Why I Will and Why I Won’t

After weeks of leaning back and forth, I have finally come to what I believe is an informed and well reasoned decision in my vote for US President in 2008. I realize that this can be a controversial subject. I realize that this will go against some in my church community. I realize there is just as much brow beating and proselytizing in politics as there is in Christian theology. But I think it is important for us to be able, as a community of believers, as followers of Christ, and as citizens, to openly discuss our views and to openly accept as valid the views of those with whom we may disagree. In that spirit, I want to lay out why I have decided to vote for McCain-Palin and why I won’t vote for Obama-Biden.

At the start of all this, I really wanted to vote for Obama-Biden. In fact, earlier in the year I would say that this ticket had my vote. Probably, as recently as two weeks ago, I was still leaning in their direction. Over the last 2 months I have found myself wavering back and forth between the two sides, sometimes a couple times a week. I was seeing good things from both sides of which I wanted to be a part. Because of my wavering and because of my genuinely feeling like I was mostly unsettled on which candidate to chose, I upped the intensity of my search to understand each side in depth. I’ve read more print. I’ve watched more news. I’ve looked at more websites. And I have intentionally tried to expose myself 50/50 to both more liberal sources and more conservative sources. It is this search that has allowed me to come down solid on the side of McCain-Palin. And it really does not have much to do with the “traditional” conservative or Christian issues of abortion, stem cell research, same sex marriage, blah, blah, blah. It has much more to do with a fundamental difference between the two sides on the way they think about the US.

I’ve looked at plenty of sources from Christian guys whom I respect such as Brian McLaren who have openly stated their support for Obama-Biden. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of Christians who are openly supporting this camp. I think it is good for there to be room in Christianity for that which is other than “right wing” Republican. Most of these guys cite reasons for their support that center around justice for the poor, concern for the environment, a stance that uses force as a last resort in the world, and a recognition that US imperialism is not necessarily a good thing. We are not God’s “anointed nation” in the world, therefore justifying everything we do in the world as “God’s work.” I agree with all that. These are very critical issues, and I believe in all of them. I believe that we need to work on all of them. And I follow right along with Obama-Biden on the importance that they place on them. But I still won’t vote for them.

Now I am not voting for McCain-Palin because they have all the right answers to these issues. They don’t. But I do believe that they understand that these issues have critical importance to us and our world. I do think that these issues are on their radar in a big enough way. And I don’t think that John McCain is just another George Bush. President Bush has done a lot of good, especially on Home Land Security, but he has also struggled big time in several areas not the least of which is Irag. But Mr. McCain is a smart, solid, honest guy who understands where President Bush made mistakes and will work like a dog to correct them. But while I do feel the Senator McCain is a solid guy, I wouldn’t say that he is my ideal candidate, and I do think in some ways that my vote is more against Obama-Biden than it is for McCain-Palin. So why?

In short, Senator Obama is trying to bring about socialism. Plain and simple. His confession about “wealth redistribution” reveals what he truly thinks. And I don’t believe that socialism works on a large scale. I fully understand that early Christian communities were basically socialist in many ways, and that it worked well for them. And in small groups, I am willing to consider that socialism may even be a better way. But there are plenty of examples, even in small groups such as the first Plymouth colonies, where socialism was tried and abandoned because of failure. And in large groups, while I am aware that there are examples of socialism working as a form of government (some Eastern European countries for example), there are also plenty of examples of socialism leading to wide-scale human atrocities (Lenin, Stalin, Marx for example). Many would even say that socialism is just the first step towards communism, and that is certainly something of which I want no part as a form of government.

I have wondered why people in high places of government would want socialism. Is it because they are truly genuinely concerned about humanity and believe that this is the best way to get at the common good? I suppose that could be their motive. That would be the right motive. And I think that is what most of the outspoken Christian leaders have as their motive. But honestly, I think they are being fooled by the Obams-Biden rhetoric. I think they are believing in a hollow promise. I think the rhetoric is a sham. Government types want socialism because it brings them power. More power than they have now. And the thirst and lust for power is just as strong as the thirst and lust for money. So the saying goes, “How much is enough? Just a little bit more.” Socialism in government brings power to those in charge. And I am not willing to give them that much power. I don’t trust them with it.

So why else am I against socialism. I am against socialism because it removes individual responsibility. The government has all the power so it is the entity that becomes responsible. Socialism allows people to live on an excuse. It allows us to say it is not my fault. It removes our incentive to work hard and get better and fight against the injustice. It allows us to say that we don’t have to work hard to get better. It allows us to say that there is no value in the struggle. It falsely tells us that we can live without struggle and without pain and without effort. Socialism brings the false hope that it is a panacea for all that ails us. Those things are in this world, and they will always be a part of this world until its Creator brings it to rights himself. We can and should try to make it better. But I don’t think socialism is the best platform from which to start.

