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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

THE WAR OF 2012

Regardless of who is elected president in 2012, be it a Democrat or a Republican, that person will have the unenviable task of trying to heal the country. If the Democrats win, the Republicans will undoubtedly fight back, and vice versa. No matter how you slice it, it's a no-win proposition for whoever is elected as the country is irreparably split along ideological lines. In a way, the president will feel a lot like Lincoln did watching the Union crumble before his eyes.

On MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show film maker Michael Moore declared war on March 9th, following the budget battle in Madison, Wisconsin, the Fort Sumter of this war. This was long in coming but unavoidable as this is a contest over socioeconomic conditions and diametrically opposing opinions of how to solve it, specifically capitalism versus socialism. Similar budget battles will ensue in the coming months thereby keeping this in the limelight.

On one end of the spectrum is the Tea Party and on the other is organized labor, minority groups, and the radical left. As we approach the 2012 presidential elections the rhetoric will be turned up loudly by both sides, but that is only a small part of the tactics to be used. We are entering an era of bitter strikes (which will result in employee layoffs and terminations), walk outs, and demonstrations that will make the 1960's look pale by comparison. There will also be legal gymnastics the likes of which we have never seen before and will clog the courts. Budget bills will be challenged as will be cost-cutting measures. For example, after Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott vetoed the high speed rail line project, his opponents challenged his right to veto the project in court, an act viewed as incomprehensible and desperate (his right to veto was, of course, upheld). Regardless, Scott's opponents continue to seek legal loopholes to overturn his decision.

The battle of Wisconsin also reintroduced the concept of recalling politicians for their decisions. Members on both sides of the aisle in Wisconsin are now facing recalls. In Miami, Mayor Carlos Alvarez was recently ousted by voters angry over a property tax rate increase and salary raise for county employees in a county struggling to recover from the recession. Recalls will become a natural part of the political landscape for the next two years. Not only is this process costly and will tie up the courts, it will also scare away people from public service, leaving only extremists running for office and further polarizing the country.

Both sides will require funding, and not just a few million dollars, but rather billions. The ante for running for president or Congress just went up substantially with the media licking their chops for their share like jackals. It will be a matter of playing chicken as to which side can outspend the other. Whichever side loses will be financially crippled and will have trouble replenishing their treasury and, as such, will be severely hurt politically. So much so, we will be dangerously close to becoming a one party system and that is just one step away from autocratic rule, which is highly undesirable. The minority will continue to voice their discontent but at some point they will become desperate, rebel, and create underground movements aimed at taking over the country by force. And that's when it will become really dirty. Nobody wants to see an armed insurrection, but when you consider how desperate and passionate both sides are, I don't see how it is avoidable.

Make no mistake, a war is underway in this country, a new type of war that will be fought using different tactics. It will either break us, or cause us to clean up our act. I believe it will take us to the brink before we finally decide to implement massive political reforms. Hopefully, we can survive but one thing is for certain, we will never be the same again.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

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