If you are worried about 2016, you are not paying attention to 2012. Our concerns about 2016 really will not matter if the whole thing comes crashing down in 2012.
And, we could see the world as we know it come to a crashing, skidding thud before January 1, 2013. Sixteen trillion dollars of public debt, much of it held by foreign concerns. More than 8% of Americans looking for jobs unable to find work, with millions no longer going through the charade of the job search. Drought in the midsection of America and fractured tremors everywhere. Tornadoes in Trenton, not Lawton.
Serious unrest in the Middle East, not exactly a new thing, but no "strong-man" in sight to take over and bully the local tribes into submission. When your foreign policy call is to someone high in the Muslim Brotherhood, you have already reached some numbers that are disconnected or no longer in service.
Iran enriches uranium while it impoverishes its people. China's growth slows, while its xenophobia remains about the same. Murderous cartels operate on America's borders, reaching all across the continent through cooperation with growing addictive behaviors.
Education is at a cross roads, to be kind. Unions are at their nadir. A growing gap yawns between haves and have nots in our society, often the precursor of extreme civil unrest.
Obama's America of 2012 features a President with 52% favorable rating after his own convention, coupled with a Congress polling at 15% favorable rating. And we are in the most negative campaign in US Presidential history.
So, at least we know how to hate.
What is a Unionist to do? My efforts at Texan Secessionism having failed, I am left to argue for a few other possibilities. We have them all within our grasp.
- Energy Independence-Renew and expand Federal and State support of renewable energy, as well as promoting conservation measures designed to make the USA an exporter of energy by 2025, at the latest. We will need to use all our potential resources, so the Left Handed, Webbed Goose Salamander may feel some pain in the short term.
- Education reform-Expand support for early childhood education and expand outreach programs in the poorest areas. We have a lot of teachers out of work right now, too.
- Tax increases. Sorry. If you stop spending now, completely stop, you still owe $16 Trillion. The .4% of persons who control 98.3% of the wealth will need to pay a bit more. You do not have to do away with the last remaining middle class tax incentive, the mortgage loan deduction. Revenues will have to increase for a time. Please do not spend a lot of time promoting the "trickle down." The uber-rich figured out ways to maintain their wealth. What you feel trickling down is liquid, but it isn't jobs, it isn't income.
- Technology has to skip ahead two generations or more in the next couple of years. We must have more band width. If we get our information two minutes after a Taiwenese teenager who interrupts play of his pirated Grand Theft Auto game, we lose. We ignore technology advances at our own peril.
- We will have to reopen our rare earth sources. Think magnets and the other things at the bottom of the elements chart you saw in high school. From open up to start up would take up more than one Presidential administration but the people in this world who control most of the magnets right now are Chinese. They say we cannot get any more from them and your phone will not work without it. Or your computer. Or your, well, anything you need to keep you ahead of that Taiwanese teenager who just stole your identity on line.
- We have to have a military prone to the drone, not set up to fight a conventional land war in Europe with one hand, while it defeats a Chinese invasion of the Korean penninsula at the same time. The Taiwanese teenager is running a prototype Tank Crusher from his bedroom.
- Come to think of it, that Taiwanese teenager is one bad dude.
So, do you still want to spend all your time talking about Mr. Obama's birth certificate or the address on Mr. Romney's bank account (Zurich)? You might decide it is quite fitting the 2012 US Presidential Campaign will be remembered as "The Empty Chair."
We teach people how to treat us. Both of the main candidates seem to feel we want them to treat us with contempt.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.