Supporting Leaders of our Country Despite not Agreeing with them Politically

By: Graceforgrace
November 18, 2012

For me, as a conservative Mormon guy living in Washington state, the 2012 elections were rough in a number of ways, starting from the top down:

  1. Romney lost the election.  I had spent a year volunteering for his campaign and truly thought he had a good chance of winning.  He nearly pulled it off, but him losing was like me watching the Seahawks lose in Super Bowl 40.  Not fun.
  2. Washington State legalized marijuana.  Not only for medicinal purposes, but also for daily use.
  3. Gay marriage was passed in our state as well.

All of these things hit me like a tidal wave on election night and I had a hard time sleeping as I considered my children and the hearts of people around me in society.  I wondered where we are as a society in putting God first.  Obviously, we’re not where we need to be and it scared me.

As I saw what my friends and family members where writing about on Facebook the next day, I saw quite often comments such as “I’m moving to a different country” or “I like the idea of living like the Amish do” and “Let’s move away from society and have a compound”.  These were written out of frustration and not in complete seriousness (I hope), but it caused me to think.

Do I want to raise kids in this environment?  If not, where and why would we run?

How can I support my new leaders of the country, even though I do not hold the same political views?

What do we do Now?

Other concerned citizens provided great examples of how we should unite as a nation and make the best of the situation.  Also, the scriptures have excellent recommendations too.

2 Examples

My first example is Mitt Romney.  In his  concession speech, he set a very good example of being a gracious person.  He discussed his love for country and the people who had supported him.  He gave some advice and most importantly, he told Obama that he would pray for him.

When he said this, I was very impressed.  This man (Obama) had slandered his (Romney) name up and down and painted him as a beast to the American people for most of 2012.  Obama had attacked Romney as a person, not his policies.  Romney showed what we as citizens should always remember to do and that is pray for our leaders of the country.

The next example I have is a less-known citizen in my state who was running for Congress.  His name is John Koster.  I had supported him in the elections as well.  I’ll quote some of what he said in an email I received from him today:

Like many Americans, I am stunned at the tough night so many on the conservative side had around the country on Tuesday, and that Barack Obama was re-elected as President. Sean Hannity remarked yesterday that he wondered if the “allure and appeal of socialism and redistribution of wealth has taken hold.”

I hope he is wrong.

I am equally stunned that we have legalized marijuana right here in our home state of Washington; and if the slim margin favoring the pro Referendum-74 vote holds up, we will have legalized same-sex marriages as well.

It seems obvious to me that we have swung wildly in the wrong political direction and that we are now at a point where our society WILL suffer the consequences inherent with bad law and liberal representation.

Ben Franklin challenged future generations of Americans when he said ”we have given you a Republic if you can keep it”. To heed Franklin’s wise words, it will be important in the coming days that each and every one of us continues to do our part in defending the Republic – as we are likely in for some difficult times!

We must, however, keep the faith and keep our chins up. We must dig down deep and continue the battle for truth wherever possible, working to defend our values and way of life through our community involvement, church outreach, clubs and social gatherings. We must remain in the battle if we intend to win the war.

Hard as it may be at this moment, we must also pray for our leaders at all levels of government as we are commanded in the Holy Scriptures. Pray that they would govern with honesty and integrity; that they would understand and implement justice through constitutional law as endowed by our Creator.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” -1 Timothy 2:1-3

Again, I humbly thank you for your loyal support as well as your continued friendship. It has been an honor to have run for the United States Congress intent on representing people such as you. May God continue to bless this great nation and may we as a people remain worthy of those blessings for many generations to come.

Both of these men are excellent examples of how we as concerned citizens should support our leaders.  I intend to heed their advice and pray for our leaders, even if I do not support all of their views politically.

The Scriptures

As I pondered things on election night, my thoughts were turned to the scriptures.

Although society is not even close to the events that happen in the Book of Mormon, during the prophet Mormon’s life, I thought about him.  His whole society was collapsing and his people were being wiped out.  He was tempted to leave them, but he chose to fight with them and pray for them and he even gave his life along side them, never giving up hope that they would repent and turn towards God.

I also looked up scriptures in the Bible and there are numerous scriptures that talk about our role as citizens is to support our leaders of the nation, yet continue to lead moral lives and be a “light on the hill” as Jesus says.

Conclusion

While it is tempting to through up our hands when we see our society choosing paths that are not consistent to what we believe to be true, the scriptures and others around us give us good examples of what our roles truly are.  I believe that we should do all we can to raise our children up in truth and we need to do all we can to keep ourselves in line with the Lord.  At that point, we can then be used as an instrument in God’s hand to provide light and guidance to those around us.

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46 Responses to Supporting Leaders of our Country Despite not Agreeing with them Politically

  1. Will on November 18, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Grace,

    Great post. I share your views and would add the following:

    Now is the time to be bolder in our conservative views, which are the principles of the Gospel. I see us at the same place as helaman 5:2. At this period what did Nephi do? He withdrew his post as the President and devoted full time to the preaching of the gospel.

    This country will change for the better when the people change for the better. The best way for this to happen is to preach the Gospel with boldness and clarity. Look to Utah, with a Mormon majority. Conservatives are elected because of the good people. As a result, we have by far the best run state in the country. On the contrary, the deep blue sections of this country (especially the big cities) run by liberals are at or really near financial collapse. When they collapse under the weight of thier liberal policies, it will be a golden opportunity to preach conservatism.

    Hang on brother the good guys will eventually win.

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  2. Mormon Heretic on November 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Will, there are many who think the “good guys” did win.

    These labels of “conservative” and “liberal” are so useless. Jesus was executed because of his “liberal” views (especially toward women), not his conservative ones. Early Mormon views on polygamy were “liberal” with regards to marriage norms, and their Law of Consecration was not only socialistic, but were communalistic or communistic in nature (and I’m not talking soviet communism.)

    Let’s not forget that Christianity and Mormonism started as bastions of liberalism, not conservativism.

    For the record, I voted for neither Romney nor Obama, but I am pleased with either man as president.

