Price of Freedom Is Vigilance
And all of a sudden it is August. I’m not sure whether we are in the final turn or the home stretch for the upcoming midterm elections, but I do know they’ll be here before we know it.
There are just three months left before conservatives get a chance to take back the House and maybe even the Senate. If that happens, our government will return to a true check-and-balance status. If the election were tomorrow, the polls indicate such an outcome would be a shoo-in.
Don’t get carried away. A lot can happen in three months, and polls can be turned upside down. Let us not forget 1948 and Harry Truman’s grinning picture holding up The Chicago Tribune’s headline that proclaimed: “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Given the polls of that year, the headline should have been true, but the voters ignored polls and Truman won.
Rest assured, the liberal press and the liberal politicians will do everything in their power to offset today’s polls. It, therefore, behooves those who oppose the direction this government has taken in the last couple of years to be on guard.
Part of the tricks used will be negative advertising. That has already started with an oil-covered man pretending to be Sen. Richard Burr being portrayed on television as a supporter of people who caused the oil spill. Another example revolves around Sarah Palin’s coining of the word “refudiate.”
No, it doesn’t scan. However, it did not warrant the outburst of the pouncers who suggested she was trying to compare herself to Shakespeare.
Debates can be fun and informative. Those of us who have been on debating teams know there are rules that must be followed. Not so in politics. The only rule there is: Do whatever it takes to bring down your opponent. Replace logic with a smirk and a sneer. Don’t attack the facts offered by the other side; get personal and simply claim your adversary is a nincompoop. You won’t find such ploys in “Robert’s Rules of Order,” but they work. That, of course, is the key phrase of both parties: whatever works.
A recent poll of presidential possibilities for 2012 names Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich as heading the list. Personally, I could live with any one of the four — especially when compared with our current president.
Nonetheless, I find the poll disturbing because I fear any one of them could be beaten by Hillary Clinton or (given some Chicago politics tricks) even Barack Obama. That is because three of them lost a primary to John McCain who, in turn, lost the election. And the fourth still carries some baggage that could be fodder for the pouncing spin artists. None of that makes them ineligible, but it is not too early to start building them into viable candidates — even if it means doing a bit of “refudiating.”
The next question is, are they the best? Because we need the best if we hope to elect someone to put our country back on a fiscally responsible track in 2012. That means taking a closer look at some people currently on the sidelines, like Haley Barbour, Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty. And let us not overlook Condoleezza Rice.
These are just a few top-of-the-head names. I’m sure most of you can come up with others. In the meantime, we have to concern ourselves with next November. Despite strong evidence that the majority of us deplore plans, plots, bills and tactics of the current government, those in charge are determined to ram through projects that can only harm and undermine our nation. They will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.
It is up to us to thwart them, and that means eternal vigilance. Keep the fire alive until November. We can never be complacent.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story