Thursday, August 4, 2016

Writing Tip

Think. Outline. Write. Edit. Rewrite. Finish. These are simple steps to writing efficiently and effectively.

Happy Writing!

Friday, July 22, 2016

What it takes to be a Writer, Editor, or Proofreader

Yeah, yeah. I know. There are thousands of articles about “How to be…” this, or “What you need to be…” that. Well, here’s another one…

To be good at anything, you should have good senses. Not just the olfactory ones, but professional “senses” that serve you well while doing your day-to-day job. It’s no different for writers, editors, and proofreaders. They have to have a storyteller’s sense of flow, an artist’s sense of imagery, a musician’s sense of timing and rhythm, and a drill sergeant’s sense of demanding perfection at every waking moment of the day! Whew. Sorry about that.

Anyway, writer, editors and proofreaders (I’m not going to type that out all the time, so I’ll tap into my government experience and make an acronym out of it: WEP; meh, good enough) are no different than any other profession (Ha! Yeah right!). They need to have their “senses” in order. Here are some additional senses that WEPs should have. And if you want to be one, you should be well-versed in these also.

Sense of Urgency
Every WEP needs to have a sense of urgency when they are doing their work. If you’re commissioned to write something, there’s no need in dawdling – get to it! Do your research, outline, and first draft and have something to show for your time. Impress yourself with your writing speed. Impress yourself with your ability to find mistakes in a draft. Impress yourself by arguing over the use (or not) of an Oxford comma. But don’t mess around. Start writing (or editing, or proofreading)!

Sense of Pride
Every project a WEP contributes to is a work of art. Not everyone will appreciate it. It won’t wind up in the top literary journals or be lauded by your local book club. But, it’s important that you have a sense of pride in your work. Even if your boss rips up your first draft and tells you to start over (or try a different profession), know that you created something out of nothing. Take pride in the…

Sense of Process
That’s right. Process. I’ve written about process before. I actually love the process. As I’ve grown older, it’s not just the written word that excites me, but the process to get there. Thinking. Outlining. Drafting. Revising. Yelling. Screaming. Crying. Punching. Sulking. Yelling more. Talking to myself. Revising. Submitting.

Beautiful, huh?

Sense of Self
WEPing will give you a great sense of self (if you don’t already have one). It will have you soaring above the clouds and thinking you’re the best WEP in world (nay, universe!) or have you rocking back and forth in the corner wondering if you have any value to society at all. But isn’t that cool? You really learn all there is about yourself when you’re creating something. It may not be your mission in life, but give it a shot. Write something. Edit something. Proofread something. You’ll learn something new and leave the endeavor with a good sense of self.

Now get out there and WEP!

Friday, July 8, 2016

How to Write...a press release

I’m going to switch things up a little from my previous blog posts (The Freelance Life, parts 1 & 2) and – throughout the rest of the year – share some tips on how to write different types of documents. I hope it will help!

As most of you are aware, getting good press for your event, product launch, or general good news can be tough. Readers are inundated with news (both good and bad), social media is the go-to source for many people, and news organizations are sometimes overwhelmed.

Even though social media has become the standard for receiving (as well as generating) news, it’s still important to know how to write a good ‘ol fashioned press release for traditional media outlets.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is an announcement to the media about an event. The event could be anything: a grand opening of a store, a new product launch, a human interest story, etc. Most organizations, whether large or small, use press releases to share news with the media. Hopefully, the release will culminate in a positive story in the targeted media.


I’ve written dozens of press releases throughout my career: in politics, the private sector, and in government. Though I’m not a classically trained journalist, I’ve learned what generally works when writing a release and how best to get press (which is not guaranteed, more on that below).

Journalists are taught many things about structuring a story. Two of them will serve you well while drafting your own release:

1. Always include Who, What, Where, How, Why, and When elements

2. Write in the Inverted Pyramid style

If journalists are comfortable using these elements when they write a story, wouldn’t it be prudent to use these same elements in your release?