I fully realize that capitalism is not a panacea either. It has a tendency to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. It tends to kick those that are already down. In a lot of ways, it fosters consumption and greed. It can take our focus off the environment because we see it as a tool to use rather than for which something to care. It can bring about injustice for the sick and needy because of the fallacy that maybe they are getting what they deserve.  But our current system also fuels ingenuity and hard work and personal responsibility.  And I think that is a better foundation from which to tackle the issues that have been named above.

In closing, yes we have problems in the US and in the world that are very complex  and that need novel global solutions from a collaboration of all of us. But we need to be careful and cautious about how we approach those problems and solutions because while those solutions may in fact fix the current problems, along with those solutions will come a whole new set of problems. Both McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden are aware of the problems. Neither side is refusing to see them. And both are offering solutions. And in the end, I feel that the Obama-Biden solution package is just too dangerous. The new problems that would potentially come from their set of socialistic solutions have way too great a cost.


37 responses to “Why I Will and Why I Won’t

  1. Aloha

    Well I couldn’t help but be drawn to your post, by hapenstnace. Just a few things I would like to clarify for you…. Communism and socialism is NOT dictatorship or totalitarianism, there are fundamental differences within the dydactics (platforms) Socialism and communist theories are synonymous to the main idea that: “everyone has what they need, no one is left without.” Period! Now, I do agree, I dread the day we see despotic government, but, as you may know, every empire has had its fall, Rome, greece, Japan, England, and… it’s only a matter of time. If you are a man of the books, then you will know that in order for people to come to understand true wealth, which is agape love (unconditioned love) like the kind exhibited by the Saviour Jesus Christ (whom we killed out of selfish, bigoted, pride) Oh, and another thing: Believers should strive to not follow the dictates of men, and lean on their own understandings, as we know, mankind, and especially those in “power” are without unconditional love. Only by striving daily to live and forgive as Christ can change really occur, but, if we can make governmental changes in positive direction, then I am for it, so long as it is done in love and righteousness. Governments, some believers say, are “ordained of God” this I do not perscribe to, why? To put it in laymans reasoning, man is foulable, plain and simple, any real faith in men and not the precepts of God “which is love” will be eventually doomed to fall, and it is always darkest before the dawn. Faith preceeds miracles, and faith in either presidential candidate, however promising they may seem, is futile, for it is in God’s hands, the only thing we can do is stand against any tyrannical leader, republican, democrat, liberal, whomever. So, I say, stand for truth, speak it with love, and follow with faith in God, NONE ELSE!

    By the way, i don’t know if you’ve studied mr Karl Marx much, but in theory his ideologies are amazing, and, he was never a dictator, so equating him to stalin, Lennon, or even Hitler for that matter is very appauling and troubling to those of us who are victims of social inequality, and lack of adiquate health coverage.

    This needs expounding upon. I live as a very active, taxpaying, voting, educated disabled American. I am 4th gen American, I am an aspiring Social Worker, work full time, pay 20% on my taxes, and I use both a walker and wheelchair for mobility. Now, though I am an active participant in both my nation and community, I do not have health insurance? Why the heck might that be? Well, for starters, I have a neurological disorder called Cerebral Palsy, this affects my ambulation, not my intelligence, I have a 110 IQ, I work for a well known and respected higher education institution as a student services specialist, so I meet and intract with people from over 150 different countries on a daily basis. From these various perspectives I have come to validate all of God’s children, as myself. Back to my predicament, because I have what is known to health insurance compamies as a “pre-existing condition” that means an automatic DENIAL of any health insurance coverage, even if I can afford the audacious premiums. How’s that for equal, fair, and just? So, what do my tax dollers afford me, or the other 45 plus million Americans who have no insurance? Just that, no insurance. Oh, and since I work full time, I can’t get state insurance, I can’t get medicare anymore, oh, and I just lost what little SSI monies I used to try and survive on before employment, so, you tell me…. Socialism or another 8 plus years of millions of hard working, tax paying disabled americans with no coverage. I am ashamed God will not bless a nation who has no regard for the “least among them” but as God’s word boldy declares, “if you’ve done it unto the least of these, my bretheren you’ve done it unto me.” Let that truth settle with you as you ponder your choice. GOD be with you! Namaste


    Soldier of truth, light, and love

  2. As an addition sir, in an un just world, and in a nation (the USA) which consumes 80 percent of the worlds natural resources, while at the same time only comprising 20 percent of the world population, that is atrocious! I am a product of an affluent, college and life educated family, yet I have known both homelessness and poverty, now not poverty of spirit so much as of wallet and home. So, your statement that Cappitalism brings about ingenuity, maybe, it can allow for upward mobility, to start with nothing so to speak, and gain something, but again, truest wealth comes from real happiness, which is giving, serving, loving. Money does not bring true wealth, happiness is true wealth and brings about true money. So, I do not agree respectively with the key ideologies of capitalistic governance, which, always end up feeding greed. ALoha

    – Soldier of truth, light, and love

  3. Eric. Thanks for finding me by happenstance. You are one of the first comments I have had from someone whom I do not know personally. I am honored that you took the time to check me out.