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  3. Douglas on November 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Mitt, by taking the higher road in sticking to issues and avoiding ad hominem attacks on his main opponent, showed that the better man doesn’t necessarily win.
    I predict disaster with Obama at the helm until 20 Jan 2017. Could I be wrong? I pray that I am, because BHO is still my president, and this country needs for him to do well.

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  4. Will on November 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    MH.

    Point taken.

    A better way to say it would be “hang on brother, conservative principles (the gospel) will eventually win”

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  5. Will on November 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Mh,

    A clarification on what conservative principles are: honesty, chastity, financial responsibility, personal responsibility, self reliance, serving others (not passing this off to the government). Basically keeping the commandments.

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  6. alice on November 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Just curious how Saints and Washingtonians have managed to live in conjunction with people who imbibe alcohol for the last 80 or so years. And how they’ve managed to have their own intact marriages and families while, statewide, the rate of divorce in WA is so high. (15th in incidence of divorce out of 50*.)

    Could it be our responsibility has always been to be in the world but not of the world?

    Let’s not take things out of proportion or pretend that Romney didn’t engage in the same kind of misrepresentations in an effort to claim the prize. Let’s not choose to overlook the Brethrens’ call for unity and prayers of support.

    * Coincidentally, according to the census, MA with the first in the nation full marriage equality ranks lowest in the nation for number of divorces per 1K marriages while UT ranks near the top with WA.

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  7. Ryan on November 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Will, you’ve hit on the one thing that irks me the most about my conservative fellow-Mormons: the projection of everything the church teaches onto the Republican party. Just because multi-generational Utahans (and Idahoans and Arizonans) have an inherited wild-west political culture, and thus are almost entirely Republican, doesn’t mean that the church is a Republican institution.

    There have been, are, and will yet be plenty of Democrats and liberals in prominent church leadership positions, and the church itself has no political position here or in any other country. Unfortunately, people in the intermountain west conflate their politics with the gospel. Thus we end up with a distorted version of Mormonism where the cardinal virtues include “financial responsibility, personal responsibility, self reliance, and serving others (not passing this off to the government)” instead of loving God and loving our neighbor.

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  8. Mike S on November 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    #1 Will: This country will change for the better when the people change for the better.

    I claim it has.

    In my lifetime, race has become much less of an issue and equality has become more of a defining factor. In my youth, blacks were denied the priesthood and the blessings of the temple. They were denied equal schools and equal rights. I would claim that we HAVE changed for the better.

    In my lifetime, sex has become much less of an issue. When I was young, women weren’t allowed to pray in Sacrament meeting. They were held back in many opportunities. Title IX hadn’t passed and most sports funding went to men. Again, I would argue that in my lifetime, we HAVE changed for the better.

    In my medical profession, we have nearly 50 million people who don’t have insurance. They are limited in basic necessities of health. Through some of the policies that will be enacted in the next few years, pre-existing condition restrictions will be lifted, more people will be eligible for benefits, and more people can get healthcare. Will it affect me personally – absolutely. Will I make less money – absolutely. But I went into medicine to care for people – not to make a lot of money. So, with regards to “Obamacare” and medicine, I would argue that we HAVE changed for the better.

    Finally, much of this election was about economics and equality there. Neither candidate wanted to raise taxes on the middle or lower classes. The big difference is the upper 2%. Should they pay a bit more to help their fellow citizen? Should we be more equal as a society? I would again argue yes. And will it affect me personally? Absolutely. I am fortunate enough to be in the top 1%. But I am also willing to work for a system where we have MORE equality economically as opposed to the increasing economic disparity we have seen the past decade or so. So I would argue that, as a people, as HAVE changed for the better.

    Many changes have taken place in my lifetime. They have all made our society one of more equality. They have caused our government to change its practices. They have caused our church to change its practices. And I would argue that we ARE changing for the better.

    I personally have no desire to go back to the time when blacks didn’t have the priesthood, when women couldn’t pray in church, when people didn’t have basic healthcare, and when the top 2% continue to suck the rest of the country dry. We are getting better as a people. And if the right-wing part of our country doesn’t realize this, they will continue to lose influence.

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  9. Mormon Heretic on November 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Mike, well said. I am not really a fan of conservatism, as I see if has taken away from Mormonism’s much more liberal beginnings. Women used to be able to lay hands on the sick, but our conservative leadership has taken that away, and instead we have Pres Benson proclaiming that they were always supposed to stay in the home. In the days of polygamy, Brigham Young encouraged women to become doctors, Utah was the first state to allow women to vote, and then it was taken away by a conservative Congress. In some ways, we aren’t as far along as Brigham Young was. Conservatism is not progress. It was conservative southerners who wanted to keep slavery legal, and the liberals wanted them freed. Conservatives still think race mixing is bad, which is a ridiculous stance.

    I do not wish to paint with too broad of a brush, but I have some real problems with those who wrap themselves in a flag of conservatism, and are blind to the problems of conservatism. To be sure, there are some benefits to conservatism, but it seems that people like Will fail to acknowledge the problems. I am much happier to claim to be fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. Far too many conflate the two, and thus we end up with idiots like Todd Akin who say stupid things.

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  10. Will on November 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    All that have commented,

    You have all avoided ( I have to assume purposely) the main crux of my argument. It can be summed up best by the Savior, “ye shall know them by thier fruits”

    Mike, you can be a cheerleader of these liberal policies all you want, but I will look at the fruits (results). I would ask you a sincere question and would ask for a clear response. Name one municipal government run by liberals that is not a complete mess. I can provide numerous examples if areas run by conservatives principles that are doing well. Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakota’s, Texas to name a few. And, the rust states that NOW have conservative governors. And new New Jersey is seeing results with a conservative governor.

    Again, name one big city run by liberals that is anywhere near solvency?

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  11. Douglas on November 18, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    #10 – the silence of the answer to your question will be deafening. I’m watching with some bemusement at my own neck of the woods, namely the once-great state of Cali(porn)ia. There is now a Democrat super-majority in both legislative houses, and “Moonbeam” until 2015. I see the various state agencies already scrambling for funds and even more private firms either calling it quits and folding or voting with their feet to Arizona or Texas. Thanks to Federal legislation passed in ’96, when I retire (about three years hence) I can take my pension out of the People’s Republic of CA.
    Nevertheless, we still need to pray for the success of the President regardless of who he is. I hold out hope that BHO, since his position is fairly inviolate, can adopt the “Only Nixon could go to China” philosophy with regard to long-term Federal financial issues.

