It was during Jimmy Carter’s presidency that I was doing the things growing up people do – have a family, buy a home, find a first full time career job. All of which, President Carter made unbelievably difficult.
Unfortunately I had voted for him. I had had enough of the Republicans, Nixon and company. Vietnam, Watergate, cultural confusion, racial tension, petulant Republican leaders who acted more like offended children than grown-ups who could lead and do the hard work of compromise. Carter was not Republican and that was a good thing.
Was I ever wrong!!!! His indecisiveness was maddening. His lack of leadership during challenges was discouraging. His malaise speeches and sweaters in the White House to save money on heating oil made me scream at the TV. His pathetic view of religion made following Jesus just for women (and for that I apologize to the women). He was preachy and cranky.
And the inflation was crippling. No one could afford a house with 17% to 21% interest rates. This is not to mention the gas crisis, the gas lines and only being able to buy gas on odd or even days.
This generation’s bloc of young voters have never seen how badly one President can cripple a whole country economically. You wouldn’t think things could go off the ramp that readily within a two to four years period of time. It can. And it is. The US economy is not too big to fail. A President can cater to our worst instincts, offer something for nothing (or offer something at somebody else’s expense), place the rich man/poor man card, shake the citizenry’s faith in justice, stack the deck in favor of voting blocks, make us remember our failures and forget our dreams, and hang with people most Americans consider crooks.
Welcome to this generation’s Jimmy Carter. I had hoped that in one lifetime I would only see one of him. Not so.
We are in for an economic bruising the likes of which none can imagine. I am betting that there are some who sound the trumpet, stand by the stuff and keep pointing the way out of the valley of the shadow. It is not easy to stand up to the hating, the jeering, the comedic jabbing, the sneering, the condescending elitism.
President Obama has lived a life based on the largess of others. It makes one soft and unaware that the day to day lives of Americans has no such relief valve. It’s work and pay – just work and pay. My hope is that someone will rise up and save the forgotten man and bring justice.
The technology of communications is the new kid on the block. News does not have to be filtered through New York City elites nor be ABC, NBC or CBS. Joe the plumber can write a blog, twitter, and post a video. Democracy is the way through. The battle is no longer fought behind the scenes in sequestered rooms in the White House and the halls of Congress. It is out in the streets. There are strong voices rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition speaking and offering a way out of the wilderness. This is most hopeful, for now and for our future.
And while we are a republic and not a democracy, we are becoming a republic where the democratic spirit is alive and growing even stronger. I don’t think the trend is going to be reversed. The speaking of the people is going to be louder. A revived, renewing, spiritually strong citizenry is a tidal wave force that White House and Congress cannot resist.