Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Happy Days are Here Again

The beloved music score "Happy Days are Here Again" was the music sound track from the 1930 film, 'Chasing Rainbows' starring Jack Benny, Bessie Love and Charles King. Fast forward now 77 years and our days will soon lose the peace, quietness and serenity as the 55th consecutive quadrennial
election for President and Vice President of the United States that is running full throttle.

It was not always this way, in fact, in the first 34 years of our Republic we had no popular vote to speak of at all as the first 5 Presidents were chosen by the 'Electoral College' but way back then, the 'Electors' in many States were simply appointed by the various state lawmakers. In time however the States allowed voters to pick the 'Electors' and for the first time in our nations race for the Oval Office in 1824 there were 356,035 ballots cast for President.

Campaigning for President when our nation was yet in it's infancy did not require the expenditures of vast sums of money to become President. George Washington spent virtually nothing to become President and it was not until William McKinley who raised and spent $7 Million dollars for his race did the political fund raising take off like a wild fire.

Michael Toner (Chairman of the FEC) estimates that the 2008 Presidential Race will cost at least$1 Billion dollars and that any serious candidate must raise at least $100 Million dollars over the course in the months ahead.

Currently Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are well on their way to to raise sufficient capital to stay in the race for the long haul but for all the money that is being raised, what will we expect to learn about these Presidential hopefuls that we don't know already?

The sky is not falling and all is not gloomy with the nations economy. In fact the stock market (which is the leading economic indicator for the next 6 months) is presently in record territory and over 13,000 which is evidence that our economy is strong and growing.

There are however genuine issues that must be addressed with real substance instead of the all too common sound bites and rhetoric by the professional orator pandering to would be voters.

In our nation of Immigrants we are constantly being fed a diet that our global neighbors don't somehow belong in this country and many have gone to great lengths to stop the pursuits of achievement and prosperity by attempting to stop new Immigrants from entering this country, wanting to create a better life for themselves and their families.

The American-Hispanic community of nearly 42 million people strong adds strength and vitality to our economy, our diversity makes us a strong nation as free people supporting our families and working to contribute to our society.

Likewise our Asian-American friends and neighbors make up just under 13 million enthusiastic and ambitious people that have taught us that perseverance and virtue brings honor to others and our nation is better off because of the multitudes of cultures that live and work side by side.

The great 'Immigration Debate' that professional politicians believe that they may somehow have hit pay-dirt with Voters, is doing nothing but stirring up more mud and this has served no useful purpose in our nation but creating walls of separation between our neighbors.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1781, "It has been a wise policy of these States to extend the protection of their laws to all those who should settle among them of whatever nation or religion they might be and to admit them to a participation of the benefits of civil and religious freedom and...the benevolence of this practice as well as it's sulutary effects has rendered it worthy of being continued in future times."

As this nation remains at war with 'extremism' yearning to change the fabric of our free society and disrupt the lives of our innocent neighbors and friends, we need to stop the constant bickering amongst ourselves as we struggle for our very survival.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1806 "...a nation while it holds together, is strong against it's enemies but breaking into parts, it is easily destroyed." (Address to Osage Nation)

With all the vast sum of monies that are being collected in the campaign coffers, the electorate must demand more than continuing rhetoric from those wanting to serve all of the people of our great land of opportunity and diversity.

Actions do speak louder than words, at least one hopes that this is still yet true but all too often it appears that people are ready to believe the sweetness and stale words of candidates chasing votes.