Average Doug is a compilation of an ordinary American citizen's views about the state of America today and how politics, government, and our society play a key role in determining the future of our great country.
Ever since he was young, Doug Kammerer has followed American politics and current events. As a volunteer with several conservative political campaigns encompassing presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial races, Kammerer gained an insider's glimpse into the intricacies of our political system and shares his insight on why he feels our country is headed in the wrong direction today. While explaining his views on the Fairness Doctrine, government bailouts, and socialism, Kammerer also discusses why he thinks the judicial branch is now starting to take over more in deciding the role of Americans and weighs all the reasons why he feels conservatives should once again learn to adhere to their principles. Kammerer includes his thoughts on our current society including the ways society is regarding bad behavior and what he would like to communicate to such organizations as NOW and GLAAD.
With a great pride for his country, Kammerer provides an intriguing collection of personal opinions sure to spark lively discussions among conservatives and liberals alike.
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Average DougMy Take on America: From Politics and Government to Society
By Doug Kammerer
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Doug Kammerer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMy Identity and My Political Philosophy
My name is Douglas Kammerer. I live in northern New Jersey. As far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in American history and politics. In 1984, when President Reagan was running for reelection, I wanted him to win. I became a conservative Republican because of my mom and her side of the family. They believe in less government and more individual freedom. My dad is a Democrat who would often challenge my views in a thoughtful way.
In 1993, when I was sixteen, I decided to volunteer for Christine Todd Whitman's campaign for governor because Governor Florio had raised taxes and hurt the economy. I worked the phone banks, and I felt as if I was helping the campaign. But if I knew then what I know now about how much of a liberal governor she would be and how she would appoint liberals to the state supreme court, I would not have volunteered for her campaign. When she won, I was happy because I felt I had helped.
In 1994 I received two important autographed photos that made me become more of a conservative:
The first was from Speaker Gingrich. I had written to him when he was house minority whip, thanking him for standing up for conservative values.
The second was from President Reagan. My mom had received a letter from a friend in California whose husband, a recently retired Secret Service agent, was guarding President Reagan. The letter said I was going to receive an autographed photo from President Reagan. A few weeks later, I did indeed!
In 1995 I went to Adelphi University, where I majored in political science and continued to pursue my interest in government. I still volunteer for political campaigns today. I volunteered for Bret Schundler's gubernatorial campaign in 2001 and always volunteer for Congressman Scott Garrett's campaign when he runs for reelection.
Over the years, because of volunteering and different political events, I have met politicians like Speakers Gingrich and Hastert, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Romney, Karl Rove, Mayor Giuliani, and Chris Christie, who was elected governor of New Jersey. I have even asked them some important questions. I asked Speaker Gingrich about health care. I asked Governor Romney about immigration. I talked to Chris Christie, and he said he would support Jessica's Law and appoint justices to the state supreme court who were strict constructionists. Also, in 2009 I again worked the phone banks for Chris Christie for governor.
I am proud to say that I am a conservative and strongly believe in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I also believe that we get our rights from God, not man. I believe that the American people, not the government, know how to spend their money. That is why I am for tax cuts. It is our money, not the government's. I am strongly against redistribution of wealth as well.
I believe that we need lower corporate taxes so business will stay in America and not move overseas because there are fewer taxes and regulations in other countries. When the government cuts taxes, the economy grows, and this helps people. The government does not create jobs; people do. The government can make it easier to create jobs by keeping taxes low or they can make it harder with higher taxes and more regulations.
I also believe that the government is getting too big and intrusive in the lives of the American people. If this continues to happen, people will lose their independence. Then we eventually lose our freedom. I believe that we must have a strong military and national defense or we will become weak. Then terrorists who want to destroy our way of life will attack us.
I believe that, when it comes to health care, the American people should be in charge of their coverage, not the government. We the people know what is best for us, not the government. Do we really want the government in charge of running American's health care? The same government that is bankrupting Social Security, Medicare, and the DMV?
Now people might be saying that I am a Republican, that I agree with everything that Republicans say and can never disagree with Republicans. I am a conservative Republican, but when a Republican says something I disagree with, I am not afraid to say it. I disagreed with McCain/Feingold and the Medicare prescription drug coverage plan. I was against the appointment of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. These are my political views. When I agree or disagree with a politician, I will let people know if he or she is a Republican or a Democrat. When I talk issues, I never disparage anybody that I disagree with. I always respect other people's point of view. After all, if we can't do that, then this isn't America.
Chapter TwoThe Bailouts Are Rewarding Failure
Look at companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that received bailout money. They all committed acts of irresponsible business behavior that have caused these businesses to fail and start to go out of business.
These companies were given bailout money because the government said they were too big to fail. Did they then promise to change the way they operated? No. Only in Washington do we give money to companies on the verge of going under and not get any promises from them to change the way they do business. Some of these companies spent the bailout money on bonuses and fixing up offices. How does that help? Some companies are also asking for more money.
Now look at General Motors and Chrysler. These two companies were on the verge of going under, and they wanted bailout money. Let's look at why they needed all of this bailout money. They needed bailout money because they weren't selling cars. General Motors and Chrysler pleaded, saying that if they didn't get it, they would go under and people would lose jobs. President Bush gave them some bailout money. Now President Obama has given them even more.
