My name is Arthur Christopher Schaper, a resident of Torrance, CA.
Not the South Bay of Florida, but the South Bay of Los Angeles County, that's where I live.
I ran into a native Floridian at a Beachfront Library in my community last week. I was sharing with a colleague of mine the overreach that the Obama Administration has been forcing on this country. I was also talking about the bullying tactics of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff.
This gentleman was standing nearby and heard me talking about the "mad mayor", and he started shooting out some choice words about the mayor. The specific topic of "discussion" (or more accurately, railing calumny) involved Mr. Emmanuel's attempt to bully the big banks with headquarters in "The Windy City."
"I can't stand that (censored)," the man vented at me, without respite.
I then told him about Texas US Senator Ted Cruz' open letter to the two major banks in the Chicago region, that their services were more than welcome in Texas, where the legislature has a "more modest view" of government.
We then switched to talking about the current political problems facing this country, including our shocked dismay that President Barack Obama got elected to a second term.
I told the man not to be discouraged, that "mourning can turn into morning" again.
He shared a deep-set cynicism about the state of affairs in the United States.
After the 2012 election, this man told me (Barry was his name, and he was from Boca Raton, Florida) that he was fed up with politics. He was convinced that the voters in this country were just going to have to learn the hard way.
I kept reminding him not to be discouraged. Even though the Republican Party lost the Presidency and some seats in the House and the US Senate, they now control thirty governorships throughout the country, and in fifteen states they have supermajority numbers in the state legislatires. President Obama will own every mistake, every slip-up, every failure that comes out of Washington. House Speaker John Boehner was quite unpopular up to the fiscal cliff, but now he's organizing his party, both the Tea Party and the Establishment Republicans to take on the President.
President Obama already withdrew one failed nominee for Secretary of state, and his current nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has flummoxed and flim-flammed his way into late-night derision.
The GOP controls the House of Representatives, which represents the true pulse of the country. Just this past week, the Republicans passed a slight increase of the debt ceiling, followed by a required budget from both houses of Congress, or legislators would get no pay. They have also advanced another bill which requires the President to balance the budget. Smart moves all around, and President Obama cannot claim that the Republicans are merely stonewalling.
Barry was still somewhat unconvinced. "I admire your enthusiasm", he told me. "You remind me of me when I was your age."
I was flattered that he thought of me as a young man, but I was more interested in getting him fired up for 2014.
President Obama won fewer votes than in 2008. Romney actually did better than expected among independents. A record number of Republicans stayed home, sadly. Besides, the excessive number of debates and extensive primary process all but battered the GOP nominee, leaving the Democratic Party plenty of time to regroup and calibrate nothing but hollow attack ads against Romney. Of course, Romney did not help himself much because he did not really want to be President, and on top of that he could not reconcile his centrist past with his faux-center right presentation throughout the summer and into the fall.
I write this post in honor of "Barry of Boca Raton", and all Floridians and frustrated Americans who never once thought that Barack Obama could withstand the faltering economy, the do-nothing Congress (made worse by Obama's do-nothing leadership and spend-thrift policies). He survived only to own the terrible ship of state, but that does not mean that Americans have to abandon ship.
You do not have to sit back and put up with bad leadership, unconstitutional rule, or unlimited government. Get involved in your local races, tell your state leaders and Congressmen what you expect from them, and do not let up until the do their job.
Do it for yourself, and do it for Barry of Boca Raton.