Monday, November 24, 2003
There are several reasons why I've fallen to the right side of the fence over the past few years. It started when I worked at a bank in San Diego 10 years ago and watched as non-English speaking people with $5 in their accounts walked out with thousands of dollars in cash, c/o Uncle Sam. They always used Resident Alien cards for identification, they always had multiple checks written out to dependent after dependent, and we all knew that that money was heading straight to the mailbox, out of the country. Meanwhile, I made $10/hour, got no benefits and was in the process of accumulating a sizable college debt. That's when I started to believe in welfare reform.
The next big apocalyptic moment came on, you guessed it, 9/11. I've always been acutely aware of terrorism, to the point where I have always "profiled" my fellow passengers on flights-- would that person have packed a bomb in their suitcase, etc? Nice thoughts, eh? Over time I came to the conclusion that it's the conservatives with whom I trust my safety. It seems like conservatives are willing to fight for some things, making sacrifices now for the future of this country.
So here we are in 2003, and if I hadn't already fallen to the right, the past few months certainly would have pushed me there. One thing that has made an impression on me lately is the total negativity that comes from the left side of the aisle. The candidates for the Democratic nomination have been campaigning on nothing but Bush bashing. Look how he's destroyed this country, they say. He's squandered the goodwill of other nations so we can conduct our oil-grabbing war for his rich friends, they say. He ruined the economy, they say. I don't buy any of that.
Add to this negativity a complete lack of ideas on how they would fix these obscene problems we supposedly have in this country. Apparently, getting Bush out of the White House would fix everything. I don't buy that, either. The icing on this cake is the fact that the other party is seriously lacking any cohesion in their platform and their message. This is on full display during each of the Democratic debates. Their flip-flopping on issues is making me dizzy, and Al Sharpton is the only candidate that I can believe-- what you see is what you get with him. Hello! This lack of a cohesive platform/message is also apparent with every "peace" demonstration. The groups that the "anti-war" left have joined forces with to protest have been questionable at best, downright anti-American at worst. Let's just say that I don't see the folks on the right demonstrating in full force with the KKK any time soon to protest against abortion or gay marriage, but that's exactly what I see the left doing. They've lost all credibility with me-- they are guilty by association.
So imagine my delight this morning when I saw the latest news on the economy. Our government does not deserve full credit for turning the economy around. Everybody knows that the capitalist system we enjoy has its ups and downs. That's why you're supposed to save for that proverbial rainy day. This news gives me hope. While I was relatively unemployed for over two years, I never felt bitter towards some invisible force for putting me there. It happens. I'm looking forward to the next few years when we can take advantage of a good economy to save save save.
And don't even throw the unemployment "disaster" into this argument. 6% unemployment is a drop in the bucket, and far off the unemployment rates of other recessions. That will turn around, too. It'll take time for businesses to be comfortable making human capital investments, but they will.
So today gives us another little glimmer of hope in a string of good news on the economy lately. Hopefully this will start to eat away at people's negativity and hopelessness. Somehow, I doubt it. Instead this will fill a certain group of people with despair. How sad is that?
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