I have always disliked the “pro-choice”/ “pro-life” titles for the sides on the abortion debate. It simply would have been more truthful to say “pro-abortion”, or “anti-abortion”. Abortion advocates would like us to believe that the moral determination as to whether or not the embryo or fetus inside is a living thing, is a personal decision that each woman must decide for herself. This is scientifically incorrect. Even from the earliest stages an embryo exhibits the basic criteria for being alive. The real moral question that a woman considering abortion must decide, is at what stage and under what circumstances is the taking of that life justifiable? When I ask myself that question it becomes obvious that an abortion should only, ever be considered as the last resort to a dire circumstance. A woman who has been raped is in a dire circumstance. A woman who must choose between life saving cancer treatment that would kill her unborn child or leaving the children she already has motherless, is in a dire circumstance. A woman who is carrying a child with birth defects so severe as to be incompatible with life is in a dire circumstance. Even as a Christian, I could not sit in judgement of a woman, who faced with such a gut wrenching decision, would terminate a pregnancy. Though I might not have made the same choice. A woman who gets caught with her hand in the cookie jar? That’s a different story. There is never a “perfect” time to have a baby. Pregnancies are always expensive, inconvenient and somewhat embarrassing. Those are never good reasons to have an abortion. If you feel that you are not mature enough to raise a child, or that now is not the “right” time for you be a mother, there are options available to you that do not require killing a baby.
I felt it was necessary to clarify my position on abortion, because now I am going to say something that many conservative, Christians will strongly disagree with.
It is time to take Abortion, as a political issue, off the table.
By making a willingness to overturn Roe vs. Wade the litmus test for Republican candidates, we have played right into the hands of our enemies and given them a club to beat us over the head with. This has never been more apparent than in the last election, with its fictitious “war on women”. Even with no basis in fact, the liberal left was able to turn an erroneous perception into a political slogan that became a wave of misinformed women voters that turned the tide of the election. Moderate conservatives have shied away from candidates that they felt were too hard-core, while Evangelicals lambasted the same candidates for being too soft. All the while, the left eagerly exploits the irony that a group that fights for less governmental control of our private lives, fights to give the government control of a very private women’s issue. Our legal system allows many things that are immoral or at the very least bad for us. We must acknowledge that in most cases where the federal government tries to legislate morality, it does a very poor job. Prohibition, the “war on drugs”, “don’t ask don’t tell”, and affirmative action are just a few examples. Can we accept the difference between moral and legal without compromising our values? Absolutely. Unlike the contraception mandate in the affordable care act, that requires businesses run by religious organizations to provide birth control to their employees, even if it goes against their religious tenants, Roe vs. Wade does not compel us to have abortions. The problem isn’t that abortions are legal, it’s that women choose to have abortions of convenience. The real battle isn’t about overturning a law, it’s about changing attitudes about the sanctity of life. We can still continue to put up billboards, hand out literature, educate the public, and provide services and alternatives for pregnant women. We can teach our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces that abortion is wrong in the eyes of God. The battle should continue to be fought on the street corners, our homes and from the pulpit. Just not in the halls of Congress.
President Obama, you won last night’s election by 2,791,867 votes. In a nation of over 314 million, that is hardly a mandate. Don’t you dare think you are in the Oval Office because you won the hearts and minds of the American people. The only reason you got re-elected is because your clever campaign advisers understood the numbers game that is the Electoral College. Remember, nearly half the nation voted against you. Nearly half the nation did not buy into the fictitious “War on Women”, the half-truths, class warfare, race baiting, and outright lies put forth by your campaign machine. Nearly half the nation, did not trust the mainstream media to give us the unbiased facts. Nearly half the nation has no faith or trust in your ability to lead.
Millions of us are capable of understanding that it is possible for man to hold strong values and convictions and live them out in his personal life, yet still be able to govern based on the will of the people and the rule of law. You exploited the fears of those who couldn’t understand that.
Millions of us understand the basic economic principle that true prosperity is the result of hard work and wise choices, not the exploitation of the weak. That wealth is something to aspire to, not envy. That profits belong to those who earn them and shouldn’t be redistributed to those who didn’t. You pandered to the ignorant and lazy by promoting a “Robin Hood” mentality.
