I went to Spain to see European socialism up close. I returned home with new friends and a new appreciation for the freedoms we have in these United States of America. This trip also gave me a fresh perspective on our recent election. As a Spanish businessman said when talking about the United States,
“It isn’t just the laws or the taxes; it is the freedom.”
The Republican leadership in Congress lost this election. Trump saved the economy for them, but that wasn’t enough. Team Ryan failed to deliver to the conservative base. If you protest, then please consider that we still have Obamacare, open borders, government-funded abortion, and gun regulations that infringe on our rights. Ryan built that, and his inaction will sink the Republican Party for years. I don’t expect things to change even though the Republicans remain in power for the next two months.
Maybe Speaker Ryan is holding the Republican party hostage.
If so, then the GOP needs a rescue team..and fast.
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It shocked me to see this unfold, but my Spanish friends were not surprised. They said, ‘You are becoming like us.’ Through their strong Spanish accent, it was easy to hear the deep sadness in their voices.
Because they were gun owners, these Spaniards told me about the restrictions they face. It takes six months to buy your first gun. Ammunition is controlled. Target scopes and airsoft guns are also regulated. Shooting is out of reach for most Spaniards and is a rich man’s sport. Spain should be a non-violent paradise if gun-control worked.
It doesn’t. There are no-go areas controlled by the mafia and the Muslims in some of Spain’s southern cities. There are plenty of unregistered military arms left over from the Spanish civil war of the 1930s. There are new guns as well, and Spanish gun owners talk about finding new AK-47s on the beach and on the side of the road where smugglers move contraband and illegal immigrants. Criminals have all the guns they want, but there is no right of self-defense for honest Spanish citizens. This sounded all too familiar.
My friends at the Spanish shooting range were also businessmen, so we had to talk about the Spanish economy. Spain is socialist, though the mayor of Madrid is a communist. The official unemployment rate is now over 15 percent, but that is down from a recent high of over 26 percent. Tax rates and government debt are frighteningly high. If that wasn’t bad enough, there is the inquisition of the Spanish bureaucracy.
The shooting ranges I visited, and others I heard about, may take months or even years to get approval to open or to change how they operate. These are the shooting ranges used by the police to train their officers, so I assume it is worse for the smaller ranges used mostly by civilians.
Spain, the country that once produced great artists and cathedrals, now exports its young people as they leave the country to find jobs. One of the best preparations your children can have in school is a foreign language. Mature businesses in Spain also have an exit strategy to leave the country. These businesses invest here in the USA.
Perhaps that is why Spanish businessmen follow US politics. They know the states that are bad for business; California’s bad reputation is international. I sympathized since I fled California myself. Florida’s reputation is in decline since their incoming Senate president took a bribe from a liberal billionaire. These businessmen mentioned Texas as being good for business, but they follow our political intrigues.
We held similar views of the mass media. These sophisticated Spaniards know their government-regulated media in Spain slants the news. We shared our contempt for the biased mainstream media.
Their perspective influenced my reaction to this last election. We saw politicians and rich billionaires follow their interests as they sacrificed ours. Only a biased media could call that a victory for the people.
It sounds cliche, but the US is a beacon of freedom to the world. We don’t need an invasion of Honduran leftists to work here in the US. The US could have the best minds in the world..if we act right. They too are yearning to breathe free.