As I Was Sayin’

As anybody who hasn’t rolled their eyes, clicked “Like” and then clicked “X” to scurry out of my political posts knows, I’ve been saying since I started FiftyFourAndAHalf.com (because I was pissed off at the GOP), that a huge part of the problem is folks drank the “don’t tax me, bro” kool-aid.  That people don’t understand that Ronald Reagan was wrong.

There.  I said it.  Lightening did not strike.  The lights didn’t even flicker.  The planet continued to revolve on its axis and on its course around the sun.

Reagan was wrong many times in my opinion.  But he was never more wrong than when he put into motion the dysfunction we are now experiencing in our government when he said:

The Government is Not the Solution to the Problem;

Government IS the Problem.

Government, because it is made up of fallible human beings, is by definition, fallible, too.  But we don’t need to cheer on its destruction, its dissolution, its dysfunction.

And so I will defer to President Obama, who reminded us all, whether we needed reminding or not, that there is a vital role in our country for the Federal Government.  But a whole lot of folks had forgotten.

We hear all the time about how government is the problem.  Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.  Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries.  It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.  It helps folks rebuild after a storm.  It conserves our natural resources.  It finances startups.  It helps to sell our products overseas.  It provides security to our diplomats abroad.

So let’s work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.  That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government.  You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position.  Go out there and win an election.  Push to change it. But don’t break it.  Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building.  That’s not being faithful to what this country is about.

I will now return this blog to its normal realm of humor, things (other than the GOP) I think are stupid, and incredibly embarrassing situations I write about rather than telling them to people who can identify me.

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69 Comments

Filed under Campaigning, Elections, GOP Government Shutdown, History, Law, Taking Care of Each Other, Voting

69 responses to “As I Was Sayin’

  1. There’s a very interesting book about Reagan, entitled “Tear Down This Myth” by Will Bunch. They book, as the title implies, is to break the myths that the GOP wrapped Reagan in, in order to hold him up as our finest president. He was a mediocre actor, and while I’d prefer a more -Reaganesque GOP than the batshit crazy folks that make up the party now, I am glad that Reagan seems to be losing his sainthood. The current GOP does like the deregulation, and the myth of trickle down economics, but, in reality, Reagan would be too squishy, too RINO for today’s party.

    I agree that he did this country a great deal of damage by promoting government as the problem — a thought that always makes me say: if it’s such a problem, why are all of you racing to get into office and gain control?

    Government is a solution — not the entire solution, but, a big part. It holds us together, helps us when we’re down, makes sure that we’re safe. I think sometimes when we have dealings with the government (i.e. DMV, Social Security, etc.), and we see the antiquated processes, and the bizarre rules, it does nothing to make us like Government as a whole.

    If lots of people wouldn’t suffer, there are times when I think “Fine. Don’t raise the debt ceiling,” or “Fine. Shut it all down. Let each state take care of their roads, their infrastructure, their poor (without raising taxes, and privatizing everything). I suspect people would be screaming for the Government to come back.

    I have one conspiracy theory — Republicans have vilified taxes and education for a reason. A dumb electorate is easier to control.

    I love your political posts. So, keep ‘em coming!

  2. I’ve got to hand it to you, you never shrug from your views and we’re all better for it. I really appreciate what you reminded me of here. The government is not the problem–its the solution. We just have to work together to find our way there. Baby, bath water. All that… :)

    • Thanks, Lorna.

      I don’t know that would go so far as to say it’s the solution — it is part of the solution, though. It is how we work together to solve problems too big to tackle individually.

      But you’re right about finding a way to make it work. Because the baby should not go out with the bathwater as you so rightly pointed out.

  3. You always put it in perspective, Elyse.

  4. Sadly, we have a distinct lack of great minds in public office who actually want to work on problems.
    Fortunately, DC is currently the worlds greatest, most diverse gasbag buffet.

  5. Well put! Obama took a lot of grief from the “You didn’t build that house” speech, because his opponents jumped all over it and didn’t allow the message he was trying to convey get across.

    • When he did that “You didn’t build that” speech, Obama should have lifted the text entirely from Elizabeth Warren’s talk, because surprisingly she did it better:

      But yes, remember the Ann Richards line about George HW Bush being born on third base and thinking he’d hit a tripple?

  6. I often wonder how anti-government folks would feel were there no Medicare coming their way, no social security, no relief for natural disasters, no protection from terrorist acts, no laws to reign in the psychos, no clean water, no decent highways, no protection from tainted food, no…

    Of course there are problems with the government. There always will be. As you point out, it’s fallible. But life without it would be chaos.

    • I have actually spoken with people who are on SS disability, Medicare, etc. who have the nerve to criticize entitlement programs. To date, I have not bludgeoned anyone for expressing those sentiments (except, perhaps, verbally). But I am sorely tempted.

      • As much as I understand your desire to bludgeon, because I would be in the same boat, I hope you’ll continue to refrain, because if you bludgeon, you’ll end up in jail, and then we’d miss out on your posts. And we don’t want that. Unless you can blog from prison. Then by all means, bludgeon away… ;)

  7. Did someone actually say “moochers vs. producers” with a straight face? Really? Did someone actually quote that hypocrite Ayn Rand? No, tell me it isn’t so. Ah well, there will always be those who have not the wherewithall to understand the necessity of true producers, that is those who actually get up each morning and ‘work for a living’. I am appalled how far we have fallen in this nation, simply stunning we were led down this path by a man whose best co-star was a chimp and who took the highest office in the land with early onset Ahlzehimers and yet he is remains the touchstone for Conservativism. Trickle Down my leg.

    Elyse, sorry for my rant. You do politics so well. I will never roll my eyes. I hope you continue to do politics and anything else you choose.

