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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The right side of history

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

- Barack Obama

Before I jump back into trading, Fibonacci, and Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard in the "Iron Man" sequel, I am compelled to make a final post on the election.

It might surprise many of you to find out that I am not a die-hard Democrat. This is the sixth Presidential election I have participated in, and with my vote for Barack Obama it brings my overall record to 50/50; I have voted for 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

I consider myself an Independent. If I had to classify myself as anything, it would be Liberal. But I share some Conservative philosophies too. Why did I vote for Obama? Because I think we are at a crucial moment in the history of our country - our status and reputation in the world is beyond tarnished, we are fighting two wars - one of which we had no right to begin. And we have become a nation divided. A nation that is pervasive with hate and greed. A nation of people who only care about themselves - what is best for "me". "My" money. "My" SUV. "My" big house.

At least that is what we appeared to be until last night, when 52% 53% of the country finally managed to speak louder than those who have been preaching hate, greed, and divisiveness for many years.

What was so bothersome about this campaign is that the "me first" attitude was brought to the forefront. The hate and greed was put center stage for all to see. The Conservative party did not fight this campaign on the issues. No. They fought it on character assassination and fear. Obama is a terrorist. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is - gasp, black. And the blacks will take over (what does that even mean?). Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Obama does not love America. Liberals are not patriotic. Reverend Wright. Bill Ayers. Paling around with terrorists. Redistribution of wealth (you would think that taxes didn't exist before Barack Obama and that he invented the concept).

It is my opinion that the losing party executed these tactics because of the influence of Fox News, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and a plethora of right-wing clones who dominate the airwaves and do nothing but parrot what they hear from one another; they are the purveyors of hate, greed, and divisiveness. And sadly, these sources are where millions of Americans and the majority of Conservatives get their information. What is even sadder is that the people who get their information from these sources have become complacent and accept everything they hear as fact, regardless of how irrational it might sound or how it defies common sense. And they have been convinced that anything other than Fox News is the "liberal media" and has a bias for the Democrats.

But it is not true. CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC are all the same - they fluctuate from positive stories about both sides to negative stories about both sides. They perpetuate insane rumors about both sides. They give both sides cause to complain about their coverage. At the end of the day the positives and negatives are close to equal for all involved. But if the viewers of Fox News and the listeners of right-wing talk radio discovered that, the hold over them would be diminished. So those sources constantly reinforce the "liberal media" fallacy to keep their audience captured. And it has worked almost perfectly for over a decade.

But there are cracks in the foundation, and they started to show last night. It is my sincere hope that Conservatives will wake up and expand their sphere of information beyond Fox News and the right-wing pundits and see what is really going on in their country and the world. I challenge you to listen to, look at, and read other sources for 30 days; you might be surprised at what you discover. And it is my sincere hope that over the next four years we as a country will chip away at the hate and divisiveness that creates an atmosphere where it is acceptable to win at any cost and only be concerned about one's own self.

I started this post with a quote from Barack Obama because it brings everything full circle:

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

- Barack Obama

If Obama can re-introduce the concept of service to this country, we can begin to overcome the greed and selfishness that is so rampant. As citizens of the United States, we have not been asked to do anything for our country or our neighbors in decades. Too many people think they are entitled to reap the benefits of living in this country without having any responsibility to make it a better place for everyone. The prevailing complaint for the past few months has been about paying taxes (even though, ironically, the vast majority of people complaining about Obama's proposed tax plan will actually pay less). All we have heard for weeks is "Barack Obama wants to take your money and redistribute it to someone who is lazy and does not work".

But there is a reason that many of the wealthiest people - Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Cuban just to name a few - have publicly supported Obama and have said they should, and gladly will, pay more taxes. These people know that we need to help our fellow citizens, and we can't penalize those who work hard and need assistance because some people take advantage of the system. They know we need to pay for two wars and a strong military. They know we need education for our children and updated infrastructure for our country. They know that if we don't step up to help one another that the United States will no longer be the country that afforded them the opportunity to become the success they are today.

Despite what you have been told, that is not Socialism - it is the philosophy that built this country.

So my hope is for better days ahead - not just for the rich and successful but for everyone. For restoring America's reputation. For ending the politics of hate and fear. And my hope is for being on the right side of history as we move forward.



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12 comments:

dan said...

Amen

Katie said...

Wow. Well put.

Roger B. said...

Nice post X.

TonyB said...

DITTO.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised about your comments above, because you as a trader can only win money that somebody else loses....

Kevin said...

Nice post. Now let the end of year rally commence!

reno said...

Great post thxs. I totally agree with the selfishness and hate/greed mentality which sickens me.

I also like how you mentioned the people that complained the most about Obama's tax plan ironically will actually pay less tax. One of my co-workers at lunch yesterday was doing just that and I was wondering to myself he would only be affected if he made over 250k a year which isn't possible since we're on the low end of the totem pole in the company.

Anonymous said...

great post X, sadly the problem is most people are so ignorant they can't see through the bullshit...hence bush president for 8 years....keep up the great work..weewuu

Tag said...

Anon, you can say that about any industry. If I am selling and I make a sale, I am taking money away from the competition who does not get that sale.

Why would that preclude helping other people?

brentc said...

Well said.
Have been trying to say the same thing to my FOX brained friends.

Here is to change!

Charlie said...

Ditto. Great day for America. Obama already hit the ground running. Right-wing nuts will always be there, but maybe more people will turn away now.

PW said...

Wow Trader-X this is by far one of the best post I have read. I was disappointed at my fellow trading blogers who didn't even mention the election but you took it a step further and I'm impressed by your thoughts. If you don't mind I am adding you to my blogroll. If you don't want to be listed on my blog please let me know. Most people were just projecting their emotions but you laid out a well thought out observation.

To Your Success, PW