Perils of the Uninformed Voter

I asked one of my classes yesterday if they thought the average American voter was well informed enough to make intelligent decisions in elections. I found they pretty much mirrored my own views that most voters were woefully uninformed, and that they made their decisions on the flimsiest of reasons at times. Rarely does anyone think in terms of principles when casting a vote. All too often, they are more interested in what they believe the candidate is going to give to them.

What else can explain why Barack Obama could win reelection despite the awful economy? A significant number of voters must not be aware of his failures. Of course, he often seems to be unaware of his failures as well:

Then there are the truly serious issues that get swept under the media rug by a fawning assembly of reporters, thereby limiting the public’s knowledge of their importance:

All one needs to do is read the litany of silly statements that have emanated from this administration to understand the incompetence and ideological blindness that keep us from reversing our misfortunes:

Don’t pass by that cartoon because it seems too full of words. Read those statements carefully and realize how much of a fantasy world has been foisted upon us. And we’ll never break its iron grip upon us if we don’t stand strong against Obama’s strategy for continued victory:

It’s time to stop being so gullible. God gave us brains. We should use them.

Farewell to the Jobs Council–We Hardly Knew Ye

In 2009, President Obama created the Jobs Council to work very hard on recommendations for strengthening the economy. The Chair was Jeffrey Immelt, who runs General Electric. He’s also a big Obama supporter on this “non-partisan” council. Another prominent member was Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, which provided the shock troops for Obama in the last election. Good to know he’s non-partisan as well. There also were probably some genuine people on this council that really wanted to do something useful. However, since its inception nearly four years ago, the council has met only four times, the last meeting occurring one year ago. Apparently, they had nothing to talk about. The economy is thriving, jobs are being created at a record pace, and . . . oh, wait a minute . . . sorry, that was a White House talking point, not an actual report.

Last week, the Jobs Council was shut down for good. There’s no longer a need for it since its main purpose seemed to be providing cover for the president. It created the appearance he was doing something about the economy. Now that he’s won reelection, the need to provide cover has dissipated.

Jobs Council or not, we’re still stuck in the same old economy we’ve had throughout the Obama years, and we continue to hear the same old refrain for why things are dragging:

Yes, unlike the Jobs Council, the blame game has not shut down.

With this approach, don’t expect anything to improve anytime soon.

Welcome to America 2013

Every once in a while, I don’t focus on one particular topic. Sometimes, there are a number of things happening simultaneously that are worthy of commentary. I’ve drawn attention this week to the inaugural. On Tuesday, I provided my interpretation of what President Obama really said. Here’s a cartoonist’s stab at the same thing:

I believe he caught the essence of the address.

Then there was Hillary Clinton’s testimony—sort of—before a congressional committee the other day. She was supposed to be telling what she knew about the Benghazi fiasco. Liberal news outlets praised her defiant performance, yet the only thing they got right about it were the words “defiant” and “performance.” She said virtually nothing. While making it sound like she took responsibility, in fact she spent the entire time defending her failures and saying she was not to blame. There’s an end game here; she’s looking ahead:

If we still have a country in 2016, she wants to be poised to lead it. After eight years of Obama, that’s all we need. Her defiance also manifested itself in an outburst of feigned outrage when questioned about why the administration misled the people for a few weeks, claiming the incident was the result of an anti-Mohammed video:

In answer to her angry question, “What difference does it make?” I would suggest it makes a whole lot of difference. If the administration, with her at the top of the foreign policy apparatus, deliberately tried to deflect the public’s attention away from its obvious failure to protect our diplomats by blaming a filmmaker, that would be despicable to the utmost. Beyond trying to shift the blame, it also became an attack on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free political speech. That filmmaker is the only person associated with the Benghazi event who has suffered any consequences—a chilling precedent for anyone else who may critique Islam or the current administration’s policies.

Then there’s the ongoing issue of looming national bankruptcy, which has been studiously ignored by Obama and his acolytes. They continue to act as if it’s not a real disaster–in-waiting. The president’s only nod toward the problem is to—surprise—blame the Republicans:

And his “solution” is just as out of touch with reality:

Welcome to America 2013. When I say we need to pray for the future of our nation, I’m not simply mouthing a pious cliché. It’s a cry from the heart. Acknowledging our dependence on the grace of God and getting our priorities straightened out are our most pressing needs.

Spiritual Poverty’s Children

If you read this blog regularly, you might wonder why I’ve not commented directly on the fiscal cliff deal reached recently. For starters, I’ve wanted instead to concentrate on some bigger issues—bigger in the sense of greater in scope and fundamental to the innumerable crises we seem to be facing. That’s why I’ve written about the problems in modern Christianity; more correctly, I’m referring to the problems in what is perceived as Christianity in our day. Some of it, however, is a false perception because the supposed Christianity isn’t the real thing at all.

When the real is on the wane, a door opens for all sorts of problems. Spiritual poverty begets moral, economic, and political poverty, to name a few. Our governmental crises focusing on the economy are directly related to our spiritual blindness as a people. That’s why we don’t deliver genuine solutions; instead, we become captive to a false ideology promoted by a highly ideological president. How ideological? An interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner reveals that in his one-to-one talks with Obama, the president stated flatly that we do not have a spending problem.

