Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't know about McCain or Obama. Hope is slim.

Now is the time that our country needs patriots. I wish I saw one running for President, or Congress, or Dog Catcher. In this context, a patriot is someone who is willing to face harm for the love of one's country. Our soldiers are the most obvious example. A politician that is willing to talk straight about who his plans will help and who they will harm would be a patriot. That person would not do such a thing for his own gain. His political career would be harmed. I thought McCain might be that person, and maybe he will be later in the current campaign, but he is playing it safe for now if he want so get elected. Obama has "changed" most of his platform since the end of the primaries in order to appeal to the center of the political spectrum. That's smart, too, and for the same reason. It looks to me like they are appealing to the feelers and not the thinkers among us. Their "changes" appeal to those not paying attention or with short memories. Worst of all, they don't have to worry about the idiots who wouldn't vote for an _________ if they were the only party running.

Let me explain. If you say that you are willing to kill a child to save a thousand, you would be vilified as a monster, a Nazi, or Jessie Helms. On the other hand, if you came out in favor of saving the child without mentioning the thousands that would be killed instead, then you are told by the feelers in the electorate that you have your heart in the right place and it was good to try. That is an extreme example, but sums up politics today. The obvious right answer to this hypothetical is to hate it, but let the one child go. The politician that saves the child and fails to tell us the truth about the thousands the best gets elected and that is what both sides are trying to do. And we are getting what we vote for, liars.

So my dear friend Falstaff has posted about his support for Barack Obama (here). After reading his arguments, I appreciate his reasoning, but he needs to look again. He may come up with the same conclusion, but he has come to his conclusion based on the wrong facts.

Most telling is that he knows that Obama will raise taxes, but all of the things that he lists that would raise taxes, those are not paid for by taxes paid to the federal government. Sure, those tanks and guns are bought by the feds, but if you end the war, spending on those things will go down. He also lists garbage collection, education, sewage, police, and fire protection. In order, those things are the responsibility of the county, state, county, city, and city.

If Obama raises our taxes, he will be spending them on things that will get them more into your life, not less. Your choices on healthcare will certainly be less. Your choices on how you use your electricity will be less. Social programs will grow, and grow more wasteful. I'm not even going to get into what our current social programs have done to the fabric of poor families in this country since the start of Johnson's war on poverty, but the fact is that 30% of children in this country are born to single mothers and that puts them at a huge statistical disadvantage right from the start. That is one thing that will need to change and bigger and more social programs will not change this situation in the long run, and it must change.

Does Obama say that taxes will go up if he is elected? No? Liar. Does McCain? No? Probably a liar.

Obama promises to "change" the economy. I don't want the economy to change that much. That sound a little crazy given what we are told by the media and politicians. The the truth is that the GDP of the United States has grown every quarter of the Bush presidency. Every single one! Oil prices are up, but they are coming down. Housing prices were up, now they are coming down. If you don't like either one, just wait a bit. You may say that the rich are getting richer, but the poor are also getting richer, just at a slower rate. But Obama is going to "change" the economy. I can't wait. You can be sure that the poor will get poorer of the economy contracts.

We've got the terrorist on the run. He's going to change that, too. Oh, Joy.

I'd like to see some changes. Let's require underage girls and single mothers looking for assistance ID the fathers and force them to provide for their children (or prosecute them for rape in the case of the underage girls). That should free up a lot of money for children in greater need. I'll bet adding more responsibility to social programs is not on Obama's list.

Let's really educate all children. What a great investment that would be. Let's provide vocational training for those who won't be going to college instead of tearing those programs apart. Let's add an advanced diploma for the gifted students who are working to get into the best universities. Let's get disruptive children in a highly disciplined environment (boot camps come to mind) where they can be free from distractions. I'd pay for those things gladly.

Let's build out and harden the Internet 2. The internet is doing for our economy now what the interstate road system did for us in the 60s and 70s. It deserves massive investment. And while we are at it, let's get everyone free basic internet. Wi-Fi is not that expensive. We just have to get the cable monopolies out of the way. Then poor children would have as many resources as the rich kids. Yes, we would have to find them computers, too. That not that huge a problem.