The first element is pretty self-explanatory. In your release you should include the basic facts about your event. Who is it for? What is it about? Where is it being held (or where did it happen)? How is it going to work? Why is it important? When did it happen (or when will it happen)? Including the basic facts of the event will show the media that you are thorough in your approach and you understand that they need as much information as possible.

You want to spark interest in your story, so if you forget to include the “Why” for example, the journalist is going to file your release in the circular bin (ouch).

The second element is one you’ll find in most media stories (on- and offline). The Inverted Pyramid simply means that the main facts are in the first sections of the article – generally in the first two paragraphs. That way, if the reader decides to just skim the article then move on, they’ll get the gist of the entire piece. It also serves as a “hook” to entice the reader to continue reading.


Once you’ve written your release with those two elements, it’s important to include at least one quote from a stakeholder that “teases” the event. Only include a quote that you are comfortable with seeing in the targeted media. Remember, some media outlets will take your entire release and post/print it (usually smaller papers/websites). If you don’t want to read something in the paper or web, DON’T WRITE IT.

Quick Tips

Just sending a release to your targeted media outlet won’t guarantee coverage of your event. You have a build a relationship with the media contact and follow up after you’ve sent it.

Make sure to include your full contact information at the top of the release.

Include a catchy and informative headline

Keep the release to no more than 2 pages

At the end of the release use a “#” symbol to indicate the end of the useable content.

Include a statement about your organization after the “#” symbol so the media can learn more about your mission.

I hope these tips will be helpful as you draft your press release. If you’re still unsure, drop me a line in the comment section or visit my website – – for a free consultation about all of your writing and editing needs.

Happy writing!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Freelance Life (pt. 2): Midwest-Style

In the last post I wrote about my life as a start-up freelance writer/editor. I wanted to continue that theme in this post because I think it’s important for people to understand a bit more about how simple it is to start a freelance company and how hard it is to keep it going.

The “Easy” Part

Starting a freelance company is super easy. All you have to do is decide to start a freelance business. It was really easy for me because I’ve always wanted to work for myself. So, one day I said: “Self, we’re going into business.”

Done. Easy, right?

Ok, now onto…

The Hard Part

Everything else. That’s right. Every other part of running a freelance business is hard. Here are just a few things that you have to do (not in any particular order):

Register your business with the government (depending on your area)
Set up a finance plan/spreadsheet
Monitor your competition
Network your ass off
Develop marketing materials
Keep your IT systems up-to-date
Always be ready to answer the phone
Create and update your website
Be organized
Develop an elevator speech
Understand your industry
Stay current on latest trends
Understand and use social media
Master your craft
Buy supplies
Keep track of your time
Keep track of your mileage (for tax purposes)
Understand tax laws (local, state, and federal)
Open a business bank account

Whew! By the way, this is BEFORE you have a client!

What Makes the Hard Part Easy?

Moving out to the Midwest (Indiana in particular) has been an eye-opening experience. The people here have made the transition from the northeast (New Jersey) almost as smooth as glass. I still miss a good slice of foldable New York-style pizza, Wawa, and the loving attitude of my fellow Garden State commuters, but Indiana has embraced us and given me a great opportunity to succeed as a freelance writer/editor.

They make marketing so much easier because they are open to meeting new people. They make learning so much easier due to the many networking and educational opportunities available. They make writing so much easier because of the unique need of governments, nonprofits, and political groups (my niche).

I’m really excited about the journey I’m on. I don’t know if I’ll ever officially call myself a “Hoosier” any time soon, but the freelance life in Indiana is pretty damn cool.

Thoughts? Let me know what you think about freelancing, the Midwest, or writing/editing in general.

Happy writing!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Freelance Life

I’ve always wanted to work for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have horror stories about working for a crazy, mean, or disrespectful boss. The vast majority of people I’ve worked for have been good managers. They’ve understood how my brain works and allowed me the freedom to accomplish my tasks without interference.

