Well, the end is almost here. During this never-ending election cycle, I’ve heard many people share their frustration with picking a candidate. I must admit, it has never been a difficult choice for me. Over eight years ago I swore I would never vote for John McCain and as a former resident of Arizona, I entertained campaigning for whoever would run against him as Senator. So naturally, for the 2008 Presidential campaign I voted for…John McCain.
Why would I choose to vote for a candidate for president someone who I find so disagreeable? Unfortunately, an election is a choice. There are a myriad of other individuals who I think would be a better choice than John McCain, but they aren’t on the ballot. And I can state without hyperbole, there are few individuals (fringe candidates excepted–barely) who make a worse choice than Barack Obama. In my humble opinion, of course. Thus it comes down to John S. McCain vs. Barack H. Obama and the decision makes itself.
No one asked for my endorsement, so I should probably be hesitant to give one. But then, I never asked for an endorsement from The Washington Post, New York Times, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Lindsay Lohan or any of a myriad of cerebrally-gifted, societal role-models (read sarcasm) or left-leaning news organizations. So for what it’s worth, here is my endorsement.
I first came to know of Barack Obama during the 2004 election cycle when he was a candidate for US Senator from the state of Illinois. The incumbent Senator had announced his retirement and after the Republican candidate withdrew subsequent to an embarrassing revelation, and after a last-ditch effort to recruit Mike Ditka as a replacement candidate proved fruitless, Barack Obama essentially ran unopposed and claimed the junior seat. With the political drama of the Senate race in Illinois putting him on the national stage, Senate candidate Obama was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. He gave a great speech. It must have been, analysts said so even before he delivered it. Over the next few months Senator Obama was a darling of the media. You couldn’t hear the words ‘president’, ‘election’ and ‘2008’ together without also hearing the name Obama. Most of the public and many of the talking heads on radio were talking Hillary as the inevitable candidate, but there was a lot of buzz in media outlets about Barack Obama.
Senators typically aren’t good choices for presidential candidates; they are rarely elected. However, Senators believe they are the best choices, as evidenced by the number who choose to run. The last time we had a Senator as a serious presidential contender was John F. Kennedy, a man with whom Senator Obama is frequently compared. But other than the title Senator, both being young and sharing the same political party (and perhaps connections to the Chicago political machine), the comparisons are few. John F. Kennedy served as a commander of a torpedo boat in WWII. After the war he served six years as a congressman before running for Senator. He served his first full term as senator and ran for president during his second. Senator Obama began his presidential campaign within months of becoming a US Senator, despite having no notable accomplishments. However, the buzz around Senator Obama was such that I recognized early on he would be the candidate to beat; media were doing their best to make sure we knew who he was. In Oct 2006, a still green Senator Obama was on Meet The Press with Tim Russert. Tim Russert suggested Senator Obama must have given some thought about running for president, to which Senator Obama replied in the affirmative. The national news media was abuzz. I recall watching the local evening newscast in Austin the next night and the lead story was Barack Obama might run for president! Never mind Senator Obama only had agreed that he had thought about running for president. And never mind many other individuals had made similar statements without reaction. And never mind that the news was already a day and half old by that time, or that the vast majority of people didn’t even know who Senator Obama was. The sign was clear; many in the media were ready and eager to jump on the Obama bandwagon.
One of the most amazing things about this election is, given the two+ years of fawning coverage of Senator Obama, the race still remains somewhat tight. Also, the Democratic primary was bitter and extremely tight and far from a mandate. Clearly, there must be some things that get in the way of people like me supporting a candidate others find so messianic. Typically an endorsement is all about why you should vote FOR a candidate. I recognize this presidential election is largely a referendum on Barack Obama, so that is how I approach this. For me, the best reasons to vote for John McCain are that he is not Barack Obama. I will lay out some of the reasons I don’t support Barack Obama for president.
1. The Constitution of the United States is the framework for our government. It is the supreme law of the land. It defines the three main branches of government as a legislative branch with a bicameral congress (article 1), an executive branch led by a president (article 2), and a judicial branch, including the Supreme Court (article 3). Much of the success of the United States is due to the genius of this document. The separation of powers has helped to protect liberty over the past couple centuries. Each article defines the responsibilities of the individual branches; no one branch has absolute authority. As most of us learned in grade school, the legislative branch makes the laws:
“The Congress shall have power… To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.” –Article 1 Section 8
We also learned in grade school the Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the laws and making sure they are consistent with the Constitution. One of the President’s responsibilities is the selection of justices, which are then confirmed by the Senate.
In Barack Obama’s world, and in the world of many liberal Democrats, the Supreme Court’s responsibilities include fabricating legislation. This is frightening inasmuch it creates a new legislative branch unaccountable to the citizenry; Congressmen must be re-elected to continue their service, justices serve as long as their health permits. Senator Obama says if he is President, he will appoint justices in the mold of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a former ACLU attorney who along with Justice Stephen Breyer believes the Constitution is a ‘living’ document, that is, it can be anything you want it to be at any time. This philosophy is a violation of the separation of powers. In recent years, it has been an effective tool for liberals to enact legislation not passable by Congress.
Kelo v. City of New London (2005) is a good example of a court abusing their authority to change the Constitution. In this case the Supreme Court granted power to the local government to seize private property from individuals and transfer to another for the purposes of economic development. In Kelo, the local government ordered a development company, acting on its behalf, to condemn the properties of individuals who refused to sell to developers, because the city wanted to allow developers to create a new development in what was a residential area. Throughout the country eminent domain is used to allow for the construction of needed roads or other infrastructure beneficial to the public. But in this case the city was effectively taking property from an individual and giving it to a corporation for economic gain, justifying it as a benefit to the community. In her dissent, Justice O’Conner said:
“Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.”
