The following commentary was written by a 78 year old man who lived his life working in industry for almost 51 years. Most of that time was within management making business decisions that affected hundreds of people. He had considerable and good relationship with unions as well. He was deeply involved with school affairs and even in some local politics. He has traveled by auto to all of our States except Hawaii, covering at least 50,000 miles during the last 15 years. During his travels he talked to countless ordinary folks from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, different ethnic groups and religions and discovered that most of them only want to be left alone as much as possible as far as the government is concerned. He fathered and raised four children with his beloved late wife of forty eight years. Several years after the death of his spouse he quite by accident met a beautiful and wonderful Southern rebel. That relationship has brought renewed vigor and meaning to his life, and he often jokes it ended the Civil War, at least for him and her. He has several grandchildren and great grandchildren and so does she. He feels that he lived during the best time in history, a time when folks worked to prepare a better future for their children. During that time we as a nation also went from the horse and buggy to space travel. He was led to writing the following partly because the future for our kids is bleaker than it has been since the Great Depression and partly in the hopes that common folks throughout this Great Land will join together to stop the politicians from completely destroying our US of A and the way of life it has given us.
I am both proud and honored to call this 78 year old man my Dad.
Editor in Chief
Rational Nation USA
by: Leslie E. Carpenter Jr.
It’s not often that I think about writing anything concerning politics. But if there ever is a time to do so it is now. I am in my late (and I mean late) 70’s so if experience means anything I guess I have at least that much going for me.
The first thing I want to say is that we have the Greatest Country and the best and fairest way of governing ever established in this world. Certainly there are many other countries that are wonderful as well but many of them have emulated our country, the one we are privileged to live in. The United States of America – the good old US of A.
It seems to me that as my life has progressed we have lost some of what the United States of America means. I think that the key word is “United” because with that one word our founders established pretty much what we are all about. Also please notice the US in US of A. We are a diverse group of people joined (United) together for the benefit of all (US). We are blessed with many freedoms unheard of in many countries but they did not come free and each of us is responsible to honor and protect those freedoms.
I was born in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. It did not end until the start of the Second World War and though I do not remember much about those years but I was happy and we always had food on the table. I was born a democrat and a liberal one at that. All of my family members were democrats except for one Aunt who for some reason managed to become a staunch Republican in spite of the hero worship that was then given to President Roosevelt (FDR) by most of us in rural America. I am now an Independent.
I remained a Democrat, I did not vote for President Regan, until my late 40’s or early 50’s. I cannot be sure of when I began to change because it was a very gradual metamorphous and being like most of us I did not want to admit that I may have been wrong for so many years. It is true at least in my mind that many of the things created by FDR to help folks through the depression were at the time needed and helpful but only for the short term. Things like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC’s the first New Deal Program), the Work Progress Administration or (WPA) are just two examples of the many programs Roosevelt was able to institute through a Congress overwhelmingly Democratic during his first 100 days in office. Many Republicans also supported these new programs.
The CCC’s and the WPA were perhaps the best known and certainly helped millions of Americans with increased employment thus taking them off of the soup and bread lines. But perhaps the most important thing accomplished by FDR was creating hope in the hearts of his countrymen. His fireside chats were the forefront of his brilliant way of getting through to the general population and his statement, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” as well as the works programs truly did restore hope for the future.
The recovery created by these short term programs lasted until 1937 at which time the country went back into a deep recession. It is unclear whether the many polices and programs of FDR actually caused the return to recession in 1937 but today it is widely agreed that the Great Depression lasted until the start of WWII and was actually prolonged because of the policies of FDR. Nevertheless in this writer’s opinion FDR was truly concerned for the welfare of his fellow Americans and attempted to ease the burden of the Great Depression for the vast majority of our countrymen.
Unfortunately the policies and programs of the FDR’s administration began our march into what seems to becoming a socialist state. A state more concerned with giving help (welfare) to the poor without requiring the sacrifice and work required to insure ones own future. Presidents are generally blamed for the problems that we face but it is the Congress that controls the money bags. My party, the Democrats, have since 1933 controlled the Congress a huge majority of the time. Of the thirteen presidents since 1933 starting with FDR seven were Democrats and six have been Republicans. The total years are seventy nine and Democratic Presidents held the office for forty three years of that time, a pretty even split.
However the split between the Democratic controlled Senate and House is very different. The Senate since 1933 has been controlled overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats at 27 to 10 (A whopping 73%) The House Democrats have an even a more impressive control rate of 31 to 8 (an even more Whopping 79%). The 107th and 110th Senate were tied however the 107th had two independents who generally leaned to the left thus giving the Democrats an even larger percentage.
Now coming from time another old wiper-snapper whom many young folks believe can no longer think for themselves and considering the State of our Union at the present some of the blame must go to the Democrats; perhaps the majority. In modern political terminology many names have been given to so called ‘New’ political parties. Tea Party, Progressives, Statists to name a few, there are others, some I can not repeat in this commentary. I believe that both parties are still Democrats and Republicans but have morphed into what they are today ignoring the mistakes of the past.
My point is that over the last 79 years since FDR we have slowly but continually drifted into a country that seems to want to re-write the Constitution in subtle ways stemming from decisions made by the Legislative, the Administrative and the Judicial branches of our government. Republicans morphed until today they have become the Democrats of FDR and the Democrats have morphed even further left. We have forgotten what one of our greatest Presidents, Harry Truman, warned us of, and I paraphrase, ‘If we do not learn from the past we are destined to commit the same mistakes in the future’. We have also forgotten what another Democratic President asked of us, John F. Kennedy. He asked and again I paraphrase, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’. Both of these Presidents were Democrats and I voted for JFK and would have voted for Give em Hell Harry if I had been old enough.
The bottom line, at least to me, is the welfare of our country now and in the future. I refer to “Union” and “US’ above but now I remind you that the House of Representatives is supposed to be the “House” of the people. Unfortunately it has not been run as a “House” at least not like mine and all of my friends. At my house, my parents house, my grandparents house and my children’s houses, for all of our life’s, we had to make a go of it without being able to take freely (and often) from others (taxes) in order to buy things we wanted but could not afford. We lived on what we made and worked hard to purchase the necessities and then if anything was left over we could pick that which we wanted most but we never could have all that we would like to have.
Not so with our esteemed House of Representatives, they just spend and spend; give and give and then bail out big business but not the individual. We give away enough money to foreign countries, many who hate us, to the point of bankrupting ourselves. I don’t know if we have given away enough money to solve our current debt problems but I will bet that if we had that money back we would be in pretty good shape.
To close let me quote another Great Man of the past, Ben Franklin. He said during a meeting of the Continental Congress at the signing of the Declaration Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Isn’t it about time we all begin to “hang together” once again? I believe this begins in every house hold across America, with every individual, with every family and yes within every business but perhaps it should start within our Congress of the United States of America. If we don’t we just might “all hang separately”.