Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Presidential Character

Some people argue that domestic issues are of far greater importance than any discussion of character. I could not disagree more. All elections are about character. If we cannot trust the honor, patriotism, and fidelity of our elected representatives, then the issues don’t matter because whatever a candidate of low character shall say about political issues cannot matter.

I believe we each must consider the character of the two men who want us to elect them as our next president. Some may argue “What more is there to know about either candidate?” after a campaign that has lasted far too long. Ordinarily, at this point in the campaign, I would say, “nothing more.” Except in this election, “We the People” have found the press (as guardians of American democracy) seriously deficient. Rather than remaining impartial, the media has fallen head-over-heels in love with one of the candidates; we must excuse them from the jury of the court of public opinion. This year, the American people have not witnessed a fair trial.

Samuel Adams once said, "The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men,” but this was long before the Obama Era. Political correctness and liberal bias have led us to outcries of racism for even asking questions not even remotely related to race.. The press castigated our friend “Joe the Plumber” for daring to ask about income redistribution. According to one radio report, the Secret Service visited a woman because she told an Obama Campaign worker that she would vote for Barack Obama, “over her dead body.” This kind of attention applied to citizens for merely expressing an opinion is patently un-American, but it is also reminiscent of the intimidation used to silence dissent in communist countries. Character matters all right, especially if suppression of the right of expression is what we can expect from an Obama presidency.

In order to assess the character of our presidential contenders, we must decide upon an appropriate exemplar. On the democratic side of the aisle, the obvious notables are Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Jefferson may be too far back in time to serve as our role model. Roosevelt was a patent socialist. Truman left office as one of the most unpopular of all our presidents. Lyndon Johnson gave us too many scars. Mr. Carter was a buffoon and Bill Clinton . . . well, I wonder if we aren’t just a little too tired of hearing about him. Kennedy seems to qualify as the best Democratic Party exemplar, even if he was a womanizer; no one is perfect.

In the twentieth Century, notable Republican presidents have included Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. Of these, Roosevelt was impetuous, Eisenhower cautious, Nixon resigned in disgrace, and Reagan was the great communicator. I therefore propose Reagan as our Republican Party exemplar.

In 1961, John Kennedy issued this mandate to the American people: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” John Kennedy became the darling of the American people; many around the world shared this view. We called his presidency Camelot. He was young, relatively inexperienced, but he excited the people about America’s future. He believed in the rights of man, a strong national defense, and the protection of liberty throughout the world. He believed that nuclear deterrence was insufficient to maintain peaceful coexistence. He believed the United States should be a beacon of hope, and he argued for increased world trade. He sought to achieve working partnerships with other world leaders to achieve dignity, justice, and liberty for all the people of the world. He sought to attain solidarity among the western (Atlantic) nations; he refuted communism as doomed to failure. He set forth an economic policy of unshackled enterprise, industrial leadership, and vibrant capitalism. He sought to lower interest rates in order to increase the flow of money, reduced government spending, and lower taxes. He also vowed to help small businesses through government loans and fair trade policy. Mr. Kennedy was a fiscal conservative.

Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. He said, “I didn’t leave my party; my party left me.” We assume he spoke about the party of John Kennedy, a platform designed to inspire the American people to greatness. This was also the platform of Ronald Reagan. He repudiated the policy of Jimmy Carter; looking forward, he said, “Democratic politicians are without programs or ideas to reverse economic decline and despair. They are divided, leaderless, unseeing, uncomprehending, they plod on with listless offerings of pale imitations of the same policies they have pursued so long, knowing full well their futility.”

Reagan brought the American people a new pride in their country and themselves, their achievements and future possibilities. He wanted the American people to have liberty and freedom of choice, low taxes as a catalyst for economic growth. He repudiated the so-called Great Society because it created low human productivity. He fought for an expansion of private property ownership, committed himself to improved economic opportunities for black Americans, rights and equality for every minority, and equal opportunities for women. He was committed to the rights of unborn children.

Modern Democrats have turned Kennedy’s ideal upside down; now the cry is “Ask what your country can do for you.” Today’s Democrat pursues the politics of dependency, the essential breaking point between civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesse Jackson. King wanted black Americans to realize the reality of equality, while Jackson’s policies pursue racism, separatism, and demands for greater gifts from the government. King wanted black Americans judged according to their character; Jackson views character as secondary concern because the means justifies the end. King fought for unity, Jackson has dedicated his entire life to reverse-segregation.

Modern Republicans have broken faith with the American people. They broke their Contract with America. Much of what has happened since mid-2005 is the result of this failure. As a Republican, I bemoan a Democratically controlled Congress, but I realize that men such as Duke Cunningham brought it to fruition. But, before anyone starts gloating, we should note that the United States Congress today has achieved the low point of popular opinion; it cannot possibly get worse. Or, can it?

