While web surfing through my favorite news websites this morning I came across an interesting column on Libertarianism.org entitled Politics Makes Us Worse by Aaron Ross Powell. The very first sentence had me intrigued. It was simple yet poignant and I would bet money that it could speak to many Americans who are concerned with our country’s political arena. “In the United States, nothing makes us hate each other quite like politics. Not even religion, the source of so much violence throughout the rest of the world, compares.”
Mr. Powell’s opening statement burned a whole in my brain and made me rethink my own political stances. In general I would consider myself a libertarian. I have often used the word conservatarian and my personal definition of that word is “don’t make me pay for the consequences of your actions.” I am pretty partisan though, I’ll admit it. I, like so many others, watch cable news, read A LOT of political commentary, and have allowed my opinions to sway in one direction. I get angry when I hear a Democrat calling the Tea Party racist by posting pictures of burning crosses to create some type of shock value in order to hide failed policies that they may have voted for. My blood boils even more when I see Republican officials advocate more government spending to a country that is already so far in debt that all the money in the world combined couldn’t pay off what it owes. So I turn to my social networks by posting articles and commentary that reflect my views or resentments. You should see my Facebook page and Twitter feed - all politics (and pictures of my kids but that is neither here nor there).
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s two year old son a couple weeks ago. It really tugged at my heartstrings to see pictures in the news of A.P. playing with a little toddler on the field, the young boy wearing a Vikings helmet so he could be just like his dad. I thought to myself, the monster who beat that boy to death will need to watch his back – that boy’s dad is an NFL player!
But as more details came out about the story, my perception changed. It turns out, the toddler in the pictures I saw was Adrian Jr. The boy who died was Tyrese. Tyrese was the same age as Adrian Jr., but with a different mother and I believe living in a different state. Little Tyrese never got that special moment on the field with his dad; as a matter of fact, Tyrese never met Peterson, who only showed up to the hospital to see the boy in a coma after his mother’s boyfriend beat him to death.
According to the New York Post, Adrian Peterson has as many as seven children, by multiple women scattered across the country. Says Erica Syion, mother of Peterson’s 4 year old son, “to my knowledge he takes care of them all, but I only found out about the other two this week.”
Recent video footage from Walmart stores in two Louisiana cities showed empty shelves and aisles filled with overloaded grocery carts.The chaos occurred when EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cardholders decided to take advantage of a system malfunction.
The EBT card in Louisiana is called the Louisiana Purchase Card. Benefits are deposited in each recipient’s account on a monthly basis. The card works like a bank debit card. When the card is used, the cardholder receives a receipt showing the available balance.
When available balances were not displayed, cardholders pounced on the opportunity to fill their carts with extra groceries. After a couple of hours the problem was resolved, and many customers deserted their carts, leaving behind a huge pile of abandoned merchandise.
As some of you may have noticed, I've been off the radar for a while. This included not writing any articles for SGP over the past few weeks. It's okay, you can dry your tears, I'm back on the radar. The reason I've been on the down-low is because my company transferred me. So, I'm no longer a resident of the great state of Arizona. Now, brace yourselves, I'm a Texan. I am in the Plano/Northwest Dallas area. So far, I'm really enjoying it.
But, you can imagine my dismay when, shortly after my arrival, Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for Governor of my new home state. I had to quickly unpack and assemble my office furniture so I could #headdesk.
I was completely unaware that filibustering qualified one to run for governor. I once performed a monologue about street sweepers, perhaps this qualifies me to run for Senate. If you think I'm being unfair as to her qualifications, google her. The articles returned, for the most part, have titles that describe her as "Wendy Davis of Filibuster Fame." She is not described with things like "Wendy Davis, Champion of Economic Freedom," or "Wendy Davis, Warrior for Women in the Workplace," or "Wendy Davis, Crusader for Minority Rights" (and the abortion access she favors would probably lead to there being less minorities in the world.).
As Congress and the President seal their deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, the establishment of both parties is loudly, audibly relieved – including Tea Party basher extraordinaire, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham. In response to the actions of conservative Senate Republicans that Democrats claim led to the shutdown, Senator Graham says “This has been a very bad two weeks for the Republican brand.” Did you hear that? Never mind our liberties; never mind our economic prosperity; never mind the principles that made our nation great being chucked out the window. The Republican brand is at stake. As if these shut down and debt ceiling battles are focus groups to decide between Coke and Pepsi.
I do agree with Senator Graham that the debacles in Washington and branding strategies in the corporate world are very similar in this respect: they are both designed to separate consumers (or taxpayers) from their money in the most effective way possible. We didn’t get to $17 trillion in debt overnight, and Barack Obama didn’t do it himself. We got to $17 trillion in debt through waste, patronage, earmarks, refusing to eliminate programs that didn’t work, refusing to reform entitlement programs in need of reform and just plain refusing to live within a budget - because it is easier not to when you can use those funds, and what those funds buy, to ensure a comfortable re-election. And make no mistake, members of both parties – including Senator Graham - have lined up at the trough for years. I once worked for a congressman who pointed out that when times were “fat and sassy”, no one worried about the debt, and avoidedmaking the tough decisions necessary to keep us in the black. Well, if this were a game of Musical Chairs, the music has stopped, and more than one chair has been pulled from the floor. Not everyone is going to get to sit. It certainly isn’t as fun to be a member of Congress as it used to be, but it’s not too much to expect that folks elected to office as Republicans make the best effort they can to espouse fiscal responsibility and pro growth policies. Because ultimately, as many marketing professionals know, it’s not good enough to have a solid brand if the product is fake.