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.