    I hear what you are saying. I see your situation daily. I am a physician, working in a clinic that provides care to mostly uninsured, Medicaid, and Medicare in a Catholic hospital system. And because I cover the uninsured population at the hospital too, my workload is increasing. You bring to light a very complicated problem which will demand equally complicated solutions. With the recent economic crash, I was amazed to learn that it would cost about $150 billion to insure all the uninsured. We gave 7 times that to Wall Street. That is horrendous, and I do not support it. But, it is not as easy as just spending the money to insure everyone. If 50 million Americans all of a sudden receive coverage there are not enough clinics and hospitals and physicians to handle that burden. The problem is not just one of transferring money to the right place or giving it to the right people. And I agree with you that this must be a top priority.

    Capitalism though is not the problem and Socialism will not fix it. The problem ultimately lies in the hearts of man. We are selfish, self-centered beings who watch out largely for ourselves first and give some of the pieces of whatever we had left to others. You’re right, Marxism has very solid ideology that on paper works out very well. Likewise, capitalism and socialism on paper both work out very solid ideologies. But when selfish hearts begin to implement noble ideology, eventually corruption results. And that is why the US empire will not last forever as you have pointed out. It will be China’s and India’s time again, probably sooner than later.

    I don’t mean to claim that capitalism is a panacea for our problems. It is not. But socialism is not either. It may solve some problems but will bring a whole new slate of problems with it. We currently operate under capitalism with some socialism lurking about in some areas. I don’t know that ushering in full-blown socialism will solve anything.

    And how are you certain that Obama-Biden will bringing about positive change with love and righteousness? I don’t think William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright say to me that Obama is about love.

  4. Though I am not american, I think youre association with Obama and Socialism are way off base. As an outsider it sometimes is easier to see when something needs changing. Take a hard look at McCain and you will see an old man. Obama may have some very different takes than what your country is used to, but I(and the world) think change is needed and McCain sure doesnt look like change is his strong suit.

    “The definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

  5. Maybe the fact that you are not an American makes it hard for you to see the magnitude of change Obama is trying to bring about. There is a huge problem with personal irresponsibility in the US. Everyone blaming everyone else for their problems. No one taking responsibility for themselves. Obama’s policies will, I believe, validate that way of thinking, and I want no part of that. The US society will crumble further under that kind of leadership. I don’t believe it is the best path to take.

    I realize McCain is an old man. And that makes me nervous. But that does not automatically disqualify him either. On the flip side of that, Obama is so young that he has almost no experience. I think those are weaker arguments though on for whom to vote.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am troubled by both sides and wish there were a better candidate for whom to give my full support. But I don’t. I don’t really like either of them all that much. But I think McCain is much more near the center than his Republican cohorts. I believe that he will get us out of Irag, have much more concern for the environment, bring about meaningful health care and welfare reform, downsize the government and reduce wasteful government spending. Much of what Obama proposes takes away personal responsibility and increases the size of the government. And in the end I don’t get a sense that I can trust him all that much.

    Thanks so much for checking me out. I will do the same.

  6. Thanks for sharing your thinking on this matter, I really enjoyed reading your post.

  7. Um, yeah. Socialism is usually defined as “state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” I can’t say that this is what Obama is advocating.

    It seems more likely that Obama is advocating progressive taxation, an increase of the tax rate for those who make more money. This is what I see in phrases like “spread the wealth around.” Higher taxation for the rich, turned into social services for the poor.

    It’s not like this is a radically new thing. We’ve had progressive taxation before, and we’ll have it again. Programs like welfare and medicare are, in many ways, just an extension of this idea. Tax everyone and redistribute the funds to those who are destitute, or who can’t afford insurance.

    It seems alarmist to call this “socialism”. It’s not pure social-darwinist laissez-faire capitalism (“The drunk in the gutter is exactly where he deserves to be!”) but it’s not socialism.

  8. how did we get out of the Great Depression? by FDR’s supposed SOCIALIST ideals. these are weak socialism at the most agregious comparisons. trickle down economics does not work as what trickles down isn’t fit to consume. just look at church tithing, those with the least give a higher percentage than those with higher incomes.

    if economics is why you’re voting one way or another, best check this article first: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/magazine/24Obamanomics-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

  9. Oh, btw, you may be interested in this:

    John McCain giving his take on progressive taxation, from back in 2000. He’s not for it to the extent that Sweden is (but neither is Obama.) But he did say, at least back then, that progressive income tax was fair because the rich could afford to pay more, because the rich have greater means to elude taxation, and because the middle class suffered a greater burden due to the plethora of other taxes.

