Reagan's Heir Apparent?

As the wide open race for the GOP nomination heats up in the next couple of weeks, the references to Ronald Reagan are also heating up as each candidate tries to claim the Reagan Coaltion as his base and assume the mantle of Reaganism. No GOP candidate can say so much as three sentences without invoking Reagan. So who is the real Reagan heir?

No one.

Just as the GOP pundits have chastised Hillary Clinton for trying to run a campaign based upon her husband's 1996 campaign, the move of the GOP candidates to attempt to cloak themselves in the robes of Reagan conservativism is doomed to failure, because none of them are Reagan. Simply put, the policies of 1980 have no place in a 2008 campaign based upon a 28 year old presidency. Just as it is a wrong strategy for Hillary Clinton, it is an even worse strategy for the GOP to look to the past.

Despite its moniker, conservatism, for me, has always been about looking forward, having a positive outlook on the future, knowing deep down inside that the future will always be better than today if you stick to some basic principles: fiscal conservatism, a strong military and strong foreign policy, smaller government and more individual freedom. While there are similarities to 1980 in today's environment, namely a shaky economy and something of a loss of faith in America's "rightness," the fact is that the world of today cannot be approached with the same set of policy prescriptions as 1980.

In 1980, the biggest threat to our national security was the Soviet Union. We could point to a nation and a government and say--"there is the bad guy." We could arm ourselves and use the powerful economic engine of our capitalist economy to spend the enemy into oblivion--just like Reagan did. Today, we have a name for our enemy "Radical Islam" and we have a face or faces--Osama bin Laden and company--but we can't point to a map and say, "there is where the bad guy lives and there is where our threat lies." We simply don't know where the next radical Islamist will poke their head up and attempt to kill as many people as they can.

Our economy is very different as well. Sure, in 1980 we were coming out of an energy crisis somewhat similar to the one we experience now, with rising oil prices, increasing inflation and the attendant effects on the manufacturing sector and wholesale prices. However, today we have a much different economy, a more globalized integration with other nations. Our economy does not, and cannot, stand on it own. Nor can we have the government spend its way out of a bad economy. Reagan's defense build-up spurred massive growth in other sectors, from computers and electronics to the steel industry. Combined with tax cuts, spending cuts in other areas and other economic incentives, Reagan was able to essentially use the Pentagon to cure our economic ails by deficit spending in a targeted manner.

However, there was a big difference between then and now--the earmark. In the 1980's the government spending had a goal, an overarching target--namely the military and that kept spending focused. Congressional appropriators saw the same enemy as Ronald Reagan and were only too happy to help defeat the Soviet Empire. Despite the budget battles that did occur, there was a strategic goal that pretty much everyone agreed was right and proper. Were we to undertake a similar spending binge, I fear the lack of a unified national goal would undermine any plan of government spending because we cannot see a single nation as the enemy and we are not even agreed that we have an enemy--precisely unlike the 1980's. Today's Congress would spend willy-nilly, with no overarching goal or policy objective other than to get more and more money for their district--to the detriment of the country.

Reagan was the right conservative for the 1980's. His policies were right for 1980, but not for 2008. Conservative principles will serve us well, but a wholesale imitation of Ronald Reagan would be just as bad for America as electing Hillary Clinton.

There was one way that Reagan can and should be emulated by today's candidates--optimism and it is missing from the GOP right now. Reagan positively exuded optimism. Hope and optimism unstoppably poured from him like the Mississippi and was as unshakable as the Rocky Mountains. Where people of 1980 saw problems and lots of them, Reagan saw opportunity and hope. Reagan possessed an unswerving faith that America could be great again. I do not see that same faith displayed day-in, day-out among the GOP candidates. They talk a good game, but I don't feel it and I don't think that Americans in general feel it. The Reagan coalition was built not only on conservative principles, but coalesced around the underlying theme of hope and optimism. The primary reason Barak Obama is doing as well as he is on the Democratic side is that he offers an optimistic view of the future and in the end, I think that is what will carry him to victory in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidate is showing that same spirit--the forward looking hopefulness and cheerfulness that inspires people and that is the danger of claiming to be the Reagan heir, none of the GOP candidates have come close to the hope and optimism that lit his candidacy and presidency.

In so many ways, the world of 2008 is much more complicated than the world of 1980. But there is no doubt that, like in 1980, we as a nation are at a crossroads. Even Obama acknowledges that Reagan tapped into something much more fundamental than a set of policy prescriptions--he tapped into the soul of America and made America a different and better place. No GOP candidate is doing that right now and that is why not one of them can rightfully claim to be Reagan's heir.

Posted by Matt Johnston at January 17, 2008 9:25 AM
Comments
Comment #243120

I don’t like any of the candidates in the two-party duopoly.
They are all messed up on one or more major issues.
Some of them are now flip-flopping on major issues, only to get votes, but I’m not buying it.

Almost all of the Democrats can’t be taken seriously with regard to illegal immigration.
But neither can many (if any) of the Republicans.
They both want profits from cheap labor and votes.
So, they both avoid the subject as much as possible (along with other major issues).

And with a massive $9.2 Trillion National Debt, and a number of other serious fiscal/economic problems, where will they get the money for all the new things they are promising?

ANSWER: Borrow and print more money.

So what if the U.S. dollar is falling like a rock?

Whoever becomes president, they’ll be useless if they are still saddled with a corrupt, FOR-SALE, fiscally irresponsible, Do-Nothing Congress.

Unfortunately, too many voters are likely to continue to repeatedly reward bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 95%-to-99% re-election rates, and then wonder why two years later why things continue to decay.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 17, 2008 11:49 AM
Comment #243126

Last night on one of the major news shows it was stated that six days of oil revenue by Saudia Arabia was sufficient to purchase General Motors. Our reliance on foreign energy supplies is causing both social and political upheaval. We (US) are our own greatest enemy by continuing to ignore our own resources in favor of a liberal theory of global man-made warming. A combined effort of Congress and the President to open all American soil to drilling, a huge financial committment to more nuclear power and refining capacity and new technology would have the immediate affect of lowering the global price of oil. Ronald Reagan if president today would get that job done. Our economy would soar along with the dollar and the financial markets would boom.