Working for myself has just been a dream of mine. I’m independent. I like to formulate ideas on my own. I like spending time working through a problem, coming up with a solution, and presenting it. Writing is great for that. Being assigned a task (an article, press release, or report), doing the research, thinking about how best to structure it (outlining), then creating something out of nothing really gets the juices flowing.

Well, working as a freelancer is hard. There are thousands of articles out there about the “freelance life” and what you can do to succeed. I’ve read plenty of them. Some have been helpful, others have been, well, blah. It’s always the same old stuff: “Make thousands as a freelancer with no experience!” “Quit your day job and be a freelancer!”

If you read between the lines - really “listen” to what they are saying - you’ll find that it’s not as simple as just telling your friends and colleagues you’re a freelancer and all of the work you can handle will fall into your lap.

Here’s my story.

My fiancĂ©e, Jennifer, and I moved out to Mishawaka, Indiana in December 2015. She’s a sales manager for a couple of senior care communities. This was my chance to fulfill my dream. Of course, I’ve applied for writing/editing jobs here locally, but my main goal was (and is) to be a freelance content writer and editor. When we arrived, I hit the ground running. I started researching local writing groups, marketing associations, advertising agencies, business assistance groups (like the small business development center), and anyone I thought could help me get started.

Things started going well. I was setting up meetings with local professionals. I was learning the lay of the land. I felt confident.

Then things started dragging out. Oh, I was still going to meetings. And more meetings. And still more meetings. No one was buying. I was looking online for freelance gigs. I talked to my SBDC business advisor. I worked on government certifications. I did just about everything short of getting on my knees and begging.

Happy ending? Not yet. I’m still working. I’m still talking to people and meeting people and trying to sell. It’s tough. The freelance life articles never mentioned that gut crunching stress of not working for weeks at a time. Don’t forget, most of the people writing those articles have successful established businesses set up. It’s easy to write about success when you have it. When you’re still working your tail off trying to get something going, it’s hard. Really hard.

So, I’ll keep you up to speed on how things are going. I’ll try to be as positive as possible, but again, it’s hard. I know, I know: keep at it. Good things come to those who wait. Never give up, never give in. I won’t. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve found my calling. I’m a freelance content writer and editor. Nothing will stop me. If I have to get a job, I will. I owe it to Jennifer to do whatever I need to do to succeed. I owe it to myself. But, I will keep at it.

This is one of my more rambling articles, but I hope you get the point. Sometimes it’s good to just write and let people read it without the polish. Well, here it is.

Oh. Thanks to all of you who have read my writing and liked/commented on my Twitter and LinkedIn posts. It’s really great for a writer to know people like what’s written. Please keep reading and send me some leads!

Happy writing!

Update: I landed a small gig with a local advertising agency as I was working on this post. Hopefully that’s the beginning of the flood gates opening! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Process

Don't be afraid! Writing can be intimidating for anyone that doesn’t do it everyday. But wait. Who DOESN’T write something every day? You write emails, texts, notes, reports...something. Every. Single. Day.

Well, since you write some sort of content every day, why is it still intimidating? The process. You may not have a defined writing process, but if you did, it would help you conquer the fear of writing.

If you’ve worried so much about the idea of writing that it’s become a scary proposition, relax. Here are 10 simple ways to improve your writing process and take the fear out of writing.

1. Think About Your Audience
Most writers forget about this. Don’t. You should always think about the end-user of your content. Are you writing for your co-workers? Your boss? Your church group? Your son’s little league team? Don’t start writing a word until you’ve spent at least a few minutes thinking about your audience. Not all writing is appropriate for all audiences. Check your tone, style, and any colloquialisms to make sure your content fits.

2. Research, Read, and Remember
Now that you’ve thought about your audience and their needs, research the topic that you’re going to write about. The best way to research is to read. Duh, right? Read as much as you can about your topic because that effort will serve you well when you’re actually writing. What makes writing easy? Knowing your topic well. Mark Twain said it best: “Write what you know.” The better you know your topic, the better your writing.