It is time to ask ourselves where Barack Obama and John McCain stand with regard to our exemplars of presidential character. We should assume that “Country First” is a sentiment that every patriotic American deeply subscribes; that all of us want to see positive changes for the future. That said, let us dispense with bumper-sticker ideology, and investigate the actual character of each candidate. Let us consider the deeds of these men rather than their words.

Before announcing his candidacy for the highest office, Barack Obama associated himself with socialist organizations, a peculiar philosophy that supports state or collective ownership of all property and the means of production. Since we achieve personal and national wealth through property and the means of production, Mr. Obama apparently believes than an egalitarian society is only possible when the state controls property and wealth. By extension, the State will distribute wealth according to its own priorities, and the State will achieve this through any number of programs, including taxation. Socialist programs relieve individuals of responsibility, for themselves, and for their families. We see this clearly in Mr. Obama’s platform;

Economic Policy

· An immediate energy rebate to American families

· An expenditure of $50 billion to jumpstart the economy

· Federal assistance to states and localities in education, health care, and infrastructure

· Implement the Congressional housing bill through state and local spending

· Federal investment in infrastructure to replenish highways and bridges

· Expenditures in education to replace and repair schools

· Immediate steps to stem the loss of manufacturing jobs.

· Increase employment and implementing shared prosperity.

· National health care initiatives

We should perhaps note at this point that governments do not create wealth, people do. Governments may facilitate productivity through sound economic policy, but they cannot interfere in a market economy without significant disruption to capitalist investment and diminishing personal and corporate income and profits. Barack Obama’s socialist platform is anathema to Kennedy’s economic philosophy, and may be unparalleled since the days of Franklin Roosevelt. Simply stated, responsible government cannot spend more than anticipated revenues, and it is contrary to American values to redistribute income in a free-market environment.

John McCain is a moderate conservative approximating John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. He believes that the Constitution of the United States limits the role of the federal government, and he strives to work with the Congress within a constitutional framework to improve government efficiency and reduce waste. Like Kennedy and Reagan, McCain believes that lower taxes improve productivity, and that reduced spending is fiscally responsible and economically necessary. While there are some things the federal government must do, other projects constitutionally fall within the purview of the 50 states. National defense and homeland security is something the federal government must do, but the central government must form partnerships with the states on other important human-services programs. Reflected in Mr. McCain’s platform:

Economic Policy

· Implement immediate transparency to the budgeting process

· Evaluate and reduce spending on wasteful and inefficient programs

· Empower states to improve public services

· Implement meaningful (and trustworthy) oversight of government programs

· Make government more efficient and responsive to citizen’s needs

· Prioritize spending to improve and safeguard America’s infrastructure

· Modernize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Programs

· Restore Social Security to a sound financial basis

· Expand opportunities to promote personal and industrial prosperity

Of these two men, which has the greatest character? Which of these candidates maintains faith with our founding principles of Constitutional Federalism, a steady hand on the tiller of state, while allowing individuals to choose for themselves their best course? John McCain is not a perfect man, nor is he without justifiable criticism of his previous positions; but John McCain is an open book. His service to his country and his associations has been honorable, and trustworthy.

Barack Obama has not been honest and forthright with the American people. He has hidden his past associations or played them down. He has defamed religious teaching through adherence to black separatist theology and racism, consorted with known terrorists, and enjoys the backing of organizations harmful to the interests and the people of the United States. As an advocate of socialist/Marxist ideology, Barack Obama is frankly, in our judgment, un-American. He falls far short of exemplars such as John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Character matters because our nation is facing crises on several critical fronts. If we intend to resolve these problems, we must have the steady hand of true statesmanship. We must have in our president wisdom, experience, honesty, fidelity, and valor. Our president must be a man whose character is consistent with our Nation’s legacy of liberty and equality.

Every presidential election brings forth professional pundits who tell us that this election is the most important of our entire lifetime. This time, they could be right. Our selection of the right man will assure our children, and theirs, of a nation dedicated to individual liberty, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness. If we choose the wrong man, we may very well witness an end to the United States as created by our forefathers. We are living in perilous times — there is no room for error in our selection of the 44th President of the United States.

On Election Day, one of these candidates will receive a majority of popular votes. In December, the Electoral College will validate the popular vote and confirm the identity of our next president. But this election is more than a referendum on the ability of the American voter to discern between two well-educated men. This election is rather a test of America’s ability to distinguish and reward personal character and to recognize integrity and statesmanship between one man who possesses these qualities and the other who does not.

We urge Americans to vote for John McCain. There simply is no other choice that is good for the American people, or our great country.

How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin" — Ronald Reagan

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1 comment:

Brooke said...

Obama's bad character is astounding, and he reflects it in the company he keeps.