Shortly before the 2008 election a video illustrating a letter to the editor was uploaded to Youtube. It compared then Senator Obama with a young Cuban leader who had stirred passions in his day.
“What change?,” “How will you carry it out?” and “What will it cost America?” were drowned out by chants of “Yes we can!”
Three years later we know how the story turned out. Trillions have been added to the national debt, the economy is stagnant and the official unemployment rate hovers near 8% nationally. The U-6 unemployment figure, which includes all unemployed and those marginally attached to the workforce comes in above 14%. Investors Business Daily published a handy chart addressing the administration’s claims about the economy and comparing the Obama administration to its predecessors.
Since the start of the economic downturn in 2008 Americans have consistently rated the economy as the most important issue. The focus on economic issues was one of the reasons that in 2010 Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana and a possible Republican candidate for president, gave an interview where he called for a ‘truce’ on social issues. Daniels suggested that the next President focus on fiscal and national security issues. The truce idea earned Daniels fire from all sides and he later withdrew his name from consideration.
Yet notice that after the conclusion of the Republican primary season that Mitt Romney’s campaign put its messaging focus in two areas. First, the campaign wanted everyone to know that Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. Second, the consistent message was that as an experienced businessman Mitt Romney would use his skills learned in the business world and as a governor to turn the economy around. Even as Romney was accused of participating in the so called ‘war on women’ the economy remained the primary messaging. It was essentially Daniels’ truce concept in all but name; if Romney intended to rock the boat on social issues he did not mention it much.
This is not necessarily an unreasonable position. The Romney campaign could justifiably argue that unless we get our financial and economic house in order that social issues would not mean much.
During this same time, the Obama campaign was filling the airwaves with ads about ‘evil Republicans’ taking away women’s birth control and abortion. Clips of Romney speaking about cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood were followed by narration “he’ll cut it off… cut us off.” Over and over the ads equated defunding Planned Parenthood with outlawing abortion. They pushed the perception that if a “service” is not funded by the government that it becomes unavailable. While the campaign certainly made other ads, the abortion themed ones were in regular rotation on television.
A fiscal cliff approaches, the economy is stagnant and the United States becomes increasingly a spectator, not a player, on the world stage and a campaign for President chooses to focus on public funding of abortion? Proof, for anyone willing to see, that a truce is only possible if both sides participate.
Messaging from the Obama campaign’s combining the public funding for of a “service” with its legality reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about the role of government in society. Transactions take place regularly without government participation, except to collect taxes of course. Yet the President seems to believe that government must be omnipresent and constantly involved in our lives.
The Daily Caller released a previously unseen video of then Senator Obama speaking to an audience of black ministers in 2007. Obama’s startling accent and inflammatory references to government indifference at the suffering of victims of Hurricane Katrina stole most of the attention but most striking was his repeated use of the phrase “our God is big enough.” It appeared after each mention of government spending. The President does not seem to understand that government is not a conduit for charity; it does not need God-like omnipotence in our society. Government merely needs to protect the conditions that allow individuals to develop their talents and flourish in a free society.
Individuals that have had the misfortune to live in a repressive or totalitarian society are the most sensitive to encroachments on our liberty. Hungarian born Thomas Peterffy recorded a personal appeal for voters in this election.
He wants Americans to be aware of what socialism has done to other countries and what it will surely do to ours. Paul Ryan’s convention speech described the dreary future we have in store if we continue down the road with President Obama: “a country where everything is free but us.”
Perhaps the best person to put this in words is our fortieth President. Before reaching the White House Ronald Reagan researched and spoke about the issues of the day. One prescient talk explained why it was so important to resist the passage of socialized health care.
“And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, One of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America, when men were free.”
Please follow Mr. Reagan’s and Mr. Peterffy’s advice. Take the time to vote and vote Republican.