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by Burt Prelutsky
In recent months, there were two presidential elections of historical importance. In Egypt, they had their first ever democratic election for president. It was won by Mohammed Morsi over Ahmed Shafiq.
Here in the United States, we had our 55th presidential election, and re-elected a man who had inherited a bad economy and made it worse; insulted our friends and coddled our enemies; and spent most of his time golfing, throwing parties and taking vacations. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he compounds his sins by insulting Republican congressmen for no better reason than that they’re Republicans and refuse to rubberstamp his fiats.
The reason I bring all this up is to point out the irony that in spite of the fact that Morsi defeated his opponent by 3.4%, whereas Obama only had a 2.8% advantage over Romney, and in spite of the fact that Egyptians are novices at this, when Morsi started behaving like a Pharaoh, the voters stormed the streets of Cairo and reminded him he was just another politician.
Here, Obama wins a squeaker, and immediately starts talking about having a mandate to raise taxes and pass another stimulus bill. And not only is he not talking about cutting spending, but wants to increase it by over a trillion dollars. Playing to his base of college freshmen, welfare recipients and New York Times columnists, he even tries to get away with vilifying those earning over $250,000-a-year as the super-rich. Not since the glory days of Joe Stalin has any national leader played the class card as blatantly as Barack Obama.
The way that Obama incessantly goes about dividing Americans along race, gender, religion, income and political lines, it’s as if he’s trying to incite a second Civil War. It merely highlights how naïve people were when they heard the candidate talk in 2008 about a future in which there would not be a blue America or a red America, but a united America, and believed he actually meant it.
Speaking of the earlier Civil War, I can’t help noticing that there seems to be a renewal of interest in Abe Lincoln lately. He is suddenly the subject of movies, books and TV specials. What confounds me is that he is invariably depicted as a saint. While it’s true that he talked a good game, and it always helps burnish a politician’s reputation to be assassinated, I frankly don’t get it.
For openers, he didn’t wage the war in order to end slavery, but to preserve the Union. And we’ve all lived to see how well that worked out. These days, we’re about as united as the two Koreas.
Not only was Lincoln not out to free the slaves, but he disciplined those generals who tried to liberate them in the four states that did not take part in the rebellion. They were Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland and Missouri.
I have no way of proving it, but I have never believed that the Founding Fathers would have approved of a war that pitted Americans against one another, even in order to preserve the Union they created.
In 1861, there were roughly 31,000,000 people in the U.S., four million of whom were slaves. When the War was over, roughly 700,000 Americans were dead. That doesn’t count the enormous number who had been maimed and mutilated. It is estimated that 10% of the North’s population of men between the ages of 18-29, were killed during those four years; 30% of the South’s.
Imagine comparable numbers today. Imagine a war that left seven million dead, all of them Americans. And yet in spite of those horrific facts, we all have to pretend that the man with all that blood on his hands was our greatest president, the conscience of this nation.
I can only imagine that because he looked like a biblical figure, especially once he grew the beard, and delivered decent, albeit self-serving, speeches, and was finally gunned down by John Wilkes Booth, he has become bigger-than-life, someone, who more closely resembles a legendary figure like Robin Hood, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, than a savvy politician, which is what he was, once you get past the Oz-like curtain.
Getting back to 2012’s most memorable contests, one thing worth noting is that in Egypt's election, Morsi took 51.7% of the vote and Shafiq, 48.3%. That adds up to a nice, neat 100%. In our election, Obama got 50.6%, while Romney garnered 47.8%. That only adds up to 98.4%. Even all the cheating by Democrats doesn’t quite explain that odd discrepancy.
For me, as frightening as it is to realize that a slim majority, but a majority nonetheless, of the American electorate would vote for a schmuck like Obama, I can at least make sense of it. After all, between those who voted for him because they share his pigmentation, those whose votes were bought and paid for with our tax dollars and those who thought they were voting for Osama bin Laden, it figures he could eke out a victory. But how do you make sense of the nearly two million people who didn’t vote for either him or Romney?
Can you wrap your mind around the fact that those we might refer to as the bottom 1.6%, actually took the trouble of going out to vote for the likes of Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Stewart Alexander (Socialist), Virgil Goode (Constitutionalist) and Ron Paul (Last Hurrah), knowing full well that by doing so, they were actually helping Obama get a second chance to destroy our nation?
But as pathetic and irresponsible as those voters were, especially with the future of America and the Free World hanging in the balance, they are examples of mature and prudent judgment when compared to the 50,000 twits who voted for Roseanne Barr (Peace and Freedom).
One can only hope that those loons voted by way of absentee ballots, and were not running around loose, the result of somebody’s forgetting to lock the doors at the asylum.