by Beverly Eakman
March 9, 2011
The clock is ticking for true patriots — the backbone of our society — to bring the nation to its feet. In precisely eight months from this writing, on November 8, 2011, the noise from contenders for Executive, Legislative and gubernatorial offices will be ratcheted up, amplified and embellished by throngs of professional “handlers” (a.k.a. political consultants). They will vie for the hearts and minds of voters by exploiting the clueless, misdirecting the poorly educated, and stroking the egos of the intelligentsia in order to give their candidate the edge on Election Day — just one year away, on November 8, 2012.
Meanwhile, in the back rooms of Capitol Hill — which include the golf courses of posh country clubs and charity galas — who’s actually a contender and whose candidacy is to be a sideshow is already being thrashed out. Even the topics of discussion, along with the various angles on the issues, are being decided as you read this. So, if you, the reader of this column, are a member of a citizen-patriot group that harbors views not aligned with those already selected by pricey political advisors for their agreed-upon front-runners and lapdog TV commentators, you have a problem.
As a mere citizen, the most you can hope for is a letter-to-the-editor, or maybe a blog that nobody important will read. A missive to your congressional representative or government agency head will get you a boilerplate response from a low-level staffer, thanking you for writing, with a brief allusion to the issue in question buried somewhere in the first paragraph to personalize the reply.
I ought to know; I created and categorized dozens of such letters in the course of my duties as an employee and contract employee to various federal agencies.
All U.S. Presidents, past and present, the congressional offices and bureaus or offices within every federal and state agency, as well as heads of major TV networks and newspapers employ individuals to “run interference” for their boss — which means “taking care of” your letter, unless you are connected with a household-name, big-donor organization. The “unconnected” get shut out.
So here we good patriots sit, with eight months to go before the promises, predictions, polls and pundits start making the usual mockery of the democratic process. By the time Election Day rolls around, the public will be ready to elect Osama bin Laden, if only to be done with it.
Yet, American patriots like you not only exist, but likely still comprise a majority, despite appearances to the contrary. In retrospect, we should have made our move back in 1970, as the handwriting was already on the wall. But few believed the madness would last — to where it is a “hate crime” simply to speak one’s conscience.
we are faced with the unpleasant prospect of having to completely alter
the psychological landscape and mobilize the nation. If we
expect to reclaim the country in 2012, we must take the reigns of debate
away from our antagonists, do the unexpected instead of the predictable,
and turn the techniques of our adversaries against them.
What kind of mentality are we up against? Take, for example, PBS’ highly acclaimed Nightly Business Report — arguably among the most unbiased, credible programs available to the public on financial and economic matters, featuring experts as far apart philosophically as the Heritage Foundation, the University of Chicago and Brookings Institute.
Even so, night after night we hear that inflation is running at a mere 2 or 3 percent, that interest rates are low, that rising gas prices and turmoil in the Middle East are not having the expected dampening effect on the American stock market and economy. Despite some rise in unemployment, the news is generally upbeat on “growing” your portfolio. For every downturn, there appears to be an uptick a few weeks later, giving the impression that everything is relative, nothing is too serious or lasts all that long. Subconsciously, viewers conclude that the U.S. Treasury can continue printing money endlessly and the nation’s leaders can keep running up the debt.
But then the hapless viewer considers his purchases — most of them not discretionary. He wonders what planet these economists are living on that has only 2 to 3 percent inflation. What are they buying? The only things that appear to have gone down are electronics, which demand replacement every two years or so because they are no longer compatible with anything. So, as our viewer replaces his chunky-chassis TV set for a streamlined, high-def, flat-screen, he knows his precious set will eventually need to be Internet-compatible, that the video-recorder that comes with his set will soon be outdated and similarly incompatible. Ditto his laptop, his high-efficiency heating/air-conditioning system and his cell phone. He won’t be able to get parts; repairmen will be helpless to fix them.
Thus, inflation is no longer a reflection of our viewer’s own purchases. Rather inflation reflects a government rate based on a basket of goods and services that economists track on a periodic basis.
They use a mathematical algorithm to figure a cost-adjustment of these items and, from that, determine a composite cost-of-living increase, or inflation.
If this sounds like gobbledygook to you, you’re not alone.
you work two jobs to send little Johnny to a private school, even though
you are already subsidizing the failed government school system. The fact
that a $600-per-year private school in 1961 is now $2,200 per year in
2011 — a roughly 3500% increase that is out of sync with median
salary increases over the same period — is not deemed “inflation.”
K-12 private school tuitions are not even included in the basket
of goods and services that goes into the government’s calculations.
Yet without a private education, your child will likely be at a disadvantage in the emerging job market, as even experts within the Education Department admit that “advanced” course work in U.S. lingo is laughable on the international scale. In fact, your child’s prospects may well determine your own fate once you reach old age.
Thus, when we talk about changing minds and hearts, we are not just talking about social issues, morality or even fiscal responsibility. We are talking about a combination of the American Dream, quality of life and standard of living — which spans the gamut of legislative mayhem at all levels, finally trickling down to the county and local community as “economic incentives” and “unfunded mandates.”