    • Your rants always have a home here — they mirror mine so often! We used to have a “Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Bonzo” bumpersticker …

      I was really needing to not do politics — I get sick of hearing myself sometimes, but thought that this message — Obama’s and mine that St. Ronnie was wrong — is important. So we’ll see. I will just write what I feel like writing and folks can read, roll their eyes, or whatever!

  8. Throw them all out … then toss their replacements … and then repeat one more time … and then, … maybe …

  9. Well, I can’t improve upon Le Clown’s comment, it pretty much says it all.

  10. Le Clown

    Elyse,
    You do political posts well, the way Sarah Palin does idiocy justice.
    Le Clown

  11. I like your political posts and don’t want them to stop. You have a way with words and I enjoy your posts. Whether I agree or not.

  12. The people who whine about government use the roads, send their kids to the public schools, wouldn’t hesitate to call 911 in an emergency, and are first in line for Medicaid and Social Security. They want all the services the government provides; they just don’t want to pay for it. We are paying less than we have since the 1950s and they are still whining about it–and complaining about the national debt. I don’t have much patience for it, and I am glad you are speaking out, Elyse.

    • Thanks, Naomi. Those folks make me nuts, too. As my Dad used to say, you’ve got to pay the piper if you want to dance.

      The ones that really drive me crazy are the folks here in Virginia with the “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates (that the ijits got when they PAID A FEE TO THE GOVERNMENT) who add to the congestion on our highways….. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

  13. Thank you! The way I see it, people can either put up or shut up.

  14. Great Post. It seems that your political views and real world assessment of current events are exactly the same as mine. Thanks for sharing and hope you do more Posts like this.
    Enjoy your day.

  15. Rolling my eyes is the only exercise I get these days – but that’s not why I like visiting your blog. I’m thinking it must be the “half”. That extra little nudge that makes you older, and wiser, and not afraid to show it.

  16. So glad you posted this, Elyse. The person who responded with the Ayn Rand rhetoric is really the problem we are having as a country. Reagan was an Ayn Rand fanatic, Greenspan was a disciple, and Paul Ryan is as well. Atlas Shrugged is the bible of The Tea Party and now we have people who actually call fellow citizens moochers (does this dude know how many servicemen and their families need Food Stamps to survive?). Seriously? I’ve known plenty of poor in my day (including myself), and none of them deserved to be called moochers, and now that I’m a “producer” my heart is even more in tuned with the dictates of Christ to serve the poor and treat my neighbors as myself (don’t so many of us boast that America is a Christian nation). If government doesn’t hold sway over many of the areas in our lives, can you imagine what will happen to our country if no one holds back the greed and apathy of “the producers?” Go government! We need you!

    • Thanks for watching my back, Eleanor. I do worry about the world where it is ok to believe that some people deserve more than others. It is the way of the world, but you know, we as people don’t have to be so greedy. We don’t need it all. We can share. And we should.

    • Snoring Dog Studio

      Thank you, Eleanor. You said exactly what I wanted to say. But I’ll add this – to those who think the U.S. government is the problem, we all welcome you to leave and try out the governments of Cuba or Russia or China, etc.

  17. My opinion is that the government is not the problem, the problem are those people who try to get into the government while screaming that government is the problem.
    P.S. You can be sure that I won’t be rolling my eyes even if you only do political posts.

    • Thanks, X, but I don’t think my heart could handle political posts only.

      • Honestly, I can’t write about politics all the time either, But I read way more posts on politics than on any other topic, and rather than roll my eyes, I actually pay more attention when a humor bloggers I follow crosses over into politics. But maybe it’s just me.

        • I don’t think it is just you. In fact, I remember the political writings that are coupled with humor (Gail Collins being my current live fav — Molly Ivins being my all time favorite).

  18. I could never scurry from your posts, it’s how I learn about all the ins and outs of what’s going on down there in DC. Keep keeping it real!

  19. I like it when I ask you a question, you weigh in. No eyes rolling here. Now for another question. Have you got your pumpkin yet?

  20. I don’t eye roll or scurry I just tend to think because I am Canadian it doesn’t really matter that I agree with most of what you say. It isn’t my country so I shouldn’t judge their politics. We have our own politicians that mess up.

  21. Still rolling my eyes, (and smiling) but very pleased that you will be drifting away from politics as our perspectives are polar opposites. I will not try to change your mind and don’t expect to be swayed myself. I continue to be in awe of the conundrum of how people can look at the same series of events and assimilate/integrate them so differently. I am not interested in starting a blogger’s war, but we see things differently and unfortunately, believe so strongly in our opinions that neither is interested in considering the other’s point of view.

    I liken it to the story Atlas Shrugged…it’s the moochers vs. the producers and the evidence, as I see it, is that the moochers are winning.

    Thanks for the disclaimer.

    • Yes, especially if you are a believer of Ayn Rand, we will never agree. But I see it as more than moochers v. producers. Because in the last 30 years, the “producers” have forgotten the workers that produce the riches they enjoy, and should have a piece of the pie. Corporations used to be paternal organizations that cared about the workers because they understood that without their employees, they wouldn’t earn squat. Unfortunately, now we have vulture capitalists who don’t think twice.

      Ooops. I’ll get off my soap box now as I promised.

  22. Word. I mean is it preferred that we have anarchy? Or tribal factions that war with one another? I will say this and lightning can strike: Ronald Reagan was one of our worst presidents.

    • I’m with you on that one, in our lifetimes, we’ve had two disastrous GOP Presidents, Reagan and Bush. We are not better off for either of them. Quite the contrary.

  23. And now I have to leave a comment, to demonstrate that I’m neither eye-rolling nor scurrying.

Play nice, please.

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