Millions of us understand that a militarily strong America is the gate way to peace in the world. You disgraced us in the face of our enemies.
And Millions of us understand that a smaller more efficient government, not a larger more intrusive one, is the key to a secure nation, a robust economy and for promoting innovation. You appealed to those who want the government to take care of them instead of being responsible for themselves.
We were not impressed by your rock star schtick, or the endorsements of celebrities who make their living, imitating the real world rather than living in it.
Those of us who understand will not stand by and watch our Divinely Inspired Constitutional Rights being stripped away. You will be held accountable for Benghazi. You will have to accept responsibility , for the continuing high unemployment, for the high fuel and grocery prices, and for the economic misery that your policies will bring. We will expect you to keep your promise of bi-partisanship. That you understand that you will have to compromise your agenda if you want us to compromise our values. We will be energised and engaged, we will hold our Congressional Representatives responsible for holding your feet to the fire. We will not lie down and lick our wounds in defeat, we will flood Congress with letters, phone calls and emails, to be sure our voices continue to be heard. We understand your agenda and we will not let it stand.
I hope this post finds its way to you, so you will feel the eyes of nearly half the nation burning on the back of your neck, a constant reminder that not everyone adores you. We will continue to vet our candidates, and educate ourselves on the issues, we vote, and we are watching.
He walked over and sat down at the Resolute desk. He glanced at the pile of papers and noticed the security briefing that had been placed there hours ago. He didn’t bother to look, he knew what was in it. Israel was gone. All but the city of Jerusalem anyway. It was leveled six months ago by Iranian nukes that he had believed in spite of credible intelligence reports, were sill years away from development. It served BiBi right he had said to himself, the Prime Minister insisted on striking Iran’s main nuclear facility. Unfortunately Iran had more secret sites than they knew of. Within three months of the Israeli action, Iran was pounding them with fully functional bombs leaving the entire country a smoldering, desolate, uninhabitable landscape. Its people scattered once again over Europe and the United States. At the insistence of the Ayatollah Khamenei, the new Iranian President, Saeed Jalili, left the Dome of the Rock and surrounding Jerusalem intact as a slap in the fact to the West. He shook his head as he remember the day, Netanyahu desperately pleading for military help from the US. Help that he was unable to give. Unbeknownst to its citizens he had ordered the American nuclear arsenal destroyed as a good faith gesture to encourage Russia and China to do the same. It was the keeping of a promise that he had made to Vladimir Putin though Dmitry Medvedev in the spring of 2012. Then in a cost cutting measure necessary to keep his programs afloat a few more months, he pared down the Navel fleet to handful of warships, four nuclear submarines and two aircraft carriers. Aging fighters and bombers were not replaced, affectively grounding the Air Force, and the manpower of the Army and Marines were cut in half. Now, thanks to Netanyahu’s impatience (the sanctions would have worked, eventually) the whole world knew that the United States is militarily weak and vulnerable. Putin, that double-crossing bastard didn’t live up to his side of the bargain. Russia retained its nukes and now was aiding Iran. India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the other smaller Middle Eastern nations were marshalling their forces, ready to join a coalition against the West, or to dig in a defend their own borders, whichever would suit them best when the time came. Al Qaeda, made quick work of the power vacuum and over ran Afghanistan, almost overnight. Then it set its sights on Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. He knew the report would tell him that any day now missiles would be headed toward the United States, as the Russian Army and Al Qaeda terrorists, strange bedfellows indeed, had joined forces and built up arms across the Bering Strait.
Alaska, well at least that will get rid of Sarah Palin and her inbred, white-trash, red neck family. He half smirked to himself. The thought amused him for only a second. Alaska was vital. Two years ago he reluctantly caved on his own policies and opened up ANWR to drilling. He then agreed to finishing the Keystone Pipeline. He had hoped that these moves would provide much need jobs. But as the oil flowed South into Texas, the hope that flowed along with it waned. The refineries that were to turn the thick smelly crude into much needed gasoline, were crumbling and inadequate for the task. Long standing environmental regulations, ones that he in all good conscience would not overturn, made the building of new refineries impossible. The oil that was supposed to bring relief from eight dollar a gallon gas, was instead stockpiled in huge, hard to secure tank yards. Unsaleable to other countries because of an OPEC strangle hold on the petroleum market. A terrorist’s dream or an environmental disaster just waiting to happen.
