I was planning on giving a farewell rant for my good friend Chris and for his Mr. Obama closer to January 20, but one of Smyrna's contributing Pastors forced my hand for a later goodbye rant with his piece from two weeks ago entitled “Goodbye, Mr. President.” The article was written by my good friend Josh Heath, who is an excellent writer, a sharp young man who has written for Smyrna many times as a reporter and as a columnist. I really do appreciate his contributions to our Smyrna pages, articles and websites and I do hope and pray that he continues. Needless to say, though, Josh and I are on opposite sides of the political field, so his piece on the outgoing president pushed me into fifth gear ranting mode. AMEN!...
This is not intended to rip you Josh, and I pray that you still come over for dinner tonight, however, as your Pastor and also to counter point your opinions that many in our land agree with, this is for you.
JH. (Josh Heath) “He (Obama) will leave behind a country that is more prosperous, more just and safer than when he found it.”
JWT. (Me) More prosperous is preposterous. The federal debt has risen more under Obama than all previous presidents combined. Much of the growth in the bond and stock market has been from pumping money into them, artificially inflating values and contributing a tremendous amount of reckless debt. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a key indicator of economic health, has been anemic, at best. Forty percent of young adults are living with their parents. The USA ranks 23rd in the world for the best countries to do business in. A huge increase in regulations, many of them executively ordered, and a business tax percentage that is among the highest in the world have contributed to this shameful ranking. Instead of leaving us prosperous, I call it pathetic!
Just? I guess so, if you count a dramatic increase in police killings and riots in the streets over unfounded accusations against police as just. The majority of Americans don’t feel safer with the rise of domestic terror, horrible terror abroad, not to mention the hideous number of shootings in America’s cities, especially in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.
JH. “Unemployment is down to 4.6 percent.” “Poverty is decreasing.”
JWT. A rosy 4.6 percent unemployment rate is a misnomer. With the number of folks who gave up looking and fell out of the unemployment database, the rate is actually closer to 12 percent. The labor participation rate, a clear indicator of employment health, is at a near all-time low. These facts are hardly a successful employment picture to be touted. Poverty levels are difficult to ascertain, however. The number of food stamp recipients has increased by 11 million people since he took over, an astounding 34 percent. Over 12 million more people are on welfare since Obama became president, a hard sell to say he has decreased poverty.
JH. “Internationally he has re-oriented America’s place in the world.” “America was known for reckless military ventures.” “A foreign policy built on brute, rather than common sense.”
JWT. Obama re-oriented our place in the world all right. The problem is he did it through tepidness (leading from behind), not standing behind his threats (red line in Syria), making the world less safe (outrageous nuclear deal with Iran), allowing and perpetrating a perception he did not have the cashews to continue making us the most powerful nation in the world. This was and is an embarrassment to us, putting America in a dangerous, weak position, much to the delight of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Also, it seems as though Obama has tried to re-orient America from the Judeo-Christian principles our land was founded on. As one pundit put it, “He praises Muslims, ignores Christians and blames Jews.”
Common sense is useless when we don’t have the military strength or the will to stand up to our adversaries. As Ronald Reagan said: “We maintain peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” We must not ignore heightened terrorist attack risks and growing nuclear capabilities of our enemies. Sadly, Obama has put us in a risky security situation.
JH. “During the past eight years, President Obama has made diplomacy great again.” “Eighty percent of the Cuban people have a positive view of the president, giving him a higher approval rating than Raul and Fidel Castro. That’s profound.”
JWT. Obama’s diplomacy has been horrific. Kissing the butts of Iran and Cuba while sabotaging Israel is not great diplomacy. Having a higher approval rating than the oppressive, torturing and murdering Castro brothers is not hard to accomplish nor something to be proud of.
JH. “The president re-wrote the rules governing student loans.” “Folks will only have to pay 10 percent of the money they have leftover after covering critical expenses like food and shelter.” “After 20 years of making payments, the loans will be entirely forgiven — the government will get off your back.”
