Friday, November 16, 2012

Elections have consequences

I'm often asked about my political leanings. Given my profession, people make assumptions as to my party affiliation. They're often wrong.

Folks have been asking for my take on where the world is heading, and so forth, given the fact that the US has just had a big election. So, here's my analysis of the US's election results, and sundry associated issues:

Progressives have spent a century or more creating a demand for their products and services. Obama, for his part, handled the supply side of the equation. Folks like to see results, a bridge or library built, a program to help, etc. Robert Byrd is an excellent example of this re-election strategy. You can't go anywhere in WV without seeing his name plastered on some official sign. Republicans, for their part, have not offered an alternative set of products and services over the corresponding time period. The message of cut this, but not that, doesn't ring true for over half the country.
The conservative message of save for tomorrow rings hollow when the government drives down interest rates such that your savings are eaten away by inflation. Thus, people spend what they have and hope for a better tomorrow ($1000 in a savings account does you no good when you neighbor's flat screen is bigger than yours, after all).

The conservative message of investment and the power of compound interest is undercut by the government's insertion of itself into the market. It picks winners and losers, it deems companies too big to fail, it plays with the value of money and commodities. Given this, would you trust the stock mar
ket? Would you trust your retirement to the stock market?

The conservative message of family values continues to be undermined by politicians who say one thing in public, pass judgement on others through legislation, then do entirely different things behind their own closed doors. Pro-marriage legislators turn out to be cheating on their spouses. Anti-gay rights legislators turn out to be gay. Why can't well ordered liberty include all of God's creation? Why can't pro-freedom, pro-choice, and pro-American mean the same thing?

A few years ago, I wrote a book on what I thought were the essential qualities of a leader. Modern Freemasonry takes a good man, and illustrates the path to a well lived life. Thus, it's little mystery to me why so many of the world's heroes are/have been Freemasons.

Everyone makes mistakes - did you own them? Did you learn from them? DId you ask for forgiveness? What to be a leader - whom have you followed? Can a man lead who does not know how to obey? Do you have unhealthy attachments? Is your life out of balance? Can you make and keep commitments? Do you know how to be a friend? In whom do you put your trust?

So, lift your head up high. It's not the end of the world. Your family needs your full efforts, as does your neighborhood, town, county, state, and your country. Remember that your work recommends you, as does the company that you keep. Remember that your legacy includes not just those fixed assets that you leave behind, but also the memory of you that remains in your children and all of those of whom you've impacted over the years.

So, chin up, mates. It'll be fine. We'll make it through these tough times, together.

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