Posted by: Jim at January 17, 2008 12:07 PM
Comment #243139

I don’t think more oil would reduce excessive borrowing and money printing.
Incessant inflation has existed since 1955.

The U.S. (population 305 Million) is 4.55% of the world population.
China and India have 2.4 Billion people and their desire for oil is growing fast.

The U.S. would be wise to find ways to use drastically less oil.

We (US) are our own greatest enemy by continuing to ignore our own resources in favor of a liberal theory of global man-made warming.
True, but our problems are many, and more oil will not solve all of them.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 17, 2008 1:23 PM
    Comment #243141

    Just out of curiosity - why do Republicans want a Reagan heir apparent? Sure Reagan received ‘credit’ for the hostages’ release, but he didn’t actually do anything to get them released. Same with the Berlin Wall.

    Being somewhere at the right time and place does not necessarily mean one caused it to happen.

    Reagan gave us out first triple digit deficient.

    Reagan came up with the “trickle down theory”
    which didn’t work.

    His “Star Wars” operation is still a “pie in the sky” notion

    Reagan most infamous line during his presidency was
    “I don’t remember.”

    Posted by: Linda H. at January 17, 2008 1:37 PM
    Comment #243154

    Right. Why all the adoration for deceased presidents?

    A few probably deserve it, but there seems to be some bias, depending on which party of the duopoly one has aligned themselves with.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 17, 2008 2:39 PM
    Comment #243161

    Ronald Reagan, as president, above all gave the American people confidence in our future at a time that the Carter administration was calling for a diminuation of that dream of a better life for us and our children. Inflation, unemployment and interest rates were at historic highs and his confidence and ideas brought all three of these measurements down dramatically. He espoused and believed in smaller government, lower taxes and freedom from un-necessary government interference in our lives. We hold Ronald Reagan in high regard because he was a true conservative and never lost these core values. He left the Democrat party for the same reasons Senator Zell Miller and many others including me left, the party no longer espoused the values of the historic Democrat party, but rather became the party of hand-outs, government excess, denying the public will by judicial edict, pandering for votes, etc.

    Posted by: Jim at January 17, 2008 3:16 PM
    Comment #243163
    Inflation, unemployment and interest rates were at historic highs and his confidence and ideas brought all three of these measurements down dramatically.
    It’s easy to appear wealthy when you are heaping massive debt onto future generations.
    We hold Ronald Reagan in high regard because he was a true conservative and never lost these core values. He left the Democrat party for the same reasons Senator Zell Miller and many others including me left,
    I suppose you know there have been defections in the other direction too?

    I left the Republican party, but did not choose to repeat my mistake by becoming a Democrat.
    Neither party of the two party duopoly have the solution.
    Because, if they did, their 95%-to-99% re-election rates would have allowed them to fix the nations many problems, growing in number and severity.

    I don’t think what has been going on (i.e. getting worse) in the U.S. for the last 30 years is much to celebrate.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 17, 2008 3:30 PM
    Comment #243164

    d.a.n. Are you saying Republicans leave the party because it has become too conservative? My implication of Reagan, Miller and me leaving the Democrat party was because it became too liberal. Not quite the same thing. Should I leave the Republican Party it will because it no longer espouses my conservative views. No, I don’t know where I will go then. I’ll just become an independent and vote for the most conservative candidate which I already do.

    Posted by: Jim at January 17, 2008 3:37 PM
    Comment #243170

    Matt, you are especially right regarding the invocation of Reagan’s deficit spending and debt creation as being absolutely wrong for our current context.

    In fact, Bernanke warned Congress against creating deficits just today as a means of stimulating the economy, saying with debt where it is, growing it could have explosive consequences 20 years out. Obviously referring to the entitlement and boomer retirement crisis looming.

    Reagan’s fiscal policy of the 1980’s of passing the cost to the next generation simply won’t work today, because the next generation won’t be able to pay the bill and support their partents and grandparents too.

    Of course, you would not agree with me on this, but, I would say the GOP needs to redefine some of their principles. Since, some of them have proved impossible for the GOP to live up to. They may want to read Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and modify their economic theories as well, since obviously, supply side trickle down has proven to be only partially successful and only for a relatively small number of Americans.

    13 years of supply side laissez faire trickle down economics has brought our economy to where it is now. And it ain’t good for the majority of Americans. Just look at the consumer confidence index and retrenchment of consumerism across all income classes in our society over the holidays. Just go shopping for America is not a message Americans feel comfortable heeding anymore from the likes of GW Bush and the Republican led Congress since 2001.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 17, 2008 4:21 PM
    Comment #243181

    I still don’t see that Reagan was a President to be emulated. I didn’t like and still don’t like many of the programs he represented. I.e. The Iran-Contra Affair, Star Wars, the “Trickle down theory” of economics, and of course the triple digit budgets he was so fond of.

    Why do the Republicans seem to think of him as some sort of little god? He wasn’t. He was a handsome movie star who simply came at the right time and place, as far as Conservatives believe. And when he no longer had someone writing his dialogue, he simply “forgot”.

    Besides, Doesn’t anyone remember Nancy and her new china?

    BTW - who is Senator Zell Miller?

    Optimism is the least of my concerns. I don’t care how happy or cheerful the candidate may be - he or she had better inspire me with the belief they can do a good job - and will do the best job they are capable of, within the confines of the US Constitution. They need to differentiate between their personal opinions and beliefs, those some stupid Party Platform and the will and desires of the majority of the country. (I know I’m dreaming)

    I honestly don’t see anyone - Democrat or Republican that inspires that kind faith in me or for my country- but then I never have. Reagan scared the dickens out of me, especially when I realized he honestly didn’t remember his own actions.

    I hate voting for the lesser of the two evils.

    Posted by: Linda H. at January 17, 2008 6:14 PM
    Comment #243183

    Jim says “He espoused and believed in smaller government, lower taxes and freedom from un-necessary government interference in our lives. We hold Ronald Reagan in high regard because he was a true conservative and never lost these core values.”
    Other than just give lip service to the gullible about these values did he ever actually live up to them? Once? What extra freedoms from unnecessary govt influence was acheived by Reagan?

    He ballooned the government as his administration destroyed confidence in the country with all of their trials for different crimes. True conservative huh?

