Am I that smart? Or are our leaders dumb? | AspenTimes.com

Am I that smart? Or are our leaders dumb?

Gary Hubbell

The Denver Post delivery driver can’t seem to find his way to my driveway, no matter where I live. I can’t get a subscription. For the most part, I find the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel to be uninteresting, and I pick up a copy of The Aspen Times and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent every week or two when I’m in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Ultimately, I get a newspaper about three times a week if I’m lucky. I spend very little time online reading news stories. I’ve seldom read a blog. I subscribe to Newsweek, Forbes, Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated. I’m ill-informed compared to many people. I’m just a country bumpkin, spending a lot of time on a horse or with an irrigating shovel in my hand.

So how is it that I’m able to predict major world events? Am I that much smarter than the people who are “connected” in media, government, business and entertainment? Am I that much smarter than you, or are you just like me, witnessing the collapse of infrastructure, society and commerce all around you, while our “leaders” seem to be oblivious to the obvious?

In my December 2005 column, I wrote, “The destruction of farms and meadows is mandated as part of our national strategy, and without feeding the insatiable monster of real estate development, our economy would go into a major tailspin.” Two years later, the bottom is falling out of the real estate market with the sub-prime lending crisis, and many experts are predicting a recession that has not yet arrived.

On Aug. 12, 2004, I wrote in this column, “I predict that gas will go to an average price of over $3 a gallon within the next year, and chances are that the price won’t come down.” At the time, oil was $45 a barrel and gas was $1.85 a gallon. It seemed like quite a bold prediction at the time, and now we’re just wishing we could see $3 a gallon again.

A full year before John McCain and Ted Kennedy were conspiring to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, I wrote (April 2006), “The blatant flaunting of our immigration laws, the deterioration of our schools as we struggle to teach children who speak no English, the escalation in medical care costs, the growing population that fuels ever more development and overcrowding ” people are sick of it.” Actually, I’ve been banging that drum for years. I bet McCain wishes he had a dose of my reality before he threw his presidential campaign into the ditch on behalf of big business and illegal aliens. Just before President Bush presented his disastrous “immigration reform” bill to Congress, I warned that the American people were fed up with illegal immigration and that the politicians were out of touch. The White House and congressional switchboards practically melted down from the volume of calls they received protesting the immigration amnesty bill.

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In January 2007 I predicted the need for a national identification card using biometrics from the irises of our eyes, like a UPS shipping scanner. Now conservative politicians are calling for just such a program, because they’re finally coming to the (duh!) conclusion that illegal aliens have been registering to vote. Currently no one is required to show a valid ID to vote, and the fear is that illegal aliens will skew an election with invalid (and mostly Democratic) votes. You wait. Now that the Republicans have seen the obvious, there will finally be a national ID card.

So what’s next? You can say you read it here first. Energy prices will continue to escalate to the point where we have to seriously re-examine our national priorities. The price of natural gas, oil, coal, electricity, propane and any other fossil fuel will double in the next five years ” and oil is $98 a barrel as I write this. Concurrently, the rate of global warming will accelerate into an environmental catastrophe with appalling consequences.

Despite our vacuum of national leadership, our nation’s innovative spirit will come up with ingenious solutions to transportation and heating challenges. Active solar- and wind-power generation, biodiesel and electric-hybrid power will become commonplace, even with a lack of federal subsidies to jump-start the process. Corn-distilled ethanol will lose favor as a fuel because of its marginal efficiencies.

Cars will and must become smaller and greatly more fuel-efficient. Forty to 50 mpg will become commonplace, even substandard. People will re-examine the lifestyle of living in large, poorly insulated homes that are long commutes from their workplaces, and they’ll start redeveloping existing neighborhoods into energy-efficient homes.

The competition for resources will force many illegal immigrants to go home, and there will be a further groundswell of the peoples’ will that will force politicians to enforce immigration laws.

But here’s where I’m stuck. I believe a Hillary Clinton presidency would be an unmitigated disaster, as she would spend trillions pandering to legions of victimhood groups, and she would stifle innovation and our free-enterprise system. We would lose our civil rights to keep and bear arms, and she would open the floodgates of entitlement programs that would drive us into perpetual fiscal ruin. However, I’m unsure that a Republican candidate can overcome the backlash generated by the Bush presidency.

If a consequential independent candidate would emerge on a platform of energy independence, innovation, fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, controlling our borders, limiting our role as the world’s policeman, rewarding healthy lifestyles with cash rebates on health insurance, slashing our subsidies and entitlements ranging from the farm bill to prescription medications for seniors ” well, we might have a bright future after all.

It makes sense, doesn’t it ” or am I smarter than you?

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