    As for Palin, in a recent article in the New Yorker, she talks about how she stood up to the Oil companies. This is particularly interesting:

    “And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

    Collective ownership of resources. THAT sounds like socialism.

    I’m not trying to use the “you too” fallacy, nor am I trying to be a pest. I’m simply saying that redistribution of wealth is a part of American politics, and neither party is really immune to it. We all seem to agree that there should be a floor under the unfortunate – actually, all the developed countries have. If you want flat tax, with no welfare, medicare, social security, etc., I think you’re better off going Libertarian.

  10. Joshua and Luke. Thanks for checking me out and commenting, you guys. You are not being a pest and the “you too” does not bother me. I agree that redistribution of wealth already exists to some extent in American politics. And I certainly am not against social programs such as welfare, medicare, social security, etc. They have problems that need fixing for sure, but I am not against them. Hence the reason I am not Libertarian. I also agree that progressive taxation is reasonable. Those that make more should pay more tax.

    The part of Obama’s plan that concerns me is mainly the philosophy behind it, and the fact that many who are supporting him seem to do so with the belief that all the woes of the poor will finally be gone. His philosophy makes individuals more dependent on the government and goes a long way towards removing our sense of individual responsibility. We already have a society that tries to come up with an excuse for everything. No one wants to admit their fault. I see Obama’s plan as furthering that way of thinking, and I think that will damage us more in the end than it will help us.

    I have no problem with giving to the poor. In fact, I think we should be doing more. I give regularly of time and money to just that. And I don’t pretend to believe that capitalism is just the greatest system either. It has plenty of problems. So my differences are, I believe, philosophical and not economical as Luke suggests. Many seem to be eager to jump into advancing a more socialistic style of government which in the end I believe will enlarge the government, further the problem of lack of individual responsibility, and put us in a worse place in the end.

    Thanks for being passionate about what you believe. I like it.

  11. America has long (if not always) played “capitalist” principles against “socialist” principles. (I put those words in quotes because, as others have mentioned, the meanings of those words in the context of American politics is not necessarily what you would find in a textbook.) We believe that self-interest is what motivates people. That is why we encourage the free market as much as we do — it promotes hard work, innovation, service, and low prices. But it also promotes lying, cheating, stealing, and other evil and counter-productive behavior. And that is why we so often turn to the government to keep these negative impulses in check. Of course, government officials are just as prone to the temptations of power as CEOs are. We have an ugly system where big government, big business, and lots of little voters and consumers battle it out. It’s amazing, really, that it doesn’t explode from all the tension. But somehow it holds together. Probably due to God’s grace as much as anything.

    Thanks for this gutsy post, and your thoughtful approach to voting.

  12. I almost forgot. Joshua and Luke, I will check out the links you gave me. Thanks for supplying them.

    2reasons. Glad to see you back again. Well said. There is plenty of corruption to go around and tipping the system towards socialism will not change that, it will just change the corruption.

  13. Look at all your new friends!

  14. FSR

    I find it interesting that you would consider yourself “Christian”, yet it seems youre not that inspired when someone says they hope to “share the wealth”. In Essence isnt this what Jesus wanted us to do, Help the poor, disenfranchised, and less fortunate? If I read you right you are seem to be worried that the Strong will have to take care of the weak. Correct me if thats a wrong interpretation.

  15. That accusation bothers me.

    It would seem that compassion and sharing is something that should characterize a believer or follower of any faith. Does being compassionate mean that there are no limits to sharing? Is there a point at which you can still be “Christian” and say “I’m done sharing the wealth (or whatever it may be), it’s time for you to work to earn your own wealth?” Do you give until it begins to hurt? Where is that line for someone who still wants to be a serious person of faith?

    I’m not saying I have the answer, just wondering.

    I would hope that just because someone claims to be of a certain faith that people in the world would know that none of us are perfect people and that we’re all ‘in process.’ Being a “Christian” and not adhering perfectly to what everyone else thinks a “Christian’ should be is not just bad advertising….it’s a person ‘in the process” of becoming a better “Christian.” A little grace can go a long ways!

  16. Hey dont get me wrong, were all growing in some area. I just find it interesting that someone who attaches to a faith, and the central theme of the faith is helping the less fortunate is not really that interested in helping. Its not like your Government is known for being overly generous. The culture you live in is known for Capitalism not Socialism, so I cant see how the strong has been giving too much. The “Reality” is the strong gets stronger unless there are at least some socialist ideas to prevent that. I dont know you personally so just take this as a generalization ;)

  17. Karmenl. Thanks for the well thought out, passionate response. It is very difficult to consider when and if there is a line at which giving should stop. And thanks for pointing out that we are all imperfect beings on the journey of life.

