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11.14.2008... It's interesting to me...
Conservatives will do anything to make sure that social mores are unchanged from what they believe in: gay rights, "Christian Nation," religious freedom, and the like. They have hurt and killed people who disagreed.
Liberals, "on the other hand," will do just about anything they can to make sure that "adverse" economic situations (job layoffs, unemployment, mortgage foreclosures and on and on...) are stabilized, mitigated and avoided at nearly any cost. They have done incredibly stupid things and passed stupid laws to support their beliefs from that side.
All the time, each side saying, "we're right, they're wrong, and ours is the right way to do things."
Think about it when you hear requests for bailing out companies, saving homes and mortgages for people who, by all rational bases, never should have been able to buy the houses they're now "in danger of losing." ... whether the loss is from an adjustable rate mortgage or the loss of a job. These situations have been going on for scores of decades, but suddenly, it's the right thing to prevent them? Maybe. Maybe not.
If the right answer is "Maybe," why do people keep calling the 1950s and 1960s "the Good Old Days"? Back then, if a family or a company didn't save enough money or resources to tide them over when a recession hit or a job was lost, "safety nets" did not guarantee their financial survival. Can you point to any long-term ill effects of letting companies go out of business?
On a slightly different note, I'd like you to avoid using any phrases in your speeches which refer to "the government will..." do anything for anyone. While the government can control many things and enact laws to control things, the entire source of income to implement any government plans or policies comes from one source: taxes paid by its constituents.
Unfortunately, this sloppy way of talking leads to sloppy thinking, in which simple people can get the idea virally spread that "the government will pay for that..." no matter what "that" may be.
If there is any one root cause of the problems we've been facing in America since FDR, that's it.
Next up: please recall the abysmally low rankings given to GWB and Congress in general when 'most any polls have been recently taken. There are no errors here. Most of y'all are held in very low esteem. You are going to have a lot of work to do to change the direction of that ship.
I believe that some of the ways to start moving the rudder must be to provide real transparency in the operations of the Federal Government. Your plan for video feeds from the halls of Congress is, imnsho, a great idea. Don't limit it to broadcast and cable, though... make it a live web broadcast, too. Anything less will be kowtowing to special interest groups who are looking out for their own interests at the expense of the country as a whole.
While I think weekly "fireside chats" may be overkill, if you don't have your face on TV or, preferably, on YouTube at least once or twice a month, you're going to miss a wonderful chance to stay connected to the public.
And if you've got the guts and a few spare bodies to manage and summarize the feedback, do not turn off the "comments" feature for each video for at least a few days. Collect some feedback and ideas. Your staff will be able to eliminate the wheat from the chaff [and bigotry, hatred and stupidity,] and there might be some gold nuggets in the replies.
Next, if anyone suggests that "no drilling and no more oil" is a wonderful idea for us all, tell 'em they're completely full of crap. If anything, we'll need that oil to grease the bearings of the wind generators and to provide the electricity to make the solar cells. Some day we may convert to 95% non-petroleum energy, but to shut it off would be a major "cut off your nose to spite your face" dumb move. The eco-freaks are so wrong-headed about this!
Please push for "equal rights under the law" for any and all couples who wish to get legal licenses for a "personal union." The religious arguments must be separated and all power to govern the permission for "religious marriage ceremonies" must be wholeheartedly given to any religious group who wants 'em.
On the other hand, if two people wish to "wed" in the eyes of the law, every state must acknowledge their rights to inheritance, visitation, and on and on... all of the "rights" normally "given" to couples who wed today.
The arguments which include "what about someone who wants to marry their sister" can be blown away pretty easily by rational people and a rule of law. You see, by making it impossible for siblings to marry, it excludes infertile couples, too. Older couples, couples where the woman has had a hysterectomy or the man has been rendered infertile, beg the question. Reproduction can not be the reason for disallowing such marriages. If that were the case, my wife and I should have been refused the right, since she lost her reproductive organs in an operation some years before we met. I knew that when I proposed marriage. What if, all other things the same, she were my sister. We'd have been refused, of course. This flies in the face of logic. This one should be kept on a back burner, but when gay/homosexual marriage issues come up, it might be a sharp weapon to help get some people to open their eyes to other situations.