To anyone who has read this blog, you are probably aware that I am a big Mike Huckabee fan. And some people know that I thought at this stage of the game it would be good to have Barack Obama battling with Mike Huckabee. This would have been a nice change from politics as usual, since each candidate would be bringing some significant solutions or ideas to the table for America to choose from. Back in February I was still looking at Obama, and exploring what the specifics of his policies would actually be. Since then he has unveiled some of his policies, which has steered me away from him. But I choose a candidate based on character as much as I do on policy. I want someone who does not change their core beliefs as the polls fluctuate. I believed Barack Obama was a man such as this, and I had respect for him. I didn’t need to agree with him on every issue, because I thought he had a solid core. That is until he began to change. His message of change seemed to become less about being the non-partisan uniter that I liked, and more about staying in flux with main stream America to gather as many votes as possible. This past week I have also received a number of emails from people with some arguments for me to consider about Obama. Let me share some of these cases for Obama that I am receiving and then my rebuttal below.
1. Barack Obama will help the poor, and this is more in line with Jesus teachings than anything that John McCain is offering.
This sounds good. Helping the poor is clearly something that Jesus taught about. I don’t have any desire for anyone to be in poverty. But what policy is Obama talking about that will actually help the poor? Tax cuts? Does a tax cut really help people who are struggling to find stable work? Obama wants to increase corporate taxes. America already has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world. This is a major reason that companies are leaving the United States. It simply costs too much to operate here. When we tax them more, more will leave. When we tax them more, the ones that stay will pass this tax on to the consumers which will increase the costs of goods and services. (Inflation) When companies crumble under the weight of lost profits since their products cost too much people will lose their jobs. Who works for these big evil companies, such as McDonalds, Walmart, Home Depot? The people we call poor in America. Obama’s plan will worsen an already dropping economy. We need tax breaks to bring companies back to America. We need massive incentives for jobs to be created and held in this country. A downward spiraling economy needs tax cuts at all levels, for those making over $250,000 per year and for those making under that. It should not be an either or. There is nothing fair about taxing a wealthy person at a higher percentage rate than a middle class person. And we need to stop being a nation that taxes companies to the limit, pushing them other countries.
It goes back to the basics of, do we want to give a hand out or a hand up? Do we want to teach a man to fish or give him a meal?
2. Barack Obama denounced his radical pastor, which shows that he has the courage to do what is right.
(Here is the answer that may make my conservative friends decide to beat me.) Well, this argument assumes that Rev. Wright is as radical as the media has portrayed him to be. I have heard Rev. Wright’s comments about ‘God D**mn America’ looped out of context numerous times over the past few months. But the full video is available on youtube (click here to see it). And in context I have to admit that the ‘radical’ comments seem far less radical. In fact, I was impressed when Obama stood up for his Pastor of 20 years and said he could no more disown him than he could disown his white grandmother. This is the kind of politician we need, someone who is unapologetic about the people they are close to. Wright Baptized his children and married Barack to his wife Michelle. But then a few days later after he made this bold statement about not being able to disown Rev. Wright, the media pressure continued to build, Obama caved and denounced his relationship with Wright and left the Church where he had attended for 20 years. And then he claimed to have never heard any of these ‘radical’ remarks. I began to question Obama’s integrity and stomach to be the true uniter that he has been presenting himself as. He disowned his Pastor, is his Grandmother next?
3. Barack Obama is pro-life. Obama wants to reduce the number of Abortions. We have had a pro-life President for eight years and this has gotten us no more closer to having fewer abortions, so why not give Obama a chance?
This is an odd argument since it shows a simple misunderstanding of the separation of powers provided in the government of the United States. Obama is also very much pro-choice, even to the point of allowing a live baby born from a failed abortion to not receive medical treatment if it was the desire of the mother for her baby to be aborted. He argued for this in Illinois. This is so extreme, it is sickening. He isn’t pro-choice simply for cases of rape or incest. He is pro-choice as a means of contraception even to the ends that abortion be used as contraception post birth.
