Ξ March 25th, 2008 | → 14 Comments | ∇ -My Favorites, Costa Rica, Idle Thoughts, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Politics, US Politics |
Oddly, one of the questions I get from readers asks me questions about my politics. Kinda nosey huh? They want to know if I follow the US political/economic scene, for whom am I going to vote… etc. Most of the time I do not answer as I believe that my blogs are supposed to be about Costa Rica and related topics and I guess my politics or personal views are not appropriate.
Lately, however, I see people who are just so unhappy living in the USA that their questions are not so much asking about my views as asking about if things will be better living here. Recently I wrote something about how I felt the USA was broken and needed repair. That was less a political statement than my observations from afar. Saying that, I guess if readers really want to know about life here, will it be better than living in the USA, will their life issues resolve themselves by moving here, maybe it is not a bad idea to address this.
So… if my personal opinions and politics are of interest, read on!
First, let me say I dearly love the USA. Not everything of course… but I have traveled this world and I have not yet seen a better country. Second, let me say in no uncertain terms, that moving to any country because you do not like the current administration, politics, social environment etc. will not change anything in your life. You cannot run away from yourself. It is the dumbest reason to pack up and leave. Moving here because you are seeking a “more simple lifestyle” is the number two stupid reason for leaving your country. Nothing is simple here as many come to find. Costa Rica is not better. It is just different. Whomever you blame for your current situation, I can assure you it is not George Bush, Bill Clinton nor any other US leader and leaving your country because of any politician is just silly.
So why move at all? There are many good reasons. Although Costa Rica is getting more and more expensive every day, it is still cheaper to live here than just about anywhere in the USA. A lot of 55-65 years olds are now discovering that they will not be able to sustain a post retirement lifestyle if all they have is their social security. This is sad, but when FDR set up social security and ever since, it was NEVER intended to be the sole source of income after retirement. So moving here because of financial necessity is certainly a valid reason for considering an expat lifestyle.
Another good reason is, I guess, the desire to live and learn a different culture.
Me? I made the mistake of reading a lot of Hemmingway when I was in my teens, and ever since, I had this desire to live like the characters in his novels, all expats living in France or Spain… drinking coffee in cool Bohemian haunts… you get the idea. Well it is NOT like that I promise… but for me, it is fun!
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to live elsewhere, I would urge you not to just sell the farm and move here. One of the largest movers of people from the USA to Costa Rica said the other day that he is now moving more than half of his customers back to the USA within a year. It seems to be a lot harder for women to adjust to the expat life… especially those with children and grandkids. They think they can adjust to not being there for graduations, proms, and the zillion daily events in the lives of their families, but many simply cannot live without family and friends.
To explain how I feel about the coming presidential election, it is best just to write about my thought processes. I am sure some will concur an others will not agree. I do not care. I have voted both Democrat and Republican over the years and I find no one party capable of producing anything special. For many years now, my choice was based on who I thought would do the least damage while in office. Sad.
One of my pet peeves is those boneheads who vote for a person based solely on one issue e.g. abortion, immigration, death penalty… whatever. The job of president entails so much more and to eliminate a good person from consideration because of his belief on one issue is just not intelligent. I am personally for gun control, against abortion, for tough (but fair) immigration, strongly against the death penalty (not in principle but because there are just too many screwups in the system sending innocent persons to death row), and for most environmental issues. Those are just a few and of course there are others.
Now saying that, for the first time, I will be voting almost entirely based on one issue. Guess that makes me a hypocrite! So be it.
Here is how I view this years offerings:
I think he is generally a decent man. His push for change hits a chord in many people. I question seriously his general experience, his total lack of knowledge on international affairs, and most importantly, his judgment. His recent difficuties relating to the racist hate monger, Jeremiah Wright, a man he states was and is one of the leading persons of influence in his life. He continued and continues to maintain a relationship with the good pastor. As a sitting US senator, his should have done everything in his power to confront this animal and failing that, completely disassociate himself from him and his hate mongering. Can you imagine if any white presidential candidate (or for that matter any white person with a modicum of moral and ethical beliefs) attended services where attacks against the US were supported and racism against Blacks was preached regularly? I can not. Most people would instantly stand up and leave! Obama should have done that. As a senator, he simply can NOT tolerate racism, regardless of the source.
I can now see why Obama’s wife made her recent comments about forever being ashamed of the USA. She and Obama have been exposed to racial hatred (both Black AND White) for years, and neither, despite the obvious blessings both received from “white America” can have escaped the lessons taught my this “most influential figure in my life”.
