Results for category "Optimism"

The Golden State and The Lone Star State

From 1989-1991 our family lived in Tallahassee, FL–host community to Florida State University.   Head football coach, Bobby Bowden, lived around the corner from our church and worshiped with us occasionally.  His Seminoles destroyed the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Fiesta Bowl of 1990.   The next spring, Nebraska Head Coach, Tom Osborne, turned his squad over to his assistants, swallowed his pride, came to Tallahassee,  and observed Bobby’s spring training to learn how he did it.

Ironically, the next year, NE and FSU met in the Orange Bowl for the national title and FSU won by a whisker.  No blow out this time.   And Osborne, who had never won a title, won two championships before he retired.

Our most populous state and second largest both in acreage and in number of residents are a study in contrast.    One is bankrupt and the other is thriving.   Texas Governor, Rick Perry, was on FOX after the mid-term elections and spoke about the hundreds of California companies who relocated in the Lone Star State just since January 1, 2010.

Why have these businesses done this?   Because Texas does not punish success with high taxes, and it is business friendly which means, among other things,  Texas does not over regulate.   Texas has also learned what California has not–no state or nation, no matter how wealthy, can support a huge welfare program.    The late Milton Friedman pounded on this during the Reagan Administration.   Bill Clinton was dragged into this conclusion by Newt Gingrich and the new Republican Congress elected in 1994.   Clinton signed Welfare Reform which assured his second term and led to a stronger economy.

What did California do in the mid-terms?    Returned the ultra-partisan Barbara Boxer to the U.S. Senate and Jerry Brown to the Governorship.    Brown could learn as Tom Osborne did by leaving spring training (also known as the transition time) in the hands of staff and fly to Austin to spend time with Governor Perry.   The leaders of New York and Illinois, states also headed for insolvency, might consider the same.

However, pride will prevent this.   Besides the Far Left lives in denial and does not believe in the Texas approach.   But this is key to our recovery beginning in 2011 under the Republican House and in 2013 when the GOP captures the Senate and the White House:   We must not bail out CA, IL, NY or any other state.   First, we cannot afford it.   Second, this is buying drinks for the alcoholic.   It will go right on.   They must take the cure if they are to recover.

My father is a WWII marine.   He has the biggest hand in the county and was not afraid to employ it when I needed discipline.   I did not like it at the time but now thank him for it.   The adult grown ups are in the GOP.  They must discipline the adolescent Democrats in CA, IL, NY and beyond.    If not these children running around disguised as adults will never grow up and they will ruin the country.   Are all ready to be led by real men and women?   Churchill told Britain he had nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears.   The Brits got behind him and they were vital to stopping the Nazis as we prepared to enter WWII.  

Demosthenes (384-322 B.C.)  was a Greek statesman and orator.   He was asked how Athens could halt their decline.   His answer was both simple and profound and sage advice for our land today as well.   Demoshtenes said,  “Stop what you are doing now.”  Are we ready to stop what we are doing  now?   I hope so.


Getting Back to Basics

It has been said that an optimist is someone who believes this is the best of all possible worlds while a pessimist fears that is true.   But whether one tends to be upbeat or downtrodden there is great fear about the day in which we live.  We see this in the economy, in our culture and in our politics–particularly from the Left.   Our President apologizes for our land, blames President Bush for every problem from dandruff to loose dentures and each day appears more Carteresque.  When asked if we are an exceptional nation he says that we are no more exceptional than any other place.  If all nations are exceptional then none are.

How did we get here?   In part, by listening to the false promises of a charlatan who pretended to be a centrist when he was and is of the Far Left.   During the campaign the mask most came off in an unguarded moment when he told one who would become known as Joe the Plumber, “I believe in spreading the wealth around.”   Right now we might well ask, “What wealth?”

But this is deeper than one man who was mistakenly seen by some as a messiah and the anointed one.   Charles Colson is one of the true prophets of our time.   A few weeks ago on the Mike Huckabee program on FOX he said that underneath all our problems is a moral crisis.   He is exactly right.

The late Dr. David Seamands was one of the greatest preachers in the United States and the author of such best selling books as The Healing of Damaged Emotions and Putting Away Childish Things.   He was on a panel on the U of KY campus back in the 1960’s along with a physician, a counselor, a professor and a private businessman.   The topic was “Dealing with the Crises of our Times.”   Dr. Seamands got the first question and the second and the third.   Finally he said to the students who had gathered:   “I expected to be on the sidelines on such a learned panel.   How does it happen that I am fielding every question?”   A student leader said, “Dr. Seamands, isn’t every crisis ultimately theological?”    That student was exactly right.

What to do?   Jerry Kramer, Hall of Fame Guard on the great Green Bay Packer teams of the 1960’s, said that if the Pack began to lose, Coach Lombardi would huddle them up, hold up a ball and say, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”   What Kramer is saying is that the great coach was getting them back to basics.   Earl Hunt was a strong bishop in the United Methodist Church.   After a bad year among his churches he addressed his clergy by saying, “Sometimes progress is made by going back to the place where we got off the track.”

What to do?   First, let us acknowledge anew that we are “One nation under God.”   In the Old Testament book of II Chronicles God says to His Chosen, the Hebrews, “If my People who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”   (II Chronicles 7:14)   The Chronicles were written 2500 years ago at the time of the Persian Empire (present day Iran)  but it is as up to date as the headlines of the morning newspaper.   Both Lombardi and Hunt are right.   Sometimes we need to go back to basics and going back helps us move forward.

Second, let us elect candidates who recognize these basics and face the fact that most such men and women are in the GOP.  And these are not just Republicans but Conservative Republicans comfortable with Tea Party thinking (talk about going forward by going back) and they are persons who seek national renewal.

Several such candidates come to mind.   Ken Buck and Cory Gardner respectively seeking Senate and House seats in D.C. from here in CO.   Bill Brady running for Governor in deep blue Illinois.    And Marco Rubio running for the U.S. Senate from FL.  These men are all young and all from outside the Establishment.   They also recognize basic moral values and that our crises are, at root, theological.   They understand that we are “One Nation Under God.”

Even the Left is beginning to realize that we are off the track.   The Independents concluded this some time ago.   Conservatives always instinctively know that Leftist thinking is wrong and dangerous.   Let us return to our basic roots, be confident in God and His Presence.   Let us elect men and women who not only believe in our nation and its future but men and women who BELIEVE THE FUTURE IN.  And these are all Conservatives and many are strong in the Judeo-Christian tradition.   And let us fearlessly stand with them and for them come what may.   “Revive us again, O Lord, that we may rejoice in Your Presence.”   (Psalm 85:6)   Dear God, may it be so.