    TitforTat. I would like to respond to your invitation, not to correct you but to explain myself better so you will perhaps more accurately understand me. Please hang in with me. I do consider myself a follower of Christ and I do wholeheartedly agree that Christ instructed by his own words and example to help the “poor, disenfranchised, and less fortunate” to use your words. I am all in favor of this and in fact see it as my obligation and society’s obligation to meet this challenge head on. The thing that I find both problematic and interesting is that for you and many others who give their support to Obama, and including Obama himself, that assistance or help is centered on giving the poor, disenfranchised, and less fortunate, money. And while I do think money is part of the solution, it is only a very small part and probably not the most important.

    I am a physician and work for a non-profit hospital system that has as it mission statement taking care of the poor, downtrodden, and underserved. On a daily basis, I am involved in caring for the population of which you speak. And while money would help them in certain circumstances, it will never come close to solving all of their problems. In fact, most of the time, it will just leave them with the same problems and a bit more money. The main thing that is needed, in all honesty, is life coaching so that these people can develop the skills necessary to keep themselves off the bottom of life. They need somebody to truly care enough to take the time to help them with relationships and parenting and managing their money and life skills, etc. Yes, money is needed and is a necessary part of the solution, but money alone is so very very far away from the complete solution. So in one sense, if all I do is give money and nothing else, I am not being very loving, caring, and compassionate at all. It has nothing to do with being worried that the strong will have to care for the weak. The strong should take care of the weak. But with far more than dollars. I hear little of this kind of talk from the Obama camp and his supporters. But I also hear little of this kind of talk from the McCain camp. So why have I decided on McCain since both camps fall short?

    I believe that Obama’s socialistic style plan, to take money from the rich and redistribute it in a welfare style program to the poor, while it will accomplish giving the poor money, will actually make all the other items of which I speak, more difficult to achieve. And this is why: a broad plan to just regularly supply people money that is sourced through the federal government, I believe, gives people the false impression that they are not responsible for themselves. We already live in an age of irresponsibility which runs rampant. We don’t want to be responsible for our actions. Obama’s plan makes that worse. And exactly the opposite needs to happen. People need to see that they are, at least in part, responsible for themselves. It is not always somebody elses fault. You are not always the vicitm. No one else made you do it. In my personal experience described above, that attitude already makes trainig people in new life skills incredibly challenging. For that attitude to get worse and expand would make it near impossible. And that does not seem very loving to me. It does not seem like truly caring for people. Obama’s plan to me looks more like a band-aid of money that we just slap on to cover the real core of the problem.

    Now this is a plan that I could go for: a graduated tax plan that redsitributes wealth from the strong into widescale life skills coaching for the poor and downtrodden and sick. I wouldn’t be opposed to even including money in that package for people that are going through the training. And I realize that this is a socialistic idea that I have just put forth. But, as I have stated, I am not against all socialistic ideas. But I do have a big problem with the way Obama is approaching it. So I will vote for McCain because I don’t see him proposing a plan that I think is bad for people. That to me is the truly loving thing to do.

    Have I even made any sense? I hope so. It is all organized very well in my head but maybe not so much on cyberpaper.

  18. FSR

    I work in health care too. In fact one of the things we do in our clinic is also to help with life skills, my wife is a Life coach and Natural health practioner. I agree with you whole heartedly. I will say this upfront, I am your neighbour(Canandian) so the outcome does not affect me to the same degree that it will you. The truth is though, much of the problem(as I can see) comes from a top heavy system that has pervaded your Nation for a while and while it may be mostly do to the incompetence of the last 8 yrs, there are others who are to blame as well. Both Democrats and Republicans. Whether Obama is going to a great job remains to be seen, but it is clearly a better choice than the status quo. And trust me when I say this, John McCain/Sarah Palin is as close to the Status quo as youll get. A military hawk and a Right wing Evangelical. The Terrorists are licking their chops and praying to Allah that McCain can pull this rabbit out of the hat. Your problems are deep and will not be traversed easily, the thing is as my neighbour you can definately affect my home by bringing home bad party guests.

  19. TFT.

    I am very excited that we have found some common ground. This is a great discussion, and I hope others are observing.

    You have said something that I have heard from no one else anywhere, that being the terroism wants McCain in charge. If that is in the American media, I have missed it. In fact, I have heard the exact opposite from even the most liberal of media outlets (probably NBC). So I would like you to exand on this for me. Your comment is very intriguing.

