Well, here we are. It’s been almost two years, dear readers, since I first shared my thoughts with all of you. And now… I am proud to say, folks: this is the first article you’ll read from me following my graduation from the University of South Florida, with a Bachelor’s in Political Science.
I’ll be staying a couple years longer, pursuing a Master’s in Film Studies. Still, I’d call this something of a milestone, at the very least. One of the most irritating platitudes I’ve ever heard — probably the most, involving milestones — is, “Today is the first day in the rest of your life.” Yes… I know. Probably as big of a “duh” as “No matter where you go, there you are.” Still — the point of said platitude, I suppose, is pretty sound. It tells one to pause, and consider how far they’ve gone … and how far they need to go.
Looking at our country, these questions have some pretty obvious answers — and some not-so-obvious ones. Last year, it became all too obvious to me and others that our nation’s gone pretty far— in the wrong direction. In the immortal words of Mr. Gekko, “America is fast becoming a second-rate power. Its trade deficit — and its fiscal deficit … are at nightmare proportions.”
And like a pathetic football coach seeking to blame his predecessor for the team’s losses… well, I hardly need to reiterate the constant bitter amusement and total disgust whenever I hear our president whine about “The mess I inherited”. (Really, Mr. President — look up Harding and Coolidge, and the mega-crash they inherited! How did they get us out of it? Oh, right … tax cuts and budget cuts. Unemployment under Coolidge was at a record low of less than 2%! Go figure! But I digress ….)
We have growth rates that give new meaning to “anemic”— rates the Left smugly points to as “proof” that the Obama policies are “working”. We have gas prices creeping back up. We have a world that refuses to listen to our “warnings” and “sanctions”. (His Awesomeness, Chris Christie, had it right — if the choice is between “love” and “respect”… in the world of politics, inside and outside our borders, respect is invariably the better option.) And while we’re at it, the Boston bombing has proven for all to see that, in more ways than one, we are decidedly less safe than we’ve been under one George W. Bush. (Is that why the media was so desperate to sidestep the facts and jump to conclusions, I wonder?)
And what does our president focus on, now? Gun control — which has never worked, and never will. But it “feels good”, so he and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Boss Debbie Wasserman Shultz say “Go for it!” While we’re at it — we must tax the heck out of the Evil Rich, even though it’ll stymie growth and just feed the growing glutton of our government without any long-term solution … because it “feels good”. We must apologize to other countries for conflicts we did not start, because we were playing to win — and we shouldn’t, now, because it wouldn’t “feel good”.
Meanwhile, our side is … confused. The Right’s too divided — blaming each other, pointing fingers at one another… and threatening to tear down those they should view as heroes! Marco Rubio’s just the latest example — instead of trashing him, or dismissing him as a “sap” being “used” by the rest of the Gang, we should give him our support — the strength he needs to make this immigration bill what it should be — what he’s repeatedly expressed he wants it to be. Instead … we’re so quick to forget who our real enemies are.
So, we’ve obviously a long ways to go. And when problems are identified, true progress can be made. True progress — not ever-growing central authority wrapped up with a bow and the label mark ed “Progressivism”. “Progressivism” does not “progress” towards anything other than tyranny.
So, then — on what path does true progress lie? Well, for starters, it lies with forgetting about absurd “utopias”, or solutions of “all-at-once”. One of the few things Rousseau got right: we must deal with men as they are, not as we’d like them to be. We must be pragmatists — with ideals as our guide; in other words, things must be done step-by-step.
And step-by-step, folks … we’ll make it.