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  12. Jeff Spector on November 18, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I thought Mitt’s concession speech was quite gracious as well; However, he was so shell-shocked from not winning as he expected, perhaps he wasn’t in his right mind.

    His right mind was to blame the “47%” and then to go on the phone to big donors and charge that Obama “bribed gays, backs, the poor, Latinos and young women” to vote from him. A very sad ending to what might have been a very special presidency.

    So the problem was really two-fold, Romney tried too hard to appeal to the right to get nominated and never got back to the middle where the voters are. And, of course, he belongs to a party that vilified the very groups of voters they need to win the election. The white folk may get you Congress, but not the Presidency.

    Now the rest of you who continue with the same old rhetoric along the same lines as the election need to move on and get on board. The economy is somewhat improved and if the dopes in Washington can get a deal, perhaps they might drag business along with them.

    I am hopeful the clowns in Congress can get something positive done for the country instead of just playing politics and working to get re-elected every two years.

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  13. Ryan on November 18, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    By their fruits ye shall know them? How about a president changing a deficit into a surplus, followed by a president that changed that to a deficit of over 10% GDP.

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  14. Douglas on November 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    #12 – “Don’t blame me, I voted for KODOS!”

    Mitt pandered to the right? Oh, were that only so! What he actually did was put forth a bunch of feel-good, positive platitudes, much as he probably did when President of the Cambridge (or was it named Boston at the time?) Mass Stake. We LDS could figure him out, but he translated poorly to the American public. The simple fact is that BHO was eminently beatable, the man lost nine million votes from his prior total, reflecting obvious disenchantment with his lack of accomplishment. However, Mitt’s total, even though a better percentage and a higher electoral count (the stat that really counts in the final analysis), was almost three million less than McCain’s dismal 2008 showing. So in any analysis, both the Romney campaign and the RNC did NOT answer the mail in the eyes of the voters that would have more likely voted for them. Of that number, about 700K more voted for the Libertarian this time around (with the same amount of electoraln votes, a big ol’ goose egg), and the rest said, like the fictional Eric Cartman from “South Park”, “screw you guys, I’m going home…”.
    The only way that the “Wascally Wepubblicans” are going to ever win the Presidency is to take a winning play from the Demos playbook and promote more female and minority conservatives. The message has to be sold to more than white boys. It’s not just the message, but the messenger(s) as well. Had Romney picked Marc Rubio, or Allen West, or JC Watts (would’ve been my Veep pick), he’d likely be making inaguration plans at this moment instead of wondering what happened.
    Conservatism wins when actually practiced instead of pretended and condenscended to.

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  15. hawkgrrrl on November 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    No president reaps his own rewards. There are always downstream impacts. It’s very hard to assign fruits to the right tree given how long it takes for economic policies to shake out.

    Interestingly, I was reading something from James Altrucher radically suggesting that we don’t need a President because legally the president can’t do anything anyway. We do tend to overassign both credit and blame to the office of POTUS. In reality, Congress does or doesn’t do most of it. Having said that, it doesn’t mean the President doesn’t do plenty of stuff that is not really legal for his office to do. Personally, I think the main thing the president does is communicate and influence. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and drone attacks.

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  16. Douglas on November 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    #15 – HawkChick, I actually fear that the Prezzy-Dink, thanks to the myraid Executive Orders and other extra-Constitutional measures (the most infamous being the “War Powers” Act) that the balance of power is tilted way in favor of the Executive branch. Of course, the trouble with having CONgress (the polar opposite of PROgress, as is self-evident) reassert itself is that we run into the (somewhat fictional) Benjamin Martin (based mostly on Francis “Swamp Fox’ Marion) pointing out that it was no better to trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants a mile way – that is, a legislative body can be ever as much tyrannical as a single despot.
    Frankly, about twenty-five years ago, during the Reagan years, it was the polar opposite…the Democrats holding the Congress (handily in the House, narrowly in the Senate with a few times the Republicans gaining it) but patently unable to capture the White House…and now it seems quite turned upside down. Of course, some might point out that only the labels haved changed but the results are the same, but THAT’s for another thread…

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  17. Geoff - A on November 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Will and Douglas, Australia has a Woman Prime Minister Leader of the Labour party, and is expected to achieve a small surplus this year and larger next year unless America falls off the cliff.

    As far as finding a place where Republicans who think Obamas USA is too liberal, can go to feel at home, not Europe, not any other first world country, perhaps Russia, certainly some parts of Pakistan and probably Afganistan after we pull out and the Taliban take over, other arab states?
    There are no first world countries that are as conservative as USA even under Obama. You need to realise how extreme America is, and Romney would have taken it further.

    The qualities you describe as Republican/conservative are not restricted to your lot. We do all of those even though the Government provides the services it should for it’s people. Unless you are uber wealthy I can not see what the appeal of helping the rich get out of control at your expense is?

    I hope Obama is able to get his agenda through the congress so he can be judged on his works, justly.

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  18. Will on November 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Hawk.,

    I agree with what you say about the role of the POTUS and that is why I pointed to areas where policies can truley be measured. In state and local governments.

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  19. Geoff - A on November 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I have read that the church will not take action against members who are not anti gay marriage. Can someone tell me where.

    LDS.org.au says the Area Presidency sent a letter opposing gay marriage to all politicians in Australia, and asks for feedback. I don’t want send feedback if I loose my recommend.

    Can anyone help?

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  20. Juliathepoet on November 19, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    I do think that Republicans get ripped off all the time, in this case Romney absolutely had his idea “stolen” and used without getting the credit he deserved. (Although Obama seemed willing to give him the credit, and often mentioned that the reason he was so passionate about it was because it had worked so well in Massachusetts.) Like other moderate, fiscally conservative Republicans, who have been deprived of the kudos they deserve, Romney and the Republicans gave it away. Bill Clinton got credit for welfare reform and bringing the deficit under control. He did it using moderate Republican ideas, and instead of claiming it as their own, and shaping it as a bipartisan effort, Clinton was re-elected because he got it passed.