3. Think Again
Here we go again. More thinking! Now that you have some topic research in your head, it’s time to think about how you want to write your content. One-page briefing? A three-panel flyer? A long-form research-style document? Think about the best way to present your information.

4. Outline, then Line it Out
Ok. Enough thinking, researching, and reading. It’s time to outline your content. Quick rule of thumb: the document should have an opening, a middle (or body), and a closing. There you go. Simple, right? If it’s a press release, for example, the opening will have the Who, What, Where, How, Why, and When in the opening paragraph. The body will have a quote and a little meat about your news. The closing will wrap things up with another quote and a quick blurb about your organization. Once your outline is done, review it with a critical eye and slash any topics/points that don’t add to your message.

5. Mental Vomit
Outline complete. Whew! Let’s start writing! If it’s a long document (white paper, case study, report, etc.), just start writing like your life depends on it. It’s called “vomiting on the page” (gross, I know). All of the thinking, researching, reading, outlining, and more thinking will now come into play. Don’t worry that your first draft isn’t Shakespeare. It never is. No writer is satisfied with his first draft. All of the good (and great writers) know that editing is an important (if not the most important) part of the writing process. Just write. Get something on the page. You can fix it later (and you will).

6. Wait! Don’t Edit
Ok, the “vomit” is on the page. Now, unless you are on a super-tight deadline, don’t touch what you’ve written (except to add more or loosely move some things around). The hard editing doesn’t happen at this stage. Just make sure you have what you need on the page, it makes sense to you, and you haven’t forgotten your most important points.

7. Sleep on It
When you’re done with your initial writing and you’re satisfied with the document as a rough draft, put it away and go do something else. If you can wait a day, do that. Even if you only have 20 minutes, walk away from your writing. Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere. Note: make sure you’re saving your work or have autosave activated!

8. Read it Fresh
Good morning! You’ve had a good night’s sleep. You’ve had a chance to decompress from all that writing. Now what? Well, read your work. You may cringe. It may seem like it’s the worst thing you’ve ever read. No worries. Relax and read through the entire document from beginning to end. Don’t edit anything yet. Just read. This is how you get “inside” the document and understand what you’ve written. Also, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Read from their perspective. Does the order and layout make sense? Is the information they need expressed clearly?

9. Write Again, Write Now
Before you start revising or adding anything - and after your read-through - take some notes. Just write in the margins of the document. You can put a “?” next to a sentence that needs clarification, or a “!” next to a point you want to emphasize. The second read-through is when you’re starting to think about editing, layout, etc. With your notes in hand, start writing some more. You should have a good understanding of your topic and document now, so focusing on accuracy, brevity, and clarity is the name of the game.

10. Lay it Out and Be Brutal
Almost done! Now that you have a cohesive, coherent document, it’s time to start editing. Many writers edit their documents on their computer screen. Not me. I like to print out my drafts, lay them on a table and see how the document “flows.” This is a good way to holistically view your document. It’s important to see the whole document in one sitting. Have a red pen ready and BE BRUTAL. If you’re reading through and something catches your eye that you don’t feel adds anything to the story you’re telling, get rid of it! Go through the document with a hyper-critical eye, trim the fat, and you’ll have a clean document ready for your audience to read and enjoy.

Bonus Tip: When you’re reading your more polished document, read it outloud. This is a sure fire way of better understanding what you’re written and to ensure it makes sense.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Finding your Writing Niche

At some point in every writer’s professional life, they face the moment when they ask themselves: “what kind of writing do I enjoy the most?” A writer may be employed to write advertising copy, business letters, annual reports, or any number of types of documents. He may enjoy the work or not find it fulfilling. If you’re in the latter category, here are some quick tips on how to find your writing niche.


Are you excited? Does your heart rate increase a bit when you’re thinking about writing something? I don’t mean that you can’t sit still unless you share your thoughts, but it’s not too far off from that. I’ve found that researching, writing, editing planning documents (strategy, communications, management, etc.) gets my synapses “popping” more than writing, say, a business letter. Now, I enjoy writing and editing in general, but those types of documents get me going a little bit more (yeah, I know, it’s weird).


