What’s at stake—The Importance of the election
by Hank Martin

This upcoming election, as are all of the elections to follow in the near future, will be of unprecedented proportions. Any one who knows me, or has ever known me, knows the values to which I have chosen to subscribe. They are apparent in how I have lived my life, in all that I say and write. That having been said, I also know that there is enough blame to go around. The liberal left has taken us on a course that is destructive, and the conservative right has lacked the sufficient courage and cohesion to prevent it. All of this can be analyzed and dissected later. When it is all said and done, the primary concern to me when I enter that voting booth in a few days, and the question that I will most be burdened with is this; what type of world do I want my sons to grow up in? When I am dust in the ground, what kind of life do I want to leave behind? My allegiance will not be to any party or ideology. It will not be an emotional nor political nor societal nor ideological statement. As I cast my vote, I will have two things resonating through the recesses of my mind, my two sons, and the legacy of my generation.

As I cast my ballot, I will be soberly cognizant of the $12 trillion dollar national debt. Of the current unfunded liability for Medicare Part A in the amount of  $36.7 trillion dollars. The current unfunded liability for Medicare Part B in the amount of $37 trillion dollars, and for part D in the amount of $ 15.6 trillion dollars, which, when added to the unfunded liability of Social Security gives will give us a deficit of approximately $118.8 trillion, which translates into a debt equivalent of $1,532,000 for each family of four. I will be aware that by the end of 2009, 50 percent of our debut was held by countries such as China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Oil Exporting Countries, Caribbean Banking Centers, Brazil, Honk Kong and Russia. I will be aware that currently, it is costing one million dollars for every person wearing a uniform, to maintain our national defense. I will be aware that our national debt accrues interest at the rate of $ 41 million an hour, $690,000 a minute, $11,500 per second. I will be acutely cautious that as analysists and commentators toss around the term “trillion” for the first time in history, that if I translated dollars into seconds, and could travel back in time just one trillion seconds, I would find myself 32,000 years in the past!! I will recognize that I, and my American brothers and sisters had our households loose an average of 18 percent of net worth in 2008 alone. That from 2006 through March of 2009, household real estate fell from 21.9 trillion to 17.9 trillion, and from August 2007 to October 2008, an estimated 20 percent, ($ 2 trillion) vanished from American’s retirement plans.

As I cast my ballot, I will also be forced to ponder the fact that questions how a government can spend less than 40 percent of its intake on constitutionally mandated duties, and yet, classify it as discretionary? I will contemplate how that same government, which produces nothing, can be growing in this economic climate, to have 2 million employees at the end of 2009, with a projected growth of 15.6 percent by the end of this year? I will also wonder why those same employees are paid salary and benefits far superior to those employees in the private sector.  I will consider all of this and know that there is no simple fix, and no easy answer. I will know that while we did not arrive at this point in a year, a decade or a generation; steps must be taken to find a stopping point. That for the sake of our children, our children’s children, and their children, we must pick a point to turn back to the tried and true ways. It will take courage and demand sacrifice, both of which run deep in the blood of our country’s historical veins. Our forefathers had to muster the courage to charge the sword, and shot and shell and sacrifice their lives. We must have the courage to charge the anti-nationalist mentality of the politically correct and to be willing to sacrifice a lifestyle of materialism and luxury.

Ronald Reagan once said that America was “the last bastion of freedom left on planet earth.” I wonder when our children’s children examine our actions in this historic time; will they see the evidence of the same patriotic fervor that our ancestors possessed at Valley Forge? Or will they be compelled to sit in their government assigned shanty, working at their government assigned job, eating their government rationed food and read by the dim light of a government issued lamp powered by a government approved power source, of an unbelievable time long, long ago, when men were free. I hear those chains being forged everyday, don’t you? Can you not smell the dark smoke of oppression, billowing from hell’s furnace, through the smokestacks of the Whitehouse, and the Capital building? It is floating across this land. A new link of bondage is being hammered out each day. Will we break those chains? Will my children know the freedom I enjoyed? Will yours? Will our grandchildren? We honor the W.W.II generation as the greatest generation. Years from now, how will our generation be regarded? Will it be with love and honor, or resentment? I know the choice I will make. What is yours?