General Motors and Chrysler never deserved our taxpayer money, because they haven't promised to change the way their companies are run. Giving them bailout money is like giving money to an alcoholic when he needs it to buy food or clothes and he continues to buy liquor. You wouldn't give an alcoholic money, so why would you want to give these companies money when they won't change the way they run their businesses? It would be better for them to declare bankruptcy and restructure. Declaring bankruptcy is not a bad thing, because you get to start over again.
I keep hearing politicians, including President Obama, say, "These companies are too big to fail," or, "It would be a disaster if these companies go out of business." I disagree. No company is too big to fail. It is sometimes a good thing that a company goes out of business. Then smaller companies who can do a better job take over.
We also now hear that the government wants to buy bad mortgages. This policy again rewards failure. These people were allowed to have mortgages they couldn't afford to pay back. Again, why are the taxpayers going to help these people? What about the people who barely get by and pay their mortgages on time? According to the government, they are screwed for doing the right thing, buying a house they can afford and living within their means.
Here are some additional things to think about. Remember when the tech bubble burst earlier in this decade? Then we had the attacks of 9/11. Then Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom collapsed. Many people lost jobs. Retirement plans were ruined. The stock market dropped as well. Did Congress and the Bush administration want to bail out these companies in 2002 and 2003? No. Congress and President Bush did what was right and let the marketplace handle the economy. We need to go back and do what we did in 2003. We should cut taxes and let the mismanaged companies go out of business. The marketplace and capitalism is the best way to solve this crisis.
Chapter ThreeThere Is Nothing Fair about the Fairness Doctrine
There is nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine. It is one of those policies that the government creates with good intentions. But it does more harm than good. This doctrine was put in place initially so both sides of an issue could be talked about equally. It was abolished in 1987 under the leadership of President Reagan. Because of this, talk radio was allowed to have any format without having to allow for an alternative viewpoint. When the Fairness Doctrine was law, there was basically no talk radio. If you had a radio show with a conservative viewpoint for two hours, you needed to have a radio show with a liberal viewpoint for two hours for equal time.
Speaker Pelosi wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Although she will never admit it, she wants to silence conservative talk radio. This piece of legislation is unconstitutional. If I own a radio program and I want to have a conservative opinion, I should be allowed. But under the Fairness Doctrine, I would need to have shows with equal points of view. To illustrate my point, let me give you some examples of successful conservative talk radio show hosts who are on the air on weekdays:
Host Length of Daily Show (Hours) Rush Limbaugh 3 Sean Hannity 3 Michael Savage 3 Mark Levin 3 Laura Ingraham 3 Glenn Beck 3 Dennis Miller 2 Michael Reagan 3 John Batchelor 4
When we add up all of these hours, the total comes to twenty- seven. Under the Fairness Doctrine, to show balance, I would have to have twenty-seven hours of liberal radio show hosts. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, so in order to comply, I would need to have a conservative day of radio shows and a liberal day of radio shows.
Now let's look at the weekend. The following are some talk show hosts who are on during the weekend:
Host Length of Daily Show (Hours) Monica Crowley 3 Larry Kudlow 3 John Batchelor 6
The total comes to twelve hours. So if I owned a radio station, I would need a half-day of conservative talk and a half-day of liberal talk in order to comply. It is ridiculous to think that any radio station would want to pursue any of these ideas. In fact, they will probably start playing music. Notice that when people talk about wanting to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, they only talk about applying it to talk radio. They never talk about bringing it back to television, such as with the network news reports or talk programs.
I believe that conservative talk radio is so successful because no talk show host talks down to his or her audience. They have common sense. They are informative, and you learn something new from them every day. When you listen to talk radio, you actually learn something even if you disagree with the host; they don't make you feel stupid for disagreeing with them.
Liberals actually tried to form their own radio network, called Air America. It had liberals like Senator Al Franken as talk show hosts, but it failed miserably and went bankrupt. So instead of trying to change their format and be successful again, they want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Because they cannot succeed in the area of free markets, they want to succeed with government regulation.
For years, conservatives have known that there is a liberal bias in the media. Conservatives never demanded that the Fairness Doctrine return to law and be applied to the evening news to allow for balanced time. Conservatives decided to go on talk radio to get their views heard.
Instead of looking to FOX News and talk radio shows that offer free-market solutions, we should work to solve problems. Liberals look to government to solve this problem by regulating freedom of speech. Liberals should do the same thing and keep working at it instead of trying to destroy the First Amendment. Then they would be doing something smart.
What if the Fairness Doctrine became law? If I buy a conservative newspaper, I must buy a liberal newspaper. If I buy National Review, am I going to have to buy a copy of Nation magazine to balance it out and be fair? What if I buy a book by a conservative author? Am I going to have to buy a book by a liberal author as well? Is the same thing going to apply when I borrow a library book? This will be the end of free speech. The Fairness Doctrine must never again become law.