    Posted by: j2t2 at January 17, 2008 6:23 PM
    Comment #243188

    Apparently all the Reagan haters have conveniently forgotten that he carried all but one state in his first election and was endorsed by many, many Democrats over that liberal freedom-hating McGovern. And, does anyone remember the dunce Dukakis? I can close my eyes and still see that little idiot’s head poking out of the top of that tank he was trying to drive. r2t2 wants me to prove a negative. I ask, what freedoms were you required to give up during his historic presidency. Finally, all the B.S. about his spending is from those who don’t appear to understand that only congress can appropriate money.

    Posted by: Jim at January 17, 2008 6:42 PM
    Comment #243201

    Reagan became Reagan once he became a President. Each president’s legacy is based on what they did while in office. It is unfortunate that people miss this. Did Reagan campaign on bringing down the Berlin Wall? Did Bush campaign on 9/11? We need to elect a president that has the capacity to be a good leader not a president that can mimic a great president. In Giuliani’s desperation to prove he is great he cannot stop mentioning 9/11. That is now what Reagan did. We need candidates with the capacity to become themselves.

    Posted by: Evan at January 17, 2008 8:09 PM
    Comment #243202

    Jim, You are the one stating the merits of Reagan as “He espoused and believed in smaller government, lower taxes and freedom from un-necessary government interference in our lives.” I simply asked for one thing Reagan did that would back up this statement. Remember I never said I had to give up any freedoms as you seem to think. But nice try. Keep defending him cause the picking are slim when it comes to trying to name another decent “true conservative” leader doesnt it. In fact this conservative propaganda as a whole is rather lacking in core values of any substance, its all hot air that sounds good on the radio but fails when questioned out in the real world..

    Posted by: j2t2 at January 17, 2008 8:31 PM
    Comment #243203

    Richard Viguerie appears to like Ron Paul as Reagan’s heir.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at January 17, 2008 8:34 PM
    Comment #243227

    Jim said: “Apparently all the Reagan haters have conveniently forgotten that he carried all but one state in his first election and was endorsed …”

    I think it was a Republican President who said, ‘You can fool all the people some of the time…’

    How true, how true. GW Bush is a perfect example. Damned hard to find enough Americans in the polls admitting to having voted for GW Bush to equal the number of votes he got, these days. Even the majority of Republicans now agree GW Bush’s presidency has not been what they hoped for. They sure thought so in November of 2003, though. Proof enough you can fool nearly all the people some of the time.

    What is this penchant your comments have for depicting people analytically critical of your heroes as ‘haters’? Do you condemn critical analysis in general? Or, is that just the standard Republican tactic of condemning anyone with a thought apart from their party line. If you hate Clinton, we can just chalk it up to projection. That would be the simplest explanation.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 18, 2008 3:42 AM
    Comment #243228

    Linda H., there are no perfect presidents. Only the rare imperfect candidate who comes to the office at the perfect time to elicit the candidates best qualifications, like Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. They were all imperfect candidates, and under other circumstances at differing times, would have only been average presidents. This is something Republicans particularly don’t seem to appreciate. The part that luck or fate plays in any person’s fame, success, or wealth, with or without talent, skill, education, or breeding. There are millions with all those qualities who never become famous, wealthy, or inordinately successful by other measures, good people that they are.

    I have known several people no one else will ever here of, who might have made better presidents than we have now, under the same circumstances. But, would have been terrible in FDR’s time, or Lincoln’s. The point made here is vote as intelligently as possible and either pray or keep your fingers crossed. Because with our current political system, you will almost never know the real person behind the millions of dollars of PR, marketing, and advertising of their best face.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 18, 2008 3:56 AM
    Comment #243251

    Reagan’s policies increased revenues (congress just spent more of them without cutting as promised). Trickle down worked.

    Reagan built up the military and added Star Wars which told the USSR that the US will not only have a bigger military than them but a more high tech one. USSR’s bluff was called and they folded. Star Wars is no less probable than putting a man on the moon. Communism/Socialism once again fails.

    Reagan was neither a perfect president or a perfect conservative. From his documents we know what he wrote and believed before he became president. These values are just as important and usable today as they were during his presidency.

    Less government, not more. Do we want the same government that brought us help during Katrina, overseeing our healthcare?

    We are responsible for our own choices and destiny. Should I feel sorry for the student that skipped class during school so he could smoke dope with his friends, when he doesn’t now have the skills to find work? When a 20 year old can start a web site that in 3 years is worth over a billion dollars, can we say there are no opportunities for the poor?

    Do we rely on a system that has the best intentions but perpetuates the problem or do force (and help) people become more sell reliant as Reagan believed.

    Why is it that on average Democrats make more money than Republicans, but Republicans donate more to the needy? You would think that it would be the other way around wouldn’t you! We conservatives want to help the people back on their feet, not support them for the rest of their lives.

    If you believe in the abilities of everyone to succeed (with or without our help), you will understand Reagan. If you believe people need your help because they are less intelligent or talented than you, you will never get it.


    Posted by: JD at January 18, 2008 8:00 AM
    Comment #243257

    JD said: “Reagan’s policies increased revenues “

    and deficits and national debt. With the help of Congress, yes, of course. Deficits and debt after all are created by BOTH spending and revenues as halves of the equation which don’t equal a positive or zero number. Reagan had a veto pen just like GW Bush had for two terms. So, where were the vetoes that would have cut the spending down below losses of revenue from all those trickle down tax cuts?

    BTW, Reagan did not have the power to cut taxes. That is the power of Congress. Perhaps a Civics 101 book would help explain that, or a read of the Constitution. The power of the purse is not the Presidents. The power of the Veto is the Presidents.

    So, let’s not get carried away into fantasy land saying Reagan cut taxes and Congress spent too much. Congress BOTH cut taxes and Spent too much. Reagan approved both by signing Congress’ bills.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 18, 2008 9:07 AM
    Comment #243258

    JD said: “Do we want the same government that brought us help during Katrina, overseeing our healthcare?”

    That was a Republican government overseeing Katrina. It will be a Democratic government overseeing health care reform. That could constitute a vast improvement. Maybe not. But, it won’t be the same government, to be sure. For starters, the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies won’t be writing health care reform the way Republicans invited big Pharma to write the Medicare Rx legislation in their incredibly profitable favor, or the way Republicans invited Haliburton and KBR to the no bid contracts for Iraq, or the way Republicans invited the energy companies to the subisdy trough. No, in some important ways, it won’t be the same government at all, JD.

