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Thoughts from the Lower 40: The ‘P’ word
In Oct. 4 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

Let's see...what's going on this week?

Not much, huh?

Weather's cooler.

Yep. Fall is here. I like the fall. It's my favorite time of the year. Your's too? Well, how 'bout that?

The Girls' Golf Team-they're doing pretty good. They always seem to do well.


Seems like there's been something else going on...can't remember what it is.

OH! That $700 BILLION "bail-out"/"rescue", whatever they're calling it today.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, no socks this week-I'm finally going to talk about the "P" word. And by that I mean POLITICS.

I know you've been waiting to see "what side of the fence I'm on," or if I'm going to "bash" any certain political party, or critique any certain politician.

So, here's the deal-io.

I think this whole "bail out" thing has been a perfect example of what seems to be wrong with America.

Some of you are saying "Oh no, he DIDN'T!" Yeah, I sure did. I firmly believe we have problems here in the good ol' USA.

When I was younger (I know-that WAS a long time ago), people had "pride" in America.

We used to stand, remove our hats, place a hand over our heart, and proudly sing along to the National Anthem at ball games and other social events.

We used to proudly display the American flag outside our homes and businesses.

We used to get "fightin' mad" if anybody even jokingly slighted America.

But now, we seem to be a nation of bitter, angry people.


Because well, we ARE bitter, angry people.

To put it simply: We are disappointed in our governemnt.

The average citizen has always looked to the government to solve problems, avert crisis, or offer assistance.

And be it "right" or "wrong," we have always seemed to view our leaders-especially our Presidents-as "super heroes."

At one time, the idealistic American believed the President of the United States could, indeed, "leap tall buildings in a single bound."

Our President could thrwart threats from other countries-along with throwing out the first pitch at the season opener, killing the fiercest of wild animals with his bare hands, or even solving a Rubik's Cube.

So, when gas prices starting sky-rocketing, and the economy began tanking, we looked to our leaders for solutions.


I've heard many of you ask why "those people in Washington" don't do something/anything.

It's obvious they are WAY out of touch with the "average American" who is probably working two jobs to make ends meet, who can't make out a budget because they don't know what they will be paying for gas from one day to the next.

And to be quite honest, the "average American" is probably WAY deep in debt because credit was easy to get, and they took full (or "fool") advantage of it.

Perhaps many politicans are out of touch because they don't feel they don't have to answer to US-the people who elected them.

The sad truth is "money talks."

It is quite possible the America we know and love has been "bought and sold" so many times that no one really knows for sure who, when, what, why, or how?

Lobbyists? Sure, they own a good chunk of it. "Big oil?" Absolutely. Foriegn countries? Yes, and who would have ever thought we would borrow money from them?

So, where does that leave the "average American?"

Pretty low on the totem pole. (And yes, the Indian reference was on intended.)

OK, OK, so you're wanting to know whose fault it is?

The Republicans, or the Democrats?


Gee whiz, when we're facing a literal melt-down of our economic system all they can do is blame each other.

We don't want posing and pandering.

NEITHER party seems to have actually stepped forward with a practical, pro-active solution.

I can't buy into the argument (Oh, heck, who am I kidding? I can't afford to buy anything!) that "Wall Street is Main Street." I fully understand what happens on Wall Street can, and does affect everyone, but it's hard for people like you and I to comprehend $700 billion dollars.

What we DO understand is: "Hmmm...gas is around $4 a gallon, milk is around $4 a gallon, I need to gas to get to work, but the kids need milk todrink, so what do I do?"

You really want my "two cents" worth?

Seems to be that everything revolves around the price of fuel.

(And don't you find it odd that politicians don't talk much about fuel prices? If "we, the people" are always talking about it, and if it is a main concern of ours, why isn't it main concern of politicians?)

If we could get fuel prices down (there are no immediate threats from hurricanes, floods, wild wolverines, etc.), then THAT would free up money for people to spend.

Which would make it easier for people to pay their mortgage and bills.

If people have extra money, perhaps they will spend it-thus helping the economy.

Consider this: What if the price of gas dropped to $2 (heck, maybe even $3) a gallon tommorow?

There would be a tremendous "psychological advantage." People would feel relieved, and I guarantee you (even though it may not be wise) they would start throwing money around. People would make that trip to the store, maybe take a vacation, or make a donation to their favorite politician. (I was just checking to see if you're paying attention.)

After the joyous throwing around of money, people would probably pay every bill they could in anticipation of gas going up/things getting bad again.

There would be a return to "normalcy"-which, hopefully, would lead to a feeling of "confidence" in our country once again.

Now, isn't that what we "feel good" again?

So, where did we go wrong?

I can't help but think of the "Pledge of Allegiance." (And how often do you hear THAT anymore?)

Isn't our country supposed to be "indivisible?"

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