Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fearing and Loathing an Obama Presidency

I belong to several chat groups and read lots of other blogs and I am amazed at some of what I read. Many writers express their fears about the prospects of the election of Barack Obama in apocalyptic terms.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Obama will lead the country in the wrong direction. Under an Obama Presidency the US will move more toward a European-style social democracy. I think Democratic economic and tax policy will be detrimental for wealth creation and our standard of living. I expect a more intrusive burdensome government from an Obama presidency. I do not think liberals have the same respect for property rights or freedom of speech, as do conservatives and that concerns me. I think an Obama election and especially a Democratic undivided government will be bad for the future of our nation. However, I do not think the election of Barack Obama will be the end of the world or our freedom. To see what I expect from an Obama Presidency see my recent post on the topic (link). I think the Fred Thompson video posted below is an accurate evaluation of what to fear from an Obama presidency.

So, I am not saying that it does not matter who is elected or that Obama will not be bad for our nation. However, some of the hysteria over the prospects of an Obama presidency is just over the top. I do not think Obama is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate or the Anti Christ. If Obama is elected, as much as I may not like it, he will be my President. After the election, assuming Obama is elected, the Republicans need to be the loyal opposition but try to work with Democrats for the good of the nation. I think there is a danger in poisoning the atmosphere with irrational doomsday fears of an Obama election. It may cause some nut to assassinate the guy. But, also it poisons the atmosphere for working together. If you think your political opponents are the epitome of evil, or if the people you represent think the other party is evil, it makes compromise difficult. I know some Democrats. Unfortunately, most of my siblings are Democrats. They are not evil people; they are just wrong. I think they are naive and suffer from too much idealism and too little logic; but they are not evil.

I don’t know what the ethics are of reposting comments from a chat group. Chat group are for members only and people may not want their comments spread beyond the group. I am reposting what one writer wrote on one of the chat groups I belong to, to offer an example of what people are saying. I am not listing the group name and am only listing initials of the discussion participants. This post is not from anyone of any importance, and would not be important at all if it were not so typical of a lot of what I am reading. Stuff like this is all over the Internet and this is typical also of some unsolicited emails I have received.


I am going to make a few predictions here. Now understanding that I have never been wrong before should add credibility to these guesses. These are based on the premise that Obama gets into office.

1. This blogger site and others like it will no longer exist...they will be considered anti-government.
2. Talk shows, conservative ones that is, will no longer be allowed and go off the air as anti-government.
3. Guns will be taken away from the citizenry and the National Guard as well.
4. Children everywhere will be indoctrinated to the socialist/communist ideology.
5. Christians and Jews will be persecuted as anti-government and eventually
forbidden to practice their religion.
6. All corporations will be operated by the state and employees paid from the state as a measure to protect us.
7. Homosexuality, kiddy porn and other filthy things will be allowed and fostered.
8. Traveling between states will require a passport with a reason for the travel.
9. Many new laws will be put into place which will curb our freedoms immensely.
10. Curfews will exist and political prisoners will be taken and jailed for long periods of time.

Care to add your own here? Not very pretty is it? Wonderful future for our children.

Let us take a look at this.

On item 1, I see no basis for believing the election of Democrats will bring about Internet censorship and a closing down of Internet conservative chat rooms. I do believe many liberals would like to shut down conservative voices but to impose censorship on the Internet would create a huge backlash. There are a lot of left-wing voices also on the Internet who would oppose censorship. A lot of good liberals really do respect freedom of speech.

Unfortunately I think item two is a realistic fear. Up until 1985 the “Fairness Doctrine” required radio stations to provide balanced coverage of controversial issues, so radio simply avoided controversy. Under the fairness doctrine, a station that did not provide “fairness” could lose their license. There is no equivalent to a Rush Limbaugh on the left. Talk radio is a conservative phenomenon. I think many liberals would like to shut down talk radio and would gladly reimpose the fairness doctrine. The public ownership of the airways and the argument for “fairness” gives liberals the cover they need to do it. If the Democrats get a super majority it very well may happen.

Item number 3: This will not happen. This is an unfounded fear. I know many liberals would like to ban all guns, but they do not have the authority. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision recently that the right to bear arms is an individual right. The court will probably not revisit the issue for a very long time, if ever. With another liberal on the court, the recent decision could possibly be reversed, but even a more liberal court would probably not overturn the recent decision but may whittle away at the second amendment around the edges. In any event, there is doubt that Obama will have the opportunity to replace a conservative jurist. The conservative on the Court are fairly young, as Supreme Court justices go, and in good health.