    The middle class might actually get the benefit end instead of the shaft end of the health care reform legislation.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 18, 2008 9:15 AM
    Comment #243267

    All Presidential records are a mixed bag and Reagan’s is no different. Presidents tend to get the credit for a lot more than they deserve and the blame for a things they don’t deserve. Reagan believed in the 10th Amendment, a strong foreign policy, and supply side economics. On all of these he was met with political resistance: cries of unfunded mandates, the nuclear freeze crowd, and “voodoo economics” (courtesy of GHWB). He won a few and he lost a lot more; that’s just life when you’re the President for eight years.

    The key metric to any political career is re-election, and Reagan carried 49 States in 1984. And that’s not just because the Democrats put up a liberal to run against him. Look ahead to 2012 and see if think any of these characters have even a chance at doing the same.

    And j2t2, if you filled out a tax return prior to 1986 you know just how much government burden was removed by Reagan. Wait a minute, that’s giving him too much credit again. How about Reagan, Gerhardt in the House and Bradley in the Senate……


    Posted by: George in SC at January 18, 2008 11:20 AM
    Comment #243272

    David, you have made some good comments regarding imperfect candidates and imperfect Presidents. The Presidency is an office, the creation of imperfect humans, and occupied by imperfect humans. I think that what makes Presidents stand out is more a function of their times and their reaction to the times in which they occupied office.

    Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan all took office a crucial times in our nation’s history. Of all the people on that list, I think only Washington and Lincoln, perhaps FDR, had a true inkling when first sworn in to office that they stood at an important junction in our nation’s history. What distinguished all these men (and they come from both parties) is not that they were president’s at a crucial time, but that they launched in a different direction or at least guided us through a very rock shoal and out the other side in better condition than when we entered.

    Today’s candidates face that task and only the truly blind candidate cannot see that we stand a critical junction in our history. The problem is that I don’t see any candidate demonstrating the kind of optimism that any of the above named presidents had in our nation, at least not on the Republican side. My admiration for Obama begins and ends with his optimism about America—I certainly don’t agree with his policy positions.

    Linda H., by optimisim, I don’t necessarily believe that any of the candidates themselves are not optimistic. But none of the candidates, save perhaps Obama, have been able to draw that optimism out of voters. Reagan did it better than any president I have seen in my life time. That is not to say that others can’t, but I am just not feeling it.

    Posted by: Matt Johnston at January 18, 2008 11:43 AM
    Comment #243288

    George in SC
    “And j2t2, if you filled out a tax return prior to 1986 you know just how much government burden was removed by Reagan.”
    I agree he didnt veto tax cuts but when you spend more than you make sooner or later that comes back to haunt.
    George, I was questioning the less government interference as I dont remember anything of consequence that Reagan did other than talk about it at election time. Im not saying he didnt I just dont remember anything significent that he did in that department. Yet he is worshipped as if he did by the righties. To the point of Heritage having a recurring “what would Reagan do” post on there website. To the point of each candidate claiming to be the true Reagan on a regular basis. Now Im not saying Reagan was as bad as our current Prez by any stretch and given the choices we had at the time I can see why he was elected but I just dont understand the hero worshipping.

    Posted by: j2t2 at January 18, 2008 2:07 PM
    Comment #243296

    j2t2-

    Paying less in taxes is less government interference in your life….

    Reagan was a great leader at a time when we were still enjoying our hangover from VietNam, Watergate, the energy crisis and the Iranian hostages. Until the end of his second term, when all of the scandals starting making noise (where there’s a political rival there are scandals), the 80’s became less about Washington and more about living. Save, of course the SNL skits or the Phil Collins video with him nuking the whole world.

    As to Matt’s original article, I’ve come to the conclusion that having a Reagan style conservative this year is probably a bad idea as well. Not because I don’t believe in limited government, a strong foreign policy, and a market based economy, but because political opposition to those ideas has taken its toll. It’s been since 1993 since Universal Health care and new taxes have actually been on the table and not just in political discourse. Let’s see what they look like in 2009. As I said, it was the 70’s that made Reagan what he was…..

    Posted by: George in SC at January 18, 2008 2:30 PM
    Comment #243331

    George in SC,
    Don’t forget to vote today, or next Saturday, if you prefer. I do hope the weather won’t be really bad.
    I’m still trying to figure out which side I am going to vote for - Republican or Democrat.

    Posted by: Linda H. at January 19, 2008 5:02 AM
    Comment #243336

    Geotge “As to Matt’s original article, I’ve come to the conclusion that having a Reagan style conservative this year is probably a bad idea as well. Not because I don’t believe in limited government, a strong foreign policy, and a market based economy, but because political opposition to those ideas has taken its toll.”
    Well George most people beleive in limited government, strong foreign policy and a market based economy. The conservative revolution talked the talk while expanding the government, borrowing from our kids in lieu of taxes, an agressor nation foreign policy,and a market based economy that only floats a portion of the boat. So I agree with you that it is time for a change. Political opposition was necessary, it was the republican philosophy and corruption that caused the conservative movement to become exposed for what it truely is.
    I liken the conservative philosophy to the guy that hears 2 glasss of wine a day is healthy so he decides to drink 8 glasses a day to become extra healthy. To much of a good thing is not necessarily a better thing. The repubs took limited government and turned it into large and incompetent government. They took strong foreign policy and turned it into the war for oil policy. They took the market based economy and turned it into a deregulated mess that consistently need to be bailed out at the expense of the taxpayers.

    Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2008 11:42 AM
    Comment #243385

    Matt said: “What distinguished all these men (and they come from both parties) is not that they were president’s at a crucial time, but that they launched in a different direction or at least guided us through a very rock shoal and out the other side in better condition than when we entered.”

    That is American mythology. Pure poppycock which is nonetheless assumed by most Americans to be pure truth. The reality and facts of history, as most historians who study the minutia of presidents, is that Presidents are figure heads, the most visible part of a vast network of minds, priorities, educational backgrounds, vocational experiences, and social connections of vary degrees of power in a hierarchy, all of which combine to create the policies which make or break a president’s historical legacy.