  1. These few words brilliantly summarize my feelings everytime I look into the eyes of my grandchildren. When it is all said and done, what will future generations think of us? If more of my generation had “thought it forward”, we’d be in a lot better shape all the way around.

  2. These financial numbers are staggering. Its too bad that it takes an average joe to simplify them, and paint the devastating word picture that should wake everybody up. It all boils down to the parent factor, as the writer states. You may be able to defend expedient liberal policies now, but who’ll be the ones paying the bill. For the love of our children, we can’t vote to continue the course we’re on. The writer is today’s version of Paul Reveere. Is anybody listening?

  3. From the latest Perriello email, in regards to last night’s debate, which I missed:

    “Sen. Hurt delivered no plan to balance the budget, showed that he was not serious about the transportation needs of the area, and continued to stand by his outsourcing allies against the interests of Virginians. He even suggested that working Americans like nurses and janitors don’t contribute to the economy.”

    Does anyone care to rebut this?

  4. Ken,
    I believe you have mistakenly posted to the wrong article. This piece has nothing to do with the Hurt/Perriello debates.

  5. Patriot, the writer talks about the national debt, and Perriello’s charge is that Hurt can’t be specific about what he’d do about it. That’s why I posted. To be fair to Hurt, whatever he might say, he’ll have very little power to back it up in his first term. But he ought to be able to answer.

  6. Does anyone think electing Robert Hurt or Tom Perriello is going to result in any meaningful change? Tom Perriello thinks every problem should be solved with more government, and Robert Hurt is the same brand of self-serving career politicians that got us to where we are now. The only person worth the time and effort of casting a vote is Jeff Clark.

  7. GeorgeMason hits it right on the head, and that is the point. Rob recently had on as his guest, author Robert Ringer, writer of the book Restoring the American Dream. Rob could have taken the entire two hours with him that day, and still have only scratched the surface. In that book, Mr. Ringer makes the exact same observation, as he refers to the Demopublicans. Or, like a sign at a TEA party event stated, two parties, same result. Its like chosing Sheetz or WaWa, or Verizon over Nextel, Pepsi over Coke. We have the illusion of a choice, but the end result is nearly the same. This two party system is broken. Our government is like a malfunctioning tractor. It no longer matters if it is an R or a D driving it, the machine is broken, and cannot plow a straight line. The machine needs to be fixed. You fix it by sending individuals with enough character and integrity to not be seduced by the money on K street, in the form of lobbyists, and to not covet power enough to need term limits. They willing walk away after one or two terms, like our founding fathers did. This is more easily accomplished, if we sour the milk a little, and make SERVING in politics, much more sacraficial, as it once was. Our original founding fathers had to leave office, to get back home and make money. There were no careeer politicians, because it was not profitable to be one. As I stated in the editorial, there is enough blame to go around, but here is something to consider regarding just social security. This strikes a strong chord, because of Perriello’s social security ad. The one where he states “I support this message, because I was tught to respect my elders.” Perhaps he was, but one look at the situation created by his party and the damage done to it by the same, begs one to wonder.Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised: 1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary, it is no longer voluntary. 2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program. That figure is now 7.65% on the first $90,000. 3.) that the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year. It is no longer tax deductible. 4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program. Under the Johnson administration, the money was moved to the general fund and spent by creating wealth redistribution programs touted as social welfare programs. The Democrats are at fault for the violation of the trust and the Republicans for allowing them to do so. 5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income. Under the Clinton administration up to 85% of Social Security can be taxed. Since many have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month, and then finding that they are getting taxed on 85% of the money they paid to the Federal government to ‘put away’ you may be interested in the following:

    Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it? It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate. Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding? The Democratic Party. Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities? The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President. Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants? Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it! Granted, the Reagan Administration, in a decision that I found perplexing, granted amnesty to illegal aliens residing in America. Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that it is the Republicans who want to take your Social Security away! The worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! Democrats are awfully sure of that which isn’t so. Don’t forget CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES 100% RETIREMENT FOR ONLY SERVING ONE TERM!!!

