Political Diatribes

Another conservative take on the world around us

The Perplexing Electorate and the Next Eight Years

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 15, 2008

Originally posted at http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on October 28, 2008.

Anyone who knows me well also knows that I have very strong political opinions. I’ve occasionally presented them here, but not too often. After all, with all this global warming statistical analysis, who has time for that? Plus, my meager little blog isn’t going to change the world, anyway. Plus, I really have decided to not push too many political buttons, since most readers don’t come here for that reason and anytime you delve into this arena, you’re bound to offend somebody.

But, with the Presidential elections only 7 days away, I am left perplexed by the U.S. Electorate.

OK, to be up-front about matters, I am a conservative. The intent of this post is not to argue about why conservatism is superior to liberalism. I believe it to be true, and others will disagree.

So, let’s just accept that 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly conservative and 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly liberal. I don’t know the exact numbers. Perhaps it’s not an even split, or perhaps it’s a higher percentage. None of that is particularly important, because it is not this group of people that perplexes me. Agree or disagree, one knows exactly why conservatives vote for conservatives and liberals vote for liberals. And while not universally the case, it is generally recognized in the current political climate that the conservative will vote for the Republican and the liberal will vote for the Democrat.

This is a little different from saying that each side is a strong supporter of that candidate. After all, McCain was probably my 4th or 5th choice among the Republican Candidates in the primaries. And just because he’ll get my vote doesn’t mean I’m overly excited about him. But compared to Obama, there’s simply not even a question about who is the better candidate for me to vote for.

Where my confusion lies is with that mushy middle. Those who are called independents, moderates, undecideds, or whatever the identifier of the day is.

The main reason I am perplexed has nothing to do with my own ideas of Obama and his own lack of qualifications for the Presidency, or his absolute liberalism on social policy that is out of step with the mainstream, or an economic policy that I think would prove disastrous in current times, or past ties with questionable characters, alignment with ACORN, Marxist professors, support for the “Freedom of Choice” Act, and the list goes on. I admit, I scratch my head as to why anyone supports this ideology, but since I know enough people personally who actually do support it, I understand that they exist and it would make sense to support Obama.

The main reason I am perplexed also has nothing to do with understanding that some people may align with one party on economic policy while aligning with the other on social policy, and that there is constantly a conflict in trying to determine which part of that means more to an individual at the given moment. I understand and accept that not everyone lines up well with either party, and so there is great thought put into the given candidates in order to settle on a preference.

No, the reason I’m perplexed actually has much more to do with the fact that an Obama victory coupled with an increase in the number of House AND Senate Democrats makes about as much sense as investing all your money in a single stock with no diversification.

Granted, we have only a limited ability to diversify our political leadership. There are, for all practical purposes, only two parties in the current framework. As much as I’d enjoy seeing more, the reality is that there isn’t a 3rd, let alone a 4th and 5th party that has any significant presence.

I suppose I thought it was not just mere lip service all those times where I’ve heard people talking about how bad it is to concentrate all this power into the hands of one party. I suppose that I thought a single-digit approval rating for Congress, both houses of which have a Democratic majority, should rightly put at risk some of those who are responsible for those record lows. It would seem to me that someone who is truly undecided and torn between the candidates would recognize that we are about to elect enough Democrats in both houses to put at risk a filibuster-proof scenario, while at the same time electing the most liberal Senator over the last two years to be our leader.

Of course, this is a nightmare scenario for conservatives and a dream come true for liberals. But for those in the middle of the road, is this truly what you want? Even if McCain isn’t all that exciting, and you may not like his stance on a war that will be coming to an end at about the same pace regardless of who gets elected, it would seem like the disparity between party power should leap forward to an undecided or independent voter as possibly the most important issue. Perhaps I underestimate how much the average person cares about that.

This is only my opinion, but here is what I believe is in store for us with an Obama Presidency coupled with a very secure Democratic majority. Some of you will probably think this is fine and dandy. I would think it would scare most others, conservative or not.

