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Monday, November 3 

Why I'm A Conservative

I vote Republican the vast majority of the time. I have voted for Democrats, but the times are few and far between. I am not one of the people who is going to lie to you and say, "I vote the man, not the party." Truth be told, very few people really do this. If it were true you wouldn't have large blocks of voters going to one party or the other every single time. For me the primaries are where I vote "the man". I look at who is running and who most matches what I believe and I vote for that (wo)man. When the general election rolls around, I vote for the party. Unless someone like Ted Stevens is running, then I write in a candidate.

What I believe is best summed up by the list written by William J. J. Boetcker.
* You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
Does this mean that I think every Republican is going to adhere to these standards every time? No. I'm a believer, but I'm not naive. Which is also why I believe in term limits, but that's a discussion for another time.

So, here is why I'm voting for Johnny Mac and not for Obama.

John McCain is not my ideal candidate. He believes in "comprehensive" immigration reform, which amounts to forgive and forget to all the illegals currently in the country. Which, if the rules actually changed afterwards, might not be a bad thing. But we tried that once in the 80s, and then never bothered to enforce immigration laws and we found ourselves right back in the same place again.

He also cosponsored McCain-Feingold, which is one of the worst pieces of legislation to come out of Washington. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment, and should be done away with.

There is also his legendary temper, the Gang of 14, and the Keating 5.

However, of the two viable candidates, he is closer to me on the two most important issues; the economy and foreign policy. He believes in a strong defense, and he believes in lower taxes coupled with lower spending. We've discussed foreign policy here many times, so I'm going to go more in depth with my economic views.

I believe lower taxes for everyone, including businesses, are a good thing. As the list above states, you cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. The rich are who employees people, takes risks, starts businesses and keeps our economy going. Without the rich the economy comes to a stand still. Obama believes that it is the patriotic duty of the rich to pay higher taxes to fuel more social programs. I believe it's the duty of government to provide the opportunity for more people to take risks, start businesses and become self-sufficient on their own. I don't want my job, my livleyhood, my house, or anything else dependent on the government.

The fundamental difference between the Democrat and Republican parties today stems from their views on the role of government. Democrats, for the most part, believe that the government should be used to solve all social ills. Republicans, for the most part, believe it is the role of government to remove as many roadblocks as possible for people to be able to solve their own ills.

The difference really comes down to the old adage about giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish. Democrats see a problem and they immediate want to create a government agency to fix the problem. The problem usually involves throwing money at it. Republicans see a problem and they want to fix the problem, only they want to find the root cause of the problem and see if that can't be changed. The Republican solution is usually the slower solution, but like most things in life, the quick fix is usually not the best.

If a man is going hungry because he can't find a job, setting up a government agency that will come by and give him a sandwich every day makes everyone feel better about themselves, and the guy is not hungry any more. However, the situation that led to the man not being able to provide for himself isn't changed, he is now dependent on the government to provide that sandwich every day, and, most importantly, someone else is having their hard earned money taken away to pay for that sandwich, the van that delivers it, the bureaucracy that orders it and the guy driving the van to deliver it. Maybe all the guy really needed was a low interest loan to help him fix his car so he could drive himself to work every day and earn the money to buy his own sandwich.

Does all this mean I am cruel, heartless and don't want to see the less fortunate among us helped? The easy answer to that is no. I am a firm believer in helping out our fellow man. I've given a large portion of my income to charity all of my adult life. I've helped put a new roof on an old woman's house who couldn't afford to pay for the labor to have it done. I've passed out food in a church sponsored food bank. I've sponsored a child in Guatemala, handed out food to the homeless, and helped to provide health screenings to several thousand low income households over the course of a week in a larger city. Does any of this make me special? No. I am but one of millions of Americans who do this sort of thing every day. And millions more who can't get out and do the actual work but who are willing to give of their hard earned money to help charities that actually do the work.

I believe there are hundreds of thousands of people out there on the government payroll who are perfectly able to work but can't because if they earn too much money they will lose their government checks. But working won't provide enough for them to live, either, so they are stuck sitting at home, waiting on their next handout. This doesn't help the economy, their self esteem, or businesses in general.

Obama's comment about "spreading the wealth" is a great example of this. He has said repeatedly that he thinks that he can grow the economy from the bottom up. To do this, he must raise taxes on those making more money to provide the services to those on the bottom end. So now what you are looking at is someone who has worked hard, taken risks, started a business that employees actual people. That business is now going to pay higher taxes. This means that business now has less money to work with, less money to upgrade equipment, hire new employees, or expand. The government has decided that it knows better how to spend that money than the business owner, and is going to use to for whatever it so desires.

The owner's cost of doing business just went up, so (s)he's going to have to tighten the belt, and find a way to make up that lost revenue. The government, however has no idea what that is like. When the government wants more money, they take it. When was the last time you heard of actual spending cuts in a government program? Any program at all. And no, you don't get to count if they cut the amount of growth, because growth is growth, whether they get to expand spending by 10% or 15%. I mean a real life, honest to goodness cut, where any government program has less money this year than they had the previous.

It doesn't happen.

But I'm getting off track here. Let me summarize why I'm not voting for Obama.
  • Higher taxes.

  • Weak on national defense.

  • Bad energy policy. The man thinks that the best thing to help the American people is to keep energy prices high.

  • Infanticide. Forget the whole abortion debate for now, just focus on this one little part. Obama was the only Illinois senator to vote against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which was written to protect babies born alive during a late-term abortion.

  • Throughout his campaign Obama or his surrogates have used racism as a defense against any criticism. He very rarely does interviews with journalists who will actually give him tough questions, he through newspapers that have endorsed McCain off his plane just days before the election, his supports dug through personal records of Joe the plumber looking for dirt to use against him, and he and his campaign cut off journalists that don't sufficiently kiss his ass. He asked the Justice Department to look into a reporter who dared to investigate his work at the Chicago Annenburg Challenge. You want to complain about the erosion of rights under the Bush Presidency, just wait until you try to criticize Obama once he's ascended to his throne taken office.

  • Lastly, the man has a history of questionable associations. Everyone has one or two whackos in their history. Usually it's a crazy uncle or some friend you've had since cildhood. You overlook their one or two crazy beliefs because they are basically a decent person. With Obama you get William Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn, Khalidi, and Jeremiah Wright. And those are just off the top of my head. I'm sure if I dug a little I could remember a few more. Obama may not be a radical, but he has a habit of seeking out the most radical around him and befriending them. That is enough to give me pause, but added on top of all his policies, I just can't support him. I don't care how "clean and articulate" he is.

So there you have it. This is by no means all-inclusive, but it is a fairly accurate list as to why I'll be voting the way I do tomorrow.

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