A New President May Not Solve Our Problems
November 4, 2008
Today is Tuesday, Nov. 4, Election Day, and I am writing this from Wasilla, Alaska, just a few miles
from Sarah Palin's home.
I'm here because a good friend of mine, who happens to be a very good friend of Sarah Palin,
invited my wife and I and several other couples from around the country to an election party.
Traveling 4,000 miles for a party may be hard to rationalize, but so is flying to the opposite coast to
root for your team during an important away game. The trip seems worth it after a victory, but it feels
twice as long when you return home, minus the "w." I will soon know how long my return trip will feel.
For a small town, there is plenty of excitement, hope and anticipation in air cold enough to make a
Green Bay Packer fan think twice about going outside. In spite of that, residents line the streets to
support the hometown gal who is making it big. I'm sure the same was going on in three other towns
across the country.
Important decisions will be made today, but the most important decision for our country and its
citizens will be made after the polls close. Who we elect to run our country is not as important as who
we choose to run our lives. Each of us, regardless of political affiliation, should acknowledge and
embrace something that is quickly disappearing from our society, and that is the art of taking
personal responsibility for our lives.
Government doesn't have enough teats to suckle everyone. If you think I'm siding with a particular
party, you're wrong. I don't care if the party is painted blue or red or if the leader is black or white. If
they advocate that government's purpose is a combination of surrogate parent, financial advisor,
ATM and safety net for everyone from cradle to grave, that's where they lose my vote.
If we believe government can solve all our problems, then we have a problem, one that cannot be
solved. Our national defense will protect us from an enemy outside our borders, but it won't protect
us from the national dependence that is the enemy within.
Pre-election promises aren't new, and this year was no exception. What's surprising is the growing
number of people who believe that there is such a thing as getting something for nothing. Pick a
crisis, any crisis, and you will be able to trace the root cause of it to someone's selfish interests,
greed, dishonesty or other character flaw.
For centuries, governments have tried unsuccessfully to legislate away the vices that we were born with.
As we painfully know, leaders struggle with the same temptations, so, our form of government, the best
the world has known, still boils down to imperfect people governing imperfect people.
Therefore, should we really be surprised when we read about scandals in Washington, corruption on
Wall Street or improprieties at Fannie Mae? Who's to blame for these problems? Politicians like to point
fingers at greedy CEOs, dishonest investment brokers or even the opposing political party. All of the
above may carry some blame, but they always fail to place some of the blame where it belongs - at
the voters' feet. In other words, all of us are to blame.
A billion words were uttered throughout the campaign, and I'd bet less than 100 of them addressed our
biggest problem, which is the need to take responsibility for our lives. Government can hand out $2,000
debit cards until the attorneys are finished challenging the election, but that will not solve our problems
if we continue living beyond our limits. Likewise, the $700 billion bailout may be a shot in the arm, but it
won't cure what ails us. The only cure for our market and economy is a good old fashioned dose of
individual honesty - a medicine government is fresh out of.
History has proven that people are sometimes given the leader they deserve, rather than the leader
they need. By the time you read this, the election results will be known. Some will celebrate, others will
not. However, who won is not as important as which leader we selected. Let's pray we selected the
leader we need, one that is willing to be honest with us by telling us what we need to hear, not what we
want to hear.
Keep the faith.
Denny Grimes is a local real estate agent and is president of Denny Grimes & Company. He can be
reached at 239-689-7600 or email@example.com.