No wonder so many Americans fail to grasp the true gravity of the country’s situation. At the end of a lousy workday, impossible commutes, children’s problems, and fitting in errands to accommodate nightmarish, government-imposed busywork, most people want to kick back, order in a pizza and watch the Tube. Some go to clubs and singles bars. Still others work out, read or just sleep.
But the one thing hardly anyone wants to do is think. Thus are we fighting a combination of raw ignorance, physical and emotional exhaustion, and a disinclination to reflect, contemplate or deliberate. The populace cries out for leadership, even as it shuns yet another “crisis.”
The Left is pulling out all the stops because that it believes it “owns” the psychological environment. Universal health care, fiscal insanity, omnipresent surveillance, nation-building schemes disguised as “wars,” chaotic classrooms, “climate-change” shenanigans, massive tax increases and transfers of wealth, a criminal justice system that hassles good citizens instead of putting real criminals away…and always the threat, never far from the surface, that another 9/11 or, heaven forbid, a nuclear attack in some major city, can finish off any semblance of the America we knew and lay the foundation for a police state. Thus, the recent concessions to Sharia Law in several states — alongside the marginalization of Christianity nationwide. This is a sure recipe for upheaval in a country founded not only upon Christian ideals, but upon an individualistic perspective as opposed to a collective mindset.
Eight months is all we have to impart a sense of urgency about Election Day 2012. This means establishing a list of priorities — above and beyond taxes and limited government. To wrench the psychological advantage away from the Left means we have to “own” the topics of discussion and alter the substance of debates. It is up to our side to define what we are going to talk about and for how long. That is the essence of “psychological environment,” but conservatives have not learned it.
What topics, then, should we address? Under what categories do we place them? I would submit that the umbrella issues are (1) a high quality of life and (2) an upwardly mobile standard of living — the kind of lives our parents and grandparents understood as uniquely American. For these, the world clamored to our shores instead of escaping them for fairer fields elsewhere. Today, that view is changing, save for parasites demanding a handout.
The tax structure and limited government, of course, remain key, but the slogans have become tired and, in any case, are inadequate in a nation where some 95 percent of children now leave school conditioned to accept a Nanny State and numb to intellectual stimulation. Many are not even motivated to leave the nest.
In such a psychological climate, it will be difficult to convince the under-45 crowd that they are not well-served by either of the major political parties. They hear that the Constitution has outlived its usefulness, whereas it is party politics and political “machines” that are outdated.
We have eight months to challenge a lethargic population to suddenly throw down the gauntlet, as in:
How much more of our wealth shall we expend to shore up failed nations
and corrupt regimes, out of some dim hope that their leaders will “be
nice to us”?
• How many more lives do we wish to expend on nation-building and humanitarian projects while our own infrastructure falls apart?
• How long will we be kept hostage to OPEC and the Middle East for our energy needs when there is quite enough oil and gas at home to us until we brainstorm our way to a viable, cost-effective alternative?
• How much more government interference and “gotcha”-style justice are we going to put up with?
• How many convicted thugs are we going to allow back on our streets?
• How many lifelong convicts are we willing to house, feed, entertain, educate and provide medical services for without any expectation of restitution?
• How many freebies and entitlement programs are taxpayers willing to support, when there are religious and charitable organizations willing to do the job?
• How long are we going to allow fraudulent science to dictate legislation, robbing us of our earnings and livelihoods?
• How long will we suffer a War on Drugs that is not working, but harasses honest citizens who are ill?
• When will we demand a return to a policy in which prospective immigrants to this country have a waiting job and law-abiding sponsors?
• How long do we intend to suffer teacher unions that turn children against their parents and serve as tax-exempt, political fronts?
These represent but a sampling of the critical questions Americans need to be clear on if we are to select worthy candidates who will get the nation back on track. Notice that the questions above are not worded to evoke a simple “yes” or “no”; specifics are the order of the day, along with outside-the-box strategizing and innovation.
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If we fail to reclaim the psychological advantage; if we continue to fight turf battles and funding competitions instead of putting people on the same page; if we squander this eight-month window of opportunity — then another socialist, possibly worse Barack Obama, will land in the White House, with members of Congress and agency bureaucrats all scurrying to hold on to their status and position.
The lid will slam shut. Time will have run out.
� 2011 Beverly Eakman - All Rights Reserved
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Beverly K. Eakman began her career as a teacher in 1968. She left to become a scientific writer for a NASA contractor. She went on to serve as a former speechwriter for the Voice of America and for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger when he chaired the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She was an editor and writer for the U.S. Dept. of Justice before retiring from federal government. She is now author of six books covering education policy, mental-health issues, data-trafficking and political strategy with dozens of keynote speeches, feature articles and op-eds to her credit. Her most recent works include A Common Sense Platform for the 21st Century and the 2011 Edition of her ever-popular seminar manual, How To Counter Group Manipulation Tactics (Midnight Whistler Publishers, 2010 and 2011, respectively).
Eakman can be reached through her