I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Politics Of Pessimism

We are almost halfway through the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Every four years, the world comes together to compete in the Olympic games. The games are marked by national pride, with every nation’s citizenry cheering on their countrymen to gold. The resurgence of pride in the United States has me wondering about the American pride of certain politicians.

Over the past several years, it has become en vogue to espouse a pessimistic view of the United States of America. We have witnessed high profile politicians go to the floor of the Senate and declare that our own troops have lost the war in Iraq. One congressman charged our troops with the cold-blooded murder of civilians in Iraq. These are just two examples of elected officials taking a very dim view of not only our country but also of the brave men and women who are fighting for the very freedom of speech of these politicians. The charges of murder were proven to be completely unfounded, and the defeat in Iraq turned out to be wishful thinking of a politician looking to turn public opinion against the war.

Before the hate mail goes into full swing, I am not questioning the patriotism of anyone opposing the war in Iraq. I am simply pointing out the pessimistic worldview of many on the left. The liberal elites have opined their depressing view of the U.S. on a variety of issues. They believe that we are engaged in an illegal war of aggression in Iraq, even though Congress approved the military action twice. They believe that we are the sole cause of “global warming”, even though they discount the pollution of China and India. They point to our refusal to sign on to the Kyoto protocols, even though the European countries that did sign on have found the infeasibility of the protocols. They believe that we are using more than our fair share of the world’s resources and that we should all learn to live with less, even though the elites preaching conservation fail to live by their own standards.

The presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama has made some very pessimistic comments over the course of his campaign. He has said that as Americans we need to learn to live on less. He has also said to a 12-year-old questioner that he believes America is not great as it once was. He has gone overseas to criticize the country that has enabled him to climb to the brink of the highest office in the world. I realize that his campaign is based on “hope” and “change”, but why does he feel the need to tear down the greatest country in the world?

I am not saying that the U.S. is without any problems, or that we have not made any mistakes. We are the country everyone else in the world looks to in time of crisis. When the Tsunami hit, the U.S. Navy was on the way immediately with supplies and medical help. The citizenry of the United States is the most charitable in the world. In 2006, American citizens gave nearly $300 billion to charity. That is not the government sending money after a disaster, that is your neighbors giving to help those that are less fortunate. I believe Obama is playing a politically dangerous game. He is running the risk that the voting public will grow tired of being told that they are selfish and uncaring. Ronald Reagan in contrast to Obama ran on optimism. He genuinely believed that the United States had unlimited potential because of the citizens. He constantly spoke of how great the U.S. was and how much greater we could be. I believe we are still the greatest country in the world and have the potential to go even higher if the government and it’s pessimistic politicians just stay out of our way.

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