THINKIN’ OUT LOUD by Greg Allen: The election’s over, but what have we learned?

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Now that the election’s over what have we learned from scouring over the statistics?

Statistically, America’s divided right down the middle philosophically and ideologically. Half of the population felt the economy was in dire straits, the other half didn’t care. Half of the country believed hard work is admirable, but the other was convinced it was a four letter word. Half of America voted for love of country and the other half voted for love of self.

In looking at the map of America, the election results state-by-state and county-by-county, it would appear the country’s more than three quarters red. Democratic strongholds, blue areas, are densely populated areas on the southern tip of Florida, the West Coast, and the upper Eastern Seaboard.

We know Washington was indeed broken and for some time it’s become the epicenter for the Hatfields and the McCoys. The Marquess of Queensberry rules are no longer held in high regard in politics.

One party promotes a platform of smaller government as outlined by their patriarch Ronald Reagan. The other party promotes larger government and dependence of the citizenry on entitlement freebies.

John F. Kennedy could very well be considered the patriarch of the Democratic party and he won the Presidency in 1960. He delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 1961. The address was 1364 words long and took 14 minutes, making it the fourth-shortest inaugural address ever delivered. It’s widely considered to be among the best presidential inauguration speeches in American history.

In collecting ideas for his inauguration speech Kennedy sought suggestions from various friends, aides and counselors, including suggestions from clergymen for biblical quotations.

In his address Kennedy said: “the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God” conflicts with giving away free cell phones, birth control, food stamps, free school lunches, and a whole host of other freebies to entice voters to vote Democrat as a recent study found when analyzing minority groups.

In his inauguration speech Kennedy also said: “Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”  He also said: “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.”

The highlight of his inaugural speech was: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”  That famous passage is etched in stone at Kennedy’s Gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, within sight of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.

But, pitting citizens against each other using class warfare has been just another means of winning elections. Destroying your opponent with malicious 30 second sound bites, character assassination, is the norm anymore. Half of the country believed fabricating a lie to destroy an opponent was deplorable during a campaign, the other half believed that’s just what politicians do.

One can only ascertain that many voters who vote Democrat nowadays would probably say: “Who’s JFK anyway?”

What was gained over the last eight years?  One could assess a declining moral trend was in play and many felt the country was on a path to “From sea to shining sea and nothing in between.”

I’m of the opinion President Obama never really had an epiphany in those eight years he was at the helm. A legacy of “The Great Divider” could well be one of his defining labels.

Conservative talk radio hosts, for the longest time, suggested the Democratic Party should replace their donkey icon with Santa Claus.

Half of the country felt they were working hard and paying their fair share, but the other half believed many don’t pay enough and they’re entitled to everything they’re given – whether deserved or not.

Buying votes is a slanderous claim indeed that many a politician will deny, but the rise in entitlements was a damning indication.  Placing ads on Mexican television to instruct its non-American citizens how to come to America and get food stamps was just one example of just how utterly disturbing politics had become. 

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, has been published bi-monthly since 2009.  He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.

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