When President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, and President George W. Bush were in office, they never wanted to restore the Fairness Doctrine to be applied to either cable or network news. When Republicans controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate, no Republican wanted to have the Fairness Doctrine be applied to either cable or network news either. Who really supports free speech? And who doesn't?
What can you, an average citizen, do to stop this?
Call or write your local congressman. Tell him or her that you are against the Fairness Doctrine because it violates the First Amendment.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and express your outrage about Speaker Pelosi wanting to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.
Tell your friends and family about the Fairness Doctrine. An informed American is the best kind of American. If the American public can be outraged, then the politicians will listen because they want your vote.
Chapter FourThe Coming Nanny State/Socialism to America
The nanny state is when the government arbitrarily decides what's best for us and crams it down our throats after looting our paychecks to pay for it. I am concerned that this country is starting to become a nanny state/socialist country. If this happens, then we will lose our freedom. I want to first talk about the nanny state that is appearing in this country right now.
In New York, New Jersey, and other states, you can no longer smoke in a bar. In New York City, a restaurant cannot serve foods with trans fats in them. The New York City government has even set up a Web site about the trans fats ban. At www.citytech.cuny.edu/notransfatnyc/ english/faqs.html, you can see what the city is doing to help businesses. They are giving out pamphlets about the banned trans fats. The ban on trans fats went into effect in July 2008. If you continue to use trans fats after the ban goes into effect, you will be fined between $250 and $2,500. Just imagine if you own a restaurant and now have to worry about the different foods that you serve. If you make unhealthy foods, you can be fined.
You might be thinking that this is good. Both smoking and fatty foods are bad for you. But this is not good, because the government is telling people what kind of restaurant atmosphere they can have and what kind of food they can serve. If someone wants to open a bar and wants to allow smoking in it, he or she should be allowed to do so. The same goes for someone who wants to open a bar that does not allow smoking. Also, if someone wants to open a restaurant that serves fried foods, he or she should have the right to do so. The same goes for someone who wants to open a healthy restaurant. Nobody is forcing anybody to go to a bar with smoking; nobody is forcing people to eat foods that are high in fat. People should be able to choose what they want without the government involved.
If the government can keep people from smoking in bars and from trans fats in food, what else is next? Will they decide to ban red meat because they say that too much red meat is bad for you? Will they ban ice cream because too much ice cream can be bad for you? How about fried foods? I have heard that too much food is bad for you. Will the government say that fat people can't eat certain foods because they are unhealthy for them?
Could the government ban personal behavior as well? Certain things can be dangerous, like football, soccer, baseball, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, dirt-bike racing, swimming, diving, basketball, and running. After a while, it gets ridiculous to think about. When you are a child, you enjoy swimming. When I was young I went to the swimming pool and had a lot of fun going off the high dive. I also enjoyed playing baseball, running around, and playing outside with friends. Imagine when children can't use a diving board, go down a waterslide at a pool, or play sports. What kind of childhood would it be? I think it would be boring. Basically, there would be no childhood.
Excerpted from Average Doug by Doug Kammerer Copyright © 2010 by Doug Kammerer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 My Identity and My Political Philosophy....................3
Chapter 2 The Bailouts Are Rewarding Failure....................6
Chapter 3 There Is Nothing Fair about the Fairness Doctrine....................8
Chapter 4 The Coming Nanny State/Socialism to America....................12
Chapter 5 Health-Care Reform....................18
Chapter 6 Whatever Happened to Lindsey Graham?....................21
Chapter 7 How the Courts Are Becoming Legislatures....................24
Chapter 8 Thank You, Arlen Specter....................27
Chapter 9 If Liberals Could Rewrite the Constitution....................30
Chapter 10 Questions I Would Ask President Obama, and My Advice to Him....................32
Chapter 11 President Obama Knows What He Is Doing....................36
Chapter 12 Criticizing President Obama....................40
Chapter 13 What the GOP Needs to Do....................42
Chapter 14 Governor Sarah Palin....................50
Chapter 15 Defeat These Congressman....................53
Chapter 16 Idiotic Politicians....................56
Chapter 17 The 2009 Elections....................61
Chapter 1 Whatever Happened to Christmas?....................71
Chapter 2 Schoolchildren Should Not Be Doing This in School....................73
Chapter 3 College Campuses Say They Are Tolerant of Ideas, But Are They?....................76
Chapter 4 Society Rewarding Bad Behavior....................81
Chapter 5 Levi Johnston, Please Go Away....................83
Chapter 6 Two Ways That Life Has Been Cheapened in America....................85
Chapter 7 Wars Sometimes Have to Be Fought....................87
Chapter 8 What the War on Terror Should Be Called....................89
Chapter 9 My Take on FOX News....................93
Chapter 10 Tea Parties, Town Hall Meetings on Health Care, the 9/12 Project, Antiwar Protesters, and G-20 Protesters....................95
Chapter 11 What I Would Like to Tell NOW and GLAAD....................101
Chapter 12 Why We Need to Always Be on Guard....................103
Chapter 13 Random Thoughts....................105
Chapter 14 Why America Is the Greatest Country....................110
Chapter 15 It Is Up to Everyone....................113