JWT. If I had student loans this would make me happy, but if the government helped with my mortgage payment, car payment and paid for the new flooring my wife wants, that would make me really happy. The problem is socialism is great for the recipients, but tends to bankrupt the country providing the FREE STUFF. One of the reasons our nation accumulated so much debt on Obama’s watch is because of programs such as this one, without an ounce of regard to the debt consequence that will haunt America for many years to come. Unfortunately, the appeal of a Santa Claus government is what helped get President Obama elected for two terms.
JH. “Fighting for universal health care to marriage equality and gender equality and transgender rights, President Obama has taken huge political risks to fight for the vulnerable. Donald Trump won the presidency by denigrating them.”
JWT. Obamacare is probably the most damaging thing the president did to the American people. It started with his bull crapping us with “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, if you like your current plan you can keep it … family’s insurance premiums will decrease by an average of 25 percent.” The worst part is the man knew this was not to be true! His lies were soon revealed when premiums skyrocketed, policies were canceled and our favorite doctors were jerked away from us!
Donald Trump won the presidency because millions of Americans are sick and tired of being the vulnerable ones in regard to their finances, healthcare and safety. President elect Trump didn’t denigrate any Americans (as Hillary did with her basket of deplorables), but he offered real hope and change, compared to Obama’s hopelessness and blame.
JH. “As the president recedes into history to take his rightful place among legends, let us honor him this way, just as he honored those who came before him.”
JWT. One of the true measures of a great leader is how they exit their position of leadership. Obama’s exit has been deplorable, at best. When George Bush left the White House he did so with class and dignity. He did not chide Obama, criticize his positions and undermine his upcoming term by throwing obstacles in the way of his upcoming policies with selfish, self-serving actions to try and enhance his legacy.
Obama’s executive actions to prevent drilling for oil in vast areas, his laughable sanctions against Russia (which at the very least should have been done years ago) and his astonishing, inexplicable treatment of Israel during his waning days in office is a revealing trait of the man showing he doesn’t give two rips about America, just one person, and that’s himself!
With that, Mr. Obama, I say don’t the let the door of the White House knock you on your butt as you leave for the last time. And do all of us a favor and take a page out of George Bush’s book by keeping your mouth shut regarding anything to do with President Trump. If you recall, President Bush refused to criticize or even offer up remarks regarding your job performance.
Where Have All the Conservatives Gone?
I have ranted many times about this before, but I have been led to believe this community is dominated by right-leaning folks. Now, I’m not so sure. If you peruse Smyrna’s opinion page with any regularity you will find the lefties seem to have the upper hand. To be sure, there are some conservatives who still contribute to our columns, but their conservative writing doesn’t seem to have the same passion as the liberal writers, and they are outnumbered, in terms of frequency.
There are some good rebuttal letters submitted lately, but I’d like to see those letters expanded into new articles and columns for a more balanced presentation of political opinions. (Please know, I’m pining for this as a reader myself, not as a business partner with their owners.)
I guess what’s really frustrating is I know several righties around here who should be putting fingers to keyboard to get their thoughts in print to expand our right-leaning beliefs. Come on, S.C. in Newhall; M.D. in Valencia; J.M. in Saugus; T.B. in Canyon Country; J.L. in Canyon Country; B.C. in Castaic; K.C. in Newhall/Canyon Country. Get your thoughts down and get them to The Church of Smyrna Headquarters for the sake of our cause! www.thechurchofsmyrna.blogspot.com
Speaking of Left-Leaning Pastors, Writers, and even Columnists:
Jonathan Kraut wrote an op-ed in a Blog a few days ago, entitled “Today’s Message for Israel.” It was well-written, thought-provoking, and while I disagreed with some of his points, for the most part it was a well-balanced piece. I did, however, have a problem with his name-calling of President Elect Trump. When Kraut resorted to calling him “Little Bully Trump” it took away from the credibility of his opinions.
I have no problem with a writer ripping Trump’s policies and positions, but the name-calling is amateurish, in my opinion. YAH knows I have been all over President Obama in this space on numerous occasions. But, can you imagine me calling him Little Baby Obama or Scared Little Barry? I would have been accused of being a racist.