    It is a fallacy to believe that in any democracy ONE person is capable of single handedly changing the nation’s course and direction. That is only possible in the most ruthless of military dictator regimes, not in democracies. The President has to major tools at his/her disposal, the bully pulpit and the veto. Those aside, the president is the chief administrator overseeing (hopefully) the many agencies of the government that administer the laws and policies designed and adopted by others. It is a powerful position, but, that power lies not in the person sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office, but, in the enormous cadre of advisors, lawyers, agency heads and subordinates below them, who do the vast majority of the President’s job description.

    It is my contention that America can never be a democratic republic as long as its people continue to indulge in hero worship, idolatry of fame, and the fantasy that an individual is ever capable of making a significant impact on the nation’s direction. Democracy at its very core places the power of direction and change in the people, not the leaders of the people.

    It is so engrained in the American experience that we never even acknowledge the truth of things. A wealthy person forks over the money to have a mansion built and henceforth that wealthy person is credited for having built that mansion. But, that wealthy person never lifted a board, nailed a nail, designed an inch nor engineered a single truss of the entire mansion. In reality, the mansion was conceived, designed, engineered, and built by hundreds and hundreds of skilled persons. But the person forking over the money receives ALL the credit for its existence to include the credit in everyday parlance for having “built it”.

    It is truly amazing that modern America with this fantasy patriarchal system of idol worship has managed to survive these last 77 years of modern technological psychology, innovation, and industry. But, I assure you, the price to be paid for it is being exacted and takes the form of the Peter Principle. GW Bush is a case in point. And the next president will be yet another example of an individual being promoted to their level of incompetence.

    Because in America, we don’t see and deal with reality, we work with, and respond to, illusions created by the multi-million dollar Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising firms who tell us what reality is, as paid for by those powerful and wealthy enough to shape our reality through hired media reality shapers.

    Unless, and until, the American people take back reality for themselves, and reject the media bought and paid for illusions, and act upon that reality, America will continue down its path to demise as it serves ever more the needs and whims of the wealthy and famous, and denies the fundamental truth and reality that America is the sum of the actions, work, beliefs, education, and choices of all its people. The best of America in the long run, can never be more than the least of its people.

    We are a nation of people, and were meant from the beginning to be governed by rational and beneficial rule of law sanctioned by the people. We were never meant to be governed by individuals seeking fame, wealth, and power as occurs in Liberia, Pakistan, Cuba, and the Congo, and now in the U.S. Our founding fathers fought a revolutionary war to prevent just such a system of government by men, from becoming the legacy under which their progeny would have to suffer.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 20, 2008 2:55 PM
    Comment #243432

    David ,
    If you truly believed what you wrote, you would no longer support this blog and the others in which you have a vested interest. It is in the formation of ideas and the spreading of these ideas that change can be made. But, you already know this, so I am preaching to the choir.

    However, I will continue with my thoughts.

    While you are literally correct, no one person alone can change our country, ALONE, I believe you are wrong when you state that

    …that America can …never be a democratic republic as long as…indulge…the fantasy that an individual is ever capable of making a significant impact on the nation’s direction.

    One person with an idea, or dream can gather others around himself or herself and cause a major change in our nation. It is the nature of ideas to be spoken and written about. When an idea is considered worth believing and fighting for, it frequently gathers like thinkers along the way. Enough like thinkers can change the nation - or the world.

    Today we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birth. He was certainly not alone in his ideas, but his “I Have a Dream” speech inspired thousands of people, black and white to change our nation. The change is not automatic, but change has been made. For the better, I believe. He was also, I need to point out, NOT a WEALTHY MAN, but his beliefs spread all over OUR nation and now the world.

    It is also often true that one person will come to represent the time period of an historic event. Unfortunately, many people today know little about the Revolutionary War, but nearly all American’s will point to George Washington as one of the heroes of that war. The Civil War is associated with Abraham Lincoln, also not a man of wealth. The same is true of those people who seem to be identified with certain events. Truman will forever be associated with the Bomb in Japan,FDR with WWII, Kennedy with the his assignation and Cuba, King with Civil Rights, and Nixon with Watergate, etc.

    While I agree that the moneyed person who “builds” a monument is not actually the one who should get all the credit, it presumably was his idea to build and finance it in the beginning.

    Just as our country’s liberty was won by the unnamed and many unknown Minutemen, farmers, and shopkeepers, it was because of an idea put forth by men in Virginia, men who also had much to lose, many of whom were wealthy, many of whom died poor.

    American’s have fought for the IDEA of FREEDOM for many years. Unfortunately, the IDEA of FREEDOM seems to have taken a toll as to just what the concept of freedom means anymore. For many it seems to have become the concept of gaining wealth.

    As of now it appears that the DREAM or IDEA of becoming RICH or WEALTHY for ONE’S SELF, regardless of the method or impact on others has taken hold in this country. Drugs, murder, violence, theft, etc.

    IMO, it is this desire to care only for one’s self that will be the ruin of this country, just as it was for Rome, Egypt, Great Britain, China and all the other great empires and nations of the world. We no longer have our values in order. We once believed the qualities of a true hero used to be someone who went out of their way to help another experiencing a crisis, or a need; one who stood strongly for their beliefs,even a mist pain and suffering; one willing to risking their very lives for what they stood for; one who made very difficult choices not only for themselves, but for those they loved and cared for.

    Now all it takes to become a hero is to become well known publicly, regardless of how. The best way is by getting ones’ face on television,or movies, magazines, newspapers,or play a sport and of course get rich. Most, in IMO, don’t a own a hat small enough to cover the minimal brains they have in their heads.

    I believe this is a sad commentary on our world today. Americans have become so immersed in the desire for money, or the fear of not having enough that our values have changed.

    It is when our support of questionable IDEAS comes into question that we must be concerned. This is the true shame of the American Legacy with which we now must deal.

    Greed.

    Posted by: Linda H. at January 21, 2008 2:32 PM
    Comment #243509
    Jim wrote: d.a.n. Are you saying Republicans leave the party because it has become too conservative?
    No.

    Voters of BOTH parties should ask themselves if repeatedly rewarding bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians with 95% re-election rates is working?

