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Afternoon Note

"Who am I? Why am I here?"

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
10/11/2012 4:09 PM
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Ross Perot, the famous Texas oilman, ran one of the most successful campaigns as a third party candidate in US history. Many think he could have snared even more votes had it not been for the performance of his choice as running mate. James Stockdale was a retired Vice Admiral and Vietnam War hero, but he was virtually unknown to the American public. To counter this fact, the lover of philosophy opened the Vice Presidential debate with "Who am I? Why am I here?" It's clear he over-thought the situation and maybe one could argue that the general public wasn't smart enough to get the joke, but in the end, he came across as a punch drunk prized fighter that all of a sudden heard a bell and wondered where the hell he was ... and who the hell he was.

It would seem his question was also an extension of Rene Descartes cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am.

These days it is not so simple anymore. One could question many aspects of our lives and wonder what's the real deal ... simply thinking isn't enough to be relevant or even alive. This week one has to wonder if the stock market rally is alive or not, and if traders are over thinking and overreacting to news not yet delivered.

The European bailout has been in the news for more than a year, and yet one has to wonder if it truly exists and does it even really matter. After the closing bell, Spain was downgraded by S&P and slapped with a negative outlook. Who or what is Europe and where is it today? These nations are bogged down with the legacy of putting their economies in park, creating giant welfare platforms to mine past success without planting seeds for future success.

The world once served as the playground, gold mine, concubine and offspring of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and France. Now the rest of the world will have to shore up global economic growth as the bailout charade drags on and on. They think and therefore they exist, but they are thinking about grasping for straws, a far cry from reaching for greatness and world domination. Of course it's not just the economic course taken by these nations but the non-spiritual path that seems a blend of atheism and paganism.

Who is America and Where is America

It's no coincidence that as more people stop believing in capitalism in America they also stop believing in God, too (or is it the other way around?). Rene Descartes was prominent in the promotion of rationalism or "politics of reason," where rational decisions should govern and not emotional choices that may be illogical. Of course, some would say it was irrational for a kid named Barack Hussein Obama to think he could be President of the United States.
People were treated like drones or worker ants for centuries until capitalism unlocked their inner desires, and the ability to go for it. America perfected this idea, and while there have been occasional problems, the overarching success is unquestionable. But, maybe the same nation that fought for the freedom to pursue happiness is ready to give that right away to the state in return for a sense of false comfort.

Tonight's VP debate promises to be a donnybrook where at some point, success will come under attack as a malicious thing that leaves a trail of broken bodies in its path. Sure, even Joe Biden wouldn't be clumsy enough to phrase it in such terms, but make no mistake; this is the theme of the campaign of the would-be enlightenment movement of America. In less than 30-days we will find out who America is and what America wants to be.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

We can divvy up the spoils and wreck the machine that made it possible to become the greatest nation ever.

We could regroup and tough it out by embracing our roots of rugged individualism that made the whole great because the parts were great. We help our neighbor, not by tearing down our own castles but by teaching and inspiring them to build their own. We have to put more faith into limitless possibilities or what we call impossible dreams and reject boundaries created from limited expectations and limited opportunities.
I have no clue who won the First Vice Presidential debate. I'm not that old.

(Sneaky yet clever question, Charles!!)

Spence Arnold on 10/11/2012 10:16:49 AM
Robert Dole, but not by much. He proved his "attack dog" value. Walter Mondale did well also. As if anyone remembers. As if it mattered.

As for the more recent VP debate with the good Adm. Stockdale, though, heprobably did not lose the debate because of his opening remarks, but rather later along when he could not respond to a question. To his credit, he didn't b.s. with some kind of typical nonsense, but rather said he was "...Out of ammunition." Honestly spoken, and a good standard military phrase, but maybe too direct for most listeners.

George Stelzenmuller on 10/11/2012 10:23:22 AM

You have hit the nail on the head as our nation is on the brink! This next election seals our fate. I can only hope we embrace Capitalism and push away this socialist agenda!

Victor Scamardo on 10/11/2012 12:07:45 PM
Come on - Perot lost because he didn't promise EBT money and free prescriptions to anyone...among other government giveaways.

dparkinves@yahoo.com on 10/11/2012 1:47:48 PM
There can be no question, Romney.

I am more concerned about regional outbreak of war in the mid east than I am about our silly election antics....

tom wayne on 10/11/2012 5:33:22 PM
Ryan got the win, but not by much. Biden's experience was enough to almost carry him ahead if it hadn't been for that underlying grinathon. While his incongruous facial spasms weren't enough to take Ryan off his game, I got the impression that they might have taken something from his focus. Ryan would have had a stronger advantage if he could have come up with definite counterpunches to some of Biden's clear misstatements, such as his plainly wrong view on why the administration kept up the Greek chorus about blaming the Benghazi attack on the hate video and Romney. That outrage industry rant isn't selling too well around the world right now.

Patricia Flynn on 10/12/2012 1:16:19 AM
Oops, I took it to mean this election's first VP debate, so disregard my comments [I'll stipulate to red-faced embarrassment].

Patricia Flynn on 10/12/2012 1:21:23 AM
Paul, by a sliver. Joe lived down to his expectations - Paul didn't live up to his. Paul over did his talking points.

SRBeckham on 10/12/2012 7:41:47 AM

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