Giving Credit

By Louis Avallone

As we celebrated Mother’s Day earlier this month, and now look forward to celebrating Father’s Day next month, I am again reminded of how grateful I am to my parents, for their immeasurable sacrifices and tireless determination to demonstrate life’s lessons to their children through their own example, and not by mere words. Arguably, there were many life lessons that, at the time, I was none too happy to learn. Of course, years later, I would be thankful for the wisdom in their parenting, even though I may not have fully understood it at the time.

Well, this had me thinking about hindsight, and the clarity of the rearview mirror. The killing of Osama Bin Laden, for example, is a testament to nearly a decade of American perseverance, and the advantage of our nation’s military superiority. The world is a safer place today, not only because Bin Laden is dead, but because it sends the message that, no matter how difficult the circumstances, or how long it takes, the U.S. military will prevail in defending the honor of its citizens.

It is often said that victory has many parents. And with the success of the military mission to capture Bin Laden, dead or alive, this is certainly true here. As Obama described, on that late Sunday night television address to the nation, it was Obama who directed the mission, and he who determined that there was enough intelligence to proceed, and he who provided the “go ahead.” As he absorbed the credit for the success of the mission though, it occurred to me that this success would have been wholly impossible had the views of liberals, such as Obama, prevailed upon the nation, during much of the last decade.

For example, Obama has described Guantanamo as “a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda,” even though it has proven to be important for gathering intelligence, and achieving the missions, like the one Obama is taking credit for now. Candidate Obama derided Bush for airborne attacks along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Yet now, Obama has increased these same attacks fivefold, compared to Bush. Then, in 2007, Senator Obama introduced a bill that would have removed all troops from Iraq by March 2008, yet President Obama must obviously see it differently today.

Obama claims the credit for even the Democrat leadership who criticized General Petraeus during the crucial years of the war, calling him as Gen. Betray-us. Or how about Obama claiming credit for those anti-military, Democrat politicians who, in 2005, accused our military of “going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children…women…”? Or when Democrat Representative John Murtha called several Marines “murderers” in a Time magazine article in 2006? I’m sure Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid is glad that no one was listening, in 2007, when he announced that the war in Iraq was lost.

So, after opposing almost all aspects of the War on Terror, Obama and liberals like him, throughout the nation, are enjoying the fruits of the very Republican policies that they have so persistently opposed, chastised, and sought to eliminate altogether. If they had been successful in their opposition efforts, over the past decade alone, the capture of Bin Laden would likely never occurred, nor the credit be available for them to take as their own.

This had me thinking now. With the almost universal celebration of the capture of Bin Laden, Americans can look back and be grateful to the Republican leadership, and the Bush administration, for engaging the War of Terror, despite its unpopularity among liberals and the mainstream media alike.

But what are some Democrat-initiated policies that Americans can look back upon and be grateful for their creation, despite any fervent opposition at the time? Like lessons from our parents, as children, that we may not have fully appreciated until years later?

I thought about the The Great Society programs, but those were (and still are today) largely inefficient, and ineffective, to successfully wage the “war on poverty”, as declared by LBJ in 1964. Still today, nearly 40 million Americans or 13.2 percent of the population live in poverty, and the poverty rate for children is even higher. Since 1964, the U.S. has spent more than $13 trillion fighting poverty, while the bankrupt-ridden Social Security program is now paying out $29 billion more than it takes in this year.

Then I thought about the sub-prime mortgages legislation, which was a Carter-era law that sought to encourage banks to make increasingly risky loans to borrowers who wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage under normal standards of creditworthiness. The end result, of course, is all to painful to recall: Mortgage lenders have been bankrupted, millions of sub-prime homeowners have been foreclosed on, sales of new homes has hit a 47-year low, and credit is more difficult to obtain than ever.

But I am still back to my original question: What are some Democrat-initiated policies that Americans can look back upon and be grateful about, despite any fervent opposition at the time? Unfortunately, the list of regrettable Democrat-initiated policies seems overwhelmingly easier to identify. And that’s my point. Like children, there are far more instances where the wisdom of a parent’s conservative values has provided a steady hand and desired outcome, whereas the folly of liberal reasoning has produced the opposite, and admittedly unintended, consequences.

Maybe it is just like Winston Churchill said, “Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.” What do you think? Well, let’s run this past mom or dad first.

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