    That is just one topic. To that end, if we cannot change our perspective, and see things from a longer range viewpoint, rather than the position of a short term, politically expedient view, our posterity has no hopes of enjoying freedom, in any sense of the word.

  8. Robert Hurt is the same brand of self-serving career politicians that got us to where we are now.

    Perhaps so, but what can you call Clark’s refusal to pull out when he has no chance of winning and could be a spoiler? What else but self-serving?

  9. Patriot, this “2 party system is broken” is so totally 2 yrs. ago. Before the Marxist-lite take over occurred. True, it was just a slower trip to the same destination, but why was that? It was b/c of complacency, and a belief that ‘everything has always been ok, I won’t worry about it’.

    In the past 2 yrs that belief that has disappeared, as we’ve listened to the chains of tyranny being forged everyday. All the while, Tom Perriello is saying things that sound good–“we need to more manufacturing… etc.”–while voting for the opposite and trashing corporations who do the manufacturing!!

    I am listening. And I know this is no time to get distracted by a type like Mr. “Crash it all” Clark, who appears to have only stayed in the race to distract people from the realities of Tom Perriello’s voting record.

    You asked, “when our children’s children examine our actions in this historic time; will they see the evidence of the same patriotic fervor that our ancestors possessed at Valley Forge?” I say they will! This house of horrors built on deceit and distraction has never stood for too long.

    Their rebellion against the goodness of America will continue, but they will overthrow themselves. They always do.

    I hope that you will write more. It was a great article and I will share it with friends.

  10. Liberty,
    To an extent I am in agreement. My concern is that we’ve kicked the economic can down the road as far as we can. When my intellect digests the fact that so much of our debt is now held by, in some cases, our enemies, and also by friends that could easily become such. You’ve got to wonder which event will transpire first. The barbarians overthrowing themselves, or the foreign bill collectors demanding their payment. Either way, it will be difficult. Also, in hindsight, the two party system fractured under FDR, and broke under Johnson. I guess what I am saying is, about the same time Ronald Reagan was switching sides, if more Republicans would have boldly stood with him, joined him, and groomed the next generation of leaders, we would find ourselves in better circumstances. If more Zell Miller’s could have swayed the Democratic side, we would be better off. Thank you for the kind words, I no doubt will continue to make contributions, as long as Rob lets me.

  11. Ken says,

    “Perhaps so, but what can you call Clark’s refusal to pull out when he has no chance of winning and could be a spoiler? What else but self-serving?”

    In reply, Ken, what do you call Robert Hurt’s refusal to debate Jeff Clark? What else but self-serving, AND cowardly. Jeff Clark was willing to pull out if Robert Hurt had just debated him one time. If you are unhappy that Jeff Clark is still in the race, your dissatisfaction should be directed at Robert Hurt, not Jeff Clark.

    Clark’s refusal to pull out is rooted in his desire to try to pave the way for some real change in the 5th District – specifically, to try to compel the dominant political parties to allow third party or independent candidates to participate in televised debates. Without this concession, no third party or independent is ever going to have a chance to win unless he or she is independently wealthy.

    I have not heard anyone make any affirmative argument for voting for Robert Hurt. The only reason anyone is voting for Hurt is he is not Perriello. So nothing has changed. After all the huffing and puffing by the Tea Parties and disgruntled Republicans we heard over the last 18 months, they are all ready to settle for Robert Hurt – a milk toast who is only interested in furthering his own political career (just like Perriello). When push came to shove, the Tea Parties sold out – they abandoned all their noble rhetoric and alleged principles to vote for the lesser of two evils, like they have for 30 years. They traded the opportunity to effect lasting and meaningful change for a short-lived, meaningless victory. Replacing Perriello with Hurt is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, both are servants of their party apparatus and large campaign contributors.