He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He thought back to four years ago. Then he was unstoppable. If Congress wouldn’t act on his agenda, he could enact it by executive order. He was a rock star and everywhere he went he was surrounded by awestruck, adoring crowds. He was a media darling, the toast of Hollywood. Letterman, Oprah, The View they just couldn’t get enough of him. But those days were gone. Now whenever he made a rare appearance outside the gates, he could feel the loathing of a disperate people. His once cheerful and stalwart wife, his outspoken defender, was now sullen and bitter and rarely spoke in public anymore. His daughters could no longer romp through the grounds with their dog, or spend afternoons with their mother, tending their vegtable garden. Now they spent their days shut up inside for their own safety. No more sleepovers with friends or attending school. The prestige he so craved as a young Senator, the power of the Presidency that stirred the passionate fire within, now wore him down like a cumbersome weight around his neck. The toll it took on him, on his family, on the nation, was just too much to bear. He stood and again walked over to the window. He watched as the sun sat behind the Washington Monument and longed for November.
Instead of asking ourselves if we are better off today than we were four years ago, maybe we should be asking if we will be better off four years from now? Without the need to woo skittish voters, and appease wealthy donors, President Obama would no longer have to carry on the ruse of upholding The Constitution. He would have the power, through executive order if need be, to continue his war on capitalist prosperity. Even without the blessing of Congress, he would assume the authority to appease our enemies while snubbing our allies. What would four years look like if President Obama is elected to another term? In the first of a four-part series, I’ll describe the America, Obama’s America, that is yet to come.
Though we don’t see the exuberance of four years ago, there is much celebration in the nation today. Seniors who feared cuts to Social Security and Medicare are now looking forward to the hope of a decent retirement. People who were previously uninsurable, or had children with catastrophic illnesses, who were already enjoying the benefits of the Affordable Healthcare Act are resting comfortably. Students who only a year ago, were protesting in the streets, now feel they have a future.
There is caution in the celebrating though, an almost palpable feeling that maybe, just maybe everything isn’t as it seems. Tentative hope has now been replaced by fear and uncertainty. For many in this country this is not a day to celebrate, it is a day filled with a sense of dread. The campaign slogans of “Hope and Change”, of “Forward”, of “Believe in America”, have been replaced by a new slogan, “Oh my God what have we done”.
The fifth year:
Obama wastes no time in pushing though his campaign promise of making rich people pay “their fare share”. At first, the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the middle class, along with the Fed’s new policy of printing and circulating large sums of money has a small positive effect on the economy. Middle class wage earners, while not gaining any true increase in wealth, are feeling better about the future so they are starting slowly and cautiously to spend more.
Employment however, has not increased as much as expected. Small business owners who were waiting on the outcome of the election, before deciding whether to expand or hire, have decided to put it off. Even with the small increase in consumer spending, they are waiting to see just how much the Affordable Healthcare Act and the new wealth taxes will cost them. A few small business owners are eager to utilize the Obama administration’s new programs to reward “insourcing” and “green” business. The program has little success however, as the program’s stipulations, along with all the government’s restrictions, make it impossible for these businesses to be profitable.
The upper tier rich begin to look for ways to divest their income to avoid paying the new wealth taxes. Many are placing most of their funds in overseas bank accounts. Wealthy businessmen, concerned about maintaining the profitability of their companies, many of whom would never have considered it before, are moving overseas. Many wealthy individuals are starting to consider the wisdom of leaving the United States entirely and taking up residence in a foreign country. A policy that was supposed to generate more revenue for the government has the unexpected result of prolonging the employment crisis.
In spite of another drop in interest rates, the housing market has also remained flat. As the year progresses, the Fed’s influx of cash has led to inflation. The increase in the cost of living, coupled with the lack of well-paying jobs has people reluctant to buy a home. What was a slow and cautious economic recovery has now become stagnant.
