Thursday, November 6, 2008

Conservative Pride!

Hi! My name is Garrett and I am a conservative. I have always known in my heart that I was conservative. When I was a kid and the other kids talked about abortion and gay marriage I was thinking about my newborn sister and how great it was to have a father and a mother. It was hard. I never felt like I fit in. There were times when I questioned my political philosophy, but I would just deny it and bury it. Finally, I was tired of living all the lies and pretending to be something I wasn't. When I was 23 years old, I told my liberal parents that I was conservative. They had a hard time with it, but they have grown to accept me and even joke about my being conservative.

I think it's important to point out that I did not choose to be a conservative. God made me this way. It is unfair for others to ask me to expand my thinking and accept homosexual lifestyles, because it would deny who I really am. It's difficult to be a conservative in this liberal world. We are constantly the butt of jokes and the objects of scorn. But, today I am proud to be a conservative. I am glad God made me this way, even if it does make things difficult for me sometimes. We are all different and you need to be tolerant of me and accept my lifestyle and ideas. To do otherwise, would make you hateful, divisive, and oppressive.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reaching Across the Aisle

It's great to hear Obama and Democrats talk about the need to come together as one nation at this time. It is wonderful that they are so eager to put the past behind us and work together. I am also glad they are suddenly using words like loyalty and national unity. I stayed up late to Obama's entire speech live and, though I have no idea who the man is, I was encouraged that he appealed to the entire country, even those who did not vote for him. It sounded vaguely familiar.

"Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust...We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America." - George W. Bush, 2004

I think we should listen to Obama and the Bush of 2004, even if the majority of the country did not listen to Bush in 2004. I don't think we should put a negative spin on everything Obama does. I don't think we should make outrageous claims about him - suspecting evil in nearly every decision he makes. I don't think we should bask in the nation's problems just to give us a chance to swoop in and criticize Obama and to provide an election platform for 2012. I don't think the media should scrutinize Obama's every move and take him to task for everything he does. I don't think we should blame EVERYTHING on Obama. I don't think we should make fun of how he looks, how he talks, or how many silly, irrelevant mistakes he makes when speaking (and yes, he does make them...)

On the other hand, I think we should support him to the extent possible. I think we should pray for his (and our) success. I think we should hope for the best. I think we should be reasonable in our assessments of his Presidency. I think we should refrain from using Obama's political failures as ammunition for our political gain. I think we should be understanding toward him and his supporters. I think we should be patient when he institutes something new. I think we should wait to pass judgment on him. I think we should actually read the Constitution before we accuse him of acting unconstitutionally. I think we should separate the things he can and can't control and only hold him accountable for the former. I think we should take pride in the democratic process that gave him the opportunity to be our President. I think we should be civil and fair. If we have criticism, I think we should make it constructive. If we have fears, I think we should combat them - to the extent possible - with facts and reason. I think we should take pride in America, despite how Obama is performing. We should ignore Obama's campaign message over the last two years, which was to bash PRESIDENT Bush - yes, the man holding the "office of the President". I think we should judge Obama by what he accomplishes and not by his approval rating. I think we should assume that, as President and Commander-in-Chief, he knows a lot more about our national security and international relations than we do. I think we should understand that he can't fix everything. I think we should point out the good things he does, even if he does some bad things. I think we should respect him and the office of the President. I think we should take accountability for some of our own mistakes, instead of taking the easy way out and blaming Obama for our problems. Above all, I think we should consider him OUR President, even if we didn't vote for him, even if we can't stand him, and even if we belong to a different party. We should let bipartisanship govern. We should be true patriots! We should be Americans!

To act otherwise, would be to continue the failed policies of the Democratic party over the last 8 years. I vote for CHANGE! This is change I can believe in. This is transcendent. It's easy to seek unity when one is in power; it's so much harder to swallow pride and seek unity in defeat. We can do it. The principles we believe in demand that we do it. Let us choose to overcome the hate, divisiveness, and slander of the last 8 years! Let us be better than that. Can we do this?


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Answer the Question (Part 2)

Here is my follow-up to the first part of this post, in which I examined Barack Obama's non-answer to a question in the 2nd Presidential debate.  Here I look at John McCain's non-answer.


Since World War II, we have never been asked to sacrifice anything to help our country, except the blood of our heroic men and women. As president, what sacrifices -- sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we're now in?


Well, Fiorra, I'm going to ask the American people to understand that there are some programs that we may have to eliminate.”

So, he is going to ask us to understand stuff.  Is that one of the sacrifices?  I don’t know, John; that is a lot you’re asking of me.  I simply don’t want to understand stuff.  I have a Constitutional right to not understand or to not even attempt to understand.  That’s a tough one.

