Monthly Archives: September 2012

The following is intended as a rebuttal on the recent article on snake-oil politics:

I recently had a contributor post an entry on The 7 Train about Snake-Oil Politics accusing Republicans running for office, first timers and incumbents, of deceptive tactics to lure voters to the liberal Democrat side.  I cannot give you the contributor’s name, but I will tell you this person is a well-respected retired school teacher.

I was particular impressed by the Clive Evans quotation:

Democracy itself has no meaning when all parties act the same way in office,
and when their manifestos are worthless snake-oil.

Democracy itself has no meaning when all parties act the same way…That is why it is of the utmost importance than American democracy maintain two distinct parties with two distinct viewpoints.  This is why I consider bipartisanship to be treated as a potent potable—used in moderation.   If everybody agrees all the time, there are only two possibilities; everybody’s right or everybody’s wrong.  If everybody’s wrong, they will believe they are right and government will inevitably make a fatal mistake.  Furthermore, we are, as Lincoln said at Gettysburg, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Before any elected official acts in any manner, be it party politics, bipartisan, or siding with the opposition, it must first check with their constituents and what they would like him or her to do—go against the will of the people if and only if the majority is sold on something detrimental.

Snake-oil politics is real, but it dates back to the formation of the American nation.  Our Founding Fathers wanted to create a free country, yet most of them were slave owners.  This blog entry is not about debating whether or not Thomas Jefferson had remorse for his hypocrisy by stating all men are created equal but was unwilling to relinquish his own slaves, but the point is because of their personal demon called slavery, they had no choice but to dispense snake oil (if you call it that) to convince the colonists we were right to break away from Britain and form a nation of our own with clearly defined rights and freedoms, those inalienable according to scripture.

There is no snake-oil in the basic understanding that America cannot afford Obamacare with its $16 Trillion deficit.  If the Chinese send the collection agency (metaphorically speaking) and America defaults, America as we know it will come to a tragic end and the government will not even be able to provide what it is constitutionally obligated to provide; for one thing military defense.  No tyrannical nation will need to fight us in a war; they will be able to walk right in.

The article on snake-oil politics is well-written by a well-seasoned contributor.  But snake-oil is part of the price we pay to have two distinct parties.  I believe my fellow Republicans have the better quality product on the market right now.  The budget cannot be balanced on tax increases alone, even if the wealthy pay higher taxes, nor can it be balanced on spending cuts alone.  But with 8% unemployment and under-employment, the American taxpayer cannot afford higher taxes right now and we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater and give the wealthiest Americans, as a majority of them our business owners, tax incentives to hire more people.  We must do the spending cuts first and stimulate the economy by making policies that enable the private sector to create jobs and to provide opportunities to start businesses for those who elect to go that route.



I have launched The 7 Train back in November 2011 and we finally have a contributor presenting a conflicting viewpoint.  Here it is.


It’s time the other side had a few words.  Let [me] start with an explanation of snake oil politics.  This is a term that was coined by George Gallaway, who was once the speaker for the New Labor party in the United Kingdom.  It seems to be very applicable to politics in Washington as practiced by the conservative Republicans who behave more like a vicious cult than a group of elected officials.

Snake oil can be defined as panacea, or some kind of miraculous and quick remedy, comprised of a secret ingredient which is never divulged, of course.  Thus, along with the snake oil, you have the snake oil salesman who will say anything and oversimplify everything in order to [clinch] the sale.  Sound familiar?  It should if you’ve been following the sales pitch of Governor Romney and Paul Ryan.  They say they have a cure for everything but please don’t ask too many questions about the secret ingredient.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party, a.k.a. the Grand Old Party has been corrupted by the right wing conservatives who have made it shallow, spiteful, and brought their politics to a shameful level of infamous disregard for the welfare of the country they purport to cherish.

[My] family was very political and [my] father, known as Mr. Republican in my home town, referred to himself as a Rockefeller Republican—that is a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.  I doubt he would align himself with the Republican Party these days.  I doubt if he would recognize it as the party that he party that he was proud to represent in his political heyday.  There was nothing acrimonious in his disagreements with the policies and personalities of his political foes.

But the Grand Old Party these days with its ultra-conservative infiltration is so intent on regaining and retaining control to further espouse their narrow-minded and soundly biased views that they promise a great deal of snake oil (also defined as bull#@%!) while creating a totally vitriolic and ineffective congress where self-aggrandizement takes precedent over the welfare of the voters who have placed their trust in them.  No doubt you’ve heard the expression that it is politics as usual in Washington.  Well, [I’ve] been a voter for fifty-four years, and politics is not as usual.  To quote Clive Evans:

Democracy itself has no meaning when all parties act in the same way in office,
and when their manifestos are worthless snake-oil.