    It is most ironic, at least to me, that Romney lost a lot of votes because he argued against his best idea and accomplishment as governor. Instead of taking the credit for it, which quite possibly could have let him eek out a victory, (this assumes that he talks about it a lot and so he doesn’t have as much time to say some of his less endearing moments) and in 4 years, when people can’t imagine losing the protections of Romney/Obamacare, Romney could have highlighted that, along with torte reform and the economy getting better, (which it will do no matter who is POTUS as long as we decide to walk away from the fiscal cliff) and easily won a second term as a pragmatist president with a legacy of stabilizing the big “quality of life” challenges of the 21st century.

    Romney/Obamacare is probably the most fiscally conservative thing the country has done in my lifetime. Romney could have “owned it” with Romneycare and explained why it is fiscally conservative and fundamentally a stabilizing influence on families, communities, our national economy, and fosters business opportunities for everyone, Romney could have easily made the argument that he was the “ideas guy,” with way more experience making businesses and government work with the same laws Obama implemented, but with more meat to it. It is an issue that had the potential to bring business, unions, small business owners and employees, as well as a lot of victim’s right’s advocates together.

    I think by the next election we will have found, as a country, that the benefits of Obamacare won’t only be in health care costs, but also increased productivity, more money that can be used to buy other goods and services, fewer mental health crisis costs for the health care system and law enforcement, and greater entrepreneurship. (I know so many people who only stay with the job the have for the health benefits, but would love to start a business if they could.)

    I truly can’t understand why the Republicans are afraid of their own plan. It isn’t the liberal plan of a single-payer government run system. It keeps most insurance in the hands of private for-profit, or not-for-profit businesses, the same as it is now, but with access routes for everyone. It is not a unionized plan, or a government contracted price and payment scheme. What it is missing, good torte reform, could have been the Republican bargaining chip to make it a bipartisan plan. I don’t see universal health coverage as a free ride to bribe the 47%, it is the fiscally smart and conservative thing to do.

    Until Republicans stop seeing controlling sex, (who does it, how it is done, who decides what options women have for birth control or pregnancy termination) guns, upside down tax rates, fear of recent immigrants and people of color, the magical thinking that people shouldn’t need or get help from the government, they will continue to lose national elections.

    Most Republicans I know well, and that I discuss political issues with, (a smallish group these days) are still in the magical thinking version of blaming, denying or bargaining. (Romney’s conference call, posts and comment threads like this on a cariety of personal and group blogs, and lots of long, forwarded emails from several friends.) I am happy to let them have time to grieve, but I do hope for all our sakes that the rhetoric tones down. One of the top items on my Christmas wish list this year is for less magical thinking (on both sides of the aisle) and more pragmatism about what is “most important,” and then compromising on the things that don’t fall into the “most important” category. (Not everything can be “most important,” which seems to be something that the Tea Party types are most resistant to.)

    “I saw quite often comments such as “I’m moving to a different country” or “I like the idea of living like the Amish do”

    Graceforgrace, or anyone else, I am curious about this part of your post, because I honestly have no idea where these friends want to go, or what about the election draws them to a communal religion in which an 8th grade education is considered enough, and the accumulation of wealth, participating in the financial system is not encouraged, and where they could not ever post a status on Facebook.

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  21. Jeff Spector on November 19, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Romney couldn’t take credit for his healthcare program because it was deeemed evil by the far right. In fact, most of what could have gotten Romeny elected was deemed evil by them.

    It is their narrow view of reality that is the ultimate problem with politics today.

    Many could accept the fiscal reality put forth by tea party proponents if not for the heavy intrusion in people’s personal life, which, of course, for these freedom-promoting people, is the ultimate irony.

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  22. Will on November 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Julia,

    Your comment illustrates the problem in our society. People like you drank the kool-aid. All of these big government social programs start out the same way – with promises of cost saving and increased benefit for all Americans. The reality is they all end the same way – broke. Let’s look at history.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicade came in under the same progressive push with the allure and promise of saving money with all the same tired arguments – we are a better country, we are a wealthy country, the government (instead of the people) needs to help the needy, these programs are non-profit and can operate more efficiently. The reality is all of these programs are now bankrupt – with estimates ranging from 55 to 111 Trillion to make them solvent.

    AGAIN, I would ask anyone in this post to name ONE social progressive program in the US that is at or near solvency. Name one major city run with liberal policies that is at or near solvency. The reason no one has responded, is because no one can provide a good example of liberal policies actually working. Take LBJ’s war on poverty as another progressive promise. We have spent almost 20 trillion since the ‘war on poverty’ started and currently there are MORE (as a percentage) Americans in poverty now then there were then. The progressive programs just don’t work. They never have and they never will. The solution is the Lord’s way. The way properly demonstrated by the humanitarian and welfare programs and policies of the church – turn to yourself first with individual responsibly, then to your family as that is what they are there for, as a last resort the government, preserve life not livelihood, and most importantly accountability with someone that knows your situation that has the courage to say NO.

    It looks like America drank the kool-aid once again with Obama Care. It will not end well. Costs will go up and quality will go down. The only positive thing about it is that we will go broke faster and will be forced to make decisions like Greece, Spain, Italy and all these other cradle-to-grave societies that drank the same kool-aid

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  23. Mormon Heretic on November 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Will, under Bill Clinton we had a surplus.

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  24. Mike S on November 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    #10 Will: Name one municipal government run by liberals that is not a complete mess. I can provide numerous examples if areas run by conservatives principles that are doing well.

    This is a meaningless exercise. If finances alone were the mark of the “fruits”, I would merely point to the 900-pound gorilla in the room. President Clinton left Bush with a successful economy and budget surpluses. President Bush left Obama with an economy in shambles, as well as wars and other expenses totaling $1 TRILLION A YEAR in deficits. We’ve spent the last four years trying to dig out of those deficits. There has been progress the past 3 years, and we have 4 more to complete the task. And hopefully, by the end of Obama’s term we can at least get back to where Bush started.