Now what can the President actually do to address this issue? The President is a part of the Executive branch, which executes or enforces laws made in the Legislative branch. The President also has final approval of new legislation, but that can also be overturned by the Legislative branch. No President can actually overturn Roe vs Wade. Not Obama, not McCain, not Bush. Our legislatures can amend the constitution, and our judges can ‘interpret’ the constitution. So this battle needs to be waged with our Senators and Representatives. However, the President does appoint Judges to the Judicial branch, but Judge appointments are not common. Bush had a couple appointments, but not enough to outweigh the other judges who would not overturn Roe vs Wade. And there is a good chance in the next four years there could be two more possible appointments. So this is a big election for pro-life proponents. With the right judges Roe vs Wade could actually be overturned. Which would massively decrease Abortion rates. But, this isn’t even the real reason why Obama’s position on this is troubling. Its not because of who I think he will choose as Judges. I see this as a foundational moral issue. If someone can’t see that killing a baby in the womb is simply wrong, then how can I trust their judgement? And how does he plan to reduce abortions when he can’t even explain why they shouldn’t happen in the first place?
4. Healthcare costs are too high. This needs to change and Obama has a plan to bring down health care costs.
As someone who lives in a swing state, I am seeing the evolution of his health plan via his daily commercials. It is interesting that it has gone from a Government controlled system, to a regulatory system on the health insurance companies. The truth is, that his healthcare plan hasn’t formally been written. It is being shaped by to whom and where he happens to be talking. I have heard so many different aspects of his plan that I honestly haven’t the foggiest clue what his plan will actually look like. But, I do know that he is addressing the symptom and not the cause. The cause for the high costs is that Doctors and Hospitals have to pay extremely high insurance rates simply to operate and survive law suits, and Hospitals are overwhelmed by patients that can’t pay. A solution to the insurance rate issue is Tort reform. Missouri has championed Tort reform so that if you sue someone and lose, you are responsible for their legal costs and your own. This is a simple solution that prevents the majority of the frivolous lawsuits that get made. Only the valid ones, make it court. People need to stop suing over any little thing. Our courts should be for serious issues, and not for issues that common sense would rule out. But these little issues settle out of court because it ends up being less expensive to do this, which simply encourages more frivolous lawsuits and costs the insurance companies more money each year, driving costs up for Doctors and Hospitals. The second issue of Hospital’s having to provide care for those without insurance is a huge problem. One that Obama’s latest rendition of his plan would not solve at all. His initial version solved this by creating a government run program for everyone. So what is a possible solution? The Insurance companies need to stop being for profit companies. ( now I let all the Conservatives toss their stones at me.) I would like to see Health Insurance ( and maybe all other forms of Insurance) be non-profits, so that Insurance costs can be further reduced and health care plans can be more affordable. Insurance companies should do one thing, Insure. They should not be about making tons of cash for share holders. It has simply become a conflict of interest for insurance companies to pay out to share holders and to pay out to their clients. This current process creates a dynamic that makes Insurance companies withhold paying Doctors and Hospitals so that the share holders get more money or for the more honest companies they simply have tons of fine print that allows them to not have to pay out for various procedures and treatments. It is truly a messed up system. And this needs to change. Tort reform and Non-Profit insurance can solve our problems and keep the Government from managing more services in our life.
5. Obama works with people from any background or political party. He will surround himself with diverse view points, which a strong leader needs.
I actually agree that a strong leader should be someone who surrounds themselves with people that think differently than they do, so they can get a bigger picture, and a more diverse assortment of possible solutions and outcomes. But has Obama done this? Has he actually surrounded himself with people that are more conservative, or more libertarian? I can’t find any evidence that this is how he served in Illinois or during his first two years in Washington. He has been a very consistent party line follower. He surrounds himself with people that think as he does, just like George Bush has done. The only difference is that Bush is a moderate conservative and Obama is left wing liberal. He simply does not have a track record of doing what he is preaching. But what could he have done that would have changed my mind about this? If Obama had choosen a Republican or a Libertarian to be his VP, I would have seen that he was serious about being the uniter our nation needs. Choosing a 30 year veteran Senator that is about as mainstream Washington as you can get was not what he needed to do to win me over. We are an extremely divided nation, and I know this is not healthy for our country. But Obama is no more a uniter than George Bush was. He talks the talk but I haven’t seen him walk the walk.
6. Barack Obama will be a historic President. The first black man to be President of the United States. You should want to be on the side of making this historic moment happen.
I want to vote for Obama because he is black. And I know this is not the politically correct thing to say. I want to live in a country that has overcome racial prejudices to the level that we can elect a black man to the highest office. President of the United States. I understand this desire, and am right there with you. I also want to elect a black man to office that won’t make the country worse off than it already is. I don’t want anyone to look to Barack Obama and make it more difficult for another black man to become President in the future. Because of this, I have to weigh his character, his experience, and his achievements in life to see if he will be the right man for the job. Sadly, I just don’t think Obama is the right man to lead this country. I truly wish he was, so that I could be on the side of helping make this historic moment happen.