The election should be, must be, one that is taken seriously and given much thought.  It is not time to be a lazy voter and not check out the facts.  The Republicans would like you to be a political mushroom—cultivate in the dark and fed bull#@%!.


I was listening to the Mets-Cardinals game from St. Louis on the radio coming back from the barber in Southbury, about 4 miles north of my home town of Oxford.  They were playing an afternoon game at Bush Stadium for which the Mets won in the ninth on an appeal play at second base for a Cardinal runner hit a double and missed the bag.   One reason for the day game, school begins tomorrow in St. Louis.  In about the fifth inning, the announcers on WFAN radio were reminiscing on the old theme song for Robert Hall, a popular clothing store in the New York area, where I am originally from, that sold children’s clothes at a discount.  Robert Hall had the same back to school jingle for about twenty-five years straight, until they became a casualty of a long-ago recession:

School bells ring and children sing
it’s back to Robert Hall again
Mother knows for better clothes
It’s back to Robert Hall again

You’ll save more on clothes for school.

Shop at Robert Hall

…and we knew our summer fun was about over.

With the two conventions back to back, a very interesting development has occurred that has been dominating the news networks (CNN, Fox, and the like).  Namely, the excerpt from the speech recently delivered by President Barrack Obama regarding his criticism of the Romney plan as last century.  “You could have watched it on a black and white TV with rabbit ears…”  something along that line.

In our quest to limit the role of government in America to both achieve a balanced budget (or at least achieve manageable debt), and to provide more freedom for the American people to achieve the American Dream, we must look at not just last century, but the last three centuries.   When we look specifically at the twentieth century, we see it beginning with the industrial revolution, which provided both jobs and leisure time.  While laissez-faire economics created such a drastic inequity even the conservative thinkers of the time submitted to the reasonable reforms of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, regulation got out of hand under Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the expansion of the federal government post Eisenhower, and again post Reagan, the multi-trillion dollar debt accrued and limited government is rapidly becoming a Hobson’ choice as regardless of any good argument a liberal scholar can conjure up, the bottom line is we just can’t afford these social programs anymore and the alternative would be national bankruptcy in which case the government won’t even be able to fund the military—the one service the Constitution does obligate the federal government.

If we are going to take criticism from Democrats for being twentieth century, let’s go back even further and look the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries going back to our Founding Fathers.  Before the industrial revolution turned people into employees and encapsulated many into union shops that led to the demise of industry in America, the majority of the non-rich were farmers.  Farming is harder work, sunup to sundown during planting season when there is no harvest to speak of, while factory workers had their fixed eight-hour work shifts.  But most farmers owned their own farms.  The pre-industrial revolution farmers were the first independent business owners operating in the American economy founded in 1789 with the ratification of the Constitution.  I understand the birth defect—slavery, and I am sure the American nation opening for business with legalized slavery was one of the deepest roots for corporate greed today with the legality of paying someone $0.00 to work for you.  If you could take slavery out of the equation, many would have started their own farms and earned the money as owners; even the slaves that would have become free men by default if the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution differently would have acquired farms of their own, vice-a-vie the Homestead Act of 1863 would have happened in the 1790s to accommodate the afore mentioned.

With both the agrarian and industrial ages behind us, the information age can provide just as many opportunities if we harness them properly.  Farming and manufacturing are still greater than nil and always will be and both can still be expanded as well as what the information age can offer us.  If America can cease to become the land of entitlements and once again become the land of opportunity, we can have both a balanced budget and if not employments, jobs people create for themselves by opening their own businesses.  We cannot and should not take away entitlements for those too old to start over; as I once pointed out, the line in the preamble of the Constitution that states promote the general welfare means we have a constitutional obligation to help those unable to help themselves.  The rest of us need to earn our keep in this nation, and given a choice most of us want the opportunity to earn that and more.  With the high number of foreclosed homes nationwide, the fact that some places have resorting to tearing down houses to add supply and demand value to those left standing, and the fact that a baby boom equivocal to post World War II is very unlikely, the solution will ultimately come from not the twenty-first, not the twentieth, but the nineteenth century, with a new era version of the Homestead Act allowing nuclear families to have a free home in a residential-commercial overlay district under the condition that they run a profitable business out of this home and pay their corporate taxes, the criticism from liberals and Democrats that we are last century is not justified.  Studying the past, implementing the best of the past, and understanding the worst of the past is the only way to avoid repeating the worst of the past in the future.  Old-time grass roots values are a necessary ingredient in the revival of America.  For this, I commend my Republican Party.