    But, to be honest, I think it is MUCH MORE THAN ECONOMICS. You state: Mike, you can be a cheerleader of these liberal policies all you want. Go back and actually read my comment. I am glad that in my lifetime blacks have more civil rights (and the priesthood), that women have more rights (and can actually pray in sacrament), that more people will be getting healthcare, etc. If I’m a “cheerleader of these liberal policies”, so be it.

    Or would you prefer to go back to the “good ole’ days” when blacks weren’t allowed in the temple and women were in the kitchen? Seriously, Will, I don’t understand you at all.

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  25. Mike S on November 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    #11 Douglas: #10 – the silence of the answer to your question will be deafening

    OK, I’ll play your game. Here are states with Republican governors. Listed next to the states are their Fiscal Year 2012 SHORTFALLS (in millions), as well as the amount as a % of BUDGET 2012 budget

    Alabama – $979 – 15.9%
    Alaska – NONE
    Arizona – $1500 – 18.2%
    Florida – $3700 – 15.8%
    Georgia – $1300 – 7.6%
    Idaho – $92 – 3.6%
    Iowa – $149 – 2.5%
    Indiana – NONE
    Kansas – $492 – 8.1%
    Louisiana – $1600 – 25.1%
    Maine – $442 – 16.6%
    Michigan – $767 – 3.5%
    Mississippi – $634 – 13.7%
    Nebraska – $166 – 4.8%
    Nevada – $1200 – 37%
    New Jersey – $10000 – 37.5%
    New Mexico – $450 – 8.3%
    North Dakota – None
    Ohio – $3000 – 10.8%
    Oklahoma – $500 – 9.0%
    Pennsylvania – $3700 – 13.5%
    South Carolina – $630 – 11.1%
    South Dakota – $127 – 11.0%
    Tennessee – ??
    Texas – $9000 – 20.4%
    Utah – $390 – 8.2%
    Virginia – $2000 – 12.2%
    Wisconsin – $1600 – 11.3%
    Wyoming – None

    What did this pointless exercise show? Absolutely nothing. Yet according to your logic, because all of these Republican-led states have deficits, they have “bad fruits” – even here in Zion where we are as Republican and conservative as you can get – and mostly LDS-run.

    Pointless argument…

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  26. Mike S on November 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    #20 Juliathepoet:

    I liked this entire comment a lot. I “liked” it, but also wanted to more formally thank you for it.

    Romneycare (implemented nationally as Obamacare) is GOOD for this country. It will result in increased productivity. Almost all analyses suggest it will ultimately SAVE money. And it is the right thing to do morally as a people.

    If the Republicans would have embraced the plan that Romney architected, they would have won the election. Instead, Romney was hijacked by the right-wing part of the Republican party. Instead of proving a point, the Tea Party and associated ilk lost Romney the election.

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  27. Mike S on November 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    #22 Will: Take LBJ’s war on poverty as another progressive promise. We have spent almost 20 trillion since the ‘war on poverty’ started and currently there are MORE (as a percentage) Americans in poverty now then there were then.

    In 1959, the US poverty rate was 22.4%. After Johnson’s “war on poverty”, this rate decreased to 11.1% in 1973 – OR HALF OF THE NUMBER BEFORE THE PROGRAM WAS IMPLEMENTED. This stayed steady between 11.1 – 12.6% until 1980, or a Republican administration (Reagan / Bush). It increased nearly 50% during that time, up to around 15.2%.

    Under Clinton’s presidency, the rate decreased again, and was down to 11.3% by 2000. But it went up. By the end of the debacle that ended Bush’s administration, it had climbed to 14.3% when Obama took office in 2009. It’s stayed around 14-15% since then throughout his presidency.

    So, no matter how you look at it, the “war on poverty” worked. Prior to Johnson, nearly 1/4 of the US lived in poverty. During more “liberal” administrations, the rate has gone down. During more “conservative” administrations, the rate has gone up as the poor are left to fend for themselves.

    Yet one group has done well – the rich. According to a Sept 2012 Bloomberg article, the gap between rich and poor has widened to the most since 1967 – the year I was born. And Romney wanted to widen this gap even more through his proposed reduction in taxes on the rich.

    Your lip service is great – but guess what – it shows a severe lack of compassion. It is what is wrong with our country. It exhibits the greed that lead to the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

    And, ultimately, American’s agreed. They rejected Romney’s plan for America. They chose compassion and caring and, yes, a war on poverty. Sorry.

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  28. Juliathepoet on November 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Thank you Mike. My original comment was more than twice as long. To keep it reasonable as a comment, I took out my experiences working as a manager for a health insurance company. I’ll be posting the entire thing on Wednesday, on my own blog. If anyone would like me to, I can post the link once it is up.

    Certainly my experience with a company that provided coverage to companies with employees in “red” and “blue” states, with wildly differing laws governing health insurance suggests that better coverage (more expensive premiums but more comprehensive coverage) save money in the long run. Employers and employees are better off when their employees have higher levels of available healthcare. Massachusetts was a great example of how the entire state economy was better off financially and in overall health.

    Two quick responses to Will’s rant about social programs not working:
    1) The reason Medicare and SS are in trouble is because the money was used to pay for things other that Medicare and SS. Certainly there will need to be some common sense changes to keep them solvent, especially keeping that money separate from general fund spending. Paying for wars with that money was not wise stewardship.
    2) As Mike took the time to show so explicitly, “conservative states” have the most that they gain from the current system. They take in more than they pay in Federal taxes on the individual level. When you look at corporate taxes (loopholes, give backs, subsidies, or whatever it gets called) are also disproportionate in those states, as compared to the rest of the country.

    And I do happen to live in a state with a Democratic governor, where our biggest city, Portland, has a Democratic mayor. The city council looked at what the cost would be to not cut vital social services, and tgey let the people decide whether they wanted to make those cuts. The voters decided that paying more in taxes was worth it, just like they have the last four times schools, social services, and police and fire were in danger of large cuts.

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  29. Will on November 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Mike and Julia,

    Not so fast. You failed to include the most important piece of information. Yes, budget short falls are fairly static among states and are a sign of an economic down-turn, but are not an indication of a systemic problem. The systemic problem, straight from a liberal think-tank, is pensions and retirement.

