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August 29, 2008

Rant Following Obama’s Acceptance Speech

What follows is kind of a “stream of consciousness” rant based on my reactions from Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech last night during the Democratic National Convention.

After Obama’s speech last night I was very disappointed in him. Honestly, I saw the night as historic and wanted to enjoy the moment 45 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I expected to hear an uplifting speech that talked about the greatness of America. In spite of my reservations regarding Obama’s vision and viewpoints on many issues, I was prepared to take pride in the process and a nation that could overcome slavery and racial prejudice to consider a minority for the highest office in the land. However, in spite of my best intentions, Obama turned me off and actually made me angry.

For starters, you can’t give 95% of families a tax cut when a huge percentage of them pay nothing in taxes. He simply lied since it’s impossible. How can you cut somebody’s taxes who doesn’t pay taxes? Obama likes to criticize George W. Bush but at least Bush told the truth when he said everybody who paid taxes would get a tax cut. If elected, Obama will have to cut taxes on “the rich” to even partially keep that 95% pledge. (See here for a chart breaking down who pays taxes — note the bottom 50% of income earners pay less than 3% of federal income taxes and the top 1% pay almost 40%!)

You can’t tax the rich enough to pay for and simultaneously grow the economy enough to do everything Obama promised last night. What I heard was old-fashioned, liberalism politics as usual and I hated it.  He painted a very dark and exaggerated picture of my country and then promised to fix it.  Remember all the “I will” statements?  It’s not his money to spend as he sees fit. And then there was that crazy political promise to end our dependency on foreign oil in 10 years while only hinting at the possibility of drilling. That’s impossible unless we rapidly increase supply or remove about half the cars in the country.

As a small business owner I shuddered to think of what he’s planning to do to people who produce goods and services and hire others.  He can paint a sad picture of people losing their jobs from being sick, etc. but it’s not business’ responsibility to hire people. That’s a by-product. It’s business’ responsibility to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to their customers. We all don’t like delays. Take an airline, for example. A pilot or mechanic or whatever cannot continually not show up for work, whatever the good reasons may be, and expect to keep his or her job.  It’s not the airline’s responsibility to protect his or her job. It’s their responsibility to fly people safely.

How is Obama going to fix all those human problems he mentioned and promised to address without taking away my freedoms to spend my money, hire as I wish, and live life as I choose?  He was talking lies and socialism. I was so disappointed. For most of this election cycle I actually wanted him to win over Hilary but I found my respect for her grow (very little I might add but in comparison to Obama it was growth) as his speech went on. I kept thinking “how are you going to do that?” — especially in a free society. I don’t want to be Sweden or even Canada. It’s not the federal government’s job to be everybody’s safety net — let the states and local governments (or faith groups) do that if they choose but don’t make me pay for another botched bureaucracy.

We already have universal healthcare — have you ever seen somebody turned away from a hospital?  I’ve never been asked for money up front and still get good treatment. Why should I ask the government to get involved and further mess that arrangement up?  What has the federal government done, really, to improve anything on a national level like education or healthcare that couldn’t have been done better on the local level if the resources were available? Instead, the federal government takes local resources in the form of huge taxes and then politically spends them with lots of waste and bumbling. The local level is left to fight for the scraps with the hope that our “guys in Washington” bring some largess back to us.  It’s madness. Let’s skip the middleman and avoid the federal feeding frenzy.

Let the federal government do their Constitutional requirements and leave the state/local governments to the rest.  Why don’t the liberals complain about the abuse of the Constitution by the trampling of states rights?  I’m really angry about this and very frustrated at Obama’s squandering of his Convention. I had hope for the Democratic Party and was excited about the prospects of post-racial politics but instead I saw politics as usual. I’m willing to trust a maverick McCain and a non-Washington insider hockey mom who has shown success on the state and local level and who knows what it is like to have a son deployed to Iraq, to have 5 kids, to have owned/operated a business, to have a child with special needs, and to succeed in spite of all those things. I’m ready for change but it’s not coming from Obama/Biden (who in spite of what they say vote about 90% of the time with McCain since most Senate votes are nearly unanimous for naming post offices and other almost meaningless things).

This brings me to my final rant. When will the Democratic Party stop emphasizing the single mom without healthcare and talk about “normal people” like me?  When will they highlight somebody who actually has a traditional family and works and achieves something?  When will the Democrats care about those who take risks and succeed and pay taxes and produce and hire other people and then stay up at night figuring out how to make payroll and quarterly taxes and workman’s comp, etc. and hope there is enough after all the bills to pay themselves? I’m tired of hearing about victims all the time and not at least occasionally about people who make the country work. Even those rare Democratic examples of success are somehow made into victims. Our troops are mentioned and then simultaneously matched in the same sentence with some kind of combat stress disorder. The truck driver is lauded for owning his own truck finally but yet he has no health insurance.  What about the truck driver who is successful because he lives in America? What about the military hero who beat the enemy and adjusted well to society and is now a successful airline pilot or football coach?  What about what’s good with America?  Why can’t we be proud of success and wealth instead of lowering the bar and taking from the rich to give to the poor?

I want everyone to succeed and be rich. Remove the barriers and let people innovate and succeed. When they do they hire others and pay taxes and lift their communities, states and ultimately the nation. Let’s be excited about our opportunities and aim for the stars!

One Comment on “Rant Following Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Katty
September 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm

WOW! This is an amazing post! It shows a lot of consideration and common sense that so many tend to forget to use. Sadly, I missed Obama’s speech, but I have heard many things about it. I admit that I was a little confused, but reading your post really helped me straighten out those lines which had been previously blurred.
Keep up the good work!

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