1) Freedom of Choice Act passes. Sounds nice enough, right? Well, regardless of your thinking on Roe v Wade, polls show that large majorities of Americans support some restrictions on abortion, including parental right to know, restriction of late-term abortions, not transporting minors across state lines, waiting periods, etc. This act effectively makes ALL restrictions on abortion illegal. Everything. It even goes so far as to force religious hospitals to offer abortions. It is a travesty. Obama has promised to make this his first act when speaking to Planned Parenthood. This is much more than an honest disagreement in ideology.

2) Suppression of Free Speech through the Fairness Doctrine, and other methods – The “Fairness Doctrine” is a sham, and it will be shown to be a sham. If there were a true fairness doctrine, it would apply to all media, whether radio, TV, newspapers, internet, etc. But it won’t. It will specifically target only that media which is condiered “right wing,” such as radio talk shows. Never mind that nearly all mainstream news leans left. This will be untouched. This will be a power play by the Democratic Party that is absolutely an infringement on free speech. What is amazing is that anyone will believe that this is necessary, considering they will have the executive and legislative branches all sewn up.

3) Suppression of Free Speech through intimidation. I’m not crazy. This has already happened, and it will only get worse. Talk to anyone challenging global warming, and you’ll understand what kind of intimidation I’m talking about. When the media are in bed with you, they can help portray dissenters as nutjobs. Worse, when it comes to anyone with dissenting opinions on liberal policies, whether it be economic or social, you’re a bigot, a homophobe, or a religious zealot who should have no voice. Just wait. This is already the case now, but things have only just begun.

4) Gay Marriage – Thank God I homeschool (well, at least I’m allowed to homeschool right now… wouldn’t be surprised to see pushback on that front within the next eight years, either). I can’t fathom the tripe all of our textbooks will have in them as public education continues to deviate from reading, writing, and arithmetic to social engineering on how to use contraceptives and present homosexual activity as a beautiful thing. Those of us with large families are considered an enemy of nature while we embrace unions that are unnatural.

5) Cloning / Chimeras / Embryonic Stem-Cells – Never mind that we have made so many advances with adult stem cells and alternative cells that act like embryonic stem cells without the need to clone and destroy embryos, you can bet this will be fast-tracked. Just another moral line we will be willing to discard.

6) Judges – Everyone thinks about the Supreme Court, but the President appoints all federal justices. This is literally hundreds if not thousands of judges over a President’s two terms. The scary thing about this one, unlike #1 – #5 is that those mistakes can be reversed in the short term. This cannot. I reiterate that this will be the most liberal President combined with the most liberal Congress in the nation’s history. It isn’t even close.

7) Carbon Taxes, and higher capital gains taxes – Carbon taxes are just plain stupid for all sorts of reasons, and so are higher capital gains taxes. There is no better way to crush investment precisely at a time where we are starving for investment.

And I haven’t even delved into general economics. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why people want to “change” to a guy who mirrors Jimmy Carter’s economic approach right now (or ever, actually). Whatever you want to say about Bush’s policies as it relates to the particular crisis we’re in right now, if there is anything saving us from complete collapse it’s because of the other economic policies in place. I really look at the financial sector and policies/regulations regarding that area as quite a different animal from the general economic policies of taxes and budget.

So, there it is. Are these really the policies the moderates want to see rushed through? Mark my words, this will be swift and dramatic. Pelosi laughably suggested that Congress will be much more bipartisan now with a large Democratic majority. I think she actually believes that lie. If bipartisanship means there is less fighting because you can just ignore the other side due to numbers, then she has a point. But this is not the definition of bipartisanship I know.

Well, anyway, that’s just one guy’s diatribe. Feel free to disagree that this will happen, or that it would be a bad thing.

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One Response to “The Perplexing Electorate and the Next Eight Years”

  1. The Diatribe Guy said

    Original comments posted on Digital Diatribes:

    Jack
    jacklangdon@charter.net | 75.131.165.31

    Amen. My God save our great country from these real and present dangers.

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/28 at 5:25 PM
    2008/10/28 Approve | Unapprove | Spam | Delete
    Patrick Hadley
    hadley1905@aol.com | 92.22.172.140

    I am English, an AGW sceptic and generally socially conservative in my own life, but like the vast majority of Europeans I am hoping for an Obama win.

