Kathryn clicked the red button on the polyphone.
“Are we connected? “ she asked.
“Yes, we are,” I responded from the studio in Mars City. “You are being taped on the UCB Political Round Table program. Go ahead.”
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, both on Earth and on Mars. Welcome to the show. With me are a few distinguished friends in-the-know, “ Kathryn announced, “Fred Garfinkel, Tony Blanket, Charles Hammerschmidt and Bob Foolsman, for our weakly discussion on “Where the World Turns”. Pete and Sue joined to represent the ebullient youth that voted for Obama. Fred, let me ask you first, how‘s the USA fairing?”
“We’ve veered into the most disastrous phase the USA has ever experienced,” Fred said, worried.” I thought FDR was bad, but this time the liberal left has really outdone itself.”
“You mean it can’t be repaired?” Kathryn asked.
“It would take a conservative landslide in November and again in 2012, similar to the one on the Dems side in 2008, and I don’t see that happening because Republicans, including conservatives, are too divided and don’t have a leader.”
“Tony, your views?” Kathryn asked.
“Fred’s pessimistic for the right reasons,” Tony admitted. “The center and center-right are divided and have no articulate theme to defeat the good-doers on the left. But there’re some cracks appearing on the Dems side too, which gives me hope.”
“You on the right side forget that you’re fighting the change for a better America that everybody wanted,” Bob intervened. “There’s no right slogan that can beat that populist goal. The present administration is undoing all the harm that the Reagan and Bush eras committed, even with an occasional democratic majority in Congress at the time. Thank God we have a leader who’s resetting the buttons and does it right.”
“But he’s emptying my future wallet,” Pete protested.
“You’ll have plenty left to buy your hamburger and a cracker for your siblings,” Bob retorted. “And paying higher taxes is a patriotic act.”
“But hamburgers are bad for my health and my kids can’t live on crackers either,” Pete countered.
“You’ll have an excellent new healthcare system if you get sick. Thanks to our great leader. He eats hamburgers himself when he escapes Michelle’s kitchen, so why do you worry.”
“I agree with Fred’s assessment,” Charles said. “The leftist Democratic juggernaut is taking us to eternal dependency in a bankrupt USA, and there’s nothing we can do. They pushed through the stimulus, then the health care and then the financial reforms, and it was all written by leftist lawyers and lobbyists with tons of regulations still to write. What a feat for our great democracy in just 500 days. Don’t write them off for 2012 either.”
“Where do these people come from?” Sue asked. “Leftist minds from Harvard, Yale and Berkeley?”
“You wonder about their mindset,” Tony said. “The reason is that the USA was never run over by Nazis or Soviets, let alone the Chinese. It came close enough with 9/11 but that cost three thousand lives and a ruined economy, but no foreign management over the floor. Look how soon the populace forgot. Leftists have a knack for exploiting people’s lack of insight, hindsight and foresight.”
“But Europeans were run over by Nazis and Communists and still turned socialist,” Sue exploded, “so how do you explain that?”
“It’s much easier to persuade the populace with utopian ideas that sound good but turn out bad later, than teaching them economics about how to run the place efficiently, which is boring,” Fred explained. “Reagan had the ability to communicate that in simple terms, and even he was attacked from left and right.”
“So this is the end of the good old USA, if that’s what you mean,” Kathryn concluded, showing her somber mood.
“No, to the contrary,” Bob said, showing optimism.” State it the other way, glass half full. Finally, the good old USA is becoming a valid member of world society, adopting the rules of the good for all, and discarding its rules of the good for just a few.”
“That’s total hogwash, Bob, and you know it,” Fred blasted. “It was those few good men who made this USA into what we are today. They pursued an ideal, not ideology. They clamped together to achieve progress and did. All you guys want is to distribute the wealth that you can’t create to those who don’t and sit with their fat potbellies in front of their TV. If we’d left it to your so-called good-doers, we would’ve ended up in shared misery and that’s where we’re heading now. Don’t look too far for good examples.”
“But the economy is picking up again thanks to the Government’s measures,” Bob continued, as if stone deaf.
“The economy always does after the down turn in an eight years business cycle, Mr. Foolsman,” Pete noted coolly. “Page 239 of Paul Samuelson’s Economics, if you care to read.”
“Dead right Pete,” Tony buttet in. And turning to Bob, he continued “I hear you guys saying you don’t want to go back to the eight years policies of the Bush Administration. It so happened that they started with a downturn earned from Clinton, got 9/11 and then Katrina, and after eight years ended with a bigger one, after the socialists had opened the floodgates for cheap housing through Freddie Mac and Fanny May. So you earned the mess you created yourself and made it three times worse in just 18 months. The point Fred’s making is that it would have been a lot better if the Government had left the business cycle alone instead of plastering it with socialist rubbish.”
“What’s the panel’s view up there, Mars?” Kathryn asked, afraid that her panel was going to murder Bob.
“We’ve been talking while listening,” I said. “The only thing that can save you is a national groundswell of tsunami proportions sweeping those people out of power, repeal what they did, and keep them out forever, now that you know who and what they are. Then start over again and keep a tight lid on it.”
“And how do you think you will do that with a leader who is still more popular than any of your current straw men?” Bob asked, unable to hide his sarcasm.
“That tea party movement is growing fast and includes people from both sides of the aisle and lots of independents,” Fred said. “And recently elected Republican Governors are turning their debt ridden states towards solvency again. Those are looking like good examples what the right can do.”
“Maybe so, but translating that on a national scale is not sustainable without a strong leader and there’s no one on the bloc so far,” Bob smirked.
“Bob has a point,” Charles said. “As long as the right keeps bickering among themselves, saying that Palin is too light, Romney a Mormon, McCain washed out, Gingrich old hat, and so on, the Pied Piper will holler on in 2012. So far, nobody has seen what the Contract from America is about. And when Gingrich articulated and won with his Contract for America in 1994, the Right dropped the ball a few years later under Clinton and again under Bush. So the history isn’t good.”
“Meaning we only have ourselves to blame,” Kathryn opined.
“No, that’s not it! America wanted change,” Bob argued, emphasizing the word and pounding on the table. “It had enough of the past. People change, so did the USA. It has changed for good, there’s no return.”
“I voted for the change,” Pete said, regretfully, “and so did many of my friends. We were all mesmerized by the Pied Piper. But we never realized that the change would be this mess. I’m getting scared for my future.”
“So did I,” Sue confessed. “In spite of Mars Man’s warnings. I’m getting scared too. You’ll be long death, Mr. Foolsman, when I’m having to pay the bills.”
“Well, Mars Man, any advice up there for the Earth family?”
“Our consensus here is that you must elect a team of good business people who know how to run a big corporation and turn it over, somebody who knows how to explain and sell this politically, and who can talk the Pied Piper off the table with clear facts and economic wisdom, and pull down the curtain on utopia. That’s a tall order. We hope that person will come through the ranks soon. Mars wants a strong and healthy USA. You must stand behind that leader, stop internal bickering, and start now with formulating your agenda clearly. Advocate your Contract from America. Every time the other side comes back to denigrate it, fight back with a megaphone, if you want to win. Don’t leave no stone unturned.”
“But that’s how Obama won,” Bob said, smiling.
“ Good point again Bob, but that was before he did what he did,” Charles said. “The spell only works once. Now it’s exposed.”
“Thank you all for a lively discussion,” Kathryn ended, hoping they wouldn’t pulverize Bob. “Till next week’s Round Table.”