By Don White
We're a little bit into 2013 now, and several months past the November election, which the blue team won again. For me it was a blue, blue day.
Since then I have felt indescribably blue. I know it sounds like sour grapes and just maybe it is. The great state of Illinois is so blue that we might as well not even hold elections in the future. (Just joking.) Of course, it wasn't always this way. I can remember in my lifetime when the state could truly be called the "Land of Lincoln." Now it just seems to be the slogan on our license plates.
Were things better back then? I would like to think so, and they certainly were for my family and me. The state recently observed its 194th happy birthday blues. Did you notice no one seemed overjoyed as there was nothing to celebrate?
In Washington, D.C., the "rump session" of Congress was unable to resolve the "fiscal cliff" problem until the very last minute. Even though they did make a deal it still left me feeling bluer than blue. President Barack Obama's and John Boehner's posturing even had the talk show hosts singing the blues.
As the nation inched toward the fiscal cliff it didn't stop Mr. Blue Sky Obama from having a Blue Hawaii Christmas. I wish we all could have a pair of glasses like he wears so we too could experience the lavender blue world he lives in.
I know many folks that had another blue Christmas in 2012. Then, contrary to what we had been told, that only the rich were going to be taxed more, every working stiff got stiffed. This happened when the 2 percent temporary reduction on the Social Security tax ended on Dec. 31, a reduction to our Social Security system that is going broke. So as many of us were learning the blues, I hope those who voted for Obama were wondering why.
But I know they weren't. As I was writing some of this our 44th President had just been sworn in for his second term. I am feeling like The Little Blue Man with nowhere to turn.
Well, are you ready for four years of "revenge?" "Second time, a harder line" and no-time-to-waste-style politics? In my opinion it will be red roses for a Blue Lady, the lady being Lady Liberty. Can things get any worse than they are? I hope not, but don't say I didn't warn you that this could be a misty blue four years.
From what little I have heard about this inauguration, it was party time in Washington, D.C. It sometimes seems like that's all they do in D.C. But this time there were invited guests. No, not me, but don't panic I am not having a blue blue day over it. The Illinois parade float had the "Land of Lincoln" on it. The Democrats from our great state were all doing "The Swingin' Shephard Blues" as they partied all day and night.
When the party's over mosey on back to Illinois and get some work done. As the pension deal fizzles, the education system in Illinois got a C-, up slightly from the D it had earned and the state paid out over $23 million to state workers for not working. Rome is burning while the fools in Springfield are fiddling around with our tax dollars.
Here's something else that really has me talking to the blues: I read in one of our other local newspapers that a person was very upset that Obama was being compared to Adolf Hitler. Talk like that really had me wanting to try a little crystal blue persuasion to level the playing field. Oh! I forgot, liberals take offense when their people are called names, yet they are allowed to call conservatives any names they want and that's okay. So soon they forget what people called President Bush.
While those in the state and federal government dawdle over important matters, many families are hoping the New Year will not be another bluer than blue year for them. We elected these men and women to go to the seat of government and take care of business for us. Instead they give us more of their white lies, blue eyes. When the Christmas recess came many of our elected officials would normally hopped on a plane for a blue Hawaii or fancy resort holiday. This past Christmas I hope they had a blue bayou holiday like many other people did.
Obama tries so hard to be like Lincoln. This year he again used the Lincoln Bible and also Martin Luther King's for the swearing-in ceremony. Early in his life, Lincoln embraced a new emphasis on personal initiative, risk-taking and ambition. King had a dream and finally, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Lincoln, that dream has almost been realized.
Obama now has the chance of his life to bring the country together. Yet in his inauguration speech he made it clear that only government could fix the nation's problems. He said, "We are made for the moment. The journey is not over." Does this mean he will try to work together in peace and harmony so the rest of the world knows that what our Founding Fathers fought for was well worth the sacrifices they made? Does this mean that those words, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," will take on a new meaning for the 300 million-plus citizens who live in the United States of America?
My hope, my dream and my prayer, are that Obama uses these next four years not to get his "revenge," not to take the country deeper into debt, not to use class warfare to divide us any further. He needs to stand by the constitution, not on it for key issues such as guns, gays and immigration. He needs to stand in the middle and reach across both aisles to bring those 545 men and women who take their seats in the House and Senate to work for us, the 300 million citizens who are counting on them to keep America safe, secure and strong. Just don't keep spending money we don't have.
We don't need more laws, more government handouts, more special interest groups and more big government to keep this country strong. We do need fair tax laws, major cuts in government spending, a strong military to protect our citizens and leadership that will come together to keep America great. And we don't need a secretary of the treasury who can't write his name legibly.
As we all know from his first four years, Obama talks a good fight. But now he has to stand and deliver. His legacy is waiting in the wings. The country can't survive another four years like we just had - but you know what? The people have spoken and they elected him to carry on.
The incivility in government here in Illinois and in Washington must not continue.
Flash back to Jan. 26, 2013, "Illinois credit bottoms out." God Bless America and all her ships at sea.
Don White lives in Palos Hills.