    To answer your points:
    1) I think that abortion is always seriously sinful, but so is adultery and I would not want that to be illegal. I realise that it would not be right for me to enforce my morality on to others who do not share my views.

    2) If only the US had the system we have in England where all broadcasters have to be politically balanced. Sky News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, gives an excellent coverage of politics without pushing a party agenda. The same can be said of the BBC and ITV, the other news broadcasters. What a pity that this does not happen in America. On non-party issues (e.g. climate change) these broadcasters tend to push the accepted view, which is not great but at least on party matters they are neutral.

    3) That paragraph reads like a case of paranoia.

    4) Why does the USA not do what we do in England? No gay marriage, but instead anyone can have a civil partnership which gives the same rights and responsibilities to same sex couples. That seems fair without upseting those who believe that marriage can only be between a man and woman. In fact I believe that marriage is for life, till death do us part, so that after a divorce people should only be able to have a civil partnership rather than a second marriage. In my opinion that would give marriage back its real status. Marriage has been weakened by allowing “re-marriage” in the same way that “gay marriage” would damage it.

    5) The scare stories seem to be based on a lack of understanding of what life is. It often takes a long time for our moral theologians to work out that they have been mistaken about science. If we are not careful some Christians will become like Jehovah’s Witnesses who cling to the belief that blood transfusions are immoral.

    6) I tend to agree with you here. The problem is that judges take far too much power upon themselves. What is needed is more power to the legislature. We have the same problem in Europe where the judges are making more and more laws which the people cannot change through democratic methods.

    7) I agree, but isn’t McCain a believer in global warming and probably in favour of carbon credits?

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/29 at 7:09 AM
    2008/10/29 Approve | Unapprove | Spam | Delete
    Diatribical Idiot
    geezep@yahoo.com | 67.209.79.51

    I appreciate your response, though I disagree in many ways with it. I don’t want you to take my retort here as anything but what I felt is a necessary clarifying response to your post. It is my opinion, and desptie our disagreement, I welcome and encourage posts such as yours.

    (1) Equating abortion to adultery is a strawman. This disregards whether or not abortion is the taking of a human life. If you do not believe it to be a human life, then I can understand the comparison. However, using that as an argument shows a lack of complete comprehension of the issue as it regards Pro-Life individuals. When society turns a blind eye to the most vulnerable around us, I believe we have seriously lost our way, despite what may even be arguably good reasons for looking at other issues. As for myself, I believe life begins at conception. As such, suggesting that the taking of human life should be left to the consciences of individuals and their doctors is simply not civilized. But more to the point, England is actually more restrictive on this issue than the U.S. Much more, in fact. And this act would eliminate any restrictions we have in place and potentially force institutions to offer abortion. It’s freakin’ insane.

    2) Nope. Who determines what’s balanced? I’m sorry, but we have a right of free speech, and there are so many tv, radio, internet, etc. sources that it is absolutely unnecessary to restrict any of their content. There is plenty of opportunity to get varying sources. And BBC is balanced?

    3) Fine. But it’s true. I didn’t say it’s encoded into law, but it’s true. Every time any member of the religious clergy states a personal opinion on abortion, for example, they are harrassed and threatened with lawsuits. I could rattle off countless examples of leftism gone mad and intimidating free speech. My only point here is that this has just begun. If you don’t believe it, fine. But just keep an eye on the goings-on.

    4) I agree that marriage has been weakened. I’m not sure why this is an argument for further weakening. The fact is, right now there isn’t even a need for Civil Union laws in order for gay couples to have rights. There just isn’t. But if you’re wondering why Civil Unions aren’t good enough, it’s because the gay community doesn’t want them. Oh, maybe as a first step it’s OK, but they want “marriage.”

    5) This argument offends my sensibilitiesw, as if you are eschewing my Catholic Church’s theological position as a work in progress. It is not. Destroying embryos is unnecessary and equivalent to abortion, regardless of purpose. Creating a hybrid animal-human embryo is simply an affront to God’s creation. No other Creature is made with the dignity that man is, and no other Creature is claimed to be made in the image and likeness of God. When we take it upon ourselves to transform the very nature of that human-ness, this can be called nothing but an evil act.