    The problem is no one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable, but most voters continue to reward incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election. The politicians know this. They see these high re-election rates, regardless of what they do. Look at Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA). A politician can get caught by the FBI taking bribe money, get caught red-handed with $90K hidden in the freezer, and still get re-elected.

    The problem is NOT only the crooked politicians. The voters are culpable too.

    Jim wrote: My implication of Reagan, Miller and me leaving the Democrat party was because it became too liberal.
    My leaving the Republican party is because it is too corrupt.

    But there’s no reason to flee to the Democrat party either, since they are equally corrupt, not to mention the Democrat party held a HUGE majority in Congress between years 1952 and 1996 (i.e. 44 years).

    For that matter, I don’t see the need for either party when the politicians in BOTH are so corrupt that no one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable.

    But voters only have themselves to thank for all of it, since too many voters repeatedly reward most bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 96.5% seat-retention rates (since year 1980).

    D_U_H !

    Of course, that’s going to upset the hard-core party loyalists, but it is the truth.

    Besides, voters will figure it out, eventually, when their apathy, complacency, laziness, delusional and blind loyalty finally becomes too painful.

    Jim wrote: Not quite the same thing. Should I leave the Republican Party it will because it no longer espouses my conservative views.
    Most politicians in BOTH parties are fiscally irresponsible. Most politicians in BOTH parties vote on pork-barrel. Most politicians in BOTH parties vote themselves a raise every year (9 times between 1997 and 2007). Most politicians in BOTH parties are corrupt.

    But all voters are culpable too for repeatedly rewarding an incompetent, irresponsible, Do-nothing Congress with 96.5% re-election rates.

    Jim wrote: No, I don’t know where I will go then. I’ll just become an independent and vote for the most conservative candidate which I already do.
    Voters don’t need some placed to go.

    There’s nothing wrong with becoming an independent. Voters must do as they see fit, and they will when their failure to do so becomes too painful.

    Voters will be much less complacent, apathetic, and blindly loyal to THEIR party, when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.

    Either way, voters will get their education, and they will have the government that they deserve. If the voters don’t like it, they should keep in mind that most of the voters (that is, the 50% to 60% that even bother to vote) have repeatedly rewarded the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 96.5% re-election rates since year 1980, and that might just have a little bit to do with it. Repeatedly reward your children for bad behavior and observe the final result. Voters can not only whine, complain, and give Congress dismally low approval ratings (as low as 11%), and then repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 95% re-election rates, and then expect politicians to become responsible and accountable. Not when voters are essentially programming (by rewarding) politicians to be corrupt. Even if convicted of a crime, they stand a good chance to get a pardon, like Scooter Libby, and the 456 felons pardoned by Bill Clinton (140 on his last day in office), including Dan Rostenkowski who pled guilty.

    Yet, voters seem to be a very forgiving and benevolent lot (or something). The majority of voters only have themselves to thank for it.

    Government is FOR-SALE.

    NOTE: 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by a very, very, very tiny 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

    Essentially, a handful of people are controlling and influencing our government. They are some people who abuse vast wealth to control and influence government.

    However, the majority of voters are complicit and culpable, because 90% of the time, most voters elect the candidate that spends the most.

    A majority of our problems isn’t because we need to do something NEW.
    A majority of our problems can be resolved by STOPPING certain bad habits, caused and rooted in greed, laziness, and some fear mongering.
    For example:

    • (01) STOP the lawlessness; enforce existing laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution; stop pardons that put politicians above the law;

    • (02) STOP starting unnecessary wars (and stop the fear mongering and lies as an excuse to start wars);

    • (03) STOP all pork-barrel, graft, bloat, peddling influence, waste, and other abuses of power (e.g. such as Congress giving itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007);

    • (04) STOP illegal immigration which is costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses;

    • (05) STOP election fraud, stop blocking access to ballots; implement common-sense election reforms, and give voters a printed verifiable receipt of their vote;

    • (06) STOP the borrowing, spending, and growing the massive $9.2 Trillion National Debt; stop plundering Social Security surpluses;

    • (07) STOP regressive taxation;

    • (08) STOP inflation and force the Federal Reserve and government to target ZERO inflation and stop excessive money-printing;

    • (09) STOP getting our education the hard way; stop the misinformation and ignorance; an educated electorate is paramount; an ignorant electorate will be abused and exploited;

    • (10) STOP the unnecessary middle men (i.e. government and insurance companies) and fraud in the healthcare system; stop killing 195,000 per year by medical mistakes; also, if the 9 problems above were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressues on the healthcare systems;
    Of course, that’s all easier said than done, until enough voters also STOP repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly with 96.5% seat-retention rates.

    Linda H. wrote: Greed.
    Yes, that is why education is so important.

    We must accept and understand this fact of human nature, and then ensure Transparency, Accountability, and stress the importance of Education itself.
    Any healthy organization, government, or society requires Transparency and Accountability (i.e. law enforcement).
    One of our biggest problems now is lawlessness. Many laws are flagrantly being violated. The Constitution is being flagrantly violated.

    Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
    Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability

    It is also important for voters to understand how cheaters tap-into their laziness and greed.
    Too many politicians pander and lie.
    One-issue voters are easy to manipulate and bribe with their own tax dollars.
    Too many politicians pander fuel the blame-game and partisan warfare.
    The two-party duopoly taps into the many voters’ laziness and blind loyalty with the party-lever; it’s easy to pull the party-lever without even knowing the candidates on the ballot, much less their voting records.
    Too many politicians exaggerate experience. What experienced? Experience at corruption, pandering, pork-barrel, graft, waste, and lying?
    Too many politicians spend too much of their time raising campaign money, and 90% of the time, voters elect the politicans that spend the most money.
    And the end result is what we are seeing today.
    The first signs are economic instability, inflation, $9.2 Trillion National debt, $20 Trillion personal debt, wars, flagrant lies and misinformation, falling incomes, regressive taxation, rampant pork-barrel, waste, graft, corpocrisy, selling out American workers, illegal immigration, foreclosures, erosing of the currency, and other manifestations of unchecked greed.