Regarding item 4, this is based on legitimate fears but is overstated. Given Obama’s support for the Ayers education program in Chicago, there is reason to believe Obama would like to have leftist ideology taught in the classroom. [Read this New York Post story, Obama's Education Idiocy.] But, while Obama might like to turn schools into indoctrination center, he would not be in a position to do that. A Presidents power is limited. Education is still largely a state and local matter. It is possible that some federal laws could mandate some curriculum changes with ideological content, but to believe that “Children everywhere will be indoctrinated to the socialist/communist ideology,” is paranoia.

On the remaining items, this is just garbage. Why would one think we would have to have passports to travel between states under an Obama Presidency? If anything, the conservatives, with their anti illegal immigrant passions and War on Terror concerns, may be more inclined to impose travel restrictions and require everyone to carry documents than would Democrats.

On the charge that “homosexuality, kiddy porn and other filthy things will be allowed and fostered;” government does not dictate sexual mores. Society has become more tolerant of homosexuality and other alternative lifestyles over the years. I think being more accepting and tolerant of others' choices is a good thing. What you do in your bedroom and whom you do it with is none of my business. We may see an increase in the push for gay marriage or civil unions. We may see homosexuals gain the same protected victim class status as minorities and disabled people. I would oppose that, but I think any impact in this area will be minimal. There is no reason to believe kiddy porn will be more prevalent under a Democratic president than a Republican president.

For the good of the nation and our future; get real people and get a grip!

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  1. I think we're on the same spectrum, give or take, regarding Obama as America's next President. Most of the stuff I write is just opinion-driven, longwinded rants, but I definitely get what you're saying.

    I would also like to add to the list...

    The space program will shrivel up and die.

    A long amnesty period will be granted to illegals, in which time borders will become extremely unsecure as immigrants scramble to find a home.

    After an inability to thwart racial tensions, Obama will cave in to interest and try segregaton again on a small, elective level.

    National park land and other areas considered "sacred," either by government of citizens will be demolished to build "affordable" housing for the influx of people who will suddenly proclaim how "poor" they are and in need of assistance.

    I'm just underway with my blog. If you ever find time, I'd appreciate some notes or advice. I'd like to eventually fine tune my blog, before it's too late, and link up some videos and polls and whatnot.

  2. I so enjoy hearing you thoughtful and moderated perspective. If people on both sides of the aisle were able to consider issues in the same way, I would have much greater hope for our nation in the years to come.

  3. Rod:

    Although I've always considered myself an unrepentant social liberal (dirty word!) I still find your temperament and perspective enjoyable.

    Regarding the whole "socialism" phenomena...well, here's the deal, Obama isn’t anymore a socialist than McCain is a fascist, a leprechaun or sincere. Sure, Obama wants more government control of economic matters. But as even Obama said, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Capitalism administered by the state is still capitalism.

    No one’s calling Bush a socialist because he nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because it’s not socialism. So why call Obama a socialist?

    Let's face it, this election is all about two factions of capitalism competing for power with each other, but how each party goes about doing that is vastly different. From where I stand politically, for being so slavish to Christian zealots, one would think the Republicans would “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” But being able to pay for such things as public infrastructure -- like highways, electric system, etc. -- takes a backseat to the accumulation of capital for massive investment in China, Mexico and India. Of course, underscoring their religious hypocrisy, the GOP have spent more than any other administration building U.S. federal debts to record highs.

    At any rate, thanks for your insight. I'll be sticking around for a while, for better or worse ;)

    Keep up the good work.

  4. I just can't bring myself to trust Obama. Why? He hasn't given me any reason to trust him and, in my opinion, he's given me a boatload of reasons NOT to trust him. On the other hand I do trust McCain. Why? Because of his record of service to this country and its people.

    Social issues and the economy don't factor into my voting decisions very much. National security issues do. If a president screws up national security badly enough, none of the other stuff really matters anymore. And I really do think Obama will screw it up that badly. I hope I'm wrong.

  5. I don't see any danger of any of the things your chatroom buddy predicts. That post displays a distorted view of what Democrats are about, certainly Obama, who is a centrist would have no interest in rescinding the first and second amendments. I do think that abstinence only sex education will, deservedly, lose it's federal support.

    One can hope that within two terms some one or two of the more conservative Supreme Court justices will step down although I am not wishing ill health on anybody.