    6) Well, I’m glad we can agree on something! i won’t ruin it by adding more commentary…

    7) Unfortunately, McCain has jumped on the AGW bandwagon, but I think Palin at least helps balance his position out. And even if he were to do something stupid in this area, at least he also supports seeking more development in the nuclear, coal, and domestic drilling areas than Obama does. Obama’s views of this is infantile.

    And don’t take this the wrong way, but when I, as an American, hear that Europeans want to see Obama elected, it really doesn’t do anything more than reinforce my alread-formed opinion. Just sayin’. Nothing against you, just a general statement.

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/29 at 4:02 PM
    2008/10/29 Approve | Unapprove | Spam | Delete
    Patrick Hadley
    hadley1905@aol.com | 92.22.172.140

    Thanks for your cordial reply. It is good to have a civilised discussion even about things that are very important to us.

    There are too many points in issue at once to have a proper argument, so I will just address the last one. It is very understandable that you resent people from other countries offering advice about for your vote. But England is a genuine friend of the USA and it is also very much in our own interests that you are prosperous and strong.

    In everyday life we often do not like to hear from our best friends that we are on the wrong track, and we sometimes react badly to people whom we know to be on our side when they offer unsolicited advice. However it is often possible for an outsider to be more aware of what we need to do than we are ourselves.

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/30 at 4:48 AM
    2008/10/30 Approve | Unapprove | Spam | Delete
    Diatribical Idiot
    geezep@yahoo.com | 12.180.224.18

    Thanks again. Point taken. It is often very possible that the friend is getting his facts presented and filtered from sources that help influence a wrong opinion. Or, that he’s just flat out wrong in any case…

    Anyway, getting bogged down in an argument on the actual issues starts to defeat the purpose of my post. The U.S. Congress is already comprised of a majority of Democrats, and probably the most liberal leadership in House and Senate history. By all polling accounts, due to the nature of who is up for re-election, recent retirements, and so on this majority is set to expand, despite incredibly low approval ratings. It’s actually somewhat bizarre. And, to top it off, we are about to hand the Presidency over to the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate. I haven’t looked at the history, but such a dramatic concentration of power for one party is either unprecedented or close to it. And this is what concerns me. With a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it virtually eliminates ALL checks and balances.

    For all the bad PR about Bush both home and abroad, I don’t think people realize that he had a liberal Congress balancing him out for 6 of his 8 years, and the other 2 years was only nominally a Republican majority that couold be checked by filibuster (not to mention more moderate/liberal Republicans who often sided with Democrats). Everything everyone thinks is Bush’s “fault” was a collaborative effort between him and a Democratic Congress, even if the liberals wish to paint it differently (and with help from our beloved media, have managed to do so). Bush has had no monopolization on power to speak of for the last 6 years. With no checks for at least the next couple years, I truly am concerned for the direction our country is about to take.

    I believe that it is in the world’s best interest for Obama not to be elected, even if the world cannot see that. So, as your friend, trust me…

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/30 at 9:21 AM
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    Paranoia, or not? Intimidation by the Left? « Digital Diatribes of a Random Idiot
    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/… | 76.74.248.171

    […] The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years […]

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/10/30 at 4:25 PM
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    Patrick Hadley
    hadley1905@aol.com | 92.2.65.67

    In England our parliamentary system means that the party who wins the election, perhaps with less than 45% of the votes, gets all the power to make as much legislation as they want. There is little the Opposition can do even to delay the government’s programme.

    This may seem very unfair, but at least it means that governments get the chance to put their ideas into effect. They want to be re-elected so it is the reaction of the public to their policies that is all important. It they use their majority in parliment to introduce a lot of bad law which the majority do not like then the public can get rid of them at the next election.

    On the other hand the US system of “checks and balances” seems most unappealing. Senators and congressmen shamelessly sell their votes in return for billions of dollars of pork for their voters, or in return to millions of dollars of contributions to their campaign funds. A party can get a mandate from the country in the election, but finds that the minority party can block their plans. This results in the US Congress having a 9% approval rating. I know which system I prefer.

    From The Perplexing Electorate and The Next Eight Years, 2008/11/02 at 5:52 AM

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