Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  

democrats republicansI was listening to the news on my commute the other day and I heard a focus group done by Frank Luntz in North Carolina, one of the “Battleground States.” Luntz asked for a show of hands on how many people had lost a job in the last four years. Apparently all but two did. He then asked for a show of hands for people who voted for Obama in the last election but planned on not voting for him this time. A lot of hands went up. Then he did a mini-interview with each of them.

Each of them proceeded to launch into a narrative about losing their jobs and worrying about the future and filling out applications and…blame, blame, blame. They blamed the president for their job loss, for their home loss, even for their hair loss (OK no one actually did but it was implied…OK I actually made that one up entirely).

I don’t care if you are a fan of the president’s economics or not. I don’t care if you adore his opponent or George W. Bush (side note: his autobiography, Decision Points, is excellent!), or if you plan on voting for Roseanne Barr on the “I Couldn’t Get Nominated by Any Party So I Made Up My Own Party” ticket. That is not the point of this post. The point is that no one is to blame for their problems but themselves. Let me rephrase that. No one is to blame for my problems but me. (Click to Tweet) Not George W. Bush. Not Barack Obama. Not the Congress. No one but me.

The pundits say the magic question voters ask themselves (as originally asked by Ronald Reagan in 1980) is “are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

lion election
I was about two feet from this guy last week because I took the afternoon off to spend time with family. So yeah, I am better off today than four years ago.

Am I better off today than I was four years ago?


Is it because of Barack Obama? No. Would Mitt Romney have made it better? No. If we had just elected that blue haired lady from Wyoming to the Senate, would that have made it better? No. Would I be worse if Bush was still president? No.

I am better off today than four years ago because…

  • I married the most incredible woman in the world two weeks after the 2008 election. She cheers for me in the best of times and supports me in the worst. She encourages me, inspires me, and loves me unconditionally.
  • We had our daughter, Aracelli, almost 18 months ago. Every single day she makes me laugh, makes me clap, and lights up the room when I get home.
  • I reconnected with a good friend. Two years ago I re-formed a relationship with an old friend. I had almost destroyed it more than once, but I committed to being a good friend and in the process I got an even better one. 
  • I started my own business. I work harder than ever and smarter than ever. I have clients that, at times, are tough to deal with, but from whom I learn so much. I work when I want and can take a half day to go to the zoo and be two feet from a Lion when I want.
  • I’m learning not to blame others. I am taking more and more responsibility for my life every day. In the process, I am seeing more and more success every day.
  • I’m closer to God.
By all means vote in November. But please realize that no president, no congressman, no one…ever…is going to be your savior except the One who saves us all. No politician is going to find you a job, find you a mate, or bring you fulfillment in life. If you believe that one will, you do so at your own risk.
Are you better off than you were four years ago? Why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Elections (Or…You Have No One to Blame But Yourself)

  1. Todd Liles says:

    I’m better off because I wrestled with my fear until it screamed uncle.

    1. jryan2445 says:

      Me too. I’m way better off because I embraced my fears till they got sick of being hugged and took off.

      1. Matt McWilliams says:

        OK that was funny. And awesome!

    2. Matt McWilliams says:

      Overcoming fear will certainly make you better off. Congrats Todd!

      And thanks for sharing here 🙂

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    I’m better off (for the most part), but this was not because of who I did or didn’t vote for in 2008. I’m better off…because I’m a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Then yes you are Jon.

      Congratulations on the best thing that will ever happen to you.

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