    State Budget Solutions did an analysis of all the states and estimated 4.18 Trillion in total debt among the 50 states. The pension portion of this is 2.8 Trillion. This is understated as states shift, or delay payments, to make budgets look better than they really are. This plague is extant in almost every state and is crippling budgets. They simply can’t make the pension payments and underfund them as a result. The worst offenders, you guessed it, the deep blue states with unfunded shortfalls over the past 10 years as follows: Illinois 21.6 Billion, California 17.9 Billion, Pennsylvania 10.7 Billion, New Jersey 9.8 Billion; and, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Connecticut all at about 2 Billion. You simply cannot have people work for 40 years and pay them full salary (or close to full salary) for the next 15 to 25 years. It is just plan stupidity.

    Had these states, and the Federal Government, tied contributions to disbursements (like a 401 K) then we would not be in this predicament. All told, it is a liberal policy destroying state and federal budgets.

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  30. Will on November 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    As I shut down the W&T website, I read an article about the 18,000 job losses at Hostess and guest what caused the closure. Yep, you guessed right: Pensions. Statement from the UNION:

    “Members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year”

    Looks like business as well as goverment can’t make these payments anymore. It will get worse, before it gets better.

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  31. alice on November 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    #30

    But Hostess was able to triple the CEO’s salary and give $1.75million in executive bonuses.

    Certainly makes murky the point that it was employee salary and benefits that submarined the company…

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  32. Will on November 19, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Alice,

    Actually it was 2.2 million per quarter and it was bonus incentives intended to boost sales — a last ditch effort to save the company.

    The reality is the broken business model pensions offer put this company in peril. They make companies less competitive, chiefly because the actuarial estimates are ALWAYS wrong. They always understate the problem and make investors gun shy. Investors don’t invest, the company doesn’t have the capital it needs and it starts making stupid decisions.

    In contrast a company that has a 401 k plan, with employer matches know exactly where they stand. They don’t have to guess on how long people are going to live to fund the pension and investors (private or public) have more faith in the cost model and invest accordingly.

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  33. Juliathepoet on November 20, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Going back to the OP, I am wondering Graceforgrace what things from this conversation, if any, give you hope. Personally, I consider Will to be on an extreme that isn’t going to want to engage those in the center left or center right.

    Do you think that the extreme right will take over the conversation in the Republican Party for the indefinite future? I have numerous people in my life who used to identify as Republicans who now are registered Independent or non-affiliated. They feel that the Republican Party is so far right, even farther than church doctrine and policy. For those that stay in the Republican Party, are you worried about that shift, or is that a good thing in keeping the ideology “pure” and not open to compromise?

    On the right, has compromise become a dirty word? (That is what I hear a lot from those leaving, but I am not hearing from those who are staying.)

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  34. Will on November 20, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Julia,

    Label me an extremist all you want. I’m sure it makes you feel better and takes the sting out of what I am saying, but the reality is that it is the amount of debt we have that is extreme. And this excessive debt is a result of compromise.

    The Hostess issue is a microcosm of what is going on in Governments with more expenses than revenue. Executives (which I am and have been for 20 years) looks at numbers. Numbers that do not lie and numbers that show benefits, payroll and payroll burden are by far the biggest expense. Commodities, real property and chattel are fairly fixed and you can only do so much to get them down. More importantly, they are a minor part of the whole. Revenue can only be increased if there is a demonstrable demand and the consumer is willing to pay for your product or service. More importantly, it is hard to make a product if you don’t have commodities, the building to make them in, and the trucks to deliver them. So, you are left negotiating with the biggest expense – labor and the associated benefits. Lowering this cost is the only way to stay in business. This is exactly the situation Hostess was faced with; and, it is the same situation Governments are and will be faced with because it is the only place to turn.

    Like most business, entitlements make up the lion’s share of the total budget in Government and are the main reason for the continued deficits. Call those that point out this problem extreme if you want. Continue to believe the lie from Obama that taxing the rich will solve the problem. The reality is the big government social programs will need massive cuts to stay solvent. My guess is that we will continue down the path much like Hostess and they will continue to compromise instead of changing to something that will work, the Government will go broke and those that dependant these checks will be left out in the cold. Exactly what happened in Greece and Hostess.

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  35. Mike S on November 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Will:

    I don’t want to destroy your rhetoric with actual facts, but here goes. Take California, for example. You suggest that their pension represents “evil fruits”, that it is part of Obama’s socialist take-over, etc. Look at the history of California’s pension:

    1913: Teacher’s retirement system started – Republican governor

    1932: Public Employee’s Retirement System started – Republican governor

    1992: Pete Wilson (a Republican) wanted to tap the retirement fund to help with a state deficit. Voters pass Proposition 162 giving the Public Retirement System’s board control over the fund to stop this.

    2011: Jerry Brown (a Democrat) proposes raising retirement age to 67 for new employees; he proposes a system which combines pensions with a 401(h) type of plan; he ends boosting payout by including overtime, etc.

    So, the pension was started by and expanded by Republican governors. And the voters changed it to STOP a Republican governor from using the funds to pay down deficit.

    Your unsubstantiated assertions and conclusions don’t make a lot of sense. I’m not sure how something started before my parents were even born is somehow tied into Obama or his fault. It’s crazy talk.

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  36. BJohnson on November 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    “Political ideologies are fairy tales for adults.” –Thomas Sowell

    As a staunchly independent, non-partisan voter with a CPA background, I want to expand a bit on something that Will mentioned earlier: the unfunded liabilities of our current (and new) entitlement programs.

    Will is correct when he says that the present value of the unfunded liabilities for those programs total between 55 and 111 trillion. This figure represents the program costs that cannot be paid from future tax revenues (even factoring in reasonable estimates of future economic growth). The wide difference in the above two figures stems from people using different discount rates to estimate the damages.

    To put this number in perspective, the total combined GDP for the entire world sits at just north of 50 trillion per year.

    I am not beholden to either major party and am not given to partisan rhetoric. I look for solvency and sustainability in government policies.

    No entitlement program has ever functioned at anything less than twice its initial estimated cost. Many wind up costing much more than that. Note that the above liability estimates are pre-Obamacare (the CBO has already tripled its initial 10-year cost estimate for ObamaCare. The $1 trillion in additional tax revenues hoped for by Democrats over that same period will not even cover the additional costs of the new program). By 2025-2030 tax revenues will only cover the costs of entitlements plus interest on the debt, all other government functions will have to be financed by borrowing.

