Welcome to Toastmasters, June 13, 2033
Today Rick Campbell, one of our senior members at age 87, is here to reminisce a bit and give us a history lesson. He says he is so old that he learned to drive an internal combustion engine car (remember those?) with a manual transmission. He once owned a typewriter. He remembers when bicycles had one speed, phones had two-party lines, and cameras had something called film. As incredible as this may seem, he says that when he was young, it was common for people to smoke in restaurants and public places. He is from a different time; almost a different world.
I’m sure all of us are familiar with the tragic events of 2010, so Rick is not going to plow that fertile field again. Instead, he is going to give us a personal look back at the conditions which led up to that fateful year, in a speech titled “2010 Was Not A Good Year To Be President.”
“2010 Was Not A Good Year To Be President”…
Yes, 2010 was long ago and far away. As we look back on history, it appears that some Presidents had an easy ride; times of growth and stability. Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight Eisenhower come to mind. Those were good years to be President.
Others were elected just when the country was facing terrible crises: Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George W. Bush. They rose to the occasion, even though they were controversial and widely hated while in office. Not such good years to be President.
Just prior to 2010, in 2008, the country began foundering. We were in the sixth year of the Iraqi Occupation, and the economy was flat. The mainstream press clearly wanted a Democrat elected.
Although we didn’t know it until some years later, oil producing nations had colluded to secretly buy their own oil on the open market, driving oil prices to shocking levels above the true demand price – reaching a high of $162 a barrel in October, 2008, just before the general elections.
Their purpose was simple: to effect a regime change in the United States. The U.S. economy was already in a real estate slump and also suffering the curse of stagflation; slow growth and high inflation. There were a million home foreclosures. Independent truckers went under by the thousands. Airlines failed. Airlines with names now long-forgotten: United, Delta, Northwest, American. All now merged, of course, into the one lone government-run U.S. carrier.
Against this backdrop of weariness of the war on terror, and economic distress, the American people were ripe for a demagogue, and they certainly got one in Barack Hussein Obama. He and his running mate, Kathlene Sebelius, inspired them with vague notions of hope and change; of a world in which diplomacy settled all international problems, of free universal health care, of abundant alternative energy, of peace and love. It was a vision too good to resist.
The Republican nominee was a name you probably haven’t heard in years: Anyone? Yes, it was John McCain, a Senator from Arizona who had no clue how to run a presidential campaign, and with a platform nearly as liberal as Obama’s.
The selection of former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, as his running mate looked brilliant at first. Unfortunately, black voters viewed her as white, and women voters viewed her as one of the establishment guys.
Even so, the McCain/Rice ticket would have won the election if it weren’t for the fact that 16 percent of conservatives (mostly Republicans) voted for: (Anyone remember?) That’s right, Bob Barr, another name that’s a footnote in history.
After Obama’s narrow win, thanks to four recounts in Broward County, Florida, the liberals were positively giddy. A Democrat House, Senate, and President. At last an end to gridlock in Washington. Camelot had arrived!
When Congress convened in January, 2009, the 44th President of the United States did something unique in history: he made good on his campaign promises. Certainly most voters never really thought he was serious during the campaign. But whether because of inexperience, idealism, or simply incompetence, he followed through.
In Obama’s first One Hundred Days, the Congress passed his initiatives; and he signed them into law as he said he would. He repealed the Bush tax cuts, and doubled the capital gains taxes. He enacted a windfall profits tax, and instituted price controls on gasoline and diesel fuel. He passed universal health care, which added an additional 10 percent income tax increase on all working Americans. He signed the Immigrant Amnesty bill which created 12 million new citizens instantly, each with entitlements.
He closed the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and summarily released all the detainees. He repealed the Patriot Act, and cut funding for espionage, and eliminated all terrorist listening and wiretaps. At the same time, he began the complete and immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq.
He ignored the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, [reminiscent of prior presidents LBJ and Carter] who wanted to retain bases in Kuwait and Qatar.
Instead, he went with the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Dennis Kucinich, and ordered all troops back to USA soil.
Viola! In One Hundred Days, by May of 2009, it was all done, and the initial vision was completed. He did exactly what he said he would do. And so it was in the summer of 2009 that things began to unravel for Obama. Of course, the economy needed a tax cut, not an increase, and unemployment quickly rose to 12 percent. Even attorneys and economists were put in the bread lines. Hard times ensued.
Price controls on gasoline immediately led to shortages and gas lines. The global cooling trend we have seen for the past 25 years first became obvious in 2009, exposing the CO2 global warming fraud. People were justifiably angry.
Federal deficits increased massively because thousands of baby boomers, facing job loss and much higher taxes, simply gave up and took their social security.
The once superb U.S. health care system was thrown into disarray when the government created the Federal Department of Health care, and the immediate hiring of 250,000 administrators, inspectors and auditors, the only job growth in any sector of the 2009 economy.
By February 2010, the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq was complete.
It was a very expensive undertaking. One month later in March, the gradual Shiite insurgencies from Iran turned Iraq into a true Iraqi civil war. In May, Iranian tanks crossed the border and quickly took Baghdad. Although the exact number is not known, at least 230,000 Sunni Iraqis died after we withdrew.
Iran also quickly moved into undefended Kuwait. President Obama did exactly what he said he would. He sent Secretary of State Maria Cantwell to Tehran to meet with Iranian President Ahmadinejad. After two weeks of high level talks, the United States agreed to allow Iran to retain Iraq and Kuwait to create stability in the Middle East, with the understanding that Israel would not be disturbed. Cantwell returned to Washington, and explained the agreement in her famous speech, in which she proudly noted that the Obama administration had finally achieved “peace in our time” in the Middle East.
So there was some surprise by the Administration at the rocket attacks on Tel Aviv on August 14th. President Obama said, “This is not the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I knew.” The Obama Administration decided it would be de-stabilizing to take sides in the conflict, and approximately 29,000 Israeli civilians died during that summer and fall.
American Jews were appalled at the inaction. Yes, in 2010 most American Jews were still Democrats; but because of 2010, they are solid Republicans today.
As awkward as it was, everything might have turned out all right for the Obama Administration going into the fall mid-term elections of 2010, if it hadn’t been for the dirty bomb explosion in the Port of Long Beach. The Obama Administration had cut funding for the inspection of containers, because they felt it showed a “lack of trust” in the international trading community. It wasn’t a large nuclear device. But nonetheless it contaminated some expensive real estate – Newport Beach, Palos Verdes – and ultimately caused the death of 14,000 Americans. People were especially annoyed that Disneyland had to be closed for decontamination.
And so, in the midterm elections, conservative Republicans regained control of both the House and Senate, and the rest is history.
The impeachment proceedings against President Obama for “failure to protect and defend” were swift and nearly unanimous. Vice President Sibelius resigned. Newly-elected Speaker of the House, J.C. Watts, became the 45th President of the United States.
But you know the rest of the story well. Elected conservatives finished the war on Islamic fundamentalists, largely by aiming ICBM’s at Mecca and Medina. No Democrat has been elected President since Obama.
Conservatives have held both Houses of Congress. Correct history of Western Civilization and Economics are now taught in all public schools, and in English only. Marriage is defined as one man and one woman. And there are border fences, north and south.
We old codgers remember the ancient Confucian curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, 2010 was an interesting year, but it was not a good year to be President.”