“I first proposed a long time ago that we would have to examine every agency and every bureaucracy of government. And we're going to have to eliminate those that aren't working.”

Sacrifice #2 is that we the American people will have to do without government agencies and bureaucracies that aren’t working.  Hmm.  That also won’t be easy.  We have all grown accustomed to our useless agencies and bureaucracies.  Is it really a “sacrifice” to give up something that isn’t working?  Many people don’t even know we have certain agencies.  Is it a “sacrifice” to give up something we don’t know we have especially when it isn’t doing anything to help us? 

“I know a lot of them that aren't working. One of them is in defense spending, because I've taken on some of the defense contractors. I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion in a deal for an Air Force tanker that was done in a corrupt fashion.”

So, we are going to have to sacrifice $6.8 billion on deals that you already saved us because you took them on?  Is it really a sacrifice for the American people to give up deals that are done in a corrupt fashion?  It is hard to see the sacrifice here.  Are you just blowing your trumpet here?  Is this just a chance for you to brag about something you did because it doesn’t really seem to fit with the question. 

“I believe that we have to eliminate the earmarks. And sometimes those projects, not -- not the overhead projector that Sen. Obama asked for, but some of them that are really good projects, will have -- will have to be eliminated, as well.”

Okay, at least you have mentioned something specifically.  Great job.  But, again, I don’t know that anyone in the American public sees earmarks as a positive thing.  I’m quite certain that most citizens are against them.  Therefore, they will gladly give them up without any argument.  So, they will be voluntarily and happily doing away with them; not sacrificing.

“And they'll have to undergo the same scrutiny that all projects should in competition with others.

So we're going to have to tell the American people that spending is going to have to be cut in America. And I recommend a spending freeze that -- except for defense, Veterans Affairs, and some other vital programs, we'll just have to have across-the-board freeze.”

This is better.  Much better.  Cutting spending on certain programs may force some Americans to make sacrifices.  However, many Americans want to see lower spending by the government and if not lower spending, then smarter spending.  So, at least something good will come of it.  In addition, non-vital programs are just that – not vital.  One would ask if a program is not vital, should it be a program at all?  Therefore, freezing spending on that program will be viewed as a triumph.

“And some of those programs may not grow as much as we would like for them to, but we can establish priorities with full transparency, with full knowledge of the American people, and full consultation, not done behind closed doors and shoving earmarks in the middle of the night into programs that we don't even -- sometimes we don't even know about until months later.”

Again, we will be sacrificing things (earmarks) that we don’t want in the first place.  No big deal. 

“And, by the way, I want to go back a second.

Look, we can attack health care and energy at the same time. We're not -- we're not -- we're not rifle shots here. We are Americans. We can, with the participation of all Americans, work together and solve these problems together.

Frankly, I'm not going to tell that person without health insurance that, "I'm sorry, you'll have to wait." I'm going to tell you Americans we'll get to work right away and we'll get to work together, and we can get them all done, because that's what America has been doing.”

Thanks for including another answer to the previous question which you didn’t answer that time and you’re still not answering now.  It is extremely helpful.  How do you propose we all work together on this?  Should we get a huge conference room and talk it out?  The truth is, Americans aren’t going to work together on this.  The politicians are going to work together, or at least democrats and democrats and republicans and republicans will work together.  Also, are you implying that Canadians are rifle shots?  Or that other countries couldn’t do this at the same time?  Are we somehow better than others? 

The truth is, politicians just say words they think people want to hear.  I think they are grossly out of touch, because the people I talk to are sick of these types of "answers" and want more substance.  The real problem is that when we allow them to side-step important questions or just ignore questions, we cannot hold them accountable for the things they say.  How can we hold Obama and McCain accountable for these answers?  We don't even know what they have actually said.  I don't know what they've promised, so I guess I will never know if they have come through on the promises.  I would guess that one of these guys is going to be saying the same things in 4 years and we won't have a clue whether he did anything in the previous 4 years.  

Imagine if you were proposing a a new program to your boss and he or she asked, "What sacrifices will the company have to make in order to incorporate this program?"  What would happen if you said something like, "Well, boss, I'm glad you asked that and I thank you for listening to my presentation.  Over the last few years I have worked hard for this company and I have cut spending in my group.  And we are going to have to start thinking about our budget and some other things.  We will work together and together we will make this program go forward and all employees of this company will see the benefits.  We can do it but we have to start thinking."

Pack your bags and clean out your desk, because you just got canned or demoted!  And yet, the leaders of the greatest country in the world can get away with this when they are dealing with our safety, health care, taxes, etc.  There is something wrong with that.  Since this is a democracy and the politicians should have to answer to us, I say we fire or demote them.  I would appoint Obama to be the National Motivational Speaker and John McCain wouldn't hold office but we would all be his friends.