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Explore alternatives

By Jim Killebrew

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[December 30, 2013]  As with all movements that get started, there is usually a seed of disappointment that nudges someone to look for alternatives. Looking for different solutions has been a characteristic of humans throughout history. Dissatisfaction with a condition sparks a change that usually leads to doing things differently and reaching different consequences.

During these conditions, the American people seem to polarize themselves in such a way that leads to taking stands in opposition to each other. Groups in opposition begin to form and arguments ensue that sometimes birth a movement that reaches out to people to join their respective cause. The most recent movement was the tea party movement that seemingly was the antithesis of the liberalism that resided in the Democrat Party. Of course, the tea party was most closely aligned with the Libertarian group that was the most conservative in the Republican Party, so there has been some friction between the tea party believers and the moderate members of the Republicans.

The country seemed to formulate a stand against the trend toward the growth of the federal government under the Democrat Party's leadership in the White House and the Congress. Liberalism undergirded positions that led to creating the largest debt in the history of the United States. That was seen by the following actions from the Democrat government control:

  • Taking over private industries from the private sector under the notion they "were too big to fail" and needed the support.

  • Raising taxes to pay for social programs that depended on the federal government taking money from the so-called rich people to give it to those who were not rich.

  • Further establishing so-called bailout programs to give to banks to ensure that they did not fail.

  • Growing the federal government to the extent that government job growth exceeded private sector job growth when unemployment hovered around 10 percent nationally.

  • Establishing a nationalized health-care process that many believed mimicked European socialized medicine.

  • The Democrat administration and Congress allowing an earlier established federal tax reduction under the former administration to expire at the end of 2010, thereby returning to a substantially higher tax rate for all Americans.

  • Finally, raising taxes beginning in 2014 to pay for the Affordable Care Act with another effort to "redistribute" wealth from the so-called rich and the middle class families, as well as the young adults in America.

Part of the motivation for the movement that created the tea party was nonpartisan behavior exhibited by the Democrats in passing legislation formed in closed-door fashion without the active involvement of Republican House and Senate members and without a single Senate Republican vote. The citizens outside the political fray began to feel isolated and unrepresented by their leaders. Consequently both presidential and congressional confidence from "we the people" plummeted.

Another contributing factor to the movement was created by the liberal media and political forces' negative reactions to the conservative voices of the "talk radio" group like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity; likewise to the conservative television Fox Network that was charged with bias against progressive ideas and the Democrats'  leadership.

In a reaction mode, the conservative voices began to blend in unison to counteract the liberal voices that continued to call for more spending, more takeover of private industry, more federal control of people's lives, higher taxes and more distribution of wealth from the so-called rich to the poor. From that set of voices across the land, the tea party movement was born.

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A time for listening

Perhaps now is a time for dialogue with listening. The midterm elections are now beginning to gear up for another election cycle, and there has been a slight shift in the balance of power in Washington, D.C. In 2010 the Democrats lost their total control when the Republicans achieved the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the years since then, the American people have continued to be polled by the pollsters, revealing their sentiments remain strong for a turn toward conservatism.

From an American citizen's perspective, I would like for the loud voices trying to speak over everyone else just to sit down and listen to sound rationale and logic as it is spoken from both sides. Rush, Glen and Sean speak rationally and cogently from the conservative side. We now need someone from the liberal or progressive side to enter the airwaves and speak rationally and cogently from the liberal side.

The American people would like to hear someone bring logic and reason to the table and state the advantages to our national interests from both philosophical positions.

From the liberal side of the issue, the Democrats, or progressive persuasion of that party, should raise up a spokesman to articulately state in understandable terms the advantages of the liberal implementation of various policies. For example:

  • Explain in a logical fashion the advantage to the American national interest, why it is a good thing to have the federal government assume control over private industry and fire the chief executive officer of that company. It needs to be explained why America's capitalism with its free-market economy will survive if the federal government chooses what to nationalize, when to nationalize and the reasons for assuming control.

  • It needs to be explained from the liberal perspective the advantages to our national interest, why there has to be a buildup of more massive governmental bureaucratic social systems to increase debt, redistribute wealth and grow government.

  • It needs to be explained from the liberal perspective the advantages to our national interest, what a massive federal debt that goes beyond generations of resources will provide for us to make us more prosperous. In our individual families we have discovered that high debt tends to lead us to a point of losing everything through bankruptcy but never brings prosperity. How does a collection of individuals use that economic method and remain solvent over the long term?

  • Lastly, it needs to be explained from the liberal perspective the advantages to our national interest, how individualized medical care will be enhanced by the federal government taking individual choice away and replacing it with a decision-making board to decide all aspects in individualized health care.

I believe it would be beneficial if there could be a group of liberal, progressive spokesmen who would launch their own free-market, advertisement-based talk radio shows to articulately explain the practice of liberalism and how it would be an advantage to the national interest of America and her individual citizens. Likewise it would be beneficial if the major networks would counter Fox News by raising up liberal voices to quietly, articulately, logically and thoughtfully espouse the liberal perspective to each of the conservative positions they believe come from Fox News.


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