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Let's change the course of the nation 

Santa Maria

We have less than a month before one of the most important elections of our lives. The 1980 presidential election was the first one in which I experienced the joy of my right to vote. I have to admit that, prior to that time, I was clueless.

It was a time of extremely harsh economic times. The interest rates were more than 20 percent, and while our country was not technically at war, more than 50 American diplomats were being held hostage in Iran. In addition, farmers across the Midwest were in crisis mode over the grain embargo.

Today, some 32 years later, it seems like history is repeating itself. The issues may be just a little different, but not much. This time, the Russians talk of suspending the import of American corn. The interest rates are not 20 percent; instead, unemployment is more than 8 percent in much of the country—and as high as 12 percent in some communities. And if you count the people who have stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate is actually more than 15 percent. According to Forbes, official unemployment rates in California’s Central Valley towns still exceed 30 percent.

Nearly half the country is dependent on the government for its subsistence; the United States debt load is equivalent to more than $50,000 per citizen. More than 20 countries are enraged at America, burning our flag and harming our citizens. Farmers in America are over-regulated while facing fire, drought conditions, and in some states dealing with flood aftermath. Our president seems to be more interested in hanging out with Hollywood celebrities than addressing problems here and abroad.

As in 1980, America is not seen as a world leader; instead, our president has delivered apologies to our enemies. As we approach the 2012 presidential election, it is critical that each voter consider how our president has comported himself over the past four years. Has he made every effort to unite Americans is making our country great? Has he lifted the spirit of our citizens, and has he represented all that America is when he traveled abroad? No, he has not!

We can’t continue to drag our country down the path of mayhem. We have an opportunity to change the course for our nation. Let’s do it!

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