR-SELLING” too so why don’t you call THEM out!  Well, right now – more than I’ve ever experienced and seen before – the GOP is absolutely the perpetrators of this outrageous “FEAR-SELLING.”  Over these past five years, THESE organizations have been so destructive for our Federal Government getting anything done. – thus hurting our Great Nation  These organizations are absolutely at the ROOT of the problems of our current dysfunctional Federal Government.  You can’t be disinterested and a bystander any longer—stating that all politicians are corrupt is strictly a copout of not trying.  You have been endowed by our ancestors with the responsibility to defend our nation against any threats—both domestic and foreign—that harm our Great Nation.  The threat facing our GREAT nation right now is our inability to accomplish anything in Congress—almost SOLELY because of the “FEAR-SELLING” and misinformation of far-right organizations.  STAND UP silent majority—STAND UP and push back!

 

Is Obama weak or WILL he become the Peacemaker-in-Chief?

peace-american-style

by Richard Saunders – June 20, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

Would the REAL U.S. Patriots PLEASE stand up?!!  I said—would the REAL U.S. Patriots PLEASE stand up?!! My fellow PATRIOTS and REAL Americans, my objective for this article is to significantly clarify America’s position and options with its current foreign affairs.  Our 24-hour news cycle and our current politicians have devolved our society into reflexive and short-term thinking with misinformation and conspiracies running amuk.  Almost every politician or 24-hours news segment attacks the opposite side with so much righteous vigor—claiming how evil and wrong the other is!  Self-evidently, this cannot be productive yet we still allow our politicians and 24-hours news channels to sow their destructive and venomous anger throughout our society.  In our society, the most negative political campaigns win so WHY would any political consultant strategize to do anything different?  Do we really believe that all this vilifying of our politicians doesn’t have any negative effect on our society?  I say absolutely—Congress’s approval rating is an abysmal 12 percent!  We have vilified the other side so relentlessly that now nothing can be accomplished in Washington because our politicians can’t even be seen working constructively with the other side.  Equally baffling is how POSITIVE words like “compromise,” “empathy,” “fairness,” and “government” have been corrupted to be deemed NEGATIVE behaviors in our political discourse.  You think this isn’t affecting them from getting anything done?  Absolutely it is!  Yet why do we continue to elect divisive and unconstructive politicians??

With that said, the first topic that I would like to discuss with you is the crisis in Iraq and Syria with the extremist ISIS group wreaking havoc and unrest throughout the region.  Let’s start with a long-term and informed perspective (rarely seen in today’s instant informational society) on WHY we are currently in our present situation in Iraq and Syria.  Just like everything in life, if you don’t understand why you find yourself in a particular situation, then you will never know how to appropriately and constructively respond.

In 1951 Iran elected Mohammad Mosaddegh prime minister.  But because he nationalized Iran’s petroleum industry and oil reserves, we helped in orchestrating a coup d’état (violent overthrow of a government) of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.  Do remember that America was extremely frightened at the time with the Soviet Union’s growing influence around the world and we were quick to side with any leader opposed to communism—feeling confident that communism was the greater evil.  However, this doesn’t change the facts of what happened in Iran.  After this coup in 1951, we helped to install the Iranian Shah (the leader), who crushed all forms of political opposition and greatly repressed his people until the 1979 Iranian revolution, which was a direct result from their disdain of their Shah and the American/West foreign policies of interfering.

During the 1980s—soon after the 1979 Iranian revolution—The United States supported the thuggish Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, with his war against Iran providing him chemical weapons that he used not only against Iran but also against his own Iraqi people.  About a million Iraqis and Iranians died in this Iran/Iraq War in the 80s.  Obviously, we must interject that America didn’t cause or fight this war—but its actions, undoubtedly with hindsight, were NOT helpful.

After allying with Saddam Hussein in the 80s, we became bitter enemies—attacking Iraq in the early 90s for trying to annex Kuwait and then invading and taking complete control of Iraq in 2003 on the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s connection with September 11, 2001.  The accusations of weapons of mass destruction were our knee-jerk reaction after 9/11 happened.  Our collective fear at the time greatly distorted any rational thinking on our part.  You could say that we were collectively making a very difficult decision under the influence of emotions, which rarely pans out well.  Since we went into Iraq COMPLETELY on false pretenses, a JUST war became untenable for us.  And since we completely blundered the rationality to make Iraq a JUST war, misstep after misstep would inevitably ensue us in Iraq.  A non-exhaustive list of our many blunders in this Iraq war below:

