The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Time for the states to be united
A READER came up to me at lunch Wednesday and said, “I can’t wait to read what you’re going to write about yesterday’s election.”
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what to write—or exactly how
I voted for Mitt Romney and I thought he would win. I was wrong.
Barack Obama’s re-election tells us that the majority of the American people are satisfied with the status quo and that this country is headed in the right direction. That, of course, remains to be seen.
As I have said before, Obama must be given his due. America is better off today that when he took office in 2009. Yes, we’ve been through some hard times in the past four years but the president inherited a lot of problems from the previous administration.
Then, too, plain old-fashioned greed created many of the economic woes that we are still trying to correct. Unfortunately, greed is the recurring bellyache of a capitalistic society.
I liked Romney because he was a businessman and a capitalistic country needs a business leader. The majority of Americans apparently didn’t feel that way.
Predictably, reaction to Obama’s victory was mixed Wednesday. As usual, most of the venom spewed from the fangs of the losers.
One man jokingly told me that he had already bought tickets out of the country, but that his destination wasn’t certain because he still hadn’t found anyplace else that was better than America.
Another man followed me two blocks up the street in an attempt to pound a lesson on socialism in my ear.
Then there was Donald Trump, whose call for a revolution was the most ludicrous suggestion of all. Only in America would a multimillionaire get that bent out of shape because he feared paying a few more tax dollars.
In truth, what we need is for the revolution to end. For more than a decade now, the Republicans have been revolting against the Democrats and Democrats revolting against Republicans.
Americans are so polarized that nothing is getting done. The “right” doesn’t trust the “left” and the conservatives and the liberals seem to despise each other.
Until we can get away from putting labels on each other, nothing will get done and we’ll butt heads until hell freezes over.
Come on, guys! We’re all Americans. We never seem to remember that until a crisis arises.
Well, according to the “experts,” a crisis is in the offing. It is called the “fiscal cliff,” off which our economy is predicted to fall if the George Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire and automatic budget cuts go into effect Dec. 31.
The Obamas had not even boarded Air Force One to return to Washington before this issue hit the fan. Was this an omen of what the president faces for the next four years?
House Speaker John Boehner, in a half-hearted way, said his party would seek common ground (I hate that term) on the tax cuts and work for the good of the American people.
I hope both parties will give a little for the sake of the country.
So, where does the Republican Party go from here? Well, it might take a lesson from Major League Baseball during the 1960s. During that era, the National League won almost every All-Star Game and dominated in the World Series.
Why? Because the National League had embraced black players and Hispanics and the American League, for the most part, had remained all white.
It is the same with today’s Republican Party. It has not courted black voters, and extremists in the party would send all Hispanics “back where they came from.”
Like the American League in the 1960s, the GOP has refused to accept the fact that America is no longer an all-white collection of good old boys. If the Republican Party is to survive, it will have to reach out to minorities.
The Republican Party may not survive, al least in its current state. The tea party people are taking over and mainstream Republicans are dropping by the wayside.
That drop may be more pronounced in the wake of this election. The climate is ripe for a third party to emerge. Either that or the mainstream Republicans will become Democrats.
As I said in the beginning, I did not know where this column was headed when I began to write. Somehow I wound up here.
So why did a non-Republican like me vote for Romney? It was purely baseball strategy.
One time when I was pitching, I had given up a couple of runs with two outs in the eighth inning. Mostly the hits were weak ground balls that dribbled through the infield.
When the manager came to take me out, I argued that I still had it, that the batters weren’t getting wood on the ball.
“I know that, son,” he said. “But sometimes you just need a change to get things straightened out.”
The new pitcher’s first pitch was a hanging curve that the batter blasted to the wall. But the ball stayed in the park, the left fielder caught it and we won the game.
Sometimes a change does everybody good.
Then again, if I’d been left in, I might have struck out the next batter.
You just never know how things will work out.