With President Obama’s job approval rating bouncing between about 50 percent and 47 percent— among the lowest numbers Gallup has recorded for a president at this point in his term -- it’s time to put political activism on your list of holiday resolutions because the American economy and America’s future are depending on you.
Various polls show that most citizens are concerned that President Obama and his allies in Congress are trying to do too much, too fast, to flip control of our economy and our personal choices from the private sector to the public sector.
The stimulus and troubled asset relief programs, health care, cap-and-trade, climate change and the president’s mixed message about a troop surge in Afghanistan, coupled with an ambiguous withdrawal deadline from the country, are all creating uncertainty about the future impact on our economic and national security. Americans are anxious about unemployment, our huge debt and deficit, mind-boggling government spending, potentially crushing new taxation and regulations, and whether the war in Afghanistan might turn into a quagmire.
With Congress’s job approval rating at a dismal 26 percent, according to Gallup, leadership must come from the bottom up -- from We the People -- to redirect elected officials from the wrong track to the right track.
Consider whether it is in the best interests of America’s future to accept or reject the following transformations inherent in what Obama describes as “change we can believe in:”
-From a nation of investors to a nation of debtors.
-From a free market economy to a government-run economy.
-From a value system that prizes personal independence to a political system that fosters personal dependency.
-From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations.
-From a country confident that it is worthy of emulation to a country apologetic about its actions, beliefs and systems.
-From a military power that punches hard in the fight for freedom to a military that is sometimes commanded to pull its punches in the war against terrorism.
-From a quest to achieve the correct political course at the right cost to a quest to achieve the politically correct course at any cost.
-From a competitive environment where failure is part of a course correction to a government-controlled environment where the course of failure produces bailouts, handouts, payouts and layabouts
-From a public debate that is challenging because of strongly-held views to a public debate that is stifled because only one party’s views are challenged.
-From a country that celebrates strength and competes to a country that cultivates enervation and retreats.
W. Somerset Maugham wrote, “It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.”
Some people believe that in practical terms we have to wait until the 2010 elections to really make a difference.
That would be a mistake. Any government programs enacted before next year’s elections will be hard (if not impossible) to reverse.
In this season of resolutions, let us resolve to speak out and organize now so that the president and Congress clearly know exactly what we will accept or reject. This includes reaching out to any wavering Democrats -- and a few Republicans -- whose votes could tip the outcome of legislation in the wrong direction.
America’s future—our prosperity, our security and our national character—is depending on you.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.