“…any distinction between private and public use of property — and thereby effectively delete[s] the words ‘for public use’ from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”
Justices dissenting were O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. Of those four, only Scalia and Thomas remain on the high court. Senator Obama has publicly stated his dislike of Justices Scalia and Thomas and their Originalist beliefs and has praised activist judges.
Contrary to what is spelled out in the constitution, Senator Obama has indicated he favors a more active judiciary to combat societal issues. This takes us down a road we don’t want to go.
2. The company you keep says a lot about you. Aside from what has been written in the blogosphere or mentioned on talk radio, Senator Obama’s questionable associations have largely been ignored by the media. Outlets such as the Washington Post have commented on their ‘fact check’ website that there is largely nothing there. If so, why has Senator Obama been untruthful about those associations? Why did he lie about his associations with radical William Ayers. For that matter why did he lie about his close relationship with convicted criminal Tony Rezko and Pastor Jeremiah Wright? We generally choose to associate with those with whom we have common interests. After Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain as a running mate, the media launched a relentless attack on Governor Palin. I heard several members of the media justify their actions by saying it was their role to help educate the public, even though it involved often inaccurate stories, such as Governor Palin’s connections with the Alaska Independence Party. If it is the role of the media to help educate the voting public, then where were they when Barack Obama praised Marxist Liberation Theology, learned at the foot of ‘mentor’ Jeremiah Wright, which he stated helped shape his vision of America?
3. I am proud to be an American and I am proud of our history. I recognize there are dark moments in our history, from which we have learned and grown, but there is so much good. I am an American first and foremost. I want a president who believes in the sovereignty and goodness of the United States and who is willing to put his country first. Over the past couple years as I’ve watched Barack Obama, I’ve seen a man who is more interested in gaining the favor of the world, than doing what is best for his country.
4. In this era of misinformation, the majority of the populace places blame for the current economic woes at the foot of President Bush and the Republicans in Congress. One of the great lies of this election season was when Senator Obama blamed the current crisis on Republican deregulation. Senator Obama has to know this is untrue. The roots of the current crisis can be traced to the Community Reinvestment Act, a product of the Democrats. It was Democrats who pushed the private sector to make high-risk loans to those who couldn’t afford to pay them. For years, Republicans, including President Bush and Senator McCain warned of the consequences of current lending policies. The regulator overseeing GSOs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was vilified before the House Banking Committee in 2003. The connections between Senator Obama and disgraced former CEO Franklin Raines were ignored by the media (Raines advised Senator Obama on economic policy). We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the corruption that brought down large corporations and has handicapped our credit markets. Given the pervasive links with powerful Democrats, we likely will never see the truth.
5. One thing that has been consistent about Senator Obama’s tax plan is, he plans to raise taxes. When he or his spokespeople are challenged, they will frequently lie using classic Washington-speak. Senator Obama has said he will give a tax break to all but the wealthiest 5% of Americans. Kind of hard to do, given that not all of the remaining 95% pay taxes. Also, somehow lost in the discussion is unless something is done with our current taxing structure, taxes will go up on everyone automatically when the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010. Senator Obama and the Democrats don’t see this as a tax hike, it is merely the expiration of a tax cut. The way I see it, if I pay a higher tax rate this year than I did the past eight, that is a tax hike.
So much remains unknown about Senator Obama’s tax policy, but the philosophy appears to be grounded in a socialistic ‘take from the rich, give to the poor’ mentality, as revealed then Senator Obama made his ‘spread the wealth around’ comment to ‘Joe the Plumber’ in Ohio.
I could go on and on, but I really don’t have the time:
6. There’s the incoherent energy policy and how it affects our country.
7. There’re his comments about our needing to pay more for gasoline and utilities and the bankrupting coal companies.
8. There’s the lack of judgment when it came to the surge and the War in Iraq.
9. There’s the maneuvering behind the scenes with leadership in Iraq to prevent progress on troop withdrawal until he becomes President.
10. There’s the disdain for common folk ‘clinging to guns and religion’.
11. There’s the fact that Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), an admitted socialist isn’t as liberal as Senator Obama.
12. There’re Senator Obama’s efforts to keep legal partial-birth abortion, an abortion procedure where a viable baby is half-way delivered with only the head remaining in the womb so as to keep it from being legally classified as a person, only to be slaughtered in a cruel manner. There’s his opposition to legislation which would require the saving of babies which survive abortion procedures. There’s his comment about the need to ‘find common ground on abortion’ to one crowd and his promise to never compromise on abortion to another.
13. There’re the hundreds of speeches where we are told about the need for ‘change’ without being told what that change is.
14. There is his speaking in meaningless platitudes for hours without saying anything substantive.
15. There is his unwillingness to present himself before the press, except on rare occasions and his testiness at receiving questions he doesn’t like. There’s his blackballing of reporters, newspapers and stations which ask his campaign tough questions or endorse John McCain.
16. There’s his claim of bipartisanship which doesn’t jive with his record of extreme partisanship.
17. There’s his unwillingness to take a public stand on issues which might affect his electability.
18. There’s the thuggery where his campaign threatens to prosecute those making ‘untrue’ statements about Senator Obama.
And so, I happily voted for John McCain.