This is the conclusion of the man who has added approximately $6 trillion to the national debt on his watch. And how does he propose to remedy the situation? Tax more those in the upper echelons of income. What will we receive from this new tax rate on the evil rich people? About enough to run the government for 8 days. Yes, that’s a real solution.

Everyone was so worried. Now they’re trying to believe that something has been resolved. It takes a lot of blind faith to hold that view. No precipice has been avoided, no crisis averted.

Instead, we find ourselves staring into a rather gargantuan black hole—or is it red?

Next we have to tackle the debt ceiling. Obama says he should have unlimited authority to raise that ceiling at will. He also says we need more revenues, which is Obamacode for higher taxes. Republicans have countered with statements that sound good—no more revenues, only spending cuts—but will they follow through?

The task may appear insurmountable. Yet I believe if we can get on track spiritually, hope remains. I am realistic about the odds, but I am never without some hope.

Happy New Year? Why Would We Think So?

On January 1st each year we fall into a pattern long emblazoned on our psyche of saying “Happy New Year!” I realize it’s mostly a hope that we hold out, expecting that things certainly have to be better this time around. But on what basis do we hold to such a hope? Is there a solid reason for hoping, or is this more a shadowy, wispy type of wishful thinking?

For me, on a personal level, I have what I consider to be a well-grounded hope. Having been salvaged from a life of despair and purposelessness by the grace of God, hope is real. Yes, I will be affected adversely by circumstances in the world around me—by culture rapidly losing its Biblical underpinnings and a government in the process of destroying basic American liberties—but even if the worst occurs, I will still have the faithful God who gives the promise of eternity in a much better place.

It’s our society on the whole that concerns me. What is happening right now that would give anyone a reason to hope that things will improve? As I noted above, the culture is changing for the worse and needs to be turned around for anything to get better. There are a lot of reasons for that change; some can be seen in this political cartoon’s depiction of our current situation:

The cartoonist used the image of the Newtown murders as one manifestation of how our culture has been debased. Then the media and the politicians come along and make matters even worse by blaming the wrong people. One newspaper decided to show a map of the homes of all those in its county who have legal gun permits. The goal, according to the paper, was to increase “awareness” of the gun problem. Excuse me, but the legal ownership of weapons is not the problem. Yet now those who have followed the law, and have always done so, are being targeted [the use of that word is intentional].

The other focus of news reports at the moment is the so-called fiscal cliff. Few, though, are the news outlets that are willing to expose the real issue: it’s not a revenue problem; it’s a spending problem. The media are in protection mode—ensuring that the One is not blamed. Of course, he has made blaming others into an art:

The next fiscal controversy will be the debt ceiling, which Obama seeks to have removed altogether. He wants the power to spend whatever he desires, without any constraints. The result would not be difficult to foresee:

And what of the loyal opposition? To what extent are Republicans willing to go to stand for sound principles, regardless of the political fallout? There is a segment of the party that mirrors the old Republican lack of vision that dominated pre-Reagan: never challenge the roots of the problem but just try to be a little more moderate than the Democrats:

That approach has always led to defeat.

So, I ask again—on what basis can we hold out hope that anything will improve this year?

In my view, the main reason we are where we are as a society is that the church of Jesus Christ has not fulfilled its obligations as the salt and light of a nation. There are a number of areas in which we have failed, but let me acknowledge three that are paramount:

  1. We have watered down the message of salvation in the desire to draw more people to the faith. A watered-down message leads to a weak faith, or no genuine faith at all.
  2. We have deviated, to some extent, from Biblical morality and do not grasp how Biblical principles apply to a proper understanding of the limitations on civil government, the primacy of the rule of law, and how economics really works.
  3. We have abandoned control of our children’s education and turned that task over to the government, thereby making the problems worse with each succeeding generation.

Those are the three areas I want to address the rest of this week.

A Strange Negotiation

Are we getting closer to a “deal” on the fiscal cliff? Interestingly, as Republicans continue to offer compromises—many of which include numbers Democrats previously proposed—all of their offers meet with condescension and a special brand of haughty disdain. I’m still not convinced that Obama and his party really want to avoid any cliff. Going over the cliff will make more people dependent on them, which is their overall aim. And to top it off, Republicans will get the blame if for no reason than the media will make it appear they are the problem. Obama’s kind of negotiating is strange, to say the least:

In the latest round of proposals, the administration is criticizing Republicans for not including enough spending cuts. Really? Spending cuts are an Obama priority? I’ve never realized that.

To me, it appears that the president is focused on one thing and one thing only, and is oblivious to the obvious dangers of his path:

We’re in for a very bumpy ride, and just wait until all of Obamacare kicks in. It won’t be fun.

Illustrating the Fiscal Cliff

Are you getting tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff? Well, that’s too bad because it’s going to be a constant topic for the rest of this year. Then we’ll probably go over that cliff after the new year. The political cartoonists are having a field day with the “cliff” image. Quite often they are able to puncture the political rhetoric and get to the truth behind the image. Here are some examples:

And then there’s that “solution”:

Actually, it won’t end up being only the rich:

Too many American seem to be living in a fantasy world:

Fantasyland should be in Disney World only.