    As for McCain being the status quo, I am not so sure that is true. When it comes to the Republican Party (I am a registered Independent), McCain really is far towards the middle. In fact he is so much so that many convservative commentators called him a “Democrat” during the primaries. Because of that, he had to pick somebody to shore up the right wing evangelical Christian base on which he must rely if he is to be elected. Sarah Palin does that for him. Plus I think he showed a lot of guts making a pick like her. I don’t like her right-wing-evangelical-ness any more than you do, but he had to do it. And unless you can convince me that terroism loves McCain I see him being a “military hawk” as a good thing when dealing with foreign policy. He knows how to get us out of Iraq correctly and how to deal with all those out there who want to cause havoc to the world in general. And while I do agree that the top-heavy system here is very problematic, I think McCain is just the type to stand up against those with power and cut out the crap. I know his self description as “maverick” receives a lot of comedy, but it also has truth to it. I see him as the guy who has enough guts to do the difficult work. Obama seems weak.

  20. Doug(hope thats ok)

    Strength doesnt come from being tough. Flexibility is the issue and McCain doesnt have it. Think of the reed being blown around by the Hurricane, the steadfast oak on the other hand, is shattered. Your enemies will be your enemies regardless of who you elect. Its the moderate wordly individual that you need to affect. It is much easier to recruit suicide bombers when your leader is just rough and tough and not very flexible. McCain is that man, he makes recruitment easy. Now on the other hand, here you have a man who is young, intelligent, diverse, and has a willingness to explore other options(flexibility). You may not believe this, but just because you havnt had an attack since 911, dont think you are actually safer now than before. Since the attacks, your foreign policy has made the world more volatile for all of us. Extreme Islam is on the rise not declining. And remember you guys can blow anyone out there right off the face of the planet, but their still trying to get you. Sarah Palin is a Joke, You seem to a pretty smart individual, how can you not see how totally overwhelmed she is. Its my understanding that she only recently got a passport, are you serious enough to allow someone like that have their hand on the pulse of your nation. Its ridiculous. I am total disagreement with a man of that age being president or any other leader of a Nation. They make wise advisors, but as you know their mental faculties are dulling and with the stress he would encounter, I surmise that dulling would speed up. Not only your country, but “OUR” world needs change. For the present time you guys can have a profound affect on some positive change, but remember your day in the sun is surely setting. So take advantage of it while there is still some light.

    John T.

  21. By the way, what state are you in?

  22. Im Curious, did you get your Tattoo?

  23. TFT-
    You’ve made me think. I know it’s not rocket science to the rest of the world, but as an American I think I am naive, blinded, arrogant, and the list goes on…..as to how our policies and practices REALLY affect the rest of the world ( and not just those living within our borders). My life is pretty good here for the most part and I think it’s difficult for me, at times to put myself in other’s shoes when there is no threat to my safety (usually) or livelihood.

    It shocks me to hear someone say, “it’s not like your government is known for being overly generous.” I’m not saying I disagree with the statement after some thought, but it’s disconcerting to know that other countries and their citizens think that about us. Ouch!

  24. TFT.

    I’m OK with Doug if you are OK with John. I currently live in Kansas. Not so great for a guy who loves the ocean and loves to surf. But I was born in California and was raised there and in Washington and in Colorado. And, yes, I did get my tattoo, a nice Ironman M-Dot on my right calf. I am racing in the 2009 Arizona Ironman too.

    You have given me a whole different perspective to think about here. I don’t know that I have enough hard thought to the US position in the world and how our election affects the rest of the world. We certainly do need to be thinking of ourselves as a global community in many ways. You words about flexibility ring true.

    I hope I have not given the impression that I think McCain is the perfect candidate. I am plenty nervous about his age as you have pointed out. And I am plenty nervous about Palin too. I would not want her to be President. Maybe I should be more nervous about all of that. But my nervousness about Obama is very real at the same time. As I have said before, I don’t think either camp is ideal. In some ways it feels like picking the lesser of two evils.

    Let me process what you have said a bit more. I have put in about 15 hours on call today and tried to keep up with this explosion of hits on my blog all at the same time. My brain is tired. Good night.

  25. Hey Doug and karmen

    There are 2 articles in the Ottawa sun newspaper today. Ottawasun.com. The Journalists names are Michael Den Tandt and Michael Harris. You might find them interesting.

