Change we can be­lieve in?

The Covington News - - Opinion -

It ap­pears that Barack Obama will be the Demo­cratic Party’s nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent. He is likely the most en­gag­ing can­di­date to seek the White House in years. He rep­re­sents a re­newed sense of op­ti­mism and en­thu­si­asm that has been miss­ing from pol­i­tics. His talk of “ hope” and “ change” has cap­ti­vated vot­ers, es­pe­cially young vot­ers who treat Obama as if he were was a rock star. There have been re­ports of women faint­ing dur­ing his speeches. Last week, there was a re­port of Obama re­ceiv­ing ap­plause for the mun­dane task of blow­ing his nose. When you think about it, it’s it is kind of eerie. How­ever, once you look past there the rhetoric or the cult of per­son­al­ity, if you will, there isn’t any­thing new there.

Obama is a mas­ter­ful politi­cian and a very in­tel­li­gent in­di­vid­ual. He has man­aged to all but se­cure the nom­i­na­tion of a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal party with­out of­fer­ing any­thing of real sub­stance, nor bring­ing any­thing new or in­no­va­tive to the de­bate on ma­jor po­lit­i­cal is­sues. He has re­lied solely on pop­ulist talk­ing points and his com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills to at­tract vot­ers. He hasn’t gone more than an inch deep in his pol­icy pro­pos­als.

One has to ask, what does Barack Obama mean by “ change”? What sets Obama apart from other Democrats? He has cer­tainly tried to ap­peal to Repub­li­cans by say­ing nice things about Ron­ald Rea­gan. And, I sup­pose that a com­par­i­son can cer­tainly be made be­tween the two. Obama, like Rea­gan, is a fig­ure of op­ti­mism. Obama can ar­tic­u­late his mes­sage well and cap­ti­vate his au­di­ence, much like the Great Com­mu­ni­ca­tor.

There is cause for con­cern for lovers of lib­erty in some of the stances that Obama has taken, as well as his pol­icy pro­pos­als. He has said that the “ in­di­vid­ual

Obama has paid lip

ser­vice to self-gov­ern­ment and in­di­vid­ual lib­erty; how­ever, his

poli­cies are col­lec­tivist in na­ture.

[ has the] right to bear arms, but it’s sub­ject to com­mon­sense reg­u­la­tion.”

He then voiced sup­port for the Dis­trict of Columbia’s com­plete ban on guns, an is­sue that will be heard by the Supreme Court next month with a de­ci­sion on whether or not the Sec­ond Amend­ment is in fact an in­di­vid­ual right to come later in the year. He has said that he be­lieves in the free mar­ket, but his record on trade is mixed. He has re­cently used pro­tec­tion­ist talk­ing points against free trade agree­ments. While they are not per­fect, they have had an over­all pos­i­tive ef­fect on the econ­omy by keep­ing tar­iffs low and in­tro­duc­ing Amer­i­can made goods over­seas.

His record on taxes is hor­ri­ble, and he has made it no se­cret that his ad­min­is­tra­tion will let the Bush tax cuts ex­pire, which would be a tril­lion dol­lar tax in­crease and would af­fect all lev­els of in­come earn­ers. He has also pro­posed lift­ing the cap on wages for So­cial Se­cu­rity, an­other tril­lion dol­lar tax in­crease. He also wants to in­crease the cap­i­tal gains tax in an econ­omy that is al­ready strug­gling. His health­care pro­posal, while not a sin­gle- payer sys­tem, would al­low gov­ern­ment to in­ter­fere even more in the mar­ket­place and take more in­di­vid­u­als off private health in­sur­ance. Th­ese two are among the rea­sons why health­care is so ex­pen­sive.

The non- par­ti­san Na­tional Tax­pay­ers Union has es­ti­mated that Obama’s spend­ing would will add $ 287 bil­lion to the fed­eral bud­get each year, the most of any can­di­date from ei­ther party. How­ever, Obama has of­fered noth­ing in the way of re­form­ing en­ti­tle­ments ( So­cial Se­cu­rity and Medi­care) that face more than $ 40 tril­lion in un­funded li­a­bil­i­ties.

Obama has paid lip- ser­vice to self- gov­ern­ment and in­di­vid­ual lib­erty; how­ever, his poli­cies are col­lec­tivist in na­ture. Ayn Rand, au­thor of “At­las Shrugged,” once said, “ The small­est mi­nor­ity on earth is the in­di­vid­ual. Those who deny in­di­vid­ual rights can­not claim to be de­fend­ers of mi­nori­ties.” Obama’s poli­cies are in the same col­lec­tivist mold as politi­cians who came be­fore him. They have no real re­spect for per­sonal lib­erty, in­di­vid­ual sovereignty or prop­erty rights.

This mes­sage of “ change” is a cover for the same col­lec­tivist driven, big- gov­ern­ment agenda that has been pushed by the Demo­cratic Party for years.

Repub­li­can pun­dits, com­men­ta­tors and talk show hosts made it a point early on to de­rail Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign, for ex­am­ple, Sean Han­nity’s so- called “ Stop Hil­lary Ex­press.” Their ef­forts to stop Clin­ton may back­fire. Her demise has caused Obama’s star to rise. He has more left­ist ten­den­cies, de­spite ef­forts to por­tray him­self to be a mod­er­ate, and would do more to ex­pand the al­ready over­reach­ing arm of gov­ern­ment.

The most ob­vi­ous dif­fer­ence is Clin­ton has very high neg­a­tives, and Obama doesn’t. He is treated as if he was a rock star by most within the Demo­cratic Party and is pop­u­lar with in­de­pen­dents.

I look at pol­i­tics dif­fer­ently than most; I con­sider my­self to be an in­de­pen­dent voter, but philo­soph­i­cally lib­er­tar­ian ( fis­cally con­ser­va­tive but cul­tur­ally lib­eral).

Just from read­ing and ob­serv­ing what peo­ple are feel­ing this year, Repub­li­cans will have a tough time con­vinc­ing moder­ates and in­de­pen­dents that they will be worse off un­der an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and af­ter seven years of Ge­orge W. Bush and the im­pe­rial pres­i­dency, who can blame them for their skep­ti­cism?

Ja­son Pye

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