Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Here we are, less than a month from the presidential election and well, let's say that I am not at all sanguine that my side is going to carry the day this time around. I just have to look around, with my jaw dropped in astonishment that this country is on the verge of giving the highest office in the land to the Chicago political machine. Let that sink in. The most corrupt institution in this country will have their finger on the button, so to speak, and be in a position to influence all of our lives. Mayor Daley's kingdom could quite possibly get a whole lot bigger.

The debate last night didn't put my mind at ease or make me feel any more confident. Let's face it, if the American people have a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, they'll pick the Democrat(the real one) every time.

With that said, I think that the odds are way better than even that Barak Obama will be the next President of the United States.

There are many reasons for this, but I will name several.

1.) It is extremely difficult for a party in power to win reelection for a third term after 8 years in the White House. It has only been done twice since the Second World War: in 1948 with Truman, by the skin of his nose and in 1988 with George HW Bush, after the popular presidency of Ronald Reagan. With this fact in mind, it is already an uphill struggle, particularly so with one of the most unpopular Presidents in a generation as the current President. Regardless of other circumstances, John McCain has his work cut out for him.

2.) In hard economic times the American people invariably turn out the party in power. From Hoover to FDR, Carter to Reagan and Bush to Clinton, the American people turn to the other party when the economy sours. Maybe this is unfair, but people want someone to blame when their economic future looks bleak. This time it is the Republicans turn to get spanked.

3.) Americans love Socialism. One of the things I notice while reading right-leaning blogs is the argument to not vote for Obama because he is a socialist. Regardless of the truth of this statement, to the teeming masses of the American people, this is a feature not a bug. Think of all of the semi-Socialist programs already in place (eg. Social Security & Medicare) and think what would happen if any Republican Congress or President was to try to end any of them. I think we all know that they would be hounded from office. This is the hurdle that the Reagan Revolution could not leap and why it stalled in the mid-80’s. Americans love their socialist programs and have no problem with more of the same.

4.) Youth and/or eloquence always wins elections. Let’s face the hard fact, Obama sounds good and is quite a contrast to the old and tired looking John McCain. That may be unfair, but elections are seldom fair or about the best person winning.

With these points in mind, I find it almost impossible to believe that John McCain will win the upcoming election. Unless there is a major revelation or breakdown in the Obama camp, I don’t see how he can lose.

So, how are we as gunnies going to deal with this situation?

First things first, take a deep breath and realize that it is not the end of the world.

We have a lot more going for us than we did in 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected President. Concealed Carry is the law of the land in 48 states and Shall Issue is the law in the majority of those 48.

We have the Heller decision that recognizes the Right to Bear Arms beyond anything we could have hoped in the 90’s.

So from the start, we are not starting from the low level we were at when Clinton became President. A lot has been accomplished in the last decade and our opponents will have a hard time trying to roll that back. I also wonder how much they will try.

One of the holy grails for the Democratic Party is some sort of universal health care coverage. Several years ago, I visited the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO and they had a list of the Democratic Party planks in 1948. One of them was, you guessed it, universal health care. So, they have wanted this for a loooooong time. Now, if they from the get go govern to the Left, as Bill Clinton did in 1993, they will immediately get a push back from half of the American people, as Bill Clinton learned in 1994. If they want to accomplish any of their agenda, they will have to moderate and at least attempt to govern from the middle. So, if they push radical gun control or other radical Left policies, they will be shut down in their tracks and there will be a party switch in Congress in 2010.

Another factor that will ameliorate the influence of Obama and the Democrats is the flip side of America’s love of Socialism. America may love its socialism, but it hates taxes. The problem for the Democrats is that to pay for one, you have to raise the other. Raise them too high and they risk being turned out en-masse from office. Raising them in the teeth of a recession is committing collective suicide. The Democrats can try deficit spending, but then they face a return to the stagflation of the seventies. If they go too far with either tax hikes or deficit spending, they risk being turned out on their ear. With the programs that Obama has promised, they will have a real problem trying to pay for them without turning to one of the two choices just mentioned.

Finally, I think it is time for the Democratic Party to put its money where its mouth is. They have been reacting to and blaming Bush for the last two years they have been in power. Now, they can take their try at leadership. It's a lot harder to lead than to react to the other party. Let's face it, the Democrats have been acting like the opposition party for the last two years. I can't think of one element of their agenda that they have moved forward. They were ostensibly elected to "get us out of Iraq" and not only are we still in Iraq, they have passed every one of Bush's Iraq funding proposals. If I was of the Left, I wouldn't be very happy at all with them.

Now, they won't have Bush to kick around anymore. If they are in charge of everything, they will have to come up with proposals, defend them, and bear the consequences for their success or failure. It should be interesting.

So, as I said, it is not the end of the world, it just seems like it. American politics has built in corrective factors that do a pretty good job of keeping things from straying too far from the middle.

Now, that I have said all of this, how can we deal with this as individuals?

1.) Donate to the NRA: If you are not a member, join now. If you are a member, increase your membership to the next highest level. Give extra to the NRA-ILA as well. They will be our primary front in stopping any anti-gun legislation the Democrats may pass. I don’t think the Democrats will immediately try to pass much gun control for the reason I stated above, but they also may let their emotions get the better of them (they are wont to do that). A strong, well-funded NRA will be our best defense against that.

2.) Buy any gun on your wish list that you have been putting off for the future, particularly if that gun is an evil black rifle. If any gun control does get passed, it will be a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban. Buy them now while you can.

3.) Buy ammo(nuff said)

4.) Put the Blue Dogs toes to the fire. The Democrats won Congress in 2006 because they ran people for Congress in states like Virginia and Montana who are pro gun rights. If the Democratic leadership starts to push gun control, let the Blue Dogs know that we expect them to vote against their leadership. If they don’t, let them know that they can easily be replaced by a Republican who will support the right to bear arms.

Again, it’s not the end of the world. We gunnies need to keep fighting and let the other side know that we are not going to curl up and quit just because they managed to get their guy in, for once.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, be sure to go and vote for John McCain. This election will still be close and McCain could win a squeaker. I think the odds are against him, but you never know. Anything could happen.

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