As the 2008 Campaign Season shifts from jockeying and publicity stunts to actual voting, it is all important to consider what America is likely to actually reap by electing any particular candidate. Honesty being a commodity of ever dwindling supply, it is dangerous to rely solely on the words of many candidates. All is not as it seems once the cameras and spotlights are turned off, or once the primary season is concluded.
A couple of glaring recent examples, when considered in comparison to each other, tell the grim story. Washington is not about the business of the American people or, as the Declaration so eloquently puts it, securing the God-given rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Rather, it seeks to put a public face of mock concern and "compassion" on its increasingly self-serving endeavors.
Cynical and depressing as such an assessment may sound, the facts nonetheless speak for themselves. Beltway reactions to the ongoing hemorrhage at America's southern border, when contrasted against the ostensibly monumental subprime mortgage "crisis," provide the necessary evidence for such a claim.
Despite a vast array of excuses and obfuscations intended to convince the American public that the ongoing flood of illegal immigrants is either no real problem, or is simply unfixable, common citizens see their country, its traditions, and its heritage disappearing from before their very eyes. By margins of more than seventy percent, Americans demand action to secure their nation's border in an effort to curb this invasion.
But what have they gotten in response from Washington? In 2006, after a hard-fought battle in the Congress, a measure was grudgingly passed that assured the construction of 700 miles of border fence. The event was promoted with great fanfare as proof of decisive leadership within a Congress intent on dealing effectively with border security. From the start, the situation lacked credibility, since its principals had been so reluctant to truly confront the border issue. Not surprisingly, things only deteriorated from there.
To begin with, a little elementary math is all it takes to recognize that even if the entire fence were built as promised, more than sixty-five percent of the border would remain open. Does anyone really believe this token effort constitutes border "security"? Moreover, those doubters whose reflexive reaction was to cynically insist that the fence would never be built are being validated daily.
Somehow, according to the way business is conducted inside D.C., the "actual" fence requirement magically diminished from 700 miles down to 370, which would leave 81% of the border unchecked. Yet even that length of fence is an empty promise, with deadlines for construction completely ignored. To date, the government claims that 70 miles of fence has been installed, hardly a "Manhattan Project" to restore our national integrity and sovereignty. But it still gets worse. The actual length may be less than ten miles.
The American people should never forget that, in the beginning, Congress only conceded to the notion of a border fence as a means of throwing a few crumbs to those citizens who otherwise rejected any immigration "reform" measures (read: amnesty) without first securing the border. Apparently, the illegal immigration problem is simply too overwhelming for the U.S. Government to honestly and effectively address it.
So, one might ask, just what are all of those bureaucrats and officials back in Washington paid to accomplish for the American people? The abominable answer can be found in their response to the "subprime mortgage" debacle, a real (we are told) crisis that requires their immediate attention.
As the housing market boomed in recent years, lenders sought to maximize profits by making as many loans as possible, while families in the housing market similarly endeavored to get the best housing deal their money could buy. Some overextended themselves, and are now facing possible foreclosures, which would also generate losses for the lending institutions.
With stunning swiftness, virtually the entire political class in Washington has reacted with promises to ride to the rescue of the beleaguered homeowners. Posturing politicians and office holders, from the President to Senators Hillary Clinton (D.-NY) and Harry Reid (D.-NV), to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, have offered proposals to stem the "crisis."
Clearly, Washington insiders cannot wait to throw money at the problem, clawing past each other in their determination to get to the microphones and trumpet their "compassion" when dispersing taxpayers' money to the needy masses.
What they say rarely, if ever, is that only six percent of the subprime mortgages are in default, with the remainder still fluid. This apparently inconsequential detail belies the fact that the Federal Government's real aim is not to protect the American way, nor to stabilize the current housing market, since its response will accomplish neither. Rather, the political class sees every situation facing America from a perspective of its own gain or loss in perceived stature.
If the current crop of politicos have their way, the border will go on being neglected or ignored, while the housing situation will be answered by the irresponsible dispersal of the national treasury. Ultimately, Americans have nobody to blame but themselves, having reached this point by electing and re-electing such people.
If change is ever to come to this detestable situation, it must result from a determination by Americans that they will no longer accept the empty words of political aspirants that are blatantly contradicted by their past actions. This is a point that Americans should thoughtfully ponder as they examine their current field of presidential candidates from both parties.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo