It’s been a while since I last blogged and I have a free afternoon this Stake Conference Sunday, so here goes…
I am starting to have some positive feelings about the future. I have to admit that I have been feeling pretty pessimistic since the 2008 elections. Having studied American history, it was obvious to me that we were in for some serious trouble. I have blogged in the past about the similarities between the mistakes made during the great depression and the current government policies and it seemed clear that we were doomed to repeat history. If you are not clear on what those similarities are, you can go back to some of my earlier blogs and educate yourself a bit more. In a nutshell, in the early part of the 20th century, Americans became somewhat enamored with progressive politics. It began with Teddy Roosevelt, who, in my opinion, was well meaning and did some pretty good things—you can read my blog about Teddy and his positive accomplishments in my “Leadership In America” blog series—though you could argue strongly that he went beyond what the constitution allows for the executive branch. America’s real problems started when progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, was elected President. Wilson, who political commentator Glenn Beck rightly calls an” evil SOB”, most infamously, in my opinion, brought us the “progressive” income tax and the Federal Reserve (he took us off the gold standard), segregated the armed forces and championed the League of Nations—an organization our congress happily kept us from joining—which came from the debacle that was the Treaty of Versailles, which was so badly designed and instituted that it brought on the rise of progressive socialist governments in Russia, Germany and Italy and culminated in World War II.
Though Wilson himself and his strong arm tactics became unpopular, leading to three consecutive republican presidents being elected, progressive politics tended to linger on—with the exception of Coolidge. Herbert Hoover was a progressive Republican whose efforts to spend us out of the recession that began after the stock market crash of 1929 miserably failed. Teddy Roosevelt’s cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was then elected. Because of FDR and his progressive philosophy, what should have only been a short-lived economic recession became the Great Depression, lasting a decade and a half. It took another world war to get us out of our economic mess.
Word War II and the post-war years provided the United States a world-wide market and the country was put back to work. During the years after WWII, we leaned away from progressive philosophy and we had some real prosperity. Of course, we had some serious flirtations with progressives in the forms of LBJ, and Jimmy Carter, but it looked like we had learned our lesson when a real conservative voice trumpeting the virtues of the Constitution and the political philosophies of the Founding Fathers was heard again at center stage—Ronald Reagan. But after Reagan, we failed to find a true believer to continue Reagan's efforts. His successor, George Bush, was a good man, by any account, but was only moderate at best, and he tried to hard too get along. Clinton, who sold himself as a conservative Democrat, had no real belief system, deep convictions or philosophy other than self preservation and doing what ever he needed to do to get elected and re-elected. George W. Bush was, as his father was, a very good man with good intentions and an admirable tenacity to protect us from radical Islamic Terrorists, but he also tried to get along with his antagonists of the re-emerging progressives.
Like Herbert Hoover before him, George W. tried to spend us out of an economic melt down and stock market crisis. Then, we elected another FDR in the form of Barak Obama. Like FDR, Obama has continued progressive policies, virtually aping almost every Rooseveltian move. As with FDR, we gave Obama a huge advantage of a progressive majority in both houses of Congress. The future looked pretty dim.
But then, during the first year of his administration, Obama and the democrat leadership in congress began to overplay their hands. Obama started trying to circumvent congress and grow executive power by inserting regulatory czars, paving the way, in my opinion, for eventual totalitarian power if not checked. And with congress’s help, he started government takeovers of public businesses—banks, insurance companies and manufacturing—through government bailouts—something that would have made George Washington and his brethren turn over in their graves, if not literally leave their graves and take up arms again. They also tried to ram through the federal takeover of the health insurance industry, to force all Americans to pay for heath insurance boutght from the government, and the self-destructive Cap and Trade laws—actually a huge tax increase in disguise—designed to, somehow, stop “global Warming”-a huge scam created, in my opinion, by leftists in and out of the the science community to hoodwink the world into "leveling the field" of the world's economy at the cost of American prosperity (wealth-sharing).
The cumulative effect of all this overreaching began to trouble a lot of people, it seems. Then, other things began to happen. A year ago, Fox News brought Glenn Beck over to their company from CNN Headline News, a lowly news organization with small viewership where he had begun to get a following. Beck hammered the Obama administration for it’s blatant association with radical revolutionaries, Maoists, Marxists and sundry progressive extremists, and their obvious radical agendas. Beck has since become one of the most popular televison personalities in the country. Beck has also shed light on the history of the progressive movement over the past century and shown great support for the Tea Party Movement. And there is the Tea Party movement itself. The Tea Party is representative of Americans who have begun to wake up and are longing for a return to the Constitution and the principles set forth by our founding fathers. Throughout the past year, the Tea Party and its supporters have struggled against the administration, the progressive democrat leadership in congress and the liberal/progressive news media to have their voices heard. They have been ignored and ridiculed, but they have seemingly grown in numbers and influence. They have become a force to be reckoned with. Since November, 2008, there have been several special elections held for state and federal seats, with conservatives gaining ground. The latest was the special election held to fill the US Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, a seat he held for almost 50 years. A little known conservative Republican, Scott Brown, was elected and killed the democrat super majority in the Senate, virtually sinking Obamcare for the immediate future. Added to that was the exposure of ACORN's corruption and its ties to the democrats and the leaks of thousands of memos from the leftist science community, exposing their efforts to cook the books in regards to the "global warming" scam. If the trend continues, and conservatives make the gains now expected of them next November, the sun may be rising on America again.
So, that is why I am beginning to feel optimistic.