And the list goes on and on.

Of course, most of what I've listed here are local or state matters. Truth is (IMO), the federal government gets in and takes a ton of our money and leaves the responsibilities for our services to us and other governments. Think of all the great work the TSA does in helping you get on each and every flight. So it doesn't bother me if Obama or McCain get elected to be President. Unless they do something really stupid like trip up the economy or bring a war to our country, it probably won't matter a whole lot. I don't think either man will have enough power to do either one. One or both of them need to stop lying to us about how great things will be when they are elected. It won't be. It will be a bit better for some and worse for others and none of us can be real sure who is who.

Obama speaks a lot prettier than McCain and that can inspire people. Reagan and Clinton spoke well and inspired people, but then so did Hitler. Both men say they want more alternative energy used, but neither will tell you that doing so will increase the cost of energy that we will all pay. That will mean that someone will not be able to afford something they really need. Are you ready to pull the food from Granny's mouth to get a solar powered house? McCain will try to get more land opened for drilling than Obama. That will lengthen our dependence on oil, but will keep energy costs lower in the long run (but not in the short run).

The biggest difference is that we know a lot more about McCain and what he stood for before the campaign than we know about Obama. You may like what you know, or not. There are reasons to like and dislike each side or maybe both sides. I would much rather have to straight talkers that give me the good and the bad so that we could all make truly informed decisions. I don't like gambling on which man will become what after the election. But I can understand that for one to do that in this day and age would be political suicide.

But what I can not understand are the anit-patriots who say that they would never consider voting for X party. BTW: Falstaff does not qualify here. These are the feelers who would rather pick a side like it was a sports team rather than think about the issues and look at the man or woman running for office. I would hope we could all look for the patriots and sing their praises when we find one in hopes that someday we could get better leadership than we are offered today.

BTW: I'll probably vote for McCain as an obstruction to the other party so that only the plans on which there is some agreement make it into law. However, I'm still looking for the patriot.

5 comments:

Falstaff said...

And of course, since it's close to quitting time, I had plenty of time to craft a response.

If you find that patriot, I'll put his (or her) sign in my front yard gladly.

Http://pokerstage.blogspot.com

my html-fu is not strong, cut and paste if you wanna.

Astin said...

It's tremendously sad that democracy has come down to voting for who you dislike least.

Mccain is no great shakes either. His position has changed as much as Obama's (which is why he won't pull out the flip-flopper label), and his platform is even more vague than the dem's.

As for oil drilling - it won't do squat. Opening up offshore or ANWAR drilling is a land grab for oil companies only. There are tens of millions of hectares of viable oil land already open for drilling that aren't being used. It would take years for the impact to be felt, and by that point, oil and gas consumption will have risen. Sorry, but drilling is at most a temporary stop-gap measure.

But I'm no fan of Obama's either. The guy is becoming increasingly transparent in his lack of conviction and empty message. He won't relinquish the powers Bush has accumulated for the Office, won't repeal things he voted for (so the 4th stays dead), and would be unable to end the Iraq war. The reality is that he won't affect much change at all.

I'd like to see the numbers on the poor getting richer... because if we're only talking in absolute values, then they likely aren't keeping up with inflation. Not to mention the disappearing middle class. Also, GDP is antiquated and horribly inappropriate way of measuring a country's quality of life or growth. China's got a 10.2% GDP increase every quarter, and it's on shaky financial ground.

Okay, I'll stop now, I'm not American anyway.

SirFWALGMan said...

I am disenfranchised anyways so it does not matter who I vote for. My state has not gone republican in 800 years. I really hate that I make no difference.

I do think everyone middle class and below is a lot "poorer" than before Bush took office. It seems like all my bills have grown and none of my pay.

I actually feel bad for poor people because things like gas, food, and now heating oil for the winter are going to totally crush them financially. Some hard working people can not handle paying 2x what they did last year for heating oil.

StB said...

Well said K.

Fuel55 said...

Does it alarm anyone that the US government borrows billions of dollars each and every week to fund its "lifestyle"/"GDP growth"/"obligations" (insert terms liberally)?