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President Bush’s Passing Grade

In the last six or so months, I have mostly chosen to absorb the political atmosphere from a very casual stance; letting it wash over me like an acid rain.

What I have observed has titillated my senses, provoked my preconceived notions, and made me question my personal and social objectives.

As an American, I have only a handful of wishes.

Safety for me, my family and assets.

This encompasses a variety of issues. Obviously, national security is first and foremost. I do not wish to go back to the 80’s hyper-paranoia of nuclear nightmares. The optimism I felt when Communism collapsed that we were somehow safe from annihilation, has diminished with the passing years since September 11. It is clear that we live in a world that is built on a false-sense of security. The fragility of the very fabric that holds our social structure together has been exposed. I do not worry so much about the Kim Jong Il’s of the world, but rather the dark specters of chaos who have nothing to lose and nothing to gain but a desire for destruction, fueled by ignorance, brain-washed of compassion and committed whole-heartedly to a violent culture of death.

We can NOT defend ourselves with conventional strategies against today’s terrorism. The only agenda of these individuals, is the complete and utter destruction of our existence. There is nothing we can give them to sate their need for our death. This is a reality. President Bush and his administration receive an A+ in this area. Bush and Co. seem to grasp the notion that the only thing the terrorists respect is violence and death, therefore the cliché of not backing down, not showing weakness, being resolute is our ONLY defense. I applaud them and wish that they carry on with fervor and diligence until anyone who even entertains the notion that using terrorist techniques is eliminated.

We must be feared and respected – not loved and accepted. That will come when all nations have the gift of democracy.

Financial solvency.

Ten years ago I couldn’t have cared less about the deficit, social security, recession and energy policies. I was as carefree as a kitten with a ball of string. I see that same vacancy in my step-kids eyes. It’s called, immaturity and a complete and total lack of understanding of the complexities and nuances of economics. As long as everything is kosher in their little worlds and they have some spending money to suck up their consumables, what happens to their overworked parents is a non-issue.

Even now, as I slowly am awakened to these tedious details, I find my mind seize up on me as I attempt to grasp and understand our capitalistic/socialistic society. We need to protect the masses from their own stupidity with money. Our country is filled with more people who spend their paycheck on crap like the lottery, than those who sock away whatever they can in a savings account, saving for the long-run. It is Middle America, coasting on credit to keep up with the Jones, only to find themselves in a fiscal hole when their salary dwindles in comparison to their finance charges.

What this country REALLY needs is credit card reform, not social security reform. I am not opposed to personal accounts in theory. Hey, why not give people more control over their money and allow them to invest it? Except most people aren’t fiscally responsible and can’t be trusted to save their own money, plus we have a spookish stock market that can’t be counted on over a 50 year period. Personal accounts won’t fix the problem, when the problem is how the money is tended to.

Fiscal responsibility is what needs to be taught and rewarded. If you give people the tools to take care of themselves, and thusly the breaks and benefits of doing so either in tax credits, high-yield savings accounts/govt. bonds – I think then Middle America can create its own social security solvency. But giving extended tax breaks for the exorbitantly wealthy is only going to make the exorbitantly wealthy, ostentatiously wealthy. Focusing on middle class America is what is truly needed and is sorely being overlooked, because we in fact are the backbone of this country. Bush and Co. get a C- for their economic agenda.

Religious Conservatism vs. Liberal Socialism

Here is where things get ugly and otherwise reasonable people become unhinged. Equating gay marriage to a decline in moral values is an oxymoron. Confusing the “religious sanctity” of marriage to civil unions between loving couples is an intentional effort to obstruct positive social agendas with bigoted, puritanical perversions. There is absolutely no good reason that two individuals who are upstanding, contributing, law-abiding, tax-paying members of society can not enter in a legal-binding contract that states they are allowed to make decisions together and on behalf of one another in matters of familial, financial or health-related issues.

It is fiscally sound; it encourages cohesion, harmony and monogamy and creates a network of support for the individuals contracted to one another. All of this makes for a better nation, a stronger nation.

There is no such thing as a “pro-life” movement. There are people who oppose abortion and people who support the right to reproductive decisions. Any normal human being is pro-life. Only murderers are pro-death and the issue of abortion is a moral one between the person requesting an abortion and the person administering an abortion. When a human being is able to support its own functions without the assistance of the life functions of another, only then should that life be allowed to have rights afforded each us under the Constitution. What needs to be determined in this issue, is when is does that function occur. Is it twenty weeks, twenty days or twenty hours? This is an ever-evolving target number as science progresses. I am opposed to aborting a human life that can be sustained on its own without the life-giving functions of another – abortion beyond that point is a matter of life-weighing measures and should err on the side of the one giving the life to the other and not be administered without some extreme extenuating circumstances, such as a fetal death or abnormality in the womb. That is my stance; it is a moderate to conservative one, both fair and judicious.

Bush and Co. get an F from me on these issues. When I vote for a President I am voting for a commander-in-chief to run the country based on legislative rules as they apply to domestic and international issues. Our country is filled with both secular and non-secular individuals, it is unconstitutional for our president, senators, judiciary members, representatives both federal and local, to make arbitrary decisions based on their personal religious beliefs. These decisions disenfranchise millions of voters and it is unethical. We have a constitutional right to separation of church and state, and as a tax-paying, law-abiding, contributing member of this country, I expect to be afforded the same constitutional rights as anyone.

We vote for a President, not a Minister.

According to my calculations President Bush’s current GPA is a 2.0 – which makes him a C student, just average. This brings me to my final point. Being average is exactly what makes Bush an appropriate leader for this country. We have become a “just average” kind of place. From a global perspective, the United States has fallen dramatically in the ranks of great nations. We aren’t the Golden Jocks and Cheerleaders of the world, we aren’t the brainiac Chess Club of the world, what we are is the Cool Stoner Crowd. We still get passing grades and make it to most of the cool parties, but no one looks to us to lead the school to a rallying victory against our rivals. We’re just hanging back, coasting by.

Hey, maybe that’s okay. That’s what I did in high school – just hung out, coasted by and had a good time.

Whoa, look at me now – am I the pinnacle of success or what?

About Dawn Olsen

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