The Triple Crown of Campaigners:
Money, Liberty, Low Taxes
By Stephen Simac
It's campaign season in the US of A. Presidential candidates of every party are promising to re-create the American Dream from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plains. They are promising more good things and fewer bad things aiming to light a fire in the voters with their ideals.
The utopian vision of America as a bright chandelier of prosperity, democracy and justice for all has been an elusive goal of citizens and a beacon to the rest of the world since before the American revolution, and burned ever brighter since.
Whatever the realities, the idea of a country so abundant that even streets are paved with gold, where freedoms are rights of all men, where no one need call another Lord have shaped our nation and influenced the world.
The United States was birthed like a Phoenix from the embers of "Christian," western invaders sacking and burning the native cultures of North America. Even as they destroyed the indigenous cultures, Europeans and new Americans were profoundly influenced by these individualistic, more egalitarian societies.
From the sagas of Erik Eriksen of a truly green Vineland to the west to the news brought back by Cristobal Colon of a land of noble savages living in Paradise, first impressions have proved lasting. Columbus's journal from his first voyage feverishly described his belief that he had found the original garden of Eden, amazingly rich with fruit and fish, populated by children of God, In Dios, peaceful and uncorrupted.
Near Venezuela the Admiral became convinced that the oceans were actually swelling up like a breast. He sailed widely across the Caribbean but the nipple where the bounty of Nature seeped out was never found. Isabel, Ferdinand and their financiers who paid for Columbus's trip to the Indies wanted gold, spices, and Chinese goods, not utopian PR, sickly slaves and rotting fruit.
Initial good will dissipated so rapidly that almost in their next breaths, Europeans and new Americans cried for bloodthirsty extermination of the wild savages who wouldn't meekly give up their lands. However, these first stories of a New World rippled around Europe on the sea of melted down gold and silver from the Aztec and Inca treasures the Spanish squandered or the English pirated from them.
Montesquieu surfed on their tropical reef break in his books about the natural order of utopian societies. The idealistic writings of this 17th century Frenchman helped shape the dreams of Jefferson, Adams and other founding fathers of the untied states. All men created equal, inalienable rights of life, liberty, pursuit, of the people, by the, etc... America, Land of the Free.
The concept of a society devoted to the rights of the individual, ruled by the laws of Nature's God, dedicated to democracy and domestic tranquility was crystallized in the Declaration of Independence. The D of I is the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the religion of Utopian America. People still respond to that old time religion, and candidates must ring the Liberty Bell loud enough in their speeches to spark voters' imaginations, hopes and projections about their country's future.
To win they must promise to do more good things with fewer taxes or they will be dropped as rapidly as Howard Dean was. While his endlessly echoed Yankee Yell was the shot to the head that killed him, it was his insistence that government spending must be paid for by current taxation, not future debt, which broke his legs in the race. At least since the Boston tea party, Americans have always hated being taxed enough to pay for their demands from government. Because the U. S. is a child centered society we don't mind burdening our kids with future debt. We're giving them mountains of Chinese made toys, paid for on credit. Today's kids will not thank us for our generosity when their bills come due, right about the time they end their schooling.
Only Dennis Kucinich has promised to lower government spending, at least on the military. (He's balanced that with promises to increase spending on universal health care without controlling costs, a real budget buster.) Since we spend more on "Defense" than the next dozen nations combined it seems like a reasonable idea. When reporters do mention him it's only as a "feisty runt" or over his "SeaBiscuit" analogy, but have said nothing about his policies. Political proposals of all the candidates have been uniformly ignored by the media, preferring simple horseracing analogies. Evidently voters feel the same because Kucinich has been overlooked like the shortest mount in a lineup. To say nothing of the "Dark Horse," Al Sharpton. At least they have stamina, and there is always the possibility of the lead ponies fracturing in the final furlong.
Because Iowans and New Hampshire voters decided John Kerry was the tallest horse, so far the rest of the country has followed their bet, although John Edwards is closing on his withers. As they say, the taller you are the farther to fall. Bush has raised more than $200 million to chip away at the Democratic winner's platform heels until they look shorter than "Koochie." Bush is the acknowledged master of creating free falling government debt by increasing spending while cutting federal taxes. That's always going to be popular with Americans. His political fate will be decided by water torture headlines from the steady dripping of American blood because of his foreign adventures.
Blood for Oil had a lot of support but so far there's more blood spilt than oil shipped, and no WMD, only vaguely "related programs." When gas prices rise this summer while local newspapers in towns across America headline the latest military funeral for their home town boy or girl, Bush will have to pull off another Florida fraud and supreme court putsch to stay in power. That's where I'd place my money.
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