Wright preaches racial hatred and separation to Black adults and children, and now comes Obama looking to make change and bring the country together. Huh? I see no way a man who supports an anti-white hate monger can possibly have the ability to resolve the many racial issues still facing the US. He should have years ago dealt with this man. He did not. Silence to me, is a form of support or concurrence.
So now comes Hillary Clinton telling all who will listen that SHE has the experience to run the country. As far as I have ever been able to see, her experience is pretty much limited to sleeping with Bill (at times) while HE was president. Other than that, her only attempt at accomplishing anything while passing the years in the White House, related to her dismal attempt to establish a national health care plan, a total fiasco, even though Clinton’s popularity was at a high. As a matter of fact, she pissed off everyone! Even her personal staff hated her. So she is the one to pull the country together? She does not get along with people. Can you imagine Hillary as president working hand-in-hand with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another person who alienates a LOT of people?? Oh yeah, I can imagine getting a LOT done.
Both of these people make enemies more often than my wife makes coffee.
The Clinton’s usual process is to change position on everything. Bill did it. Now Hillary is too. I recall early in the campaign her comments that she did not really care about the Michigan and Florida primary votes not counting. I HEARD the interview. She was most clear. Of course, at the time, she was far ahead of Obama and I suppose in her mind, there was just no way she could lose the nomination.
Well now, Obama has waxed her beans and HE has the lead! Now she want the Michigan and Florida votes. Says she always did! She does not want all those poor Dems to be disenfranchised! I bet she doesn’t! Oddly, she was the only candidate to campaign in Michigan as the other candidates honored the Democratic Nacional Committee’s warning about the early primary. Cool huh? So Hillary, knowing Obama did not even campaign in Michigan, now wants those votes for herself. How typically 100% Clinton. Nothing changes. The Clintons are good at this stuff, and I do not like it. I guess I also figure Bill had his presidency, and I cannot imagine what he would be doing if Hillary wins. Somehow, I do not see him on the golf course every day. I picture him spending a LOT of time hanging around the Oval Office and one time, for any president, is enough. No replays.
What an odd duck is John McCain.
He sure is not a Republican, at least not in the sense many have defined Republicans. He crosses party lines whenever he choses. He pisses off the “real” conservatives which may be his undoing. He is like the Republican version of Joe Lieberman, (one of my favorite politicians! I would have voted for him in 2000.). He makes enormously unpopular statements like “We’ll be in Iraq for 100 years”. Inflammatory surely, but probably 100% correct as we NEVER leave a country after a conflict. Hell, we are STILL in South Korea after 50+ years!
McCain seems to me to at least take a position even though unpopular. He supports our position in Iraq. NOT a popular position. I personally hate that we are there and wish we had not invaded, but we did. SO now, Obama and Clinton want us out NOW. Looks right on paper. Sorta like communism looks good but does not work in reality. However, neither Obama nor Clinton EVER address the major issue of what happens if we just pull out! Can you imagine the massacres? It would certainly rival the 600,000 South Vietnamese killed after we left Saigon. Further, can you imagine Osama and Al-Qaeda with those oil revenues that they would most certainly receive should we leave? Just what I want! A well-funded Al-Qaeda!
As Pakistan is very unstable and chuck full of Al-Qaeda (and Pakistan has the bomb, BTW), I now see Al-Qaeda with a ton of money and the bomb. Swell!
McCain is older than dirt… hell – he is older than ME. While not a huge issue, it certainly will be important who McCain selects as his running mate. How interesting would be a McCain/Lieberman ticket! Lieberman endorsed McCain last year and that to me meant something because of my respect for Lieberman. Never happen I suppose, but fun to think about.
So have you figured out MY one issue? National Security.
Hate or love Bush, the one thing most important to me is that there has not been a repeat of 9-11 in 7 years.
I have children and grandkids living in Chicago, certainly a potential target city for Al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups, so this year, I will vote for the person who I feel will keep them safest. My only concern.
Trying to placate Osama and his crew would be about as useful as was placating Hitler before WW2. Didn’t work. Won’t work. Whoever is in the Oval Office has got to be ruthless on defense of the United States. At this point, Obama and Clinton want nothing more than to pander to those who want out of Iraq, but fail to present solutions to what happens if we depart. In fact, over the years, the Democrats have generally NOT been strong on military issues (except another favorite, Harry Truman), choosing instead to place more money in social programs, a generally good idea, but that, like Communism, seldom works in reality (unless you live in Costa Rica, a non-target for everyone!).
At this point, it will likely be McCain.
Intelligent comments welcome!