    You want to change something – vote for Clark and let Perriello have another term to vote in a GOP controlled House. His vote will be insignificant. But the Republican Party in the 5th District will be forced to give the Tea Parties and Independents more deference in 2012, paving the way for a candidate who is worthy of your vote on his or her own merit, not because he or she is not Perriello.

    The Tea Parties accomplished nothing. We would be looking at the same candidates and the same outcome with or without the Tea Parties. This is historically a Republican District, and Perriello won by a hair on the coattails of Obama. Well, Obama is not on the ballot this time so Perriello is finished. It is clear now, the Tea Parties in our District have become a tool of the Republican Party, and demanded no price for their cooperation.

    It’s time for Robert Hurt to pull out of the race and let Jeff Clark, a man with core principles who is not interested in being a career politician, replace Perriello.

  12. Ken, what do you call Robert Hurt’s refusal to debate Jeff Clark? What else but self-serving, AND cowardly.

    Sure, and I’ve said the same thing on this blog.

  13. How is Clark’s refusal to pull out self-serving? He can’t win the election, and by staying in the race he essentially is ending his political future in this District. He stands to gain nothing but enemies by staying in the race, and lose the opportunity to run again. He is not serving himself by staying in this race, he is serving you and all the other voters in this district, unlike Hurt and Perriello. He is trying to change things for the better, unlike the Tea Parties.

  14. By the way, cowardice is the Republican way in Delaware and Nevada this year too, where both Angle and O’Donnell are ducking reporters. If Palin runs again she’ll do the same. And then of course there is all that corporate money being spent anonymously, roughly 7-1 on conservatives, who are always whining about special interests.

  15. Ken,

    Don’t know how your reply is relevant. You did not explain how Jeff Clark’s refusal to pull out of the race is self-serving.

    If you’re implying there is any difference between Democrats and Republicans with respect to ducking reporters and campaign financing, you are surprisingly naive. Check out Harry Reid’s campaign contributors, over 90% are for-profit corporations and law firms. Over two-thirds of Pelosi’s contributions come from corporation and law firms. Both parties are beholden to the large campaign donors; these donors don’t care which party holds a seat because they will own the person who occupies the seat regardless.

    Anyone who claims there is a difference in how Democrats and Republicans conduct themselves in campaigns or in office is delusional, and must accept some responsibility for the mess this country is in today. As long as you continue to vote for members of these parties, do not expect any meaningful change or improvement in our condition.

  16. George Mason, ralling against the 2 party system is no defense of the inexcusable conduct of Jeff Clark in this race. What is being accomplished by helping the side you claim to be the opposite of??? If you cannot see by now that he is part of that system, aligned himself w/d-rats, then you are suffering from a refusal to face reality.

    How is Clark’s refusal to do as he promised self-serving? He’s keeping his name out there and working to get Perriello elected, as he has stated many times!! So your support of him amounts to feeding into the 2 party system.

    Clark is not an honest person. He has claimed having support of former conservative candidtates, and other republicans that he refuses to name. You think a person who operates that way is out to make a positive or substantial difference?

    I do believe there that there will be a difference in how the party’s operate. And if that doesn’t pan out there will be a 3rd party. But dishonest brokers will not be welcome.

    On another thread someone wondered if Clark is a fake tea party candidate, my comment was:

    Hmmm, D-rat funded, fake Tea Party Candidate? Lets see:

    1) Make promises to gain support. (then promptly ignores them, b/c the “ends justify the means”)

    2) Make baseless accusations to justify staying in the race, and attempts to “hold them to their own rules-as I define them”– (to their detriment only–H/t to Saul Alinsky)

    3) Be critical of the 2 party system. (appeal to voter frustration, then align w/whoever will keep your name out there, b/c ends always justify means!)

