Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Please Stop Pointing out the Cover of People's Skin, When the Conversation Is about the Content of Their Character

While many Democrats and liberals may not understand this, for a conservative who closely follows politics, Barack Obama is a nightmare.  This is a man who stands for the killing of babies and consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being, believes in socialism and writes in his book that he sought out his Marxist professors, tries to portray the Bible in a controversial and questionable light (see his speech from Jun 28 2006), and has now appointed a judge who believes that prayers spoken before legislative sessions should not say “Jesus” or “Savior”. While these viewpoints may delight some, they are the antithesis of my beliefs, and those of many across the nation. I don't understand how any Christian or conservative could feel differently. 

However it's interesting to note that people of color are regularly suggesting that folks who do not agree with policies of Barack Obama are racist. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, that we should judge a person not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I understand and empathize with the deep feelings of emotion that people of color feel when they see our first black president.  In fact I believe that it's high time our country put our money where our mouth is when it comes to race and politics.  But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alluded, the color of the man's skin should not be the reason he is supported. 

I think that many have lost sight of this.  I have repeatedly heard African-Americans say that they voted for Obama because they wanted “someone that looked like them”.  Is this the right reasoning? I also repeatedly heard during the election that Obama would not win because “they aren't going to let a black man win”.  This was clearly an absurd statement, and did not reflect the opinion of the majority of Americans, black, white or otherwise. 

Recently my wife was discussing policy issues she does not agree with that the Obama administration holds, with a black friend.  It wasn't very far into the discussion when the question came up “is all this about 1 man/woman or is this a racist statement about a President that happens to be a Black man?” I was shocked.  If you are a diehard conservative, you are unlikely to ever support a liberal, and vice versa. 

America needs to regain focus here.  Other than an interesting historical fact, the color of Barack Obama’s skin really doesn't matter, except perhaps to a few radical people who either love or hate him because of the narrow viewpoint.  The rest of us need to come together and understand that it is the content of his character, the things that he does, the beliefs and viewpoints that he holds that can shape the destiny of this country in a very positive or very negative way. 

And for God's sake, please stop pointing out the cover of people's skin, when the conversation is about the content of their character.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama's "Change" Can Change Quickly

Today's world needs calm US leadership that shows a steady trusted hand. For instance, Russia and China are calling for the demise of the dollar, asking the IMF to create a new currency that will be the Global Standard. When it comes to a steady trusted hand, the Obama administration is letting us down. They are constantly flip flopping from one position to the other, showing that character and principle are not their guiding purpose. When the Bush administration took a stand, whether you agreed with it or not, you could be sure they were willing to ride the tide of public and global opinion to stand for their belief in what was right for America. Let’s look at how quickly our current administration drops its leadership ball:


Nailing the Soldiers: Last week the administration floated a plan to save $500 million a year on the cost of veterans insurance.  The idea was that if a veteran comes back from war wounded, and manages to get a job with private health insurance, that the Veterans Administration would bill the veterans private health insurance for the healthcare related to their war wounds.  Now I ask you, what hiring agent would give a job to a wounded veteran, if they knew it would drive up health insurance costs for the rest of the employees of the company?  Answer: none.  The administration demonstrated that it could not be trusted to think out the disastrous outcome of the plan in advance of scheduling them for review with Congress.  The outrage over this plan by the administration caused an immediate outcry from all angles.  Powerful Democrats in the Congress came out against the plan, questioning the administration's integrity toward veterans.  Showing a lack of principled integrity to his policy plans, the Obama administration came out the next day reversing this widely decried and unethical plan.  To cover the wound, Obama promise to stop the controversial Stop Loss program, effectively stealing credit from Robert Gates, who for six months has been suggesting an end to the program.  Or did someone think that overnight the administration could create their own plan that had been six months in the making?


War with Mexico: this month, the administration abrogated the NAFTA treaty, ignoring the requirements in it by canceling the Mexican Trucking Pilot Program, prompting Mexico to raise tariffs on $2.4 billion of US goods bound for Mexico, one of the four largest importers of American goods. This program showed real revenue savings for American companies who no longer had to pay extra fees at the border for good to be transferred from one truck to another, and allowed the Mexican or American truck to deliver the goods from the shipper to the consignee without interruption. Yo at u can read more about that HERE. Bowing to pressure from the Teamsters Union, the administration moved to hurt the US, make business more expensive for American companies, and broached the integrity of American signatories to the NAFTA treaty, citing safety concerns.  But this was an outright malfeasance that the administration tried to hide, burying it in the $400 billion omnibus spending bill, and making liars of themselves when it comes to being open and accountable.  If there were safety concerns, why not address them through the mediation program set up for NAFTA, that has been openly and accountably negotiated for years?  The truth was there were no safety concerns.  The Mexican truck program shown by the data compiled by the US Department of Transportation that the Mexican trucks coming into the US were safer, less likely to have accidents, better maintained, and met far more stringent safety requirements than the US trucks headed south of the border.  Indeed the Mexican trucks had a safety rating as high as or higher than any trucking company operating in the United States.  But the administration is showing that it doesn't care about facts, saving American businesses money, or the accountability that comes from the democratic process of open debate, opting instead to hide their decisions by burying them in unrelated bills hundreds of pages long, and sent to Congress. And now, due to the immediate trade war with Mexico it started, it turns out that the administration will create a new Mexican trucking program.  This is yet another example of Obama bowing to special interest group pressure, making choices that are bad for the United States, acting on them before thinking about them, and then having to reverse himself after the fact.


Let us Hope that the administration can Change, and will begin to carefully weigh policy initiatives prior to making them, so that the end result can be stated policy that makes sense for America, and doesn't require an immediate backpedaling from the president.  American global leadership does not start with breaking international trade treaties, and reversing our policy initiatives constantly.