By Larry Gordon
Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous gesture has the ability to move worlds and have an impact on millions. And that is precisely the story as we approach Election Day nationwide on NovemberÂ 4. Regardless of the urgency of this year’s election, as many as half of us will just not take the time to vote.
And that is a sad and pitiful situation. It is no secret nor is it a subjective or private opinion that over the six years of the Obama tenure, America has been on a downward spiral. This is true locally, nationally, and globally. These realities are a result of misguided philosophies that our president and those around him believe are right for the new United States that they intended to recreate in their image. That many of us may not subscribe to or have confidence in those approaches and policies is one thing. The extreme miscalculations, bungling, lack of attention to basics–and the scandals–are indeed another serious matter.
And they are numerous: the IRS, Benghazi, the debacles in Syria and Iraq, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Obamacare, responding to the Ebola outbreak, the Iranian pursuit of a nuclear bomb while Mr. Obama presses to loosen sanctions–it goes on and on with no end in sight to any of these troubles. We are all familiar with the details of these misdeeds that Americans were assumed to be too distracted or apathetic to notice so that the architects of a changed, twisted America thought they could easily do as they please.
Six years have passed. It is ample time to analyze and reflect upon what has taken place here and to thoughtfully inquire of ourselves: Is this what we want for our children, our grandchildren, and our country for the future?
I’m not going to answer for you and assume that the reaction is going to be a simple “No, this is not what we want for our country.” But let’s look around at what is going on in local and state races around the country. Democrats up for election or reelection are doing everything they can to distance themselves from the president or anything related to the Obama administration. Alison Grimes, the Democratic senatorial candidate in Kentucky who is trying to unseat Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Minority Leader, refused to answer a reporter’s question recently about whether she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. She either did not want to or could not bring herself to utter the admission that she voted for Mr. Obama twice.
Here on Long Island last week, ostensibly due to the emerging Ebola crisis, President Obama canceled a campaign stop in Garden City. Candidates for office like Democratic congressional candidate Kathleen Rice, who is running against Republican candidate Bruce Blakeman, had already made it known that she would not be available to be at the event with the president due to a scheduling conflict. What can be so important that it eclipses an appearance by the president of the United States in the area that you hope to represent in Congress?
This has happened far and wide in races for Congress around the country–both Mr. and Mrs. Obama have been requested to stay away. Democratic candidates in close races simply cannot afford to be seen in a photograph with the president. This is not only astounding but possibly unprecedented.
But the great thing about this unfortunate situation is that, unlike life and government in so many other countries, if we bide our time and manage to survive, our system allows us to correct it and reject the experiments and the failures and to move on and try something new. This time around, however, we do not just need an adjustment in the system. This time, in the rapidly approaching midterm elections, this country desperately needs a complete overhaul.
So it is not just about whether the Democratic or the Republican Party will hold the majority in the Senate. It is about the future attitude and direction of the United States and what will happen next. Do we want to continue on that downward spiral of the European model that dashes people’s hopes and dreams, or are we ready once again to let America be America? Where is the future of this country when 50 million people are on food subsidies and millions more on other government assistance programs?
And then there are these hypocritical mixed signals that the administration consistently emits when it comes to Israel. Two things are obvious. One is that the United States is Israel’s greatest and most important friend in the world. The other is that if Mr. Obama could somehow change that, he would.
Just the other day, the odd Obama position was articulated by Secretary of State Kerry when he said that the creation and evolution of the ISIS terror group came about as a result of Israel’s lack of cooperation, or shall we say generosity, in the two-decades-long peace maneuverings between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
The secretary’s sentiments were once again a non-oblique reference to the long outdated and mostly irrelevant two-state solution. Regardless of an imploding string of Middle Eastern countries saturated with corruption and Israel being surrounded by the enemies’ most advanced and dangerous weaponry, still it is the Obama position that in the face of the imminent danger, all of the Mideast’s problems could largely be solved if Israel would only surrender territory.
That Israel overtly did so in Gaza in 2005 and prior to that in Lebanon in 2000 means little to an administration bent on a reduction in Israel’s geographic size, no matter the cost. Israel is constantly under assault by the international community in new and unprecedented ways. Whether it is in the Security Council, the General Assembly, or the UN Human Rights Commission, that assault continues unabated.
Today the U.S. has a southern border that allows unfettered access to refugees from Mexico, other points of South America, and other areas of the world. The Obama administration refused to consider a flight ban from West Africa where an Ebola epidemic is on the verge of bursting out beyond anyone’s control. Over the last half-year, more than 100,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the murder and mayhem of that country have been resettled in the United States. However, if a Jew wants to build a home in parts of Jerusalem or set up a playground in a half-century-old community in Judea and Samaria, it becomes a cause for alarm and warnings that Israel is the catalyst for all the violence and strife in the Middle East.
But at this juncture–just a few days away from perhaps the most important election of this generation–it is the upside-down thinking of the administration on domestic issues that should be the chief concern to many, whether it’s the 50% tax rate on income for America’s top earners or the fact that so many millions are exempt from paying any income taxes at all. There is also the matter of a health-care system whose costs increase while the quality of the care dispensed decreases with each month that passes.
And finally there is the danger of a president who has shirked the responsibility that accompanies the brilliant formulation of checks and balances put in place by the founders of this country and is determined to continue to remake America in his own tentative and uncertain image. To date, his strength and source of encouragement is his Democratic majority in the Senate, where the leader, Harry Reid, keeps all necessary legislation at bay while only addressing social issues that raise taxes and cost our country trillions of dollars.
If the Democrats maintain control of the Senate after the NovemberÂ 4 election, we are looking at a runaway president like no other in our history, a president who has already alerted us that he is prepared to pursue his agenda alone.
Just a few minutes in the voting booth on Election Day can change all that and bring back the America we know and love.
Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Larry Gordon