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Monday, December 01, 2008

Rome is Burning – And We’re Having a National Fiddling Convention

BY PAUL E. SCATES

While politicians of both parties are fiddling away, mostly in squabbles about who has the most power, the issues that affect the daily lives of all Americans are being ignored. And if politicians aren’t yammering on endlessly about them, then to the distinguished members of the Fourth Estate don’t recognize those issues as newsworthy.

In my life I’ve heard people ask about how the ordinary German people could have simply stood by quietly while Hitler ascended to power, how the Russians allowed the Bolsheviks to seize control of the government, or how the Jews in Europe meekly acquiesced to the horrors of the Nazi-imposed holocaust, et al. In fifty years or so, people will be asking the same question about the demise of the United States as a world power, or even as a nation. So we need not ask ‘Why?’ or ‘How?’ others succumbed to their fates so meekly; all we have to do is examine what’s happening today in our own nation.

For example, how about our dependency on foreign oil? Oh, sure, the gasoline prices are down right now, so that issue is no longer important, even though we were paying over $4 a gallon just weeks ago. Even though OPEC has and plans to again cut production to bolster oil prices. The Iraqi oil minister just proclaimed that $80 a barrel (which equates to around $3 a gallon for gasoline) is a “reasonable” price. (No good deed goes unpunished.)

Our own politicians – you know, those who so unctuously pledge to “serve” their constituents’ interests – have steadfastly refused to harvest the oil we have in our own country in order to give us time to develop practical and affordable alternatives to the oil that gives our enemies such power over us. No, it’s not a long-term solution, but neither is paying over $700 billion a year to those who hate us, while leaving our own oil – estimated to be several times more than Saudi reserves – untouched. If you think oil-per-barrel prices won’t again skyrocket, sending gasoline to $4 or $5 dollars a gallon (or more), you’re hopelessly ignorant of world politics. Our politicians are not supposed to be that ignorant, yet they insist on maintaining our status as helpless prey to socialist wackos (Chavez in Venezuela) and filthy rich oil sheiks who support Islamic terrorists with the money we pay them.

How about debt? If any one of us owed money in the proportion that our nation owes, we would have long-since been bankrupt, penniless and homeless. The second-most powerful nation in history (the USSR) no longer exists, yet it wasn’t defeated militarily. It collapsed economically (in no small part due to the arms race with the U.S.). We owe more money to China that any of us could calculate, and more to Saudi Arabia and the other oil-producing nations, yet our politicians tell us that the “crisis” of the financial industry (and the auto industry, and whoever else decides they ‘need’ a bailout) requires us to allocate them money that we have to borrow! Try that in your own finances and see how long you keep the wolves from the door…yet our nation can do it indefinitely?

Now we have a president who is much a socialist as Hugo Chavez, who apparently hates this country that provided him such amazing opportunities, and who will oversee a Democrat-controlled administration for at least four years. Do you think we’ll begin drilling our own oil (which, by the way, would provide a huge economic benefit in equipment sales, thousands of jobs, etc.)? When the supposedly fiscally conservative Republicans increased our debt, do you think Obama and the Democrats, who are known for tax-and-spend and never met a government program that costs billions they didn’t like, will reduce it? No, even though we’re at a critical point in our history, facing the real threat of economic collapse and dependence on nations that hate us, it won’t happen. Why?

Because you and I allow our politicians to so cavalierly ignore these and other critical issues, while they busy themselves with who gets what party post, or who gets the most pork for their district.

I feel like I’m watching one of those nature shows on Discovery channel, where the slowest wildebeast in the herd is systematically cut off and surrounded by lions, then brought down and eaten, even while it’s still alive and aware of what’s happening. Our politicians are the cameramen; they see what’s happening, but they have other priorities, so the animal is savagely killed and eaten. Do you honestly think that the Saudis and other Middle Eastern nations care about what fate befalls us? Or China? Come to think of it, do you think any of our politicians, of either party, honestly care? Their arrogance and persistent non-action prove otherwise.

But then…so does our own unwillingness to demand that our representatives support our Constitution and act in the best interests of this nation. Don’t ask how Hitler or the Bolsheviks took power, or how the Jews so meekly succumbed to their fate. We’re showing exactly how it happened. Fiddle music, anyone?

Formerly a liberal and an atheist, Paul E. Scates served as a Marine in Vietnam and is a lifelong student of American history, politics and culture. A former contributor to national website TooGoodReports.com, he writes his staunchly independent Conservative and informed Christian commentary for his fellow ordinary, working Americans, the “we, the people” who are ultimately responsible for preserving our Constitutional liberties.


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