Saturday, October 25, 2008

The endorsement game

Let me make this clear: Nothing could make me report to a polling place at this stage in U.S. history. The differences between candidates are defined only by the priorities by which they intend to wield the forces of tyranny. Every vote is an endorsement of the state's authority to control individual lives and choices.

But as a practical matter a mainstream newspaper is not going to say that, unless you're in Las Vegas and Vin Suprynowicz is your editorial page chief. So we had to pick between the white-haired dictator wannabe and the black-haired dictator wannabe. It's an interesting intellectual exercise.

I drafted the following to guide my contributions to the discussions; I knew it would be fruitless to submit it as an actual draft endorsement. I did manage to sneak a hint of these thoughts into our final product, although you have to study long and hard to find them. Enjoy. Now I have to go wash my hands; I try and try and try but I can't seem to get them clean ...
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Newspapers across the country have begun endorsing Barack Obama for president, many using poetic words about a time of great challenge, a dramatic speaker, a change of direction. We have no poetry to offer, but we present our conclusion that Obama is the better choice for America at what could be a turning point in this nation's history.

Obama is the better choice for no greater reason than the last eight years. George W. Bush campaigned eight years ago as something better than the previous eight years, a time when America's military had been used as a vast police force, invading Somalia and Kosovo, bombing Iraq and Sudan and Afghanistan. Like his father before him, Bush promised a kinder, gentler approach, a more modest foreign policy — "I don't believe in nation building," he stated flatly during one debate with Vice President Al Gore.

Sept. 11, 2001, changed everything. For a time it created a more united country, ready to chase Osama bin Laden and his followers to the ends of the earth to bring justice to those who killed innocent men, women and children on American soil. But the venture went terribly wrong.

The man who campaigned on a limited-government platform created a massive new federal department, the Department of Homeland Security, with authority to probe into Americans' private lives in the name of fighting terrorism. And that was the tip of a horrifying spending iceberg. The balanced budget forged by a Democratic president and Republican Congress was converted into a bloated deficit of unprecedented proportions. The national debt spiraled out of control — and when reckless policies led the nation to the brink of economic collapse this year, Bush's solution was more government, more borrowing and spending, a national debt of more than $11 trillion.

The nation that once stood as a beacon of freedom and human rights was infested with legalistic wordsmiths who justified nothing less than torture as a means of advancing our cause. The nation that eschewed the concept of a first strike when the Cold War was at its height now embraced the idea of pre-emptive war, invading a nation that "someday may" attack our shores even though it posed no imminent threat.

These are not the principles that the party of Lincoln, Taft, Eisenhower and Reagan stood for. The Republican Party has lost its way and needs to rethink its purpose and its values. That necessary soul-searching will be impossible if the party's standard bearer is allowed to enter the White House.

Barack Obama's political philosophy is far to the left of mainstream America, but no less a conservative authority than the Chicago Tribune has said that it knows this man and expects he will govern as a centrist. That's good enough for us. Washington, D.C., needs to be swept clean of the principles that have guided the administrations of the past 16 years.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Tuna Blogger said...

What we have here is Mobius Politics. A mobius strip is a loop that has an unusual characteristic. At any point along the length it appears to have two surfaces or sides. But if you trace a line along the loop you will return to your starting point AND have traversed both "sides". It indeed has only one surface that masquerades as two. So it is with our present day American politics. Tax and spend or borrow and spend, it looks the same to me. Presidents of "both" political camps endorse the unfettered freedom of business to engage in all manner of activity under the banner of making profits and economic growth, while ignoring the evils perpetrated on people to extract that profit and growth.

We are killing the planet, the oceans and ourselves in the name of profit and competitiveness. Neither side will admit it or say just how bad it will get. It will not matter when we are all huddled on the high ground surrounded by the risen sea level. We are practicing the pure buying and selling that makes "Tuna!" out of everything. Our future is filled with Imminent Collapses, one after the other until we recognize that we are the problem and that it will take a breakout leader to get us to a brighter future.

12:53 PM  
Blogger B.W. Richardson said...

it will take a breakout leader to get us to a brighter future.

My. Enjoying the Kool-Aid?

I heartily suggest you click on some of my "fellow travelers" and start educating yourself about a lifestyle where you don't need to be led to survive and thrive.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous lewlew said...

Sept. 11, 2001, changed everything. For a time it created a more united country, ready to chase Osama bin Laden and his followers to the ends of the earth to bring justice to those who killed innocent men, women and children on American soil. But the venture went terribly wrong.

The man who campaigned on a limited-government platform created a massive new federal department, the Department of Homeland Security, with authority to probe into Americans' private lives in the name of fighting terrorism. And that was the tip of a horrifying spending iceberg.


Something to keep in mind, the Hart-Rudman Commission was chartered by Defense Secretary Cohen, during the final year's of the Clinton presidency and one of the main recommendations of this commission studying national security was the formation of a Homeland Security Department. The official name of the commission was The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (USCNS/21) and their final recommendations were published in their phase three reports on January 31, 2001 and describe the implementation and strategy behind HSA.
Hart-Rudman Commission I know, I'm citing a wiki =), but do a search and you'll uncover the three reports. The wiki has a comprehensive overview of the commission, so I cite it for that reason. I began reading about the commission during the years 2001-2002, when I was researching education policy. Part the commission recommendations revolve around increasing maths and sciences in schools.

Anyhow, I agree with what you are writing, with the caveat that HSA was a done deal no matter who entered the White House Jan. 20, 2001. Maybe is was just easier to implement with Bush there, but who knows. Gore has shown he is not a genius, either.

2:10 PM  

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