In the last presidential debate of the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan asked a simple question:
“[A]re you better off than you were four years ago?”
It was a thought provoking question to a nation that was experiencing double-digit inflation and exorbitant interest rates – some of the highest interest rates since the Civil War – gas shortages that made for long lines at the pump and American hostages who had been held in Iran for almost a year (at the time of the debate), with the only attempt at their rescue resembling a military Keystone Kops episode.
A team of young athletes who had devoted their lives to training were denied participation in the Olympics because an American president was trying to make some point to the Russians who were holding the games, a point with no visible positive results.
It seemed that nobody took America seriously’ our international prestige was falling to an undetectable range, our military was a deplorable mess; and national pride and confidence were at ebb tide levels, frustrated by the inability of the administration to do anything at all about a Third World country holding 52 Americans hostage and parading them around blindfolded to demonstrate America's impotence.
We all know what happened the day of Reagan's inauguration. The mullahs in Iran understood that this new president was different from the previous one and that when he said he would free the hostages by whatever means necessary, he meant it. They knew Reagan would rain destruction down on their heads, and they took him at his word and freed the hostages.
I'm not well versed enough in economics to understand what happened that made the economy start rebounding, inflation and interest rates to shrink and petroleum to flow freely again, but I do know that he cut taxes and that's what seemed to get the ball rolling.
Whatever happened, a couple of years into Reagan's administration, America was walking tall and taking pride in itself again, with the military on the rebound, the arms race in full force, and for the first time in decades, the belligerence of the Russians being answered in kind, with them and the rest of our enemies knowing full well that America now had a president who wouldn't hesitate to answer force with force.
Did he make mistakes?
A ton of them.
But any man of action makes mistakes. The only ones who don't are the ones without the guts to try – the ones who are content to be also-rans.
Basically the same question could be asked today.
Are you better off than you were eight years ago?
Do you have a full time job?
Do you think our military is as strong as it should be?
Do you think the current president is soft on terrorism, and do you take offense at his not calling radical Islamic terrorism by its proper name?
Does it bother you that Obama has doubled the national debt that now stands at above nineteen trillion dollars and growing every day?
Does it bother you that America's current corporate tax structure and over the top regulations are forcing manufacturing jobs to be moved to other countries?
Do you really think Obamacare is anything but a microcosm of the disgraceful Veteran's Administration and other inefficient, bankrupt government programs?
Does it bother you that the elite get away with anything, while the common folks have to face the music?
Do you think our enemies fear or even respect us?
Do you approve of a president who goes around the world and apologizes for American exceptionalism?
Do you agree with bringing multiple thousands of unvetted Middle Eastern refugees into America when ISIS has already admitted to infiltrating their ranks with operatives?
Do you agree with extending government benefits to anybody who walks across our border?
Are you better off and is America better off than we were eight years ago?
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.