What are you interested in? It could be anything. Hamburgers, pet care, politics, sneakers, whatever. If you’re truly interested in something, your reader will be able to tell. Most writers write about what they’re interested in, but sometimes you can tell that their heart really isn’t into it. The writing may be good, but there’s just something missing that bleeds through.

Interest is tied to excitement, so it’s natural that your interests excite you. That’s what you should write about.


Have you written something and your readers (or your boss) praised your finished product? You may have found your writing niche. You can probably tell that these three tips are tied together. If you’re interested in something, you’ll more than likely be excited about it, which will reflect in your writing and ultimately result in praise from your readers.

Do an honest self-evaluation of what you like to do and you’ll not only find your writing niche, but your writing will improve.

Quick story: 

Just last week, I did this evaluation when I was developing a value statement for potential clients. After feeling confused about what writing, editing, and proofreading services I would offer (and to which clients), I looked at my experiences and interests more critically. What I discovered was that government, nonprofits, and politics were my niches. Writing campaign management plans, disaster recovery plans, researching and reports, communications plans, and other documents that could be beneficial to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and political candidates and groups gets me excited and have received the most praise.

Now of course I won’t cut off my nose to spite my face and turn down writing assignments when offered (I am in business), but my marketing focus will be on those three sectors.

Give that self-evaluation a try and let me know what you find.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“Creative” Technical Writing

Have you been tasked with writing a technical document? Are you dreading the upcoming drudgery? Don’t fret! A technical document doesn’t have to be boring. You can add a little flair to it and make it more enjoyable for you to write and your audience to read. 

In this instance, I’m not referring to an information technology, engineering or other “hard science” document (though some of these tips may apply). I’m referring to a business plan, strategic plan, management plan, policy document, or white paper. These documents are used to:

  • Help your organization improve its processes
  • Instruct employees on proper conduct
  • Plan your future operations
  • Share your vision

Of course, there are many other reasons, but that should give you a good idea of what I’m talking about. Here are some tips to help improve the readability of your document. 

Add Inspirational Quotes

Use Google (or your favorite quote book) to find an appropriate quote from a famous person to add some inspiration to your document. Place the quote on the top of the Executive Summary or Introduction page. It will “set the mood” for the reader. 

Tell a Story

The document is not just busy work for your team to write and disseminate. It’s a story about your vision, your expectations, and your organization’s future. Tell a story. Stories have three acts: A beginning, middle and end. The beginning introduces your characters. The middle introduces a conflict or issue. The end brings both your characters and conflict together with (hopefully) a happy ending. 

Be Quippy

Is there some appropriate, low-key humor involved in your story? Add it to a sidebar in the document or write something humorous in the caption area of a graph or table (“We’ve got a delicious slice of the market in the above pie chart!”). Your readers will remember something that stands out. Note: be extremely careful with humor. Don’t go over the top or be racy with anything. Know your audience!

Have a Conversation

When you’re writing, picture one or more of your potential audience members. Write like you’re talking to them about your organization’s future, goals, and vision. As with the above section, be careful. You don’t want to write like you talk, but you want to write in a comfortable manner that the reader can relate to and understand. 

Pull Quotes

Use pull quotes in your document. This will draw the eye of the reader and break up the flow of the text. This technique is a small part of the user design and user experience (UD/UX) process. The experience of the end-user (reader) is key to effective communication. It’s crucial that you learn more about this process and its techniques. 

That’s it. Pretty simple stuff. Don’t fall into the trap of just generating content for the sake of generating it, or to just get the job done. Show that you enjoy the writing process and your readers will reward you by reading your content. Happy writing!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I'm baaaack!

