Friday, October 31, 2008

Believe It Or Not...

So Mom has decided she will not be voting this year--which is a shame. I was counting on her to cancel out Dad's vote, and thus ensure Obama would win the presidency... Not that my father has that much sway in Pennsylvania politics, mind you--it's just insurance that my vote will instead cancel out someone else's "wrong" vote instead of wasting my vote to cancel out Dad's...
It's not a perfect system. In fact, if we were witnessing such a vise-like control of a two-party system in any other democratic republic, we would decry the mockery it makes of the label "democracy"--in fact, we do decry such blatant systems of overt control and power over governments supposedly by the people. It is easy to become jaded to the point of not caring, because Party's A and B aren't too terribly different, and honestly, every ten or twenty years, they simply switch positions so that neither one looks like the one held by the last elite generation of politicians...

It's also very easy to romanticize, isn't it. After all, our forefathers fought tooth and nail, with their lives and their children's lives to secure us this land, this freedom, this democracy. We even delude ourselves into thinking that preemptive strikes are for our security, and our good, lest this nation fall into the hands of evil Others from across an arbitrary boundary...

In all honesty, I would love to vote for any one of the 109 candidates running for president this year--after all, I would like to think that voting for president is a bit more important than making a menu choice at Lorenzo's Pizza, and Lorenzo's gives me ten times the number of choices than Pennsylvania is giving me this year:
  • Lorenzo's: 91 items to choose from
  • Pennsylvania Election 2008: 4 Presidential candidates to choose from
I'm feeling a little jaded myself...

SCREEEEEEEEEEECHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

My mother just phoned. She is voting. My father has decided he isn't sure if he is or not. When pressed, my father replies:

Dad: Because socialism will destroy this country, and Obama is a socialist. McCain has taken the low road, and even if I agree with McCain, I can't vote for him for taking the low road.
Me: And... what makes Obama a socialist?
Dad: I don't have to explain that.
You know, sometimes when you really talk things out like that, you can solve anything, can't you?

Father, if you are reading this, let me clear the air for you and explain why Obama is not a socialist.

Socialism defined is: 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

What is it about Obama's stand that makes everyone around here claim he is a "socialist"? One of the main themes of his campaign has been "A tax cut for 95 percent of American families" and "spreading the wealth," which, on the face of it, do sound pretty socialistic, I'll give you that. But how, in what way, does that sound like government ownership of products and goods? You want government ownership of products and goods? What was that we've been hearing in the news? Our democratic republic buying into and owning banks?!? That is socialism, my friends, and that's why we were all so pissed about it (rightly so!) That was the blatant disregard for the quasi-free-market capitalist system we've been using for the past 95 years (with both socialist and free market undertones with the blessing of both Democrats and Republicans)--and McCain and Co. call Obama the socialist?? McCain wants the government to buy everyone's mortgage and refinance their home loans. McCain wants (in a complete and utter flip-flop from just a few weeks ago) to über-regulate the banks and market (as does Obama, but differently... I can go into this further if you need me to, but please people, try to do your own homework, okay?). And Palin?: "You know, take the oil profits, impose a tax and kick it back to Alaskans." I think this qualifies her, under the new anti-Obama definition of socialist, as a socialist. There's your ten thousand spoons, Alanis.

Our tax system (much as most of us love to hate it) has always been based on those who make more, pay more. Sometimes it ebbs, sometimes it flows, but its called (and I know all you conservatives will howl and kick and scream when you hear this...) a progressive tax system, and much of the world employs it.

Of course, a lot of you are also claiming that Obama is all about "class warfare"--funny, where was that charge of Bush when he decided the wealthy all needed a tax break? Is this not also a symptom of your lala-land "class warfare"? Where were all the cries of "socialism" then?

I think Darrell West (director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution) said it best at the Huffington Post

Obama is about as far from being a socialist as Joe The Plumber is from being a rocket scientist. I think it's hard for McCain to call Obama a socialist when George Bush is nationalizing banks.
But then again, my father voted for Bush, so he couldn't possibly be a socialist, right?

Right?

Okay, that's a bit unfair. Bush wasn't a socialist back then, he was just plain incompetent. But it still doesn't let my father (and all of the others who wrongly think of Obama socialistically) off the hook when it comes to such a flat-out wrong charge. I realize he probably has other reasons not to vote for a Democrat (which I will defer on for now), but socialism?

That's really almost as bad as people still believing Obama is a Muslim... Or that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11...

Which I will state for the record: Obama is not a Muslim. And Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

And here's one more for you to ponder on: Mars Bars are made right here on Earth! Believe it or not...

14 comments:

QED said...

Woah, you've got your sarcasm on in that last sentance!

Weird said...

Ya know, you're starting to sound a little Libertarian? Be careful, that stuff is addictive!

I sort of have to go with your Dad here; Obama is a socialist and I've got more reasons to think that beyond his involvement with Saul Alinsky and the Democratic Socialists of America. However, I agree with you on how your Dad is missing the fact that McCain is one too. In fact, I find it hard to believe that any one can MISS the fact that the Reps are socialistic. Maybe if your Dad read this: http://mises.org/story/3126 , but maybe not. My Dad hates McCain but is voting for him anyway because he's the "lesser evil" from his perspective. I wonder what would happen if everyone just voted their principles for once?

I'm going Orwell lately and calling all these guys Collectivists; they all supported the bailout. Unless Obama cuts Fed spending drastically (60% +) he's going to have to raise taxes on everyone to save the entitlement programs that the Dems love so much. I hope he's up to the task if he wins (I think he will). We really need a "NO Man" in the oval office.

