Time To Keep It Simple serves as a record of my life as a traveler, writer, genealogist, photographer, target sports enthusiast, Rotarian, Mason, Jew, PR professional, and many other (mostly positive) things. In addition to this daily blog I am also the man behind the curtain (not named Oz) at gettingyourphil.blogspot.com and I previously blogged at fromgoytooleh.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
“The economy, stupid”
may have noticed yesterday that when I spoke about the State of the Union
address I glossed over a huge topic. That was not a mistake, I chose to focus
on the other items that came to my attention rather than having economic issues
dominating the post. And that is exactly what it would have done. With all that
is happening (and, more accurately, not happening) with the economy it would
have overwhelmed the post.
you have never watched the documentary “TheWar Room” I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. If you have seen it
but it has been a while I think it is time for you to watch it again.
Regardless of your political affiliation, it offers fascinating insight into
the daily operations of a presidential campaign and shows just how effective a
simplified message can be and how much power can be harnessed by hammering home
a single, unified message that resonates with people.
I have written on this topic before
but, now, when looking back and applying that messaging to the current
political climate it is interesting to see how much things haven’t changed. In
1992, a long shot candidate won the democratic nomination for the Presidency.
Facing an incumbent President with an unmatched war chest, Bill Clinton had to
find a strategy that would turn the election tables. While Clinton is known for
his speaking ability, it was a simple trilogy of tenets that served as the
backbone of his campaign.
1. Change vs. more of the same.
2. The economy, stupid.
3. Don’t forget health care.
Carville scrawled these three principals on a white board in the Little Rock, Arkansas
campaign headquarters known as “The War Room.” These points kept the staff and
the candidate focused. By hammering these basic points both in supporting
Clinton and criticizing Bush, Carville was able to bring the rain that would
lead to the electoral landslide in November.
two decades have passed since that stunning election and yet the same three
points resonate today. However, this time the tables have turned, a Democrat is
in the White House (can we still say white house or is that now deemed racist),
and the Republican party is in need of a lesson in messaging. So, why don’t we
take a page from history, from the radically changed opposition, and use their
own three points against them? I find myself asking that very question on a
of the problems that the country is currently facing can be distilled into
these three principles. We are facing more of the same policies and tactics
that have shut out the press, dictated policies, and questions regarding the
Constitutionality of many decisions. All of this while we face an increasing
healthcare crisis that is crippling the ability of doctors to offer the service
and attention that was once a source of pride in their practice. And questions
have come to the surface as to the negligence that may be caused by the forced
reporting of certain medical records so as to limit the freedom of people
course, there is the economy. Most of our problems are rooted in the heinous economic
policies currently running rampant. The debt ceiling has been treated with such
disregard that inflation is becoming more of a probability rather than a farfetched
possibility. Unemployment and underemployment has become a matter of false
facts with fewer jobs being created than the number of people coming off
unemployment while reports state that the unemployment rate continues to fall.
Yes, like many financial decisions made in Washington, 1 + 1 = 3.
many of the economic policies that seem like great ideas the first time we hear
them are nothing more than utopian fantasy. A prime example would be raising
the minimum wage. Of course people want to get paid more but what happens when
the other dominos fall. When the person making $8 per hour gets bumped up to an
hourly rate of $10, what do you think the person who was originally getting
paid $10 per hour is going to want? That’s right, they are going to want a bump
in salary to at least $12. The dominos continue to fall and while some businesses
may be able to support the radically increased overhead costs, many if not most
small businesses will either have to decrease staff or close their doors
completely. This is not the path to economic growth and a stronger middle
of the issues that don’t seem related to the economy are actually a part of the
crisis as well. People today are polarized by one of the rights that the
majority of the country exercises, firearms ownership. While not the
determining factor in the debate (by a long shot), the limitation of gun rights
has had a detrimental effect on many states. In addition to the hours spent by
politicians and law enforcement (salaries paid by the people), many
manufacturers have moved factories, offices, and other resources from one state
to another because of limitations placed on the people (Magpul moving out of
Colorado exemplified this issue). Also to be considered is the increased costs
faced by government and law enforcement agencies due to the refusal to sell to
certain states and departments which is their right as privately owned
companies (see Ruger, STI, Barrett, Smith & Wesson, and others).
are many issues that this country faces and it is going to be a painful
recovery when we are finally able to right the ship. Can it be done? Yes!
Change may be difficult but it is not impossible and as long as we have hope
there is nothing that can keep us from returning to prosperity. While the times
have changed the challenges remain the same and while we have not been able to
prevent the repetition it is never too late to learn from the past.