Oct 29, 2012
The Second-Term Curse
There are many reasons I think Barack Obama should be voted out of office. In the past few weeks, several folks who regularly write for the site have detailed the reasons Mitt Romney would be a better choice. I found an historic reason to send Obama back to Chicago. Of the nineteen U.S. presidents who have been elected to a second term, only seven avoided a troubled or failed second term.
The second-term curse has affected every qualifying president who followed Calvin Coolidge, who luckily retired ten months ahead of the 1929 stock market crash. Here is a rundown of just the last six presidents:
George W Bush: The housing bubble burst on his watch. The financial crisis was caused by loose economic policy that resulted from people being approved for loans that they were unqualified to pay back. The meltdown in 2008 almost destroyed the economy. The Bush administration added $4 trillion to the nation debt.
Bill Clinton: Special investigator Kenneth Starr uncovered Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton denied the allegations in a televised appearance on January 26, 1998, but was later forced to recant. The Republican-controlled House impeached him, but he was saved by all of the Democrats in the Senate voting for acquittal.
Ronald Reagan: The Iran-Contra affair was a major distraction during Reagan's second term. The administration sold weapons to Iran to gain the freedom of hostages held in Lebanon, illegally diverting the profits to the Contras, a rebel force fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Lt. Col. Oliver North and retired naval officer John Poindexter were both convicted of obstructing Congress. Reagan's knowledge of the arms deals remains a mystery.
Richard Nixon: Five members of Nixon's Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) were arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex. Nixon became implicated in the break-in by ordering a cover-up. He became the first president to resign when it became clear he faced impeachment.
Lyndon Johnson: The Vietnam War conflict started during the Kennedy administration. Johnson presided over a major escalation of fighting, sending an additional 35,000 troops to Vietnam each month. After the North Vietnamese launched their deadly Tet offensive, confidence in the campaign quickly collapsed. Johnson chose not to run again after being confronted with protestors who would often chant the line, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?"
Dwight Eisenhower: During the height of the Cold War, a U-2 spy plane operated by the CIA was shot down by the Soviet military. Eisenhower denied the plane was in Soviet airspace, but Kremlin leader Nikita Khrushchev proved Eisenhower to be a liar by parading pilot Francis Gary Powers before the media. Khrushchev compounded Eisenhower's embarrassment by walking out of the U.S.-Soviet peace talks. His chief of staff became embroiled in a bribery scandal before being forced to resign.
I think what causes second-term presidents to veer off track is the cockiness that comes from annihilating your presidential opponent. Having had a first term that was successful enough to warrant the voters giving them a second term, presidents become convinced that they have the magic touch. Second-term presidents also don't need to worry about being reelected. The lack of caution leads to disaster.
It seems to me that we have already had Barack Obama's second term. All the errors from previous administrations have been at work during the past forty-five months. Obama has made zero progress towards getting government spending under control, welfare roles have exploded under his watch, his administration has become rife with corruption, and the "Fast and Furious" scandal is the first time I've ever seen a White House show total contempt for the rule of law.
It scares me endlessly to think of what we have yet to see in the cocky and reckless president who will emerge from a second-term victory. I'm reminded of the phrase written by Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The second-term curse isn't the only jinx we need to worry about. The Bible promises a series of curses to any nation that rejects God's biblical truth. Since we've been going down the path toward destruction for so long, the greatest curse may be the inability to turn the rudder around. On November 6, we may find this to be the case.
"Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9 ESV).
"If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them" (Ecclesiastes 5:8 ESV).
Startling Starting Over?
Rumor has it that the politicians and the money powers that be, nationally and globally, have a plan that would eliminate all debt and intend to put it in place and restart up again under a totally changed economic system. Things are so chaotic within the fiscal world that such is the only solution.
Absolutely ludicrous--unthinkable--you say? Well, I thought so, too, until the rumor began taking on more and more legitimacy just this past week.
Rush Limbaugh made a special point of the fact that it came to his attention that the planners of the Obama administration were rumored to be considering such an option immediately, or not long after beginning a second term. All debt would be written off with a stroke of the presidential pen and a new monetary regime, excluding the old dollar, would be put into place.
He didn’t give details, but who could possibly give details on what such a change would take–and would mean? Such rearrangement would have incalculable ramifications and consequences, it seems to me.