It's been a long, long, long time since I've updated this blog. The last time I wrote a post, Mitt Romney lost the presidential election and I was, frankly, depressed. Not that I was a Romney fan (not in any way, shape or form), but I just didn't want (nor did our country need), another four years of one of the most hollow presidents in history. Oh well. Now we're into another presidential race. I'm kind of semi-retired from politics, so I won't be writing a lot about it. I've discovered my true calling: freelance content/policy writing and editing. Strategies, op-eds, plans, speeches, ad copy, etc. It's fun. Not only have I "found myself", I got engaged (August 24, 2015) to the most wonderful woman in the world (Jennifer), worked for FEMA as a technical writer in support of Hurricane Sandy recovery (2013-2015), and moved to beautiful Mishawaka, Indiana. That's right. Mishawaka. The Princess City. Ok. You've never heard of it. I hadn't either, but it's right next to South Bend (home of Notre Dame University). There's lake effect snow. Super nice people. And, a chance to start a new chapter in our life. I hope you'll tune in for my updates. In the meantime, check out some of my other "ramblings" on LinkedIn, Twitter, and my website.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shock and Awe

You know, I just don’t get it. I thought I did, but I guess I really don’t. I thought that I had a feel for this country; its moods, its political leanings, its desires and dreams. I thought that this country, a country I love dearly, had a natural pendulum that would swing back and forth socially, culturally and politically. Every few years there would be a massive, noticeable and shocking swing to one side, then, a few years later, the pendulum would swing back. Sometimes it would swing back just as noticeably as the previous swing, but eventually, things would go back to a sense of balanced normalcy, you know? The country would always find its true north and be set on a stable course to prosperity, or at least something that resembled it. You can all think of examples, I’m not trying to give a history lesson here. The heated rhetoric during the second Bush term was a point where the pendulum swung pretty drastically and people wanted something different. So, we got it; and the pendulum swung almost 180 degrees the other way. Fine. That’s how things go. But now that it had swung that far, I thought it would swing back and center itself. It. Did. Not.

I don’t understand why. I have some theories tied together with thoughts from some pretty smart people I know as to why the country re-elected Barack Obama (I have to admit though, that last part was really difficult to write). I, like so many others were convinced the country would right itself and elect Mitt Romney (though he wasn’t the end-all and be-all to our country’s problems, but he presented a reasoned, moderate approach that would address some of the fiscal problems we face). Though the election was close (popular vote), it was a drubbing in the Electoral College. It was a devastating repudiation of common sense and the ability of the American people to confront a problem head-on. But the damage wasn’t done simply on the presidential level. Democrats increased their number of seats in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. The Republican governor of Puerto Rico was defeated and the residents of that country voted overwhelmingly for statehood in a (thankfully) non-binding referendum. Two black House Republicans were defeated (though Allen West is still contesting the results), potentially leaving only Tim Scott of South Carolina. Don’t misunderstand me, the Republican party is NOT the savior of this country, but considering the problems we face, electing more Republicans nationally would have gone a long way towards righting this ship. There are viable policy positions from some of the third parties, but as of now we function under a two-party system so that’s what we have to work with.

In a previous blog entry, I had speculated that there would be a transformational shift towards a solid center-right populace at the end of this election. Romney, as a former (?) progressive Republican was well suited to mount a strong, aggressive campaign that would take the fight to the leftist progressives. Obama’s policies would be rejected and “balance would be restored to the force”. I was half-right. The country has been almost solidly consumed by the consumer-taker mentality, which, as of this election, makes up 50% of the electorate. Producer-givers make up only 48%. There is the transformation. President Obama made that same promise in 2008, but I didn’t believe him (at least not in the way he thought it would happen). That 48% is a large number no doubt, but still the fact that it is not a majority is highly disturbing. We have now become a nation divided, not along party lines, but along attitudinal ones. This will come as no surprise to many, but now, the future of the country will be fought between consumer-takers and producer-givers. No, these terms are not original, but it will be therapeutic for me to explain them.