  26. FSRT, thanks for the kind response. i’m just here to help try and get you to consider what you’re saying and hope’n for a conversion experience. ;-) i really like your posts on de-con and agree with much of your theology, but when it comes to economics and a fear of socialism, i think you need not look any farther than the gospels. Jesus sounds very much Marxist in many of the passages in terms of re-distribution of the wealth.

    for your concern of “His philosophy makes individuals more dependent on the government and goes a long way towards removing our sense of individual responsibility. ”

    i don’t see it that way. i think the market was skewed the past 5 years to those making over $250,000, of which i do not fall into. maybe you do and that’s why your anxious. so with a coagulation of assets into one sector of soceity, that only leads to stagnation and wholesale economic loss. look at feudalism! that’s why i’m completely opposed to reaganomics or trickle-down or even supply-side economics. it just doesn’t work in the long run.

    if we want to move forward, it can only be through the middle class. providing jobs and that has a benefit to the CEO’s. but i see greed has gotten to them and hence the shipping jobs overseas etc. etc. time to lessen the gap between rich and poor and reading that new yorker article will really show how Obama will do it.

    i simply haven’t heard enough of McCain to tell what he’s going to do to fix this state of economics that would be different from Bush. he’s too vague, where Obama is spelled out and ready with a response to our current context.

    prayers for your discernment. thank you for your time and consideration!

  27. “There are 2 articles in the Ottawa sun newspaper today. Ottawasun.com. The Journalists names are Michael Den Tandt and Michael Harris.”

    Which one wrote the Male Sex Survey and which one wrote about the escaped wallaby? (I really hope the two stories aren’t connected)

    Sorry, just nice to see that the Canadian press can be vapid too.

    Anyway, the Harris piece was interesting because of the balance it gave on Obama. With all the cries of “Socialist” and “Defeatist,” it’s interesting to see that he appears conservative to our northern neighbor.

    Which is an interesting point, really. Freestyleroadtrip – if progressive taxation and social services result in “removing our sense of individual responsibility,” why haven’t we seen these effects in Europe and Canada? Canada has been far more progressive than we have, yet the worst you can say is that it’s boring.

  28. i was talking to my wife about this very issue, here’s what she had to say “Waaaaait a minute! I thought Barack Obama was a Marxist socialist commie. How can he be a Muslim? Everyone knows that all Muslims are murderous terrorists who strive to overthrow the governments of the world to replace them with a theocratic mohammadan caliphate! That’s not socialism!

    Barack must not be a very good Muslim. Or a very good socialist. In fact, I’m starting to think the whole thing sounds a little fishy. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.”

    i knew i married her for a reason ;-)

  29. Luke. I am not in the 250K and above group either. And really, it is not the economics that have made me nervous. It is what the philosophy behind will end up doing to us that causes me to pause. You have mentioned “converting” me, and I would say that I am trying to keep an open mind to that. Every other election to this point, I have always voted republican without really ever giving it a thought. It was probably the abortion, same sex, stem cell goop that kept me on that side. By my theology has done a 180 and now I find myself torn. Part of the reason for my post was to get some people like all of you pushing on me and trying to counter me. I figured that is a great way to get different perspectives. So I am considering everything that comes at me. If I voted right now I would vote for McCain for the reasons I have put down, but I am honestly searching for what I think is best for the common good, and if I do end up changing my mind, I will be open and up front and honest about it right here. I started a book by Rob Bell just last night called, “Jesus Wants To Save Christians.” From just the first few pages I can tell that it may be powerful in helping me “convert” as you call it. We’ll see. I’ll get it read over the weekend.

    Josh. I am interested in how you think Canada has been far more progressive. In what ways? I don’t see it. Enlighten me.

  30. “Josh. I am interested in how you think Canada has been far more progressive.”

    Truthfully, I don’t know. It’s just an article of faith among liberals in this area. Whenever we get sick of Bush, we roll our eyes and say, “That’s it! I’m moving to Canada!.” We have some notion that Canada is a utopian society with socialized medicine and polite citizens.

  31. God Damn were not that polite ;)

    I know its true British Columbia does grow some nasty good pot, but hey, that doesnt mean we have a Utopian society.

  32. Great discussion to follow. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and I can share a bit more of how Susanna and I have come out on the election.

  33. Wow… way to get your comment stream up. You are an agent provacateur!

  34. thanks for your consideration. i think the reasons behind Obamanomics is in response to the past 8 years of supply-side failure. i feel McCain is too vague on this issue and hasn’t said anything to distance himself from Bush. i think Obama has enough variation in his plan as not to be labeled completely socialist, neo-liberal nor capitalist.

    i think it’s the best thing i’ve heard out there yet. now on energy is where Obama and i differ. i think the picken’s plan is a very balanced and pragmatic approach. McCain on the other hand, is “drill baby drill” and screw that!

    thank you again for the conversation and consideration. RAWK!