1.  Not following the military’s recommendation for more troops to stabilize Iraq after invading

  • Outcome: led to mass looting and chaos, which bred anger and frustration

2.  Not being greeted as liberators as many foreign “expert” predicted

  • Outcome: bloody insurgent campaigns quickly commenced—Fallujah, Sadre City

3.  Torturing and mistreating prisoners of Abu Ghraib Prison (complete debacle)

  • Outcome: foamed mass anger and trust greatly deteriorated—terrorists created

4.  Disbanding the Baathist Party from Iraq’s Government because Saddam Hussein was a Baathist

  • Outcome: disenfranchised a whole segment of Iraqi’s society that definitely enhanced sectarian divisions between Sunnis and Shiites

5.  Not holding Saddam’s trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands

  • Outcome: Saddam was ruthlessly hanged by Shiite thugs and this enhanced even more sectarian divisions.  World never got a chance to see any righteous with our invasion

6.  Grossly failing to realize that a democratic Iraqi government would undoubtedly be run by the majority Shiites

  • Outcome: Iraq and Iran are allies now

It’s not too difficult to ascertain what a mess this war has been from the onset.  Abraham Lincoln said it perfectly, “RIGHT makes MIGHT.”  Well, we didn’t have the RIGHT in Iraq; therefore, we don’t have the MIGHT now—it’s that simple.  And NOW we have the same characters (let’s call them the “misguided ones”) who led us into Iraq having the audacity and chutzpah to blame President Obama for the current Iraqi situation!  Amazing!  Let’s all remember that Obama was a staunch opponent of the Iraq war—a very unpopular position at that time—endlessly and righteously criticizing the invasion into Iraq.  These “misguided ones” who led us into Iraq fervently complain that it’s all Obama’s fault that:

  • ISIS, the radical group that exists PRIMARILY because of our Iraqi invasion, is taking over Iraq
  • The U.S. didn’t leave troops in Iraq past December 2011—even though Bush signed the agreement for our troops to leave after 2011 AND the political climate in Iraq due to our numerous blunders (see blunders’ list above) NEVER politically allowed us and Iraq to extend this agreement.
  • The U.S. is weak because of Obama’s policies.  This is completely empty rhetoric—although I’ve heard this countless of times.  The United States strength comes from its constitution, economy, military, and its people—not its President.  The President is strictly a byproduct of its people.
  • You name it—just turn on Foxnews and you’re guaranteed to see numerous individuals blaming the President for God knows what EVERY single day.  Anything good that happens, Obama has nothing to do with it—anything bad that happens, he is directly at fault.  Such a shame and a disservice…Foxnews sells fear (this is precisely and undoubtedly what they sell) and we all need to understand this so that we can move past all these nonsensical arguments and get something constructively done.

So let’s bypass the petty arguments and conspiracies espoused on a daily basis and take a REAL constructive look at what Obama has done since day one of his presidency with his foreign policy.  Obama rode into office with the principles of mutual respect and talking with our enemies—most notably Iran—to resolve world conflicts.  Obama received immediate criticisms from all sides—just like his opposition to the Iraq war—because this wasn’t at all a popular position at the time.  BUT he continued pursuing a desire to negotiate with Iran.  How did Iran respond?  Initially dismissively, with the Iranian President Ahmadinejad continually stating inflammatory remarks towards America, Israel, and the West.  However, these inflammatory remarks by Ahmadinejad obviously didn’t work anymore to increase his stature among the Iranian people because they sparked their 2010 Green Revolution against their Iranian leaders.  And because Obama rightfully chose not to invade Iran during their Green Revolution (contrary to the loud and warmongering“misguided ones”), anti-Americanism in Iran didn’t grow.  In fact, anti-Americanism has decreased in Iran because we know that in 2012 the Iranian people chose the much more moderate and Western friendly President Rhouhani, who immediately sent conciliatory tweets to both the American and Jewish people after being elected.  Today for the first time since 1979, the American and Iranian governments are speaking directly on a range of issues—Iran’s nuclear program, Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s instability, and others.  The permissible political climate for Iran to finally speak with the American Government is unquestionably and directly correlated with Obama’s principles of mutual respect and talking with enemies—to understand why the other thinks the way they do.  Enough with saying this country or that country is evil—this is absolutely not constructive!  We need to know and understand Iran and its people so that we can resolve our differences and find solutions that move us towards a more stable and fairer world (we both want this)—just like you would with someone with whom you want to resolve differences in order to create a better work or living environment.  Have you really ever resolved differences with someone if you never talked and understood that person?  Absolutely not!  It’s the exact same thing with countries and peoples too.

