This is not your dad’s Republican Party anymore
Stock markets are strange because they reflect the sum total of all our hopes, fears and prejudices at the end of each day. Every so often something big comes along that can have very strong influence on the stock market, and the direction the market is going to take. Bear markets when they do come, come out of nowhere. Everybody is surprised by them, but once they happen, the pundits have what seem to be perfectly reasonable explanations for why they happen.
I submit to you that next week’s Congressional midterm elections will be seen retrospectively as a so-called WATERSHED election whereby dramatic change will be brought about. You will only know this in hindsight over time. If the Republicans are trounced in the House, and lose heavily in the Senate, there will be a tidal wave type change in the direction that the country is going.
During the course of the modern Presidency which is considered to be 1932 onward with FDR’s election, our leaders have always been influenced by polls. This is true for all Presidents except for our current President, George Bush. It is absolutely amazing to consider that our President won the White House by 557 votes in Florida in 2000 and 85,000 votes in Ohio in 2004, and nevertheless governs like he had a 40 state landslide.
He has adopted the notion that all he had to do is win by one vote, and the power was his to effectuate and do whatever he wanted to. For six years, he has been right. The Congress has essentially rubber-stamped everything the President has asked for, and he has not been held accountable for the false assumptions under which the war in Iraq was initially waged. Next week will be the first time to hold the President accountable for the mismanagement of the war over the last three years.
What kind of conservative is the President? He has outspent any liberal Democratic President in history, mounting up deficits at a rate that a drunken sailor would envy. He gave tax cuts to the rich, and financed the cuts through deficit spending by borrowing the money from Japan, China, and Europe, and leaving the unpaid burden to our children to worry about. Does this make sense to you? If you are going to give tax cuts, shouldn’t your budget be in surplus first.
He has chosen to cut all spending for stem cell research to protect the rights of the unborn, yet doesn’t believe in programs for the poor. A third of this country is running around without even the most basic health insurance, and he’s protecting the rights of the unborn.
He doesn’t want the government to fund abortions. Okay, but think about this. Without abortions over the last generation, there would have been 20 million unloved, uncared for additional children born in America. It would not have affected the rich; they always had access to abortions, and always will, regardless of the law. Where would we be today with such a policy? If you want to argue that these unborn children would have been adopted and cared for, I have one word for you, SURE. There are already hundreds of thousands of abused children going through our foster care system that nobody wants. The President would have added 20 million more.
Iraq is bleeding this country financially, and is in the very beginning of destroying our social fabric. You can count the children serving in Iraq of our Senators and Congressmen, and White House staff on the fingers of a mutilated left hand. Why is it that the so called folks who run the government never seem to have their children’s blood spilled on these foreign adventures? They are always willing to send somebody else to die.
By the way, just so you know, I consider myserlf a conservative Republican that is appalled at the actions of the leaders I participated in putting into office. This is not the party of Barry Goldwater who believed that abortion is a personal right, who believed that you don’t wage wars, unless you bring overwhelming force to the objective. This party has turned into a party of elitists, who were elected by average citizens just trying to do the right thing.
At the same time, these elected leaders are not responsive to us. Strange as it may seem, we elect our leaders, and after the election, the lobbyists OWN them. How can you possibly spend a hundred billion dollars on drugs for senior citizens, a program I support, and NOT write into the law that the government has the right to negotiate lower prices for these drugs? Wow, the drug companies give the Republicans over million to fund the election, and the Republicans give the drug companies another to billion dollars in excess payments for their drugs. Frankly, the payoff wasn’t big enough.
How did it come to this point? The Republicans always stood for the rights of the individuals, and fiscal responsibility. Now we have thrown fiscal responsibility out the window. The leaders argue as long as the rate of growth, of the deficit is lower than the rate of growth of the economy, its okay to have deficits. This is the same line the Democrats used for 40 years, only now it’s coming out of the mouths of the Republicans.
Here’s the bottom line, and read it carefully. You and I as citizens of the greatest country in 10,000 years of civilization are at the crossroads. We have to choose and choose now. Our freedoms are being usurped by corporate and institutional interests. Once we elect officials, it seems they are at the mercy of lobbyists who have what seems like infinite amounts of money to influence our democratically chosen leaders. The laws and programs that you, and I as liberal, and conservative thinkers would choose are not getting done. Instead, it seems that special interests are having their needs met to the detriment of 300 million Americans.
We can not survive very long as a viable society, and meet the growing economic and military threat posed by China’s emergence, as well as other nation states unless we are all aligned in the same direction. The waste and mismanaged programs we are seeing are going to generate a drag on our system that will make us far less competitive in the next ten years to deal with the rest of the world. Farming is gone, it’s a non factor. Manufacturing is heading the same way, with globalization. We are headed towards a post-industrial society. We are almost there. We will move towards a fully service oriented society shortly. Will we have the jobs for our people to replace those jobs going overseas? Maybe, maybe not, but next week we have an election, you must choose, choose wisely.
Goodbye and Good Luck
The biggest joke is that if the Democrats get elected, we are going to trade one set of lobbyists for another, one set of special interests for another, one party devoid of ideas for another. Somehow, the people need to be back in control again, and voting for the default party isn’t the right answer either.
About the Author: Richard Stoyeck’s background includes being a limited partner at Bear Stearns, Senior VP at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, Arthur Andersen, and KPMG. Educated at Pace University, NYU, and Harvard University, today he runs Rockefeller Capital Partners and StocksAtBottom.com