I was watching "Clifford the Big Red Dog," a cartoon series based on the books by Norman Bridwell, with my two-year-old granddaughter this morning, and political enlightenment was bestowed upon me by the characters in the story. You never know where knowledge is going to come from, do you?
Anyway, the children in the story were discussing what they wanted to be when they grew up. One character, who is particularly narcissisitic, said she wanted to be the president of the United States when she grew up. Cut to the fantasy.
In her fantasy, she was dressed in a blue business suit with her hair pulled back to look professional. She was still a child. She was speaking behind a podium addressing a crowd of people and journalists.
She said, (I'm paraphrasing), "I declare that every Friday will be Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!" The crowd cheers.
"I declare that there will be fountains of free lemonade in every park!" Again, the crowd roars and cheers.
"And, I declare that I'm having a great big party so all of you can come and have your picture taken with me!" The crowd goes wild.
That last bit was so Obamaesque that it was funny, but the rest of it really struck me.
There is no thought to who will pay for the cookies and lemonade, or the people who serve them. What about the massive uptake in the need for cookie ingredients like chocolate chips and sugar? Would there be enough supply, and what effect would it have on staple ingredients for families like flour and eggs. Where would we get enough lemons to make all that lemonade? Could we do it in the United States, or would we have to import them? Again, we'd be using sugar, so between the cookies and the lemonade, the demand for sugar would soar. Could the sugar cane growers and processing plants keep up with the supply? Jobs would be created, so that would be an upside...
Clearly Clifford's friend is presenting a child's view of what it is to be the president. It's not unlike when a child runs for class president and makes promises that sound great to the voters, but are impossible to fulfill (e.g. I'll have the lunch ladies serve cake every day). Sadly, though, this thought process isn't confined to children. It's rampant among Democrats.
Cause and effect thinking is what is always missing from ideas to give free things to the people. And it can cripple a country, as we are witnessing in Greece as I write this.
There is a website called "if I were president" and it compiles submissions from people answering that question. The answers range from scary (I'd cut one finger off of every driver caught without using a headset while talking on the phone and driving, for EACH offense. 10 offenses = NO fingers!), to practical (lower taxes, allow failing companies to fail, keep government out of our personal lives, and look out for the country's best interests), to admirable (I would remember that I am a servant of the people, not a dictator manipulated by everyone in town who has an agenda).
But so many of the answers are dictatorial in nature, including increasing pay for all teachers and eliminating taxes. There is a lot of giving going on in the answers--giving free health care to everyone (which many people mistakenly think the recently-signed health care law provides), providing vegan meal choices to all school children, etc.
There is little acknowledgement that the president of the United States isn't supposed to sit in the White House making declarations; the congress passes the bills and the president signs them into law. Clearly who is president makes an enormous difference; but he is not king, he is an elected official in a representative republic.
When President Clinton was in office, he was instrumental in getting 100,000 more police "on the streets" all across the country. He still brags about that one. The problem with it was that there was an expiration date. After a certain amount of time, the money for the program ran out and it was unfunded. The states were then stuck with all of these police personnel and no money to pay them. It's a perfect example of an idea that sounds good (we need more police, and that will reduce crime), enacting a "solution" without thinking it through, and having the consequences cause a huge mess. This happens all too often when Democrats are left in charge.
I really think Democrats believe the presidency is like Clifford the Big Red Dog's friend's fantasy. And even more frightening, I think our current president believes it too. Like the voter who uttered the now-famous quote that with Obama as president she won't have to worry about paying her mortgage or putting gas in her car, there are people who believe he has almost super-human powers because he's president. This childish view of the presidency is common.
It's the voters on the left who believed this and voted for Obama, and it's the Democrat leaders who keep promising things they never wind up doing. They've been promising to help the poor for decades, and they have made no strides in that area whatsoever. But they keep on promising. And the voters keep on voting.
And America keeps on living with the consequences of the immature who cannot grasp cause and effect thinking, but have the power to vote. Like Clifford's friend, America needs to grow up.