“We have now sunk to a depth where the restatement of the obvious is the duty of intelligent men.” –George Orwell
Unlike children, who often surprise parents with their simple logic, adults have the propensity to over-think things. So often, the answers we seek are directly in front of us, but we fail to see them because they are too obvious. Politicians take advantage of this nearsightedness when they distract us with hoards of information labeled as fact, but in the end, it doesn’t really give us an accurate picture of anything. George Orwell described this political-speak as a “Political language… designed to make lies sound truthful,” and he wasn’t kidding.
These days, many politicians win elections because they’ve honed their political-speak skills to the point that lies and half-truths appear credible. Truthful politicians are personally attacked as “extremists,” while others are run out of office over time. Take a look at the Blue Dog Democrat Congressional roll call and you will see Blue Dogs are near extinction. No wonder there is a shortage of honest people willing to run for office.
President Barack Obama has made an art form out of political-speak. He once said if he had not turned things around in three years, his presidency would be a “one term proposition.” Because “things” have not turned around as planned, it only makes sense the powers-that-be chose to theme his re-election campaign as “a choice between two paths” in order to deflect attention away from an up-or-down referendum on his job performance.
Obama had the luxury of a Democratic Party controlled Congress for the first two years of his presidency. Rather than take action to fix a hemorrhaging economy, two years were squandered as the president ran around the country with new, updated, re-worded, and re-updated political speak. Instead of using simple, effective methods to affect real solutions, he chose Stimulus, Obamacare, Green Jobs, Czars, Committees, and a host of other bandages that have arguably made the situation worse. And here we sit.
All it takes is childlike reasoning to understand the outcome of these reckless choices. Take a moment to consider the increase in food stamp recipients, bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment and then take a quick trip to the gas station and grocery store. Lest anyone forget, the price of gas has nearly doubled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that on January 23, 2009 the price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $1.81. On January 23, 2012, it was $3.31. Food prices are not much better.
According to a recent (December 2011) report released by the United States Department of Agriculture titled “Food CPI and Expenditures: Analysis and Forecasts of the CPI for Food” finding that in 2011, grocery store prices rose nearly 4.5 percent, and they anticipate that 2012 will experience another increase of 3 to 4 percent. The L.A. Times reported beef prices rose by 9.8 percent, pork prices 6.9 percent, poultry 3 percent, dairy 8.7 percent, and egg prices up 10.2 percent — in 2011 as compared to 2010. Chief economist for the National Restaurant Association Bruce Grindy says wholesale food prices are “on pace to post their strongest annual increase in more than three decades.”
There has been much mentioned during debates and stump speeches from both sides of the aisle reminding Americans there is a “choice between two paths” to be made come November. As confusing as politicians like to make it, the answer which stares us in the face can be found by asking a childlike question: Are we better off today?
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Reach Susan at susan @susanstamperbrown.com, her Web site www.susanstamberbrown.com and Facebook.
©2012 Susan Stamper Brown. Susan’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561