    Now, I don’t know if Clark has ever read Alinsky…but…

  17. GeorgeMason, he hasn’t made an enemy out of you, and there are probably many like you who admire him, and who would vote for him if they thought he could win. Meanwhile, he can only hurt Hurt. Doesn’t that look like self-aggrandizement?

    But I’ll go with your theory, and credit Clark with acting on principle, because he probably thinks Hurt is way ahead.

  18. GeorgeMason, our posts keep leapfrogging: I log onto the blog here, then read something else for awhile, then reply, and in the meantime you’ve posted something else. Or I guess I just missed your post of 10:37 when I posted this morning.

    The difference I’m noting between Republicans and Democrats on campaign financing is not primarily that one party takes more corporate money than another — though the Republicans do, being favored by big business — but that they especially this year are getting it anonymously, so that to the extent they’re bought, we don’t even know who they’re bought by. Not to mention that Supreme Court ruling, which liberals decry but conservatives love, that abolished limits on corporate campaign contributions.

    Yes it’s delusional, or at least wildly hopeful, to expect meaningful change in how politics is conducted when either Democrats or Republicans are in power. But add the Tea Party to that group, because the problem isn’t ideology, it’s “power and greed and corruptible seed” (“Blind Willie McTell” – Bob Dylan). It’s human nature.

  19. Liberty,

    I repeat my challenge to you to tell us specifically why Robert Hurt is clearly a better choice than Jeff Clark? Exactly which positions of Mr. Hurt are superior in your view to those of Clark and why?

  20. Ken,

    The Tea Party will die a slow death after this election because they so closely aligned themselves with the GOP. When the GOP fails to deliver any results, the Tea Party will have to share responsibility, and will have to account for some of the questionable candidates it backed – like Robert Hurt.

    I keep hearing about this 7 to 1 ratio of anonymous money going to Republicans. If it is anonymous, how does anyone know how much is going where? Who is reporting these numbers? I haven’t looked into this so I don’t know.

  21. George, For starters Hurt is not aligned with the d-rats, running around making and breaking promises, and falsely dragging people’s names into his campaign.

    I challenge you to explain Clark’s conduct.

  22. Liberty,

    You did not answer the question, which was “what positions has Hurt taken on issues that you think are superior to those of Clark?

  23. I forget where I read the 70% figure and a quick Google search didn’t find it. But measuring it just means measuring how much money from undisclosed sources each party’s candidates receive.

  24. I remember now. It was Eugene Robinson’s column in the Washington Post.


    Republicans are outspending Democrats by 7-1 in this kind of “independent” campaign spending. So while Democratic candidates enjoy a big advantage in official campaign funding — the kind that has limits and disclosure requirements — this edge is blunted by the wave of “independent” GOP cash.

    If Robinson is wrong – and again, it defies reason to think that Republicans aren’t getting much more corporate cash than Democrats — I’m sure you can find a blogger to say so and back it up. Note the link in the Post story.

  25. Ken,

    I read the article and checked embedded links. In my opinion, there is no credible sourcing of this data. Furthermore, the Washington Post is not an objective source itself.

    But let’s assume you’re right. So what? In this election cycle the GOP sales pitch is more appealing to donors than the Dems, so they’re getting more money. Last election, it was reversed.

  26. There is no such thing as an objective source, and in any case, the Post is hardly the only source reporting, not that figure perhaps (I don’t know), but that Republicans are taking in far more money from anonymous sources. Then again, the Post reported yesterday that Democrats have been picking up the pace themselves (the Post isn’t objective, but that doesn’t make it unfair).

    . So what?

    I’m sure you know the answer to that as well as I do. And conservatives have a stronger and more often voiced answer for it than do liberals.

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