Where does the United States find itself today from Obama’s foreign policies?  A list for clarifications:

  • The U.S. has ended two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—contrary to “the misguided ones” recommendations
  • The U.S. has mobilized the international community to implement crippling sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program—these were not achievable in past administrations
  • The U.S. has avoided going to war in Iran, Egypt, Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq (again)—contrary to “the misguided ones” recommendations
  • U.S. troop deaths and injuries have dramatically decreased
  • Osama Bin Laden killed—never achieved under the previous administration
  • Benghazi attack mastermind had been captured in less than two years
  • The U.S has avoided another costly and bloody war with Russia and has mobilized the international community to implement economic sanctions against Russia—contrary to “the misguided ones” recommendations
  • The U.S. and Iran are negotiating for the first time since 1979 over Iran’s nuclear program and potentially cooperating together on the Iraq and Syria conflict—contrary to “the misguided ones” recommendations
  • The U.S. has kept its people safe thwarting numerous terrorist plots on its soil

However, if you were to turn your TV to the strictly “fear-selling” news channel or listen to any conservative talk radio, you would begin to think that Armageddon or World War III were just around the corner.  These outlets continually push their same empty rhetoric and statements over-and-over that—I believe—they themselves begin to believe these petty arguments and conspiracies as news-worthy topics.  Have you ever heard of the Pygmalion Effect?  This is the self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform.  Have you ever heard of the Golem Effect?  This is the self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the lower the expectations placed upon people, the worse they perform.  Studies have shown these hypotheses to be true YET we have convinced ourselves that our politicians are worthless and evil.  We reap what we sow.  No wonder our politicians can’t get anything done when we continuously demonize them into evil doers along with our OWN Presidents—in particular Obama.  The political opportunists who should know better somehow have convinced large swaths of our population about the “evilness” of our President.

Calling countries “the axis of evil” or demonizing whole peoples is also just as destructive for resolving conflict. Let’s not pretend that Iran doesn’t do things that aren’t extremely destructive—to say the least—because it supports Bashir Assad (Syrian’s ruthless dictator), Hezbollah (Lebanon’s radical Islamic militia), Hamas (Palestine’s radical Islamic militia), and Shiite Militias that fought American troops in Iraq.  However, we must truly understand that Iran’s main objective is to protect their sovereignty and national interests.  Try to think about the psyche of the typical Iranian—remember: the United States supported Iran’s previous ruthless Shah for over 20 years, supported the Iraqis during Iran’s war against Iraq, invaded both of Iran’s neighbors (Iraq and Afghanistan), and threatened the Iranian government on multiple occasions with potential military involvement.  We need to get past the rhetoric that Iran is evil or the United States is evil—obviously, neither are true.  We need to focus on what the United States and Iran both want:

  • Stability in the middle east and world
  • Sovereignty over its own land and government
  • Economic progress
  • Assurances that the other side won’t attack them
  • Decreased hostilities towards each other—the people at least

If you believe like I do that these WANTS of both the United States and Iran are a great foundation to move forward constructively to resolve century old conflicts, then we actually can and should move forward cautiously with Iran.  Again—it must be repeated: based on his doctrine of mutual respect and talking with our enemies, Obama has given Iran—and America—a golden opportunity to get things RIGHT in the Middle East.  Enough of the empty rhetoric that Obama is the weakest President of all time—this means absolutely nothing.  Once again, America isn’t strong because of who is sitting in the White House; America is strong because of its ideals derived from its divinely inspired constitution, its economic power, its military power, and its political relationships around the world.  So, once again, let’s just bypass these silly criticisms that Obama isn’t macho enough or is the weakest President ever!

The Dick Cheney conceived principle of pre-emptive strike must cease to exist for the United States.  John 8:7 He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.  Is any country without sin to be allowed to cast the first stone?  NO!  Jesus believes we all have sinned; therefore, no one should cast stones.  We must understand others to make better decisions collectively.  We need less judging and demonizing of others and countries.  We need Patriots that support our President and Government instead “faux” Patriots who constantly criticize them.  We need humility and accountability to understand why we are in our current situation—we reap what we sow.  And we need faith and patience to understand that we DO move forward in providing a better tomorrow.  Obama has provided this real opportunity for the United States and Iran to take this GIANT step forward to improve the lives of millions in the Middle East and around the world—with potential stability, potential economic progress, potential partners, etc.  Obama received the Noble Peace Prize in 2009—will this be another Pygmalion Effect moment.  Self-fulfilling prophecies are funny how often they come true.  We in America believe we can achieve what we believe.  In America perhaps we need to believe Obama CAN achieve great things instead of constantly tearing him down because he has already achieved so much that we can all be proud of.  As I started this paper, would the REAL Patriots please stand up?!!  I said—would the REAL Patriots please stand up?!!