So, I pushed that to the back of the cogitations of my gray matter. Then, I began seeing stories appearing talking about such possibilities as wiping out debt and replacing the system with something…exactly what, who knows?
One such article, in particular, I’ve excerpted here.
So there is a magic wand after all. A revolutionary paper by the International Monetary Fund claims that one could eliminate the net public debt of the US at a stroke, and by implication do the same for Britain, Germany, Italy, or Japan.
The IMF reports say the conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money.
One could slash private debt by 100pc of GDP, boost growth, stabilize prices, and dethrone bankers all at the same time. It could be done cleanly and painlessly, by legislative command, far more quickly than anybody imagined.
The conjuring trick is to replace our system of private bank-created money--roughly 97pc of the money supply--with state-created money. We return to the historical norm, before Charles II placed control of the money supply in private hands with the English Free Coinage Act of 1666.
Specifically, it means an assault on "fractional reserve banking." If lenders are forced to put up 100pc reserve backing for deposits, they lose the exorbitant privilege of creating money out of thin air.
The nation regains sovereign control over the money supply. There are no more banks runs, and fewer boom-bust credit cycles. Accounting legerdemain will do the rest. That at least is the argument. (Ambrose Evans Prichard, "IMF's Epic Plan to Conjure away Debt and Dethrone Bankers," Telegraph, 10/22/12)
All one has to do to imagine the upheaval such a thing as writing off all debt and beginning again would bring is to think of one word –China. Imagine that the U.S. says to China, “We are writing off all we owe you. Hope you will understand.”
Now, I’m no economist, and I realize all of the above is so shallow in its pondering as to probably make yours truly appear a simpleton to those with acumen within and great knowledge of global economics. But, I do know that the Chinese leadership would not take kindly to our saying: “We’ve decided to just not pay you back. Now, won’t you please join us in this new monetary experiment?”
And that brings me to the point that such an undertaking as writing off debt and beginning again could never be as simple as a stroke of the pen. We have contemplated often that there is no way out of the economic morass in which this nation and the world are now imprisoned. We have considered often that either something must be done or the U.S. and the world face catastrophic implosion.
Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, Paul tells us through divine inspiration (1 Timothy 6:10). So, it is fitting that this world of rebels has made its own bed and now must climb into it.
That rebellious world will still be the same in its comportment following this presidential election. No matter who wins, America and virtually all other nations face the prospect of stark change or total implosion. And that is just considering the economic circumstance. Throw into the mix the Middle East rumors of war and the myriad potentially devastating problems on the horizon, and to paraphrase the late Sen. Everett Dirksen regarding billions of dollars in spending the government was already doing, pretty soon you’re talking some real problems.
Whoever is the president after the next inauguration, their task is not to be envied. However, I’m convinced that Christians can continue to look forward to the brightest of all futures, because God’s most devastating judgment is reserved for the time when Jesus intervenes and brings His Bride, the church–all born-again believers—into His presence and takes them to the Father’s house (John 14:1-3).
We are in the end times the Lord described as like the days of Noah and the days of Lot. The same day those men and their families were removed from their judgment-bound environments, judgment fell. That’s why the total implosion of the economy continues to loom rather than occur.
When the Lord calls as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, the crash so feared will cascade upon this doomed world. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Now, that will truly be a startling starting over!
When writing the Nearing Midnight commentary for October 15, “October Surprise Surfacing,” I wrote: “There is, however, surely coming an October surprise of some description. We shall see...”
That “October surprise" is upon us, and it is from God, not from either political party in the presidential race. However, it isn’t the ultimate October surprise–the Rapture— for which so many emailers expressed to me that they had been hoping. But, we aren’t at election day yet, I guess it is good to remind.
This storm is certainly hyped like none other I can remember. Hurricane Irene in 2011 came forth and threatened much of the East Coast of America. But, its teeth were removed to some extent before landfall, and the region was mercifully spared from what might have been.
Hurricane Sandy looks to be one whose teeth are getting sharper as it joins with advancing storms from the north and west to create a “perfect storm,” as the 1991 East Coast monster was dubbed. It is more than coincidence–because there is no such thing as coincidence within God’s economy—that the storm is coming at this time, with this intensity and into such a heavily populated region so central to the governing of this nation. How it might affect voting on Tuesday of next week is a matter most intriguing.
An October surprise it is, indeed!