In this, my first printed opinion column for The Tribune, let me offer an introduction. Some may already be familiar with my brand of commentary because I have had a few Letters to the Editor and a Viewpoint published in this newspaper before. I have also posted hundreds, if not thousands, of comments to published letters over the past couple of years. For others, I am the “new nobody” who has been given the privilege to share my thoughts and perspectives on local issues on a more regular basis.
Politically speaking, I am a Conservative. I realize that statement will probably cause a number of readers to immediately stop reading and move on. That’s OK. For those of you willing to give me a shot, let me say, first, who my target audience is: In addition to issues that affect my family, my primary focus will be on those younger than me. I am 58 years old. My wife and I raised two grown children, born in the 1980s, working hard and raising their own families now (not in California).
Their generation, and those born more recently, are the ones to whom I would especially like to speak. Why? Because people in my generation and older are pretty well set in their ways and in their thinking. I don’t expect to reach them (though it would be nice), nor do I want to simply participate in a conservative “echo chamber” where like-minded people read and agree with what I say.
My goal in this and every future column is to talk to my kids’ generation and their kids’ generation. I don’t necessarily expect to convince them to view conservatism as the best political governing philosophy (even though it is), but to engage them in critical thinking and analysis, to challenge them and, hopefully, to help them understand that liberalism/progressivism/socialism pave a pathway to a very unhappy future.
I believe that many in my generation, my parents’ generation, and even my grandparents’ generation have set us on a course to political, social and financial ruin. Yes, I just said that.
If you were born after 1980, I hope you will save this column and refer back to it as you get older and wiser. I am certainly no prophet or fortune-teller, but I have lived long enough to notice things. I’m not very encouraged. Yes, there are some good things going on, but trends in our society, our financial condition and our politics lead me to believe that a day of reckoning will be visited upon your generation and future generations.
Thankfully, I do not believe it will happen during my lifetime. Nonetheless, it will happen if things do not change.
How do we prevent a disaster? It has to start with your generation since mine and others have failed you. You are the product of past generations that created an unbelievable mountain of national debt, which continues to grow every year. You will never be able to pay it off. But the day will come when you will have to, at a minimum, start paying it off ... and it will hurt. It matters not which political party you want to blame. This growing debt crisis is not sustainable! Please educate yourselves and understand the significant differences between capitalism and socialism, between freedom and tyranny. Vote, but most importantly, vote for candidates who understand the dangers that lurk ahead and have real solutions to prevent or mitigate them, while always protecting your liberty.
In future columns, I hope to speak more to the younger generations — and anyone else willing to listen — in a way that is meaningful to their lives here in San Luis Obispo County and, more broadly, California.
I have strong opinions on healthcare, housing, education, energy, immigration, social issues and so on. I belong on the political right, but recognize I may not always be right. I am willing to listen to other points of view; I will monitor on-line comments; and I will respond to those who are willing to engage in constructive conversations. But be forewarned: I have had to block several writers who chose not to engage in civil discourse, but to launch ad hominem attacks against me. I can take some insults and name-calling, but I can also give as good as I get, while staying out of the gutter. I would much rather engage in a civil debate with those who disagree or have a different perspective.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to convince me to rethink one of my positions. Or, better yet, vice versa.
If you made it with me this far, I hope our journey together will go much further. Cheers.
Ed Bogusch is a writer and a retired business analyst and purchasing manager for Lockheed Martin. He writes a monthly column for The Tribune.
Editor’s note: With the retirement of conservative columnist Andrea Seastrand, we are adding new local voices to the Sunday opinion section. If you are interested in writing a monthly column on local issues, send writing samples to Opinion Editor Stephanie Finucane at firstname.lastname@example.org.