Wednesday, October 17, 2012

20 Days

When I was around twelve, I had a teacher who came to class with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. Smart teachers know, no matter how good a lesson may be, we always hear better with treats.

He passed the plate around saying “Dig in!” and you don’t have to tell a bunch of kids twice. With cookies halfway to our mouths he interjected, “You should know, that I have left one ingredient out.”


“Yes, just one of the ingredients was skipped, and I’m wondering if you can tell me which one it is.”

Should have known it was too good to be true. Cookies in the middle of the day? Just for the heck of it?—we were going to be tricked into learning, I could feel it.

After a bite or two the results were in:

Not good!
Is this a joke?
I don’t like it!
Not cool…

The teacher then asked us what ingredient we thought he had skipped.

Hello?! The sugar! They taste awful!

The general consensus around the room was that a major key ingredient had been left out. How else could one explain the level of distaste?

The answer? Salt. One tiny teaspoon of salt was the only missing ingredient. An ingredient one would not immediately associate with the sweetness of a cookie. There’s so little salt required compared to the amounts of other ingredients. Surely their failure or success would be more likely contributed to the larger quantities of butter, sugar, flour, or chocolate chips.

The lesson struck me then (especially since he made things right, with backup cookies with all their rightful ingredients), and has stayed with me even now.  

In the collective story of our lives, we may see ourselves as that teaspoon of salt. It’s easy to think that the things we do don’t always matter and that if we didn’t do them, no one would notice.

I’m just a teaspoon of salt in the cookie dough of life.

Yeah, you like that? That just came to me. Remember it, cuz we’ll come back to it.

20 days until the most important election of our lifetime.
I do not err on the side of the melodramatic. Our world as we know it hangs on a dangerous precipice.

The current powers that be, ever so slowly and methodically, have led us down unknown paths. The stage has been set these last four years for a different America to emerge.

-We have stopped harvesting natural resources from our own land.
-The national debt is 16 trillion dollars.
-We are now printing money, with nothing to back it up.
-Unemployment has been at an all-time record high.
-We were told the deficit would be cut in half in two years. Three and a half years later, the debt has grown to a number larger than the amount accumulated under all past presidents, combined.
-Foreign relations have been weakened. Our allies don’t trust us, and our enemies see our new vulnerability.
-The president went seven months without meeting with his Job Council.
-The current administration is involved in one of the most blatant and sickening cover-ups we have ever witnessed (Libya).
-Four Americans were murdered, one of which was a U.S. ambassador. This hasn’t happened since 1979.
-After this terrorist attack, the president boarded a plane to a fundraiser, and then the White House went silent for 15 days with no press conference.
-Our credit rating as a nation, which some said would never be lowered, has been lowered twice in three and a half years. Not once. But twice.
-“Obamacare” was initially promised not to raise taxes on the middle class by “a dime.” It has now been discovered that it will not only raise taxes significantly, but will cause such a strain on businesses that many are taking precautions now, and taking full-time employees down to part time to prepare for the extra cost.
-Gas prices are at an all-time high.

And before I hear the excuse one more time that the President “inherited such a mess, what do we expect?” Obama told the American people he could turn things around in two years, and had a super majority for those two years. Instead he bailed out GM, added trillions to the debt and is calling his economic recovery plan historic.

In many ways the economic situation in the early 1980s was as dark, if not darker, as the one that Obama faced when he took office.

Under Reagan, the economy grew by an average of 5.6 percent for the first three years from the bottom of the recession, unemployment dropped by 3.8 points, and inflation was cut by two-thirds.

Every president inherits or comes into obstacles. It’s what they sign on for when they apply for the job. Do you think Bush anticipated four airplanes being flown into buildings in the largest scale terrorist attack on the U.S. to date?

Bottom line: The blame game is lame. Quit it already, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Our current President has his own agenda for America; that much is clear. And until he secures these last four years, he has resorted to diversion; finger pointing and just flat out lies.

The sci-fi geek in me keeps thinking of a scene from Batman when Alfred tells Bruce Wayne, “Some men can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Just food for thought.

But it has been amazing to see so many of us in the last few weeks start to walk out of the haze of deceit and recognize what is truly happening. There has been a passion for our country catching like wildfire around the nation. We are waking up and noticing that our inheritance is quietly being stolen from us.

And to add insult to injury, the newest strategy is to go forward like the American people are stupid:

Let’s just call the other guys liars.
Let’s just tell them it was a YouTube video.
Let’s tell them the unemployment numbers are going down.
Let’s tell them we saved the auto industry even though we ultimately rewarded them for bad business practices, with consequences we have yet to fully see. It will hopefully cloud the fact that we sank 90 billion into green energy companies that are now mysteriously bankrupt.
Let’s keep telling them we fight for the middle class while we tax them for Obamacare.

Or my personal favorite: Let’s get America riled up about Mitt Romney wanting to cut funding to Sesame Street.

Reminds me of the SNL skit where the actors are being sold a book with a concept they can’t quite understand: Only Buy Things We Can Afford.

And just in case you’re curious, this year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will receive 444 million dollars in taxpayer funding. Yeah. You read that right. If we want it, let’s pony up and donate more to keep it. Crazy concept, right? But I digress.

Twenty more days and the power will shift to us. No more commercials, no more rallies, no more news speculations, no more polls, no more debates. Twenty days and we the people will decide what kind of America we want to live in and whom we think shares our vision.

Maybe the goal of saving our nation seems a task much bigger than us. Perhaps we stay home on Election Day because we doubt our own individual power and influence. Perhaps, if I may, you feel you are but a teaspoon of salt in the cookie dough of li---okay, okay, it was clever once. You get it.

But the truth is we need you. We need each other.
Together we are stronger than the powers that wish to destroy us.
Let’s come together in 22 days in the collective effort to take our country back. You think you don’t matter? You think you can just sit this vote out and no one will be the wiser?
Lest I remind you that the 2000 election came down to a little over 500 votes?

United we stand, divided we fall. Don’t doubt how much each of you is needed on November sixth.  Our right to vote is the great equalizer, as everyone’s counts the same.

This election, vote for your America.


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