The producer-givers are the people that Romney represents and who he seems to embody. He seems to be a caring, giving man who had a great deal of success in his life. Yes, he had advantages, but everyone has different types of advantages and it comes down to how you exploit them. He was successful in many things that he did and was rewarded for it. There is nothing wrong with that. He also seems like a noble man who loves his country and wanted to help make it better. The 48% who supported him have similar stories: hardworking people who don’t look to strangers (in government) to give them something for nothing. Now, Romney miscalculated about the 47% figure he quoted in that undercover “gotcha” video. He pegged the number three percentage points too low. There are, and we have seen it in stark relief, 50% of people, not 47%, who want something for nothing. It’s as simple as that. Fifty percent said “no” to self-reliance, personal responsibility, selflessness, and dare I say it: honor and love of country. That 50% were doing nothing but thinking about THEIR next meal, THEIR next bill payment, THEIR feelings of “hope” and “change” and how THEY are going to move “forward”. Not one single second was spent thinking about the trillions of dollars (can you even contemplate how much that really is??) our posterity is on the hook for; not one second thinking about the massive yearly deficits that are due NOW; not one second about increased inflation, taxes and gas prices; not a single second on the almost constant violations of civil liberties; and, most disturbing (at least to me as a military veteran), not a single solitary second on the lives lost by people in the service of this great country: service members, federal law enforcement officers, contractors and diplomats. Whether on the Mexican border, in Benghazi, at Ft. Hood, Texas, at recruiting stations in Arkansas, in Iraq or in Afghanistan (please forgive me if I’ve neglected to include any other incidences, I’m doing this from memory), their service has come to naught.

People have died due to the negligence of this administration and their worldview. People have died. Apparently that does not mean anything to the 50%.

But I digress.

Those 50% that voted to continue on the same path are the consumer-takers. This term is pretty self-explanatory. They are focused on and dedicated to enriching themselves with the least effort possible. They are no better than the fat-cats they rail against. The only difference is they won’t put in the hard work to one day become a CEO, CFO or COO. They simply want what they want and expect everyone to give it to them. They had a candidate who promised to do just that. The shift has taken place in such a resounding way I am still in a bit of shock. I was shocked when Obama was elected, but chalked it up to Bush fatigue. Re-elected? No way in hell. Never happen. The American people can throw a fit every once in a while, but they are balanced, common sense people. When Americans see a problem or something not working, they will try to fix it. Not this time. There’s no way they didn’t see it. They FEEL it everyday for crying out loud! Then what was it? The country has shifted. It’s not a pendulum swing thing anymore. It’s a honest-to-God shift. The fundamentals of this country have shifted from producer-givers to consumer-takers. Of course, there are still people who are willing to give of their time and work hard, but I have to say, this must be the first time in the history of this country where the consumer-takers have out-numbered the producer-givers. That is a devastating realization.

If faced with the fiscal, cultural and political problems that we have confronted over the past few years hasn’t awoken a spirit of basic common sense to stop the train while we still can, I’m afraid their may be no turning back. Maybe we can chip away at the edges and hope for the best, but the fears of turning into France or Greece may actually be realized soon. I’m not trying to be tin-foil hat guy and scream about the end of the republic, but France, to Greece, to Venezuela to Go-knows-what is not an impossible thing to happen. Americans have a special type of outlook, but, considering this past election, they are increasingly susceptible to falling down the civilizational cliff towards a totally statist society. Some may argue we are already there. I don’t think it is complete, but much of the evidence points in that direction. Maybe it will be a “new” brand of statism, a sort of “socialism American-style”. Regardless, it will still be a system that has never worked and has led to the deaths of countless millions of people and the subjugation of those still living. That is a truly scary thing, but the foundation has been laid. The 48%, like me, loves this country and wants the best for it. It is so demoralizing to see it go in a direction that most reasonable and rational people see as dangerous. Forget ideology and just look at the numbers: trillions here, trillions there. We can’t sustain this. Then, look at history, and not just ours. Finally, look around the world. Where do financial crises lead? These problems are not solely ideological, though there are “Democratic” and “Republican” economists (which makes no sense), but the numbers are the numbers. I would only tell the new 50%: Be careful what you wish for…

God save the Republic.