It’s been a week since the election, and the talk about “change” continues ad nauseam.
Change shouldn’t be controversial, especially to someone like me, who has usually been a champion of progressing, arriving at a new and improved place through growth or perhaps better reasoning.
Yet, I find myself balking at President-elect Obama and his proposed “changes that we can believe in” and when I do, I feel like people take this to mean I’m simply happy with the status quo. And since I strongly oppose many of his particular changes – everything from eliminating any restrictions to abortion by signing the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into law to “restoring fairness and fiscal responsibility” (verbiage straight from his tax plan) by redistributing the wealth – then I must be someone who is set in my ways and against change in general.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I don’t care which political party is in power. I want to see beneficial outcomes. Who doesn’t? I just support achieving these outcomes in ways that are drastically different from Obama and his followers’ approaches. What really irks me is that while Obama is seen as someone who is compassionate for those less fortunate (besides the unborn, the most helpless of all, of course), concerned about the environment, and anti-war, anyone who doesn’t agree with him or his politics is often seen as insensitive, obtuse, close-minded, war-crazy, tree-bashing weirdo, and/or doltish Jesus freak. (I’m okay with being dubbed a Jesus freak.)
Newsflash: I generally agree with some of the results President-elect Obama is promising (e.g., a stronger economy). However, I’m dubious of whether the policies he advocates will achieve these results. In fact, when I look at the facts (not inspiring rhetoric or unscripted eloquence) as well as historical patterns and past empirical results, I see that the likely realistic outcomes are much different from what he’s promising to deliver. Further, some of the fruits of his work, I suspect, will be as rotten as Eve’s apple. (Forgive the simile, but I have a “Jesus freak” image to uphold.)
Here’s a look at just a few of some of the issues I’m concerned about (there are many others like health care I might have to get into some other day):
Do I want to improve this sluggish economy? Of course. But I don’t believe the way to do that is to raise taxes on anyone. High tax economies tend to have slower growth rates than low tax economies because, for one, enterprising individuals and businesses stop hiring. I understand there’s a need for some type of tax system (I support the Fair Tax), but I believe burdening upper income earners with taxes, many of whom were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have worked hard to get where they are, punishes diligence.
But when I argue this, I feel like others cast me aside as someone with little concern for those who are less fortunate. It certainly might sound better to say you support spreading the wealth around, and it certainly is wrong to hoard money and to not be charitable (although I’d argue paying loads of taxes is not a form of charity and does nothing to help the poor). Yet, you don’t hear much about how it’s also wrong to covet your neighbor’s goods. Phrases like “taxing the rich” encourage this covetousness and fuel class envy. Unfortunately, sometimes President-elect Obama’s “rhetoric” reminds me just a smidgen of the Little Hen. None of the animals (who were all able-bodied, mind you) wanted to help her sow the wheat, but they certainly all wanted a piece of the bread.
I don’t believe the government should interfere with the free market either. (Yes, I suppose I’m one of those evil, greedy capitalists.) Maybe more people would agree with me here if they realized that the primary reason we’re in this current financial crisis is because of – you guessed it – government interference.
Here’s what you didn’t hear in mainstream media: The facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions to lend to subprime borrowers using legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act. When the feds weren’t happy with the statistics on who was being denied loans, the Attorney General threatened legal action (Janet Reno held the office at the time).
This is a good example of pushing toward change the wrong way. The government wanted everyone to achieve the American Dream and be able to purchase a house. Sounds nice, but our politicians didn’t stop to consider the repercussions of allowing anyone with a pulse to buy a house. This “thoughtful gesture” ended up hurting people and the economy in the long run.
Do I want to see our soldiers come home safely? Of course. But I don’t agree with pulling out the majority of our troops and then leaving a paltry group of anti-terrorist forces (what Obama has said he plans to do) while at the same time cutting defense spending (another one of his plans for change). We’ll hear that our troops have come home when we’ve actually left a sord of sitting ducks in enemy territory.
Do I support women’s rights? Yes, unless that right is a “choice” that results in infanticide and women suffering from the physical and emotional consequences of their “choice” for the rest of their lives.
Do I believe “all men are created equal” and see it as a historical moment that an African American has been elected president? Absolutely, but as Rebecca Teti points out in her poignant post at Faith & Family LIVE, “It’s bittersweet in the extreme, however, that the man who embodies the triumph of our founding principle ‘all men are created equal’ with respect to black persons should be so unwilling to extend to the unborn the same right to be included in the family of men.”
I am not opposed of change. I am in favor of progression. Fact is, as the proclaimed “agent of change” gets ready to take the Oval Office, I see a need for change more than ever.
However, the kind of change I’d like to see is a country where we return to our roots and respect the inalienable rights of man given to us from God, Our Creator: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Not a country where the Creator is starting to sound an awful lot like government because it is what is responsible for your happiness, but a country that helps its citizens to be responsible for themselves.
A country where true charity, not government-coerced high taxes that feed a fat government (not hungry children), prevails.
A country that doesn’t try to tell us that we don’t have liberty unless we have health care or that we don’t even possess the possibility of being happy until we start spreading the wealth.
A country that doesn’t fight for liberty and then withdrawal and apologize to UN diplomats for being a defender of freedom, not to mention the most generous nation in the world.
Above all, I’d like to see us evolve into a nation that respects life from the moment of conception and sees what I and even my toddler saw when I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks – a baby, that deserves a chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, gifts so many of us taken for granted as Americans.
Now those are the kind of changes I could believe in, the kind of changes I’m prepared to fight for.