    This one is REALLY bugging me. First of all…..call it what you want, but Obama’s economic plan is NOT socialist. You want a socialist economic plan….check out France in the 90’s under Mitterand. THAT my friends is socialism. Not this. Yes, there are socialistic elements to Obama’s economic plan. However, let me remind you that it was REPUBLICAN White House, Treasury, and Fed officials who just recently had the government buy large quantities of stock in the largest 10 banks in the country. Hmm this would in fact “Nationalize” the banks……which that would smack of…….????? (Hint: the answer would be …….yup, you guessed it….SOCIALISM! Yes, socialism can happen under either party and, at times, can be appropriate in its implementation! )
    Look, I understand that if you’re a private business owner and you make more than $250k a year you are NOT looking forward to potential new taxes. That’s fair enough. However, what does one do with over $250k per year? Seriously, I’d like to know. Oh, I know that I can think of a lot of things I COULD do with $250k or more per year…but I can’t think of many that would be essential to life. So perhaps a bit more in taxes wouldn’t necessarily be out of line when compared with those of us earning close to the poverty marker, eh?

    Also, I can’t think of one person on my list of friends who would qualify in that category. (Oddly enough I can think of several friends who have posted multiple articles slamming the policy though….odd, eh?)

    To those of you who are slamming this policy as being un-christian or immoral…….really? 1.) You REALLY think Jesus would NOT support taxing those who make the most in a country to help those who are impoverished, struggling, or in need? SERIOUSLY? 2.) 1% of this country controls 95% of its wealth. While that number in and of itself might say something, all I’ll really say is that something tells me that the 1% can afford a bit of an increase in their taxes. (Somehow I think Paris Hilton and Britney Spears can afford a little extra out on the payroll to help me survive)

  36. Good Morning Doug and Carmen

    Do you guys have an email address, I have some articles I think you might like.


  37. Thank you for your gratitude, and taking the time to make a rebuttal, just to clarify a comment you made to my comments. When I was writing about this post… Sir, I do NOT think Obama and Biden are going to bring about change towards love and righteousness… never stated that…? So, to put that comment into context a bit, men are not righteous, not one! You should know that. So, Obama-Biden, both men, both sinners, both foul able, and, both men I did not vote for! I wrote in Dr. Ron Paul… I voted on principle, though I did stand as a minority, I feel my vote was not wasted.

    When you think hard about the state of things to come, biblically speaking, what happened on election day, for better or worse will be a turning point. My allegiance is NOT to a country, but should only be with God. As should any follower of God. There has been an ideology and an indoctrination within some sects of Christian Religion that implies: “Government is ordained of God” which, is a lie! Government of men, by men, for men, will persih, as it has in times pass, as we are witnessing today, the word has fortold of a new Babylon falling, whether it be America, the world as a whole, the point being, no matter who is in office, the will of God is going to be manifest by what we as a people do, by what we omit, and by our outright disregard for things of light. In the end of days, Men (humankind) will become lovers of their own selves , slaves to their flesh, and, no I do not and will never put my faith in a political candidate to do “God’s will”. My path, your path, and everyone else’s are our own, and we all have to answer to God, never to a man, even if they are a president. I hope this puts to rest your interpretation of my love and righteousness statement. That has to do with each of our walks and communication with God, love and righteousness are daily hopes, we rise one day, only to fall the next, but if we rise with ambitious eyes, and an eye and heart single to the Glory of God (which is the epitome of Love, the essence of it) then, and only then, when we “die daily” as the apostle Paul has written, then we can come to know that even in our fallacy, even in our infirmities, it is our Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love) that is to be the catalyst that carries any of us through, never a hope of “change” from an imperfect man. “Love is the greatest goal man can aspire to.” Viktor E Frankl

    Faith precedes the miracle. So, if we aspire to love one another within us outwards towards others, then, even when we fail, we can move forward, even when we succeed, we will move forward, but only with a heart of peace and love, which comes when we are made aware of our shortcomings, built up through faith and never a religiosity, never a “church” never a man, the body of Christ, the potential to live as Christ, as a person with deep love, is within each of us, however, as we both know, free choice has been given to us, when the time comes, and our curtain of this life is called, this will be (for us, when we die) a recap, a vision, a time of reflection, and.. for us (as individuals) when we pass from this earth, a time of judgment. So, the last days are everyday, everyday someone dies, so for that person, they meet their judgment. I will, everyone will! When that is, none of us know, but, we will never receive a witness until after we are tried in faith. So, as I write this to you, I write it to me, to all… Faith before fear, live in constant reflection, daily reconciliation, and know that no man truly knows another, but we are to love even those who may despise us, or those who conspire against love, against righteousness. I do not personally know any of the politicians who ran for office, nor any of whom will run in the future, but that is not pertinent to the reality that as a creation, as a people, as life, we all will account one day for the choices we make, and those we did not.

    your brother in life, love, faith, imperfection, truth, and daily awareness to the Almighty, God!

    Soldier of truth, light, and love

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