Did Barr get on your ballots? McCain was suing to try to keep him out of PA. Some representative Republic huh?

qed said...

Do you know what's ironic? Obama is a Christian and McCain isn't, and yet you're voting for Obama. Go figure.

Jason Hughes said...

Weird: I've been called worse than a Libertarian before, so... :D I know the Lib streak is in there--the more I dig into who stands for what, when and where, the more I find myself in that category of voters who wishes for more choices yet votes for the lesser of evils in the power struggle that is the Dem/Repub stranglehold...

And yes, Barr apparently won that lawsuit. He's on the ballot.

QED: It's pretty funny, isn't it? Although I'm pretty sure McCain claims Christianhood as well...

qed said...

Nope, McCain's an atheist.

Jason Hughes said...

"I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles ... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith," McCain said.

[...]

"I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian," McCain said. He added that he has considered being baptized in the Baptist church, but he does not want to do it during the presidential race because "it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do."


Link. Sept. 30, 2007.

Where did you get that he is an atheist?

Granted, just because someone CLAIMS to be a Christian doesn't mean they are a good one. Are you coming from the angle that he just isn't a GOOD one, therefore he CAN'T be one? Or do you think he's lying when he claims to be one? Just trying to get an idea of where you're coming from...

qed said...

Just because someone claims to be Christian, doesn't mean they are a decent one!

Truth be told, Obama's not a very good one either. At least, he's not a good fundie.

FCSuper said...

So, I guess there really is a significant difference between the two candidates then. :)

BTW, in my view, abuse of power comes from having a single political party. Two party system is better that one, and better that a large number of parties. It is much more stable. It is the necessary evil our forefathers knowingly set up. I'm OK with it for the general benefits it brings.

qed, not really sure what your point is about McCain. You haven't made your case regarding his supposed atheism.

FCSuper said...

BTW, Prop 8 looks like it passed. :( ::sigh:: Well, it looks like the courts will have to finish this matter after all. At least it is now a 14th Amendment issue (since it being declared a right that is now been revoked to a select group of individuals...a clear violation of the 14th) The matter may now be settled for the entire nation, once and for all. The beauty of this is that even a U.S. Constitution amendment to define marriage will not stand if passed because it would require the stated repeal of the 14th amendment, which is kind holy these days. The reason is that the US Constitution specifically says that it cannot contradict itself. With marriage now being considered a right all equally, the removal of that right for a specific group violates the 14th.

qed said...

Obama is president. Say goodbye to the defense of marriage act.

mom said...

hello jason! hey, if you didn't hear it yet your man won. some reasons why i am glad this whole thing is over: 1. the phone calls will stop! (i counted 12 in one day!) 2. you kids thinking we were racist because we were not sure who we would vote for. (get to know your parents!) 3. hearing that that obama is black every 10 minutes like we can't see that and who cares if he is purple with pink spots race should not be in the picture! 4. the ads on tv!(thank goodness i can fast forward them all!) 5. tired of hearing about how much history we are making! i will give you history: a gay woman who loves to hunt and who is part chinese and loves country music. who knows what her sidekick would be. and it can happen. 6. how disappointed some of you are with me that i did not want to vote because i didn't really like any of my choices and that i can't complain if i don't vote. who is going to stop me? 8. getting angry at me because i didn't vote when its my right and i will do with it what i want to. 9. that i will stop hearing how bad this country is with bush in the white house when we still have it pretty good. well, thats it and i hope obama will lead like he says he will but we will see. well, got to go. love and prayers

mom said...

hello jason! hey, if you didn't hear it yet your man won. some reasons why i am glad this whole thing is over: 1. the phone calls will stop! (i counted 12 in one day!) 2. you kids thinking we were racist because we were not sure who we would vote for. (get to know your parents!) 3. hearing that that obama is black every 10 minutes like we can't see that and who cares if he is purple with pink spots race should not be in the picture! 4. the ads on tv!(thank goodness i can fast forward them all!) 5. tired of hearing about how much history we are making! i will give you history: a gay woman who loves to hunt and who is part chinese and loves country music. who knows what her sidekick would be. and it can happen. 6. how disappointed some of you are with me that i did not want to vote because i didn't really like any of my choices and that i can't complain if i don't vote. who is going to stop me? 8. getting angry at me because i didn't vote when its my right and i will do with it what i want to. 9. that i will stop hearing how bad this country is with bush in the white house when we still have it pretty good. well, thats it and i hope obama will lead like he says he will but we will see. well, got to go. love and prayers

Weird said...

Ya know, you're starting to sound a little Libertarian? Be careful, that stuff is addictive!

I sort of have to go with your Dad here; Obama is a socialist and I've got more reasons to think that beyond his involvement with Saul Alinsky and the Democratic Socialists of America. However, I agree with you on how your Dad is missing the fact that McCain is one too. In fact, I find it hard to believe that any one can MISS the fact that the Reps are socialistic. Maybe if your Dad read this: http://mises.org/story/3126 , but maybe not. My Dad hates McCain but is voting for him anyway because he's the "lesser evil" from his perspective. I wonder what would happen if everyone just voted their principles for once?

I'm going Orwell lately and calling all these guys Collectivists; they all supported the bailout. Unless Obama cuts Fed spending drastically (60% +) he's going to have to raise taxes on everyone to save the entitlement programs that the Dems love so much. I hope he's up to the task if he wins (I think he will). We really need a "NO Man" in the oval office.

Did Barr get on your ballots? McCain was suing to try to keep him out of PA. Some representative Republic huh?

QED said...

Woah, you've got your sarcasm on in that last sentance!