Obama Care has given many people who worried about the cost of healthcare, a reason to be hopeful. Adult children can now be carried on their parent’s insurance, and a person can’t be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. The trade-off is that now individuals are forced to carry health insurance or pay a penalty tax. In spite of subsidies, many small business owners cannot afford to cover their employees. This forced those employees to turn to the state insurance pools. While low-income people are given a tax incentive to cover the cost of this insurance, many mid level earners do not qualify. This leaves them with an added expense that they did not count on. Just one more item to juggle into an already tight budget.
In spite of continued attacks against American interests in the Middle East, President Obama expands his policy of acceptance and understanding of the Muslim culture. He meets regularly with the heads of radical Islamic groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He maintains his stance that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to stop the development of settlements on the West Bank. Meanwhile, Iran continues its so-called “peaceful” nuclear program. Even though this presents a clear danger to one of our most important allies, Obama is reluctant to call for stronger measures against them. He prefers to rely on the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, despite their lack of success………
As we see, during Obama’s fifth year in office, the world continues to be a dangerous and unstable place, both economically and culturally. While most Americans may not be worse off, very,very, few can say things are better. In my next post, we will see what it might look like during his sixth year.
The other day I was watching TV with my daughter when a commercial from one of Mitt Romney‘s Super Pacs came on. She sat shaking her head then stated. “I don’t like Mitt Romney”. This started a discussion on the comparison of the negativity of political campaigns. Her rather discouraging reply was, “don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Obama either. I don’t think either candidate is any good. I makes me not even want to bother voting.” This is her first time getting to vote in a Presidential election and she’s already so disgusted by the campaign crap that she’s just done with it all. I felt so disappointed for her, and so afraid for our future. I can still remember the pride I felt the first time I got to vote. Even after four years of Ronald Reagan, we could still feel the hopelessness of the demoralizing presidency of Jimmy Carter. Proud once again to call ourselves Americans, we young rural Texans were going to make sure we didn’t go there again. I was excited about going to that tin shed out behind the Old Rock Church, to mark my poster sized ballot and put it into the lock-box. I felt as though I were really making a difference. Not in any election since, have I felt that way.
No longer do we have the pleasure of electing a hero who will bravely lead our country to a place of honor and respect in the world. Now we have to settle for trying to discern who will do the least amount of damage. Gone are the grand designs for peace and prosperity, boldly put forth by men like President Reagan. We are left with mud-slinging salesmen and morally bankrupt hypocrites. We no longer go to the polls to elect a leader, we go instead to choose between the lesser of two evils. No wonder, that our young adults are so disillusioned.
Right now the America that has become the most prosperous nation on earth, the country the rest of the world looked up to as an example of leadership, and decency is in grave danger of perishing. Sitting in the Oval Office is a man whose personal philosophy is the polar opposite of that of our Founding Fathers. Someone who has no real understanding of an American culture, and no respect for the “separation of powers” established by our Constitution. Through deceit and subterfuge he bypasses the “checks and balances” of our system of government in order to push through his own agenda. A vision of America where those who live by their own hard work and ingenuity have to share the fruits of their labors with those who choose to do nothing. Where charity and compassion are no longer the way that men of integrity separate themselves from the lazy and selfish, but are government mandates instead. Where peace is bought by placating our enemies and abandoning our allies.
This may be the most critical election in our nation’s history. Made even more so by those who have been beguiled by Obama’s charismatic presence, into believing that his vision for America really will make their lives better. Those individuals are lost to us. Our only hope is to convince those who are undecided and especially those who feel that their vote doesn’t matter that an absent vote is the same as a vote for Obama. The only way to save our nation is for everyone who is tired of “politics as usual” to understand the disaster that four more years of Obama will bring. Mitt Romney needs your vote. The country needs your vote. Even if the choices aren’t great.
(Parts of this are reposted from an earlier post entitled “No Guts No Glory”.)
This Monday we will see billboards, bumper stickers, and car magnets all proclaiming “Support our Troops“, and “Freedom Isn’t Free”. Are these truly heart-felt words, displayed by proud patriots or are they meaningless platitudes, mindlessly quoted by pandering politicians? On this day there will be countless memorial services and tributes. But will we stop a moment and reflect on what this day really means or is it simply the beginning of summer? Just a day to have a picnic or barbecue.