    Put simply: We cannot pay.

    Ability to pay would require two things (1) sustained rates of economic growth unheard of in the developed world, and (2) strict discipline by Congress in capping spending at a growth rate substantially below the unheard-of rate in #1 (you’ll excuse me for a minute . . . Congress! . . . discipline! . . . Ha HA! HA! HA! HA!).

    Sorry.

    Both Democrats and Republicans are deluding themselves in different ways. Tax increases cannot even make a minor dent in the problem.
    One of the most frequently studied issues in the economics of taxation is the limit to which marginal rates can be raised and still generate revenue. That limit sits somewhere in the 40-45 percent range. If a government tries to push rates higher than that, well-heeled taxpayers will begin to emigrate and/or engage in evasion behavior.

    An example: The UK had a 50% marginal rate for some time and it generated very poor returns (one third of initial estimates and no more than 1 billion pounds per year). The rate was lowered to 45 percent last year.

    Yes, I know that marginal rates were as high as 91% in the pre-Reagan era. However, the government’s tax take as a percentage of GDP was not substantially higher than the long-term average because the tax code was shot through with tax preference provisions that ensured that no-one with a halfway decent tax advisor actually paid those rates. The 1986 tax reforms did away with most of those preferences.

    Unfortunately for Republicans, cutting taxes from current rates won’t help either. The record of lower marginal income tax rates generating increased revenue is mixed at best in looking at worldwide studies (although the record on capital gains tax reductions is better).

    Major cuts in entitlement benefits might make sustainability possible, but no one (particularly after this last election) is seriously arguing that such cuts will be politically feasible absent an immediate and insoluable crisis in the government’s finances. Think Greece. The average individual doesn’t think about how to pay for these items until the threat of losing them becomes particularly acute. Then they will take to the streets to fight for them (if recent history is any guide).

    I have no solutions for the entitlement problem. My belief is that there are none to be had through the political process alone. But this situation has renewed my testimony of the warnings provided by church leaders regarding provident living. The ones who get through this will be the ones who don’t need to seek salvation from the government when the time comes.

    As was said on my favorite TV show:

    “How will it end?”

    “In fire.”

    BTW,
    Many do not realize that the chief actuary for Medicare refused to sign off on last year’s trustees report because the mathematical assumptions (mandated by statute) that the trustees were forced to use in their calculations were not actuarily sound. Have a nice day.

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  37. Will on November 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Mike,

    I never said republicans were innocent in all of this (i.e Medicare Part D)however, it is pretty factual that the democrats are the major proponents of such plans. Most importantly, they are NOT the conservative policies I am advocating. And, BTW, Pete Wilson (and Arnold S) make Jim Matheson look like Rush Limbaugh.

    As for Obama, he is pushing MORE entitlements which is the basis of my beef. As BJohnson so elequently stated they have NEVER worked. They always cost twice as much as they claim and eventually break the Bank like they have in Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

    WHEN Germany, Austria and France (who’s own credit rating was just downgraded) say no more paying for other countries social programs the EU and EURO are finished and the countries mentioned above will be officially bankrupt and those that depend on the programs will be hurt the worst.

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  38. Mike S on November 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    #37 Will: As for Obama, he is pushing MORE entitlements which is the basis of my beef.

    Which specific entitlements are you talking about?

    I am in the healthcare field and know about “Obamacare” up and down. Almost every prediction suggests that it will ultimately save the healthcare system money – and I agree with this assessment. This isn’t exactly an “entitlement” program either – but relies on the private sector. And at the end of the day, it is no different from what Romney proposed.

    So what specific NEW entitlement program has Obama proposed that isn’t merely an extension of something that an administration before his started?

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  39. Mike S on November 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    BJohnson:

    I agree with your entire assessment. Absolutely and 100%. We are headed for a cliff, and everyone is involved – Republican / Democrat, liberal/conservative, etc. It is secondary to the short-term nature of our election cycle. Politicians don’t want to make hard decisions, but want to kick the can down the road a few years.

    In this election, the thing that most soured me towards Romney (who I actually supported at one point) was his insistence on cutting taxes 20%. This makes absolutely no sense as a starting point on fixing the problem but is in fact exactly OPPOSITE to fixing it. There is absolutely no evidence in our history that shows that cutting taxes increases the GDP.

    Granted, raising taxes isn’t the complete fix, but taxes were higher during Clinton (yet still with a marginal rate below 405%) and businesses did just fine. So letting taxes go back to where they were when we had a budget surplus is a start.

    We also need to stop all these silly wars that Bush seemed to fond of starting. We feel better about ourselves for getting Bin Laden, but is Afghanistan truly a better country for us having been there (or the Soviets for that matter)? Did we really make a difference in Iraq? Or did we just kill tens of thousands of people at a cost of thousands of our own citizens and trillions in deficit? So we need to stop these senseless wars.

    We DO need to scale back on programs – don’t get me wrong. But we need to do it in a balanced way. It is asinine to think that the poorer people in this country will accept it when the rich are getting richer. As a society, it’s simply not equitable nor fair and in the long course of history, when the disparity between the rich and poor has become too much, the answer has been unrest. So there needs to be a shared sense of cutting back – NOT cutting programs for the poor while we cut taxes on the rich.

    I agree with you. While Obama’s proposals aren’t perfect (he is a politician after all), they make far more sense than what Romney was proposing. And if we look at what system made the most sense in the past 30 years, we need to look to Clinton’s administration and mimic those criteria as much as possible.

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  40. Will on November 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Mike

    You are talking out of both’s sides of your mouth; you are in complete disagreement with me, but as for BJohnson you “agree with your entire assessment. Absolutely and 100%” BJohnson and I are both saying:

    “Will is correct when he says that the present value of the unfunded liabilities for those programs total between 55 and 111 trillion”

    I said, “All of these big government social programs start out the same way – with promises of cost saving and increased benefit for all Americans. The reality is they all end the same way – broke” He said “No entitlement program has ever functioned at anything less than twice its initial estimated cost. Many wind up costing much more than that. Note that the above liability estimates are pre-Obamacare…
    I refer to Obamacare as a big government entitlement program; he said “the unfunded liabilities of our current (and new) entitlement programs”. Obamacare is the only new program I can think of.