    Either way, voters will get their education one way or another (probably, the hard way again), and the voters will have the government that they deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2008 10:05 AM
    Comment #243662

    Linda H. said: “One person with an idea, or dream can gather others around himself”

    But, then, it is no longer ONE PERSON making the change, but, the many others who have emulated what one person led, that makes the change. One President cannot change this country. One President and a political party and a host of followers, or leaders in Bush’s case, can change the direction of the country. But, not the President alone.

    If you choose to look at first causes, before they snowball with the gathering of throngs, as the cause of change, you have to explain why so many original ideas never achieve change. They don’t achieve change because they don’t acquire the critcal mass of the snowballing throng. Ergo, it is the snowballing throng that causes change, not the first person to have espoused an idea which others may, or may not, throng to.

    Put succinctly, a single ideal can change the world only if masses embrace the idea. Without the masses as the cause of change, single ideas go nowhere. A pedantic discussion, I know, but, the context was, a single president cannot change the direction of the country. And that’s a very good thing. Or we would be knee deep in the David Duke’s and Timothy McVeighs, who are numerous beyond count in their destructive but, innovative ideas. Consensus of a critical mass however is required before such ideas can manifest in change.

    By your own words, it was the people, not MLK that changed America: “Today we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birth. He was certainly not alone in his ideas, but his “I Have a Dream” speech inspired thousands of people, black and white to change our nation.”

    It was the thousands of inspired people who changed the nation by your own words. MLK’s speech was a precursor to change, but, wholly insufficient to bring about change. The inspired masses were the sufficient ingredient to actually make the changes happen.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 8:17 PM
    Comment #243666

    Linda H. said: “I believe this is a sad commentary on our world today. Americans have become so immersed in the desire for money, or the fear of not having enough that our values have changed.”

    It is a global trend, hence, a global problem, not just an American one.

    Sustenance and the struggle for it, has the effect of teaching humans a common, unifying priority set, which is fairly universal. When a society predominantly meets the sustenance needs of the people, it becomes a mature society in which a plethora of other priorities and divergent choices become paramount to citizens, save one, power. Power and who wields it remains a uniform priority decision in a mature society, in which the citizens make one of 3 decisions about power: Doesn’t matter who wields it, I or those I choose should wield it, or those who wield it must have it removed from their influence. All citizens choose regarding power in a mature society.

    How they choose and in what numbers, determines in large part, that society’s values. Freedom is determined by those in power. Usually, those with power have freedom, and those without power, don’t. But, not always. Often at the end of great civilizations, those with the most to lose, are the ones who lose the most, as a result of their having wielded power so far in their favor, that the foundation of the society crumbles. Their days of wealth and power end, the common folk having lost the least, continue on and promote new leaders to follow, to recreate a new society that promises to benefit them, the common folk. And the circle of life and repetition of human history continues.

    Democracy + common secular education for all + suspicion and skepticism of all who seek power over others, is a prescription for societal longevity, which the human species as yet, has failed to master and preserve. But, we are much further along in our development and perfection of that prescription than ever before.

    The inherent weakness of the American system was the founding father’s belief that education should be left to the idiosyncracies of individuals, families, and communities. They failed to recognize that the unifying fabric of any civilization is the common education of all of its people. Education here, means common exposure to the knowledge which leaders exercise.

    Here, education does not mean indoctrination and brainwashing to a finite set of knowledge designed to keep students ignorant of the knowledge which leaders exercise, which is now rampant in the American educational system K-12 in so very many states and districts. When the people have the same knowledge, or at least awareness of the knowledge leaders exercise, the people retain power over the leaders. The instant, the leaders achieve knowledge they prevent the people from sharing in, is the instant the people lose the power to govern themselves. For then the people are dependent upon the leaders to know what is to come, what to do, and how to think about what transpires.

    One need only look at how we entered the Iraq War to see a practical demonstration of how this works. NO less than 965 lies were told the people by the Bush Administration to beguile the people into supporting the invasion and into thinking this was a patriotic act. The people had lost the knowledge exercised by the leaders, and the people became the pawn’s in the leader’s game. It is not possible to define such a system that led to the Iraq invasion as democracy in any way, shape or form.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 8:54 PM
    Comment #243826
    Linda H. wrote: I believe this is a sad commentary on our world today. Americans have become so immersed in the desire for money, or the fear of not having enough that our values have changed.
    There is a reason (other than the root causes being greed and selfishness) for this.

    It is also part of the reason why some people in our government want:

    • illegal immigration,

    • ever increasing population for more productivity,

    • ever growing GDP (growth, growth, growth!; spend, spend, spend!),

    • more productivity on the backs of people with shrinking incomes,

    • government encouraging consumer spending (i.e. deposits allow more money to be created).
    • rampant government spending, borrowing, debt, and money printing.

    • the recent $140 Billion stimulus package (JAN-2008).

    Our money system is a PRYRAMID scheme, and all PYRAMID schemes collapse, eventually.

    Here’s how it works (they don’t teach this in any public schools).
    90% of every new bank loan is money created out of thin air.
    But it gets worse.
    For each dollar re-deposited into the the fractional (9:1 ratio) bank system (a closed loop monopoly bank system), it can be used to create 9 times more new money out of thin air.
    Depending on the size of the loan, that PYRAMID scheme can continue until 90 times more money has been created out of thin air.

    For example, let’s say the bank has $1111.11 in reserves. That means it can make a loan of 9 times that, which is $10,000.00 .
    90% of each deposit (the 9:1 ratio of the Federal Reserve) can then be used for another loan of money created out of thin air
    (001) 90% of that $10,000.00 (when deposited again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $9,000.00 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    (002) 90% of that $9,000.00 (when deposited again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $8,100.00 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    (003) 90% of that $8,100.00 (when deposited again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $7,290.00 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . :
    (088) 90% of that $1.16 (when deposited back again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $1.045 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    (089) 90% of that $1.45 (when deposited back again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $0.94 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . : … . :
    (131) 90% of that $0.013 (when deposited back again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $0.011 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    (132) 90% of that $0.011 (when deposited back again) can be loaned out again, to create a new loan of $0.01 consisting of money created out of thin air.
    TOTAL SUM = $99,888.89 (of money created out of thin air from initial $1111.11 in reserves).

    Thus, from the initial $1111.11 in the bank reserve, $98,888.89 (98.89%) of new money was created out of thin air.

