"Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?"

Suzann Darnall

"Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Ronald Reagan asked this question in his closing remarks during a presidential debate in October 1980. He was running against Jimmy Carter. The answer all across America was a resounding, "NO!!!" And, Ronald Wilson Reagan was elected America's 40th President . . . in a landslide.

As we move further into 2012, getting closer to the Republican National Convention and the November Presidential Election, we need to remember that question and think honestly about our answer. "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" I know I'm not. I know this because I am the one who buys our groceries and pays our bills. I see the bottom line every week and every month. I am not even considering the freedoms, rights and liberties that Obama's social justice agenda has leached away; I am just dealing with the concrete evidence of inflation, cost of living, and real simple money matters. And, for me, money matters! It matters a lot.

I won't talk about everything we buy or pay for, but have selected a few simple items that I use and purchase on a regular, as in weekly, basis. Since Obama was elected gasoline, milk, bread, horse grain, and deer corn have all risen in price. Some dramatically. Fresh produce has also risen in cost, but I found a way to fight that budget-buster by shopping at a local, family-owned produce mart, instead of the big-chain grocery store. However, even there I have seen certain items go higher in price as the costs across the board of doing business, farming, and transporting have risen.

So, for me, the answer to the question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" is an echoing resounding, "NO!!!" like that of 1980. And, my country is not better off. We are under threat from forces both inside and outside our borders. Our very way of life is being eroded by attacks on capitalism, liberty, and even basic decency.

So, as we move further into the election cycle, I ask that each of us remembers that question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Ask your friends, family, and neighbors that question. Think about your answer and talk to them about their answers. I think most of us who contemplate and answer honestly find that we are not better off under Obama. I believe most of us know we will be even worse off if he is elected to another four years. Just imagine, four more years of Obama running roughshod over the Constitution, appointing czars, implementing policies, and in general doing as much damage as he can without consent from either Congress or citizens. It is as terrifying a scenario as anything I can conceive.

When you look at the idea of four more years of Obama, I think it puts our GOP Presidential candidates in a little better light. Yeah, I know there is not a one of them that is a perfect fit across the board. Romney is too liberal for the Conservatives, Gingrich is too rigid for the Libertarians, Santorum is too conservative for the Independents, Huntsman is too moderate for the Tea Party, Paul is a little too free-spirited for almost everybody except his supporters, and so on up-n-down the list. But, can't we pretty much agree that each and every one of them is better than Obama? There is not a single candidate we are currently vetting and considering as the GOP nominee that I cannot get behind and hope to elect over Obama. I am also hoping that all Conservatives, Moderates, Independents, and even disgruntled Democrats coalesce behind the GOP nominee to kick Obama out of the White House.

So, please, ask yourself, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" If you are like me, the answer is, "No." And, if the answer is "No", don't we need to do something about it and put anyone but Obama into the Oval Office? I think so.

© Suzann C. Darnall, JANUARY 2012

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