I remember as a child hearing the stories of my mother, who, as a toddler underwent surgery on her foot. For years afterward she required special orthotic shoes that had to be replaced every time her foot grew. This was during WWII and rationing was in full force. Everyone was allowed only one pair of shoes a year. Including my mother. The government didn’t make a special exception because she was a child with a medical condition. Her parents didn’t demand that she was entitled to more ration coupons because of a unique hardship. Instead they gave up their ration coupons to get her the shoes she needed and when those ran out other family members, friends and neighbors donated theirs. Why was this necessary? Because the materials that were used to make shoes over here were needed to make shoes for the troops over there. Could you imagine giving up coffee, sugar, shoes and tires and sending them to the troops in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq? Could we ever again unite as a whole country behind an effort to rid our world of an unspeakable evil? Do we even know what evil is anymore?
The invention of photography as allowed us to see the horrors of war up close and personal. The flag draped coffins of our loved ones, the bloody, mangled bodies of our enemies, the atrocities. Faced with the horrifying reality that the price of freedom is blood, many of us have decided that the price is too high. We believe that the act of war, rather than the megalomaniacal ideals of ruthless men is the true evil and that nothing save our own personal survival is worth fighting and dying for.
The men who marched at Lexington and Concord, whose bodies covered the ground at Gettysburg, who raised the flag at Mount Suribachi, all understood the power of the words of our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution. That such a radical ideal as individual freedom, that men should control their own destinies, requires a collective sacrifice.
By looking to the government for our prosperity rather that demanding that our elected officials recognize the freedom to build that prosperity ourselves, by allowing the government the rights to our personal property, and by allowing the government to usurp and mismanaged our wages though an unnecessarily complicated tax code, we dishonor those who have fought and died to maintain those freedoms.
By allowing our schools to indoctrinate our children with the mantra that it is the government’s job to take care of us, to protect us from our own ignorance and folly, and that “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” is the highest morality, we dishonor those who fought and died for our right to think for ourselves.
Our Forefathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not to give us certain rights, but to preserve them. The government does not grant us our freedoms, rather we “the people” grant the government its right to exist. It’s time for us to “take back” our government and hold our elected officials accountable, for what they do with the money, property, time and power we “the people” give them.
In every election we have the opportunity to show that we truly understand the cost of our freedom and that it is precious. By taking the time and making the effort to research and vote for people truly worthy to serve us, and by reminding them regularly that they do, is how we prove that those who made the “ultimate sacrifice” did not do so in vain.
The Iowa Caucuses are coming, and the 2012 election is well underway. Soon our country will be awash in political advertising. Maybe awash is the wrong word, maybe flushed is more accurate. As we don our waders for another slog through the sewers of campaign muck, I would like to suggest an alternative strategy. Instead of the inane mudslinging and mind numbing irrelevant dirt digging, how about having the candidates use their very expensive airtime to actually inform us.
(For the sake of brevity I will use the grammatically correct masculine pronoun to mean both he and she.) My dream candidate will admit honestly to any skeletons in his closet before his opponents have a chance to discover them. This will show a humble candidate who can admit his mistakes, has the wisdom to learn from them and disarm his opponents in the process.
He will be able to defend himself against the criticisms thrown at him by the other candidates with honest and forthright answers.
He will use his advertising opportunities to inform us on his views, his record and his solutions to the problems facing our country. He will be truthful about his take on “hot button” issues. He will not try to spin his way out of a controversy, but will explain himself honestly and completely.
This dream candidate will absolutely refuse to engage in negative campaigning. No digging up thirty-year-old indiscretions, or irrelevant but inflammatory comments made by an opponent. No taking pieces of an interview out of context. No misquoting or twisting facts. The dream candidate will publicly disavow any private group who campaigns negatively on his behalf.
He will go on record, informing all campaign contributors that their support of his campaign will have no influence on his decisions and that his purpose in government is to represent his constituents.
I know. I’m dreaming. It will never happen. But it would be nice to see.