    I said, and have said numerous times, I am a fiscal conservative social libertarian and not a republican. I have provided as much criticism of Bush’s spending as anyone. He was horrible when it came to spending. He said “I am not beholden to either major party and am not given to partisan rhetoric. I look for solvency and sustainability in government policies”. We are BOTH promoting fiscal conservatism.

    He said “Tax increases cannot even make a minor dent in the problem”. I have said this so many times on this blog it could be embedded in meta-tag source code.

    He said “cutting taxes from current rates won’t help either”. I firmly agree with this.

    He and I both promoted provident living as outlined by the Church.

    The facts, (actual empirical data) say the MAJORITY of these social entitlement problems are started by progressives; some by Democrats and a smaller share by Republicans. By definition, they are not started fiscal conservatives.

    So Mike, which is it? Do you disagree with me or agree with him, because we seem to be saying the same thing. You also contradict yourself by agreeing with him 100 percent, but then say Obamacare is not an entitlement. Which is it?

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  41. Mike S on November 20, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    #40 Will: So Mike, which is it?

    I’m bored with this whole conversation, as we’ve had it many times and nothing ever changes. I should have known better than to take the bait.

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  42. Will on November 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Mike,

    Fair enough. It’s a truths

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  43. hawkgrrrl on November 20, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    “Both Democrats and Republicans are deluding themselves in different ways” I could not agree with this more. It has been a very long time since I felt anyone competent has run for office. They are all “qualified” but for whatever reason, cowardice, stupidity, political expediency (see cowardice), they end up in the same place. There are too many incredibly bad cooks in this kitchen. The meal is bound to be inedible.

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  44. JR on November 21, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    The division of this country is outrageous. Congress, the last four years, has spent more time fighting Obama so that nothing is getting done for the country. They wasted time and money trying to “get” Obama, like the birth certificate issue. I am not fond of Obama, but I don’t recall any other POTUS and his wife disrespected like Obama has been. Enough is enough. I don’t understand the hatred against him. Because he is part Black?
    We need to work on stopping the unfair representation in Congress – limit access and influence of lobbyists and millionaires.
    We need campaign finance reform and transparency. We need to start demanding change in both Houses – like special privileges they give themselves at our expense, stop pork barrels. Congress is so corrupt, and it needs to be rooted out the best it can. People keep putting the same guys in office over and over. They spend more time campaigning.
    I don’t know how to start doing these things, but if Americans would get together and stick together on this stuff we could probably get some change.
    I believe that both party’s are equally responsible for spending – they just spend on opposing programs/issues and cronies/corporations who have them in their back pockets.
    I do believe Romney gave up some of his core political beliefs to get the Republican nomination. He went too far right, to the neo-cons. That disappointed me.
    Another thing that needs to stop is the saying and belief that LDS members who are Democrats or vote for a Democrat on occasion are not good and worthy members. We are LDS and better than that.

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  45. Will on November 21, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    “but I don’t recall any other POTUS and his wife disrespected like Obama has been”

    Um. Really? You mean worse than what was done to Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley or Kennedy who were all killed in office. Or, how about the failed attempts on Reagan,
    Nixon, Jackson or both Roosevelt’s? It is a tuff job and you are going to catch a lot of heat regardless of party affiliation. That is part and parcel with the job. Romney got just as much bad press as Obama. And, yes there is still some racism in the country, but let’s not forget a black man was elected to two full terms.

    Agree totally on term limits. I would propose one six year term for the President and each Senator (with still a third elected every two years); and, two-two year terms for representatives. This provides an opportunity for change every two years.
    Harry Reid is an embarrassment to the Country, not just the Mormon Church. Remember, he had the sharpest words for Romney.

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  46. Douglas on November 25, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Obama “criticized”??? Methinks a huge difference….those that object to the man’s policies and ideals keep it confined to that, w/o the ad hominens. You have to dig deep to find the (fortunately) few bigots that have the stupidity to attack him personally. I’ve called him the “Alderman” since that was fairly much the sum of his political experience…back in ’08, the pundits were lambasting the wet-behind-the-ears hockey mom from Alaska nominated for Veep while ignoring the JUNIOR senator, in his FRESHMAN congressional session (and it was the man’s first federal office held) running for PRESIDENT. Now, let’s be fair…you can’t be a dummy and get elected Alderman in Chicago, let alone stay intact, so give BHO his well-deserved due! And for some jobs, the streetfighting acumen of a politician versed in the “Chicago Way” is handy! But is that what you want in a President? Moot point now, folks, cuz barring something unfortunate (which I certainly do NOT ever wish upon him nor for his dear family to have to suffer over!) we’re stuck with the man until 20 Jan 2017!
    One thing I can say is about the liberals and so-called “progressives” (a form of mental illness, but elaboration is another thread…) is that more of the time than you’d seen on some Yahoo! thread they stick to the issues and do not stoop to personal attacks. Whether it’s because they’re LDS or at least understand what an LDS readershiop would consider acceptable, at least it makes this forum a far more palatable one. To all, thanks.
    Lastly, it does no good to equate conservative and or Libertarians with Republicans. So, Mike S and all the rest, you can trot out your miscontrued and meaningless statistics, but it means nothing, because it only confirms what I’ve said all along…a pox on both their houses. It amazes me how ANYONE can argue that long-term deficits and continued free-for-alls in government would not ultimatley result in fiscal disaster, regardless of who started it, who continued, and for whatever reason. As of this writing, we’re counting about 36 days until “Taxmaggedon, and the political posturing continueth on….”. This is where I’d say, get thy preparation for a 2-week disruption higly in order, because the odds are getting excellent that the “brown stuff” will hit the fan early next year when the economic fallout descends. That’s more on the order of what the leaders of the Church have warned us of since before I was even born (1959) and joined the Church (1979). At this point, I’d actually welcome such a (hopefully temporary) calminity, because that might be the icky-tasting medicine that starts the healing process of getting this country out of its materialistic, selfish, ungodly spiral. One can only hope.

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