If you took the time to read my recap of Tuesday’s primary voting you also would have noted how unbelievably bored I was during what a long, long day. In the best of circumstances you have candidate choices or tough – even the occasional NASTY – campaigns that pique the interest of voters and motivates them to get to the polls and perform their civic duty!
The other favorable part of that scenario – from a poll watcher’s point-of-view – is that it makes the day go quickly. You’re busy greeting voters, passing along information and maybe a political preference or two. You have the opportunity to converse with neighbors you rarely get to see. And if that community relationship permits, you can get into some very interesting political discussions.
But that doesn’t happen on a day like this past Tuesday. And – believe me – you miss it when you’re there at the polls for the better part of 13 hours. It was a REALLY long day …
And yet as the day wound down with just a few hours left for voting, I had a chance to meet and speak to one of the least known Presidential candidates running for the Republican Presidential nomination! Pennsylvania State Senator Stuart Greenleaf stopped by to say, “Hi!” (For the Senator’s benefit, this was at the Horsham Fire Department building on Meetinghouse Road.)
The buzz you’re hearing are those people, who do not live in the Philadelphia region of Pennsylvania (and even quite of few of those who do), offering up a collective “Who???” That’s right … Presidential candidate Stuart Greenleaf! You probably had no idea he was running.
Well, he’s not … not really.
Greenleaf simply wants to be heard. He believes he has legitimate ideas for solutions to real problems. When he couldn’t attract the attention of a national candidate, he decided to become one. However, when a virtual unknown – nationally anyway – runs for President, it takes an enormous amount of arm waving to attract any attention. This is why you might have read about his candidacy in local papers but never heard another word about it.
Yet, he pressed on. Why?, you might ask …
Senator Greenleaf is a man worried over the future of the United States of America. He’s concerned about the deficit condition of the Federal Government. He’s concerned about the competitive status of American Businesses, especially American Small Businesses. He concerned about the health of the U.S. dollar. He’s concerned about the effect illegal immigration is having on the under-employment of American workers. And he’s concerned about Intellectual Property Rights on ideas and products developed by Americans.
Essentially, Stuart Greenleaf is concerned about all the things important to the global status of the US of A!
Now obviously, Senator Greenleaf has no expectation of propping his feet atop The Oval Office desk this January. No, his intent was to draw attention to the what he considers the Biggest Problems we face as a nation looking to remain economically free, strong, and a leader among the Community of Nations. His desire is to invigorate the discourse and creativity needed by offering up his own ideas and pushing them out into the American Public Square.
All Senator Greenleaf wanted was to open a discussion, perhaps getting one of the national Republican candidates – Mitt Romney now his primary target – to listen and consider these ideas for use in their own campaign, to stoke the National Debate.
One of his proposals is unique. It’s the one I have the hardest time wrapping my head around. This concept is to capitalize – or back – the “U.S. monopoly dollar” (my wording) with the estimated $127 trillion (Greenleaf’s figure) in federal holdings of lands, property, timber, mineral rights, etc. Greenleaf holds that doing so is infinitely better than holding a dollar backed essentially by NOTHING. He claims such a valuation would permit the U.S. Treasury to print enough fully backed, REAL money to wipe out our $15 trillion national debt!
Now I’m no economist, and a lot gets by me whenever a discussion swings around to the debt, the deficit, and the economy. But the idea of capitalizing the dollar in this way – at the very least – intrigues me. Is it a rational, practical solution to the national debt nightmare ? I have no idea; but I’d like to see it vetted in sight of the American taxpayer!
What I do know is that I really, really like the fact that SOMEONE is thinking “outside the box”; looking for solutions; unafraid of the catcalls and derision one side or the other always seems to enjoy raining down on someone who climbs out on the narrow limb; seeking consensus on solutions by simply trying to open the discussion!
When I think of the distinction between an elected Representative – be it at the State or Federal level – and a Senator, I see the Representative (Congressman federally) as the one who controls the way the Government runs and the way it is funded to provide the services expected of it. When I think of Senator on either level, I envision a Protector of the Interests of the People.
One Greenleaf quote from his website reads as follows:
“A debt-free USA is a truly free USA – no longer hostage to foreign creditors, no longer enslaving future generations to unconscionable indebtedness, no longer trapped in an economic paralysis. By restoring American solvency, we will restore American sovereignty and our greatness as an engine of enterprise and prosperity for all our citizens.” – Senator Stewart Greenleaf
In my utopian view of how Government representation should work, Stuart Greenleaf is doing exactly what we should expect of a State Senator. He is looking out for the Interests of the People!
For that reason I told Senator Greenleaf I admired the fact that he put himself out there, as a lonely State Senator with absolutely no concern for the cut of criticism or the apathy of those afraid to take a chance, to push us up that first step. He wasn’t doing it for himself or for ambition, certainly not to become the Most Powerful Man in the World. I told him I was proud because he did this in the interests of my children’s future.
Hopefully at some point, They might start listening and maybe – just maybe – start seriously talking about how best to fix things.