Breaking the Tyler Cycle

Someone sent me something called the Tyler Cycle. Alexander Fraser Tyler, a Scottish historian (1747-1813), allegedly discovered that democratic societies, such as the one that existed in ancient Athens, are doomed to repeat a vicious circle that begins in Bondage, then proceeds through Spiritual Faith, Courage, Liberty, Abundance, Selfishness, Complacency, Apathy and Dependence, before inevitably arriving back at Bondage.

Well, it seems that there was a Scottish historian named Alexander Tyler, but like so many of those things on the Internet that are attributed to the likes of Andy Rooney, Al Capone and Robin Williams, Mr. Tyler had no hand in creating the cycle that now bears his name. For the life of me, I do not understand why people insist on putting words in other people’s mouths, but, then, I have no idea why the person, who saw to it that my quote about the three female California politicians being reminiscent of the witches in MacBeth went viral, decided to identify me as an L.A. Times columnist, which is something I haven’t been for 34 years.

Even if Tyler had nothing to do with identifying the cycle, there is still a great deal to be said for it. That is especially the case if we take a moment to check out what is happening in America these days. Selfishness? Complacency? Apathy? Dependence? Sound familiar? How else would you describe the Occupy Wall Street movement? What other words would you use to define those fans of Obama, who are constantly demanding that the taxpayer pick up the tab for their birth control pills, health care, abortions, school meals, food stamps and college tuition?

So far as I can see, the only chance America has of breaking the cycle is to send Obama packing. Which is what I expect will happen just as soon as people begin comparing him to Romney. Maybe I’m a cockeyed optimist, but once most Americans see these two on stage together and ask themselves which of the two men best represents them, their values and their vision for our future, I sincerely believe that the majority will favor the Mormon over the Marxist.

But to help bring that about, I don’t want Romney to stand around waiting for the debates. For openers, I want him to stop responding to the Democrats. It’s foolish to waste his time reacting to every idiocy voiced by Obama, David Axelrod and Howard Dean. It is also a waste of time for him to answer every question put to him by Obama’s hand maidens in the lame stream media. They are not looking for answers, but merely looking to make him look bad by editing his responses down to inane and embarrassing sound bites.

Instead, it’s time for Romney to go into attack mode. Let him start demanding that Obama answer questions. If I were running, I would make it a practice to put forth an Obama question every other day. For instance, I’d ask him why he hasn’t demanded that Harry Reid present a single federal budget during the past three years. I’d ask him why Eric Holder is still his attorney general after Operation Fast & Furious and his refusal to indict the Black Panthers for voter intimidation. I would demand to know why he, himself, stood idly by while those same Black Panthers placed a dead-or-alive bounty on George Zimmerman’s head.

I would demand that Obama, who describes himself as the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House — which might be true only if he were comparing himself to Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat — explain why he treats Prime Minister Netanyahu the way Jews treat pork chops, and why he thought Israel should refrain from building homes in Jerusalem. I would also ask Obama if when he suggested that Israel move back to its 1967 borders, he regarded that as a prelude to Israel’s disappearing altogether.

I would even ask him why he makes a bigger deal out of celebrating Islamic holidays than he does those dedicated to Christian and Jewish holy days?

I would demand to know why he keeps describing his energy policy as “all of the above” when he has done everything in his power to destroy the coal and oil industries, up to and including vetoing the Keystone pipeline. I would also demand that he defend squandering all those tax dollars, providing sweetheart deals to solar panel companies owned by his major bundlers, and, for good measure, I would name names.

I would also bring up the fact that he granted Washington unions the power to prevent Boeing from moving its plant to South Carolina.

I would rain on his victory lap by demanding to know if, as rumor has it, he was told as early as 2010 where Osama bin Laden was hiding out, but held off doing anything about it until a few generals told him that if he didn’t give the order, they would. So much for making the gutsiest call in human history, as I believe Joe Biden referred to the no-brainer. But, then, that would be an even better description of the vice-president than the decision.

In short, it’s time that Romney started scoring points, and not just playing defense 24/7. Obama, after all, is the guy with a presidential record. It’s time someone put his feet to the fire and made him defend 40 long months of failure, incompetence, cronyism and corruption.

And in return for all this free advice, I will ask only one thing of President Romney and his Republican Congress. I want lame duck sessions done away with. Why on earth should there be a two-and-a-half-month lag time between elections and inaugurations? Why should someone who has been expelled get to remain in office, making trouble, for 75 days?

After all, it doesn’t take that much time to take the pictures off the wall, pack up the kids and the dog, and hit the road. And in Obama’s case, the sooner, the better.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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