    But it still gets worse, because a LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST.
    But the bank creates only the PRINCIPAL for each new loan,
    So, where does the INTEREST come from?
    One of two things must happen:
    (01) create more new money to delay the collapse of the PYRAMID (such as the recent government $140 Billion economic stimulus package in JAN-2008). However, this creates more inflation. Between year 1950 and 2005, the M3 Money Supply increased from $135 billion to $10.15 trillion (that’s 75.2 times more money).
    (02) those with money must spend more money to allow more new money to be created out of thin air.
    (03) increased productivity.
    (04) increased products and/or natural resources (e.g. oil, steel, etc.) to sell to other nations to bring money back.
    (05) the wealthy share their wealth (not likely to any significant extent).
    (06) increases taxes on the wealthy (but tax the wealthy too much, and they might up and move their wealth and businesses to another country).
    (07) increased productivity via increased population.
    (08) increased productivity via illegal immigration (cheap labor).
    (09) reduce taxes to encourage more spending.
    (10) reduce interest rates to encourage more spending (but this creates more debt).
    (11) the government prints up more new money and gives it back to people to stimulate more spending (such as the $140 Billion promised in JAN-2008).
    (12) foreclosures.
    (13) plunder pensions and other systems (e.g. Social Security surpluses).
    (14) the PYRAMID finally collapses when there is finally too much debt and inflation to delay the inevitable collapse.
    Between year 1950 and 2005, the M3 Money Supply increased from $135 billion to $10.15 trillion (a factor of 75.2).

    It is a PYRAMID scheme, and all pyramid schemes eventually collapse.
    As time goes on, this problem can only get bigger and bigger.
    The only thing stopping the collapse of this pyramid is a short time lag by creating more debt and printing more money.
    But that time lag is shrinking every day, as the ability to repay debt becomes more difficult.
    Debt will grow larger and larger.
    The time it takes to finally collapse fools people.
    Printing more money to delay the collapse will make inflation get worse and worse.
    It could take decades or centuries, but the inevitable collapse is a mathematical certainty.

    Eventually, the debt and inflation will become impossible to deal with.
    We will not be able to create more debt to create more money.
    We will not be able to spend our way out of the collapse.
    We will not be able to print (money) our way out of the collapse (due to inflation).
    We will not be able to immigrate our way out of the collapse.
    We will not be able to procreate our way out of the collapse.
    We will not be able to increase productivity enough to avoid the collapse.
    We will not be able to tax (or untax) our way out of the collapse.

    Look at our current situation and results of this PYRAMID scheme:

    • $20 Trillion nation-wide personal debt,

    • $9.2 Trillion National Debt,

    • plundered pensions (PBGC $450 Billion in the hole),

    • rising foreclosures,

    • rising bankruptcies,

    • rising unemployment,

    • pressure to raise taxes for those that have money (i.e. the wealthy),

    • pressures to increase illegal immigration to increase productivity and growth (cheap labor),

    • stock market and real-estate bubbles and volatility,

    • the M3 Money Supply $135 Billion in year 1950 to $10.15 Trillion by year 2005.

    • inflation; a 1950 U.S. Dollar is now worth less than 11 cents,

    • the pressure to spend and borrow (i.e. numerous credit card applications in the daily mail),

    • bank fees (i.e. to increase reserves for more loans; the banks receive the interest),

    • the U.S. Dollar falling against all major international currencies,

    • and now, the recently proposed $140 Billion economic stimulus package; printing more money to increase the time-lag to prevent the collapse of the PYRAMID scheme.

    For anyone who thinks it is bad now, they haven’t seen anything yet.

    But this will never be taught in public schools (see 47 minute video)

    The above are the many manifestations of unchecked greed, and there will be painful consequences for most people when the PYRAMID scheme finally collapses, as all PYRAMID schemes always do.
    Especially when most voters repeatedly reward incumbent politicians for all of it with 95% re-election rates.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2008 11:15 AM
    Comment #243931

    Reagan read his lines well..we have another president right now who isn’t quite as adept at reading (or speaking)…we need someone who actually knows what is going on and going on wrongly in this country for a change.

    Posted by: Rachel at January 26, 2008 12:57 PM
    Comment #243966

    Rachel, your error. This president knows exactly what is going on. Republicans have resurrected monopolistic no bid government contractors with themselves as the ultimate inside traders in those company’s stocks. Republicans and this president have supported and cowtowed to the greatest monopolistic organization on the planet, OPEC.

    This president and Republicans have supported the resurrection of indentured servitude with the Bankruptcy Reform act and allowing credit card companies access to virtually unlimited interest rate hikes on those who could not possibly pay off their balances in their lifetime. This of course was followed by turning a blind eye to deceptive and illicit mortgage exploitation of the uneducated and poor in America, all in the political name of creating the greatest homeownership percentage in the history of America.

    No, this president and the Republicans know quite precisely what they are doing and what is going on. The problem is the general public generally doesn’t. No coincidence either that our educational systems are not focused on training students to see things like this going on, or worse, are training them to see such things as good and wonderful for America.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2008 2:36 AM
    Comment #243992

    David,
    My friend, you are being obtuse, today!!!!!!
    Of course it takes several persons to put one idea to work. You know exactly what I was referring to in my post.

    It would have made more sense if you had said:
    That’s like saying one brick will make a foundation.

    I maintain that just about everything in life starts as ONE!!!
    One molecule of dirt leads to more - a brick
    One bite leading to more - eating.
    One sip to more - drink.
    One stitch to more cloth.
    One letter to more- reading and writing
    One word to more words - conservation.
    One idea to more ideas - change.
    One egg and one sperm - life.
    You are hyperbolizing. You rarely overstate your point. I believe you have this time!!! :->

    Posted by: Linda H. at January 27, 2008 1:59 PM
    Comment #244029
    No, this president and the Republicans know quite precisely what they are doing and what is going on.

    No, this president is just reading the lines fed to him by the corporatocracy (and doing a bad job of reading!) just like Reagan did…

    Posted by: Rachel at January 27, 2008 8:21 PM
    Comment #244199

    Linda H., I wasn’t trying to be pedantic. I thought I was elaborating in great detail and nuance as to how challenging and important the task set before mankind is to resurrect its future from its current path.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 29, 2008 9:54 PM
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