You are tired.
Tired of the endless commercials, the stream of goofy letters, postcards and door hangers.
Tired of pundits, politicos, and experts pleading, predicting, and promising.
I know. I have no credentials. I claim none. Well, actually I claim one. One thing my parents taught me and the circumstances of my life have reinforced. That one credential is that I have learned to think for myself. In fact, those who attempt to tell me what to think are soon as frustrated with me as I am with them. I resent the presentation of "conclusions" without the supporting facts. I resent the endless polls in the various media that offer no information about how the sampling was accomplished, how questions were formulated (or even what the questions are), and no discussion of the limiting factors present. One recent "national poll" was conducted by calling "randomly selected cell phone numbers" of 1000 people. This poll received national prominence even though no information was given about how the numbers were selected, where the numbers originated, how questions were worded, or many factors such as when the calls were placed. Sadly, there seemed to be few who bothered to even wonder about these factors.
So....here is what is bothering me at this point in this most unusual presidential election. It is the Robin Hood factor. You know what I mean. Often it is labeled as such. Sometimes it is described with many words. Other times phrases like "spreading the wealth" are used. Now, I am less an expert on Robin Hood than I am on politics. But I know that, like politics, different folks have WIDELY varying views of Robin Hood. The stories and ballads have been around at least 500 years and some say several hundred more than that. Some say he was a real person. Others say Robin was based somewhat on a real person. And some say it is purely myth. Likewise, what he did, what he stood for, and whether he was a commoner or of noble blood can be debated. Really, all this makes Robin Hood a sort of Rorschach ink blot test where we each see in him what we actually project ourselves.
That being said, what is your view of Robin Hood? A common thief? A defender of the true heir of the crown? A social reformer taking from overbearing royalty and giving back to the over-taxed?
The present danger, in my mind, is that many see in Barack Obama and a democratically controlled executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government the rising of Robin Hood to take from the evil corporate giants (especially the evil oil companies) and give to the poor. Some have argued to my face that since the church is not caring for the poor as we ought, it is our responsibility to support a government that does it in the place of the church. To these individuals the obvious party to accomplish this is the very one that most preaches separation of church and state. The irony is that most of the champions of this type of government intervention rarely show a tendency of personal financial sacrifice on behalf of the poor. Where the fairy tale begins to break down is the point at which the evil, rich entity that must ante up is me. How does this happen? Partly through direct taxation. Partly through punishing companies whose stock make up our 401k investments that we hoped would help us care for ourselves in old age. Partly through raiding Social Security funds to pay for other projects.
In my understanding, an ever-expanding, oppressively taxing government does not represent Robin Hood but rather is the Sheriff of Nottingham. The companies that provide goods, services, and jobs are not the oppressive regime, in my opinion, but rather the Robin Hood that properly distribute wealth to those who work for and rightly deserve it.
Don't misunderstand me, I think there is much greed and dishonesty in large corporations just as there is in one-man operations. I also quickly concede that both parties are disgusting in the way they protect incumbents and seek power for their own. I approve President Bush more than "national polls" reflect, but deeply regret the many times he has quickly thrown money at problems in quantities that are difficult for me to even visualize. Individuals, cities, states, and the federal government are going broke because of a false belief that an ever-shrinking middle class will always be there to finance any and every program that seems to promise some social benefit.
The address below will take you to a video by Fred Thompson that is a no-nonsense commentary on the difference in perspectives of the two parties represented by Obama and McCain. It is sobering, intelligent, and void of any sensational claims about either candidate. The video takes several minutes and should be watched when you can devote your attention to follow what is being said. It is a little deeper than the 60 second sound bites we have become accustomed to on the "evening news".