Making hard choices

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A new poll shows that the congressional special election to replace Anthony Weiner in the traditionally Democratic district in Queens/Brooklyn, New York is surprisingly competitive.

The poll found [Democrat] Weprin, a state assemblyman, leading [Republican] Turner, a retired broadcasting executive, 48 percent to 42 percent in the race for the Democratic-friendly Queens and Brooklyn-area seat.

Two thoughts: First, this poll fits with another that shows for the first time a majority of adults don’t want their own Congressman reelected. If so, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Democrat appears so weak in Brooklyn/Queens, a place I lived for most of my life and a place I found to be so knee-jerk Democrat that you couldn’t admit to being Republican without risking being blacklisted from all things.

Second, despite the mess the federal government is in as well as the disgraceful scandal that caused the previously elected Democratic Congressman to resign, it is also not surprising that 48 percent of the population still wants to vote Democrat in this district. This is my biggest fear: the continuing unwillingness of too many Americans to honestly face our government’s budget problems.

We need blunt, hard-nosed, and cold-hearted decision-making in order to rein in the out-of-control federal budget. Some of those decisions are going to be painful, requiring Americans to give up some of the candy the government has been doling out to them for decades. Almost certainly those decisions cannot be made by the Democrats, who strongly believe in big government and are closely tied to that government for their jobs and careers. Those decisions will also not likely be made by the present Republican leadership, which has been all too willing to go along with Democrats for the past few decades and allow the federal government to grow, though at a slower rate.

What we need instead are fresh faces in Congress, people not tied to the status quo or to the powers-that-be. This means voters must have an open mind, and be willing to vote for unknowns largely because they are unknown. It was for this reason that Tea party candidates did so well in the 2010 elections.

Unfortunately, as well as Tea party candidates did, they did not do as well as I think is necessary, which is why the Democrats held the Senate, and why the debt ceiling deal did so little to actually reduce government spending.

Sadly, I don’t think a substantial percentage of the American population is ready to face our problems and fix them. Instead, they waffle and whine about budget cuts that don’t exist, and call anyone who wants to put some brakes on this spending madness a racist or a terrorist. Meanwhile, the ship sinks.

What we really need to do is to look at the facts coldly, and react instantly, as this man did, when he was told an unsinkable ship was sinking.


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