It’s been four years since Barack Obama promised America “hope and change” and his ultimate election seemed, at least to me, like a potential positive sign for America.
As I wrote at the time, I was swept out to sea by a beautiful wave that seemed to be washing magically up on our golden shores.
But once the waters calmed, I found myself stranded out in the middle of nowhere just trying to keep my head from sinking beneath the surface.
As I have treaded that water, our national debt has climbed at a preposterous rate; our right to freedom of intrusion by the government and its spies has only grown darker; we are being forced to buy into an insurance scheme because politicians lack any ability to think of creative ways to provide health care to Americans; and despite promising to stop enforcing federal controlled substance laws in states with medical marijuana laws, DEA crackdowns are more prevalent than ever.
That’s just a few of the things I don’t like about our current president.
But when I look to the other side of the coin, Mitt Romney represents everything I despise about high-level politicians.
He’s a multi-millionaire who has no idea what it is like to live on a salary a so-called “middle class” American family earns; he has flip-flopped on nearly every issue to appease the masses; he uses his Christian religion as a means to call the religious to his side; and he has no apparent vision for our country other than to “take it back” from the evil Obama administration.
And that’s just a few things I don’t like about the candidate who will have an R behind his name.
So out in the middle of nowhere, I tread water, ready to drown rather than latch onto one of the life preservers dangling from the luxury cruise liners that have been making their way — albeit three years after the fact — to collect the masses left behind by the surge.
But wait, what’s that out there on the horizon but a small little group of tug boats plugging away. If I can only swim there I might make it through this nightmare.
As I draw closer, I see the markings on one:
Capt. Gary Johnson
Eventually, I find my way aboard and Capt. Johnson greets me. He gives me a tour of the small and sparsely-staffed, but neat and orderly vessel.
He then tells me if I wish to accompany the ship, I must work and be a productive member of the crew. He then gives me a list of the crew’s philosophy and explains that if I do not wish to follow the tenets they will take me to another one of the tug boats with differing ideals. Some even allow free passage.
The list (paraphrased from its original format) reads:
• Spending and the Deficit: We will not overspend our means. Period.
• Economy and Taxes: We do not tax your wages but do tax what you spend your wages on; otherwise, we have only a minimal role in the economic activities of our crew.
• Education: We leave education up to the families and teachers aboard our vessel and try not to interfere with the process.
• Civil Liberties: We respect your privacy and will not invade your cabin without real probable cause as well as respecting your rights to speak freely and worship as you choose.
• Foreign Policy: Although we are armed to the gills and fully capable of protecting this ship, we have minimal interference with other nations and will only go to war in the most dire situations.
• Drug Policy: Marijuana use is acceptable, but use of other drugs is frowned upon and bad behavior associated with use of such drugs will be dealt with accordingly.
• Immigration: Foreigners willing to work aboard this vessel will be allowed to do so, with proper registration upon boarding.
• Internet and Technology: All access to the Internet is free and unrestricted by the administration.
• Gun Rights: All crew members are free to carry guns if they so desire.
It sounds pretty reasonable to me, but I ask if I can speak with the crew members before making my decision.
What I learn from the seemingly happy and pleasant crew is the captain had a previous job as a governor of the state of New Mexico. Eight years he served as the elected representative of that state.
During his time there, he earned the nickname “Governor Veto” because he exercised his veto power 750 times, or about 32 percent of the time, which was more than all other governors combined. Essentially, that means he wasn’t putting up with a bunch of senseless drivel and needless spending measures coming out of the state legislature.
He also left New Mexico as one of only four states with a balanced budget and a budget surplus. He cut 1,200 government jobs without firing the employees and created more than 20,000 jobs in the state.
And get this, he cut taxes 14 times.
Yes, Capt. Johnson, sign me up. I’m tired of treading water.
Reuben Mees is an Examiner staff writer, supporter of third party politics and new fan of the Libertarian Party. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on Gary Johnson and the Libertarian platform can be found at www.garyjohnson2012.com.