Can We Stop The Revolution?
The 2012 political conventions are over, but the war continues. On one side of the battlefield are the Republicans led by General Mitt Romney. On the other side of the battlefield are the Democrats led by General Barack Obama. In the middle of battle- field are the spoils, you and I, our paid taxes, our businesses and the value of our lives. The quality of our future is determined by the philosophy and ideology of the winner of this epic battle going on now and scheduled to end on November 6th.
The war is contained within the boundaries of one citizenship. That makes this a civil war, a revolution. In this type of war, your enemy is also your friend. We are at war with ourselves. In this civil war the enemy is not carrying muskets or flutes and drums. The enemy is identified by religion or the neighborhood where they live or the schools that their children attend. Your enemy could be identified by their ideas about female rights or the amount of money they make on their job or even, yeah, the color of their skin.
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There are two main philosophies and ideologies that drive the two opposing armies. According to Sun Tzu in his, ‘The Art of War,’ the conflict is governed by five constant factors, one of which is the leader. If we are going to understand how we got to this point, we must understand the philosophy of the leaders. We need to know how the leaders’ positions were created. What mechanisms in their lives caused them to gravitate in the direction in which they did.
Some say that Mitt Romney has been in this war for over eight years. His cold war has now become a very hot war. So for eight years he has been gathering allies, troops and designing battle strategies. For eight years he has been building leagues of generals and captains to help him in his cause. This is a war that he really wants to win.
Mr. Romney has legitimate rights in his convictions. His entire life has motivated him and trained him for this battle. His life story has victory after victory of instances that have proved to him that his position, his status, his class is where he should be, certainly where he wants to be.
His personal victories include some over which he had no influence. He was born into a family of means. Growing up he didn’t lack for much. This was a victory for him even though he had no control of it. Family, peers and other outside Influences molded his thoughts, beliefs and therefore his life’s pursuits.
He pursued and won the personal victory of education having received a Law Degree from Harvard. He won the business victory when he partnered with others to create Bain Capital. He made hundreds of millions of dollars via Bain Capital. This was a major personal victory for him.
Mr. Romney left Bain Capital and threw his hat into the political arena. In 1994, Mr. Romney ran for political office against Ted Kennedy. He lost this battle but learned a lesson about winning in a different environment. An environment where others may be working against him. An environment where he had opposition. This was a lesson learned that he will use later in pursuit of other political offices.
He continued to win personal victories on a large scale returning to Bain after losing to Ted Kennedy and continuing his business career. He left Bain again and pushed onto the national stage when he became the chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee in the run-up to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The success of the Salt Lake City Olympics, set Mr. Romney up for the next personal victory of running to be the Governor of Massachusetts where he prevailed. Lessons learned from his earlier campaign worked for him well in this one. He served as Governor of Massachusetts one full term and did not seek reelection.
It would appear that from early in Mr. Romney’s career, he has been driven towards personal success and victories based on actions that enhanced only his personal value alone. He shows little consideration for others, except for the value that their actions would add to his.
Barack Obama’s young life was one of struggle and confusion. Being born of mixed parents during a time when having mixed parents just wasn’t cool, created some interesting situations for Barack Obama. He spent time trying to figure out just who he was. His father’s leaving and not having seen him again for many years added to his confused, self awareness and his state of being.
He was uprooted several times during his young life. First, when just weeks old, his mother moved to Seattle, Washington for a year of study. His mother and father would divorce soon afterwards. His mother later remarried while young Barack was still a child. In 1967 he and his mother joined his new stepfather in Indonesia. He returned to Honolulu in 1971 to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother returned to Hawaii with Barack’s half sister and they all lived together for a few years.
After high school, Barack moved to Los Angeles and attended Occidental College. He became interested in social issues and in February 1981, he made his first public speech. This speech called for Occidental to divest from South Africa in response to its policy of apartheid.
He transferred to Columbia University in New York City later that same year. He majored in political science and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He worked for a year in private industry after graduation.
Barack Obama had many victories as he grew up just as Mitt Romney did. Mr. Obama’s early life victories had to do with survival and maintaining a life standard. Mr. Romney’s early life victories had to do with privilege and style. Many of Mr. Obama’s victories and much of his success came from helping others. Many of Mr. Romney’s victories had to do with him helping himself.
Yet, both are here on this battlefield leading their individual armies. One reached his goal while dealing with life’s general struggles and one reached his goals through a life of privileged advancement. Yet both men are now opponents in the same battlefield, in the battle of their lives.
What are they fighting for? Us — you and me. We are the spoils of this war. Some believe in the Mitt Romney philosophy while some believe in Barrack Obama’s logic. All of us will be affected by the outcome of this conflict. No one agrees with everything one general is saying but everyone agrees with something each is saying.
Intelligent people usually vote in their own best interest and there are a lot of battlefields of interest.
There is the battlefield of woman’s rights. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This amendment enfranchised all American women declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. One General is moving women’s rights ahead, the other is hindering women’s advancement.
There is the battlefield of being Black, which is different but similar to the battlefield of being Latino or Hispanic.
There is the battlefield of business. One general wants to deregulate to give more power to big business, (buyer beware). One general wants to provide more programs and incentives in order to strengthen medium-sized and small businesses.
There is the battlefield of religion. Why is this even a battleground?
There is the battlefield of love. Who can marry whom? Can we all just get along?
There is the battlefield of homeowners. This battle will go on for many years. Which general most closely relates to your beliefs?
There is the battlefield of education. Are we teaching our kids how to think, or are we teaching them what to think? Should there be a national program or a state program?
There is the battlefield of equal justice. Some ethnic groups receive less judicial hardship than others for the same offense. This problem is seen on the local, state and federal levels.
There is a battlefield of fair treatment. Is it fair that a thug who steals a $500 television spends several years in prison and a Wall Street type who steals $500,000 spends several months under house arrest?
Where do you stand on these issues? I am sure everyone of you can add several more battlefields of your own to this list and you should. What moves you? What will motivate you to make the decision to put on your general’s colors and stand behind him carrying his flag? Win, lose or draw, you will be effected by the out come of this war.
Lawrence A. Robinson