I was trying to figure out how to highlight the upcoming Nov. 6 election in a story that I could localize to highlight the difference in the choices we face. I was not prepared to see how diametrically opposed the views of Democrats and Republicans are on what the solution is to America’s problems.
I first thought I would do a man-on-the-street interview, but I have done those, and you have to talk to about 100 people to get 10 who will speak on-the-record. And don’t even think about asking them if you can take their picture. And you always run into the citizen who hasn’t a clue: Question — What do you think of President Obama’s record? Answer — Who?
So I figured that I would interview the heads of the PRC Democratic and Republican parties to get a fix on where locals stand. (The story appeared in Friday’s Item.) Pearl River County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Agnes Dalton is unapologetically liberal. Jose Lopez, head of the county Republican executive committee, is decidedly conservative, some would even say far to the right.
Dalton favors a big, active government, providing a safety net for citizens, and providing health care in a fair and equitable manner. Lopez fears the government. He wants a small one that does not intrude into our private lives and private businesses. He wants as much freedom as possible and low taxes.
Dalton says government can help solve our problems; Lopez says government is the problem.
There you have it. And as we have seen on the national level, there has been no compromise. In fact, Democrats have made “no compromise” a criticism of the Republicans, saying Obama’s efforts would have done more good if Republicans would have cooperated and compromised.
I would never dare to tell you whom to vote for. I consider myself a little to the right of center. I think there is a place for help and aid to citizens, but I think government can become too intrusive and skew the free markets. In addition, private markets can swing widely out of control, and government does perform a function of leveling the playing field and trying to rein in excesses and wild speculation. Each citizen must study the candidates and make their own decision. It turns some off; others take the responsibility very serious. Citizen soldiers have died to preserve your right to the secret ballot.
I will admit, however, that I do share Lopez’s fear of the “debt bomb.” I am sure that there is no way that America can sustain the fiscal path we are now on. We owe $16 trillion in debt and extended liabilities are even higher. China holds our debt. The debtor is the slave of the creditor.
The debt is also a moral issue. We are sliding this debt burden onto our children and grandchildren. I look at my grandkids and I ask myself, What kind of country will they inherit? Our extended debt will crush them.
There has, in my lifetime, I believe, never been an election in which the alternatives have been drawn so clearly and distinctly. I am not telling you whom to vote for, but I am telling you that if you fail to vote, you have committed a terrible injustice to your country and those who gave their lives to allow you to freely cast your ballot for the candidate you believe in.
So, Vote! On Nov. 6.
Bill Allain rose above nasty campaign
The announcement of former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain’s death this week at the age of 85 brought back memories of the time 30 years ago when Mississippi and the rest of the nation waded through one of the more bizarre chapters in the state’s political history and perhaps the dirtiest campaign seen in this state before or since.
State at bottom of list in solar friendly laws
On a sunny day this past summer, Germany produced a world record of 24 gigawatts of electricity per hour. That’s equal to 20 nuclear power stations. At its peak that day, solar panels produced a quarter of the entire electricity consumed in the nation.
Obama resilient in face of polls
For a guy whose presidency was supposed to be on life support, Barack Obama has certainly had a productive couple of weeks. With his poll numbers sinking toward George W. Bush territory — 53 percent in a recent CNN survey said he’s not a strong or decisive leader — Obama took bold action on two issues that dramatized the power of the presidency.
Lure of home was strong for author
Today she looks like a beautiful Indian princess, like Walt Disney’s Pocahontas, her thick black braid rapunzeling down the back of her tunic of red, the color in which her mother dressed her “Mimi.”
Rural homeless less obvious
As we transition from the traditional Thanksgiving feast into the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget that there are those for whom Thanksgiving and Christmas are just another day.
Budget can kicked down road
Many people take pride in defying the conventions of society. Those conventions of society are also known as civilization. Defying them wholesale means going back to barbarism. Barbarians with electronic devices are still barbarians.
MSU to host historic reunion game
Over the Thanksgiving holidays, the eyes of many Mississippi sports fans will be on the 86th renewal of the Egg Bowl football game between the 7-4 Ole Miss Rebels and the 5-6 Mississippi State University Bulldogs.
Still room for pragmatic Republicans?
We have a young friend who ran the Young Republicans during her college years and now works for a GOP consulting firm. She’s a loyal party member, but she has a problem. She’s from New York — her father and grandfather were both New York City cops — and she feels increasingly alienated from a party whose center of gravity has moved steadily to the South, the West and the Right.
Real health insurance not told
So here’s my advice: If you’re somebody who’s smoking hot about the Big Lie of the Affordable Care Act — you know, how President Obama told everybody that if they liked their current health insurance policy they could keep it — do yourself a favor. Avoid the county fair midway.
Half a boat came with other half attached
In a long and checkered career of finagling to live near water, I have owned a houseboat, two sailboats, stink boats, pontoon boats, canoes, rotten boats and a pirogue. Since the day at the county fair when my father lifted me into a toy boat traveling in circles in impossibly blue water, I have loved boats. Any old boat.
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