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Thursday, May 29, 2008

What’s Your Line in the Sand?

         What’s Your Line in the Sand?
The McCain game plan is now clear—take conservatives for granted and head left. The McCain folks are convinced that conservatives have no other place to go and that the thought of an Obama White House is so bad that no matter what McCain says or does, you and I will hold our nose and vote for him.

Is he right? Maybe.

Frankly, I hope not. There has to be a line which McCain cannot cross and still count on conservatives to support him.

We already know his track record—wrong on taxes, wrong on "global warming," wrong on amnesty, wrong on McCain-Feingold, wrong on ANWR, wrong on the Gang of 14, etc. There’s no logical reason to believe that Senator "Compromise" is going to fight for conservative judges, a secure border, lower taxes, oil exploration, nuclear power, or smaller government. No reason whatsoever.

Richard Nixon was elected by a landslide in 1968 over Hubert Humphrey. It was a disaster. We got wage and price controls, and diplomatic recognition of Red China. Humphrey would not have accomplished any of that, but compliant Republicans went along with liberal Democrats to push through all of Nixon’s bills.

President Obama may not be able to push through amnesty for illegal aliens, but you can plan on it with President McCain. Congressional Republicans will fight Obama tooth and nail on tax increases, but they will roll over for President McCain. Republicans will fight President Obama on signing "global warming" legislation that cripples our economy, but they will play patsy to President McCain. And the GOP will fight to the death against the socialized medicine proposals of President Obama, but cave in for President McCain.

Once again it comes down to the war in Iraq. But can a President Obama really precipitously pull out of Iraq? It’s not likely. The pull out message is directed solely to the far left crowd. Obama has to keep them on board through election day. After election day the anti-war crowd is expendable. Once Obama is in the White House he’ll have to take a more responsible course. Besides, there is nothing a President likes more than being in power during wartime.

So once again, is there any line that McCain can’t cross and still get your vote?
As I said in an earlier blog, I want to vote for John McCain, but I need a reason. My line in the sand is his choice for a running mate. If the running mate is another John McCain, he has crossed my line. If he or she is a young, certifiable, conservative, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Senator McCain.

What’s your line in the sand? Or is John McCain right? Can he do anything he wants and you will still vote for him?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Who Does the Housing Bail Out Really Help?

Who Does the Housing Bail Out Really Help?

I believe it was Joseph Stalin who said, "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." It’s beginning to be that way when it comes to government spending. If I lose a thousand dollars it’s a lot of money, but the government spending another billion dollars is just an incomprehensible statistic. I’m no cynic, but it seems to me that the government is totally out of control. Just what is it that happens to normal men and women who come to Washington, DC as Senators and Representatives? It appears that they become intoxicated on the power that comes to them through government spending.

All of which brings me to ask the question: Who does the housing bail out really help? Some would say that the answer is obvious—the ones who received the money. But is that really true? 

Forget about the fairness of those who acted responsibly having to pay for those who acted irresponsibly. That’s not even that important in the scope of things. I think far more damage is done to those who are bailed out by the government.
Let me ask you this question: Do you help your children when you bail them out of problems that happen because they made bad decisions? When you do, does it really help them? Or, if you let them suffer the consequences of their mistake, does it have a positive effect on them?

Sometimes pain is good for us. We don’t like it. We’re embarrassed by it. It’s a struggle to overcome. But generally we’re better off as a result of it. I once had a friend who was a POW for nearly six years tell me aside from the lost time, his experience as a POW was a worthwhile learning experience. No, he wouldn’t do it over again (who would choose to be a POW or have any of the problems we face as humans—financial, health, relationship), but after the fact we are often willing to admit that they were good for us.

So back to my question: Who was really helped by the housing bail out? I don’t think we helped those who were bailed out at all. Will they now become more responsible because they were bailed out? Or will they forever assume that someone will bail them out when they encounter problems and difficulties as a result of bad decisions? I’d bet on the latter, not the former. 

It’s not that I don’t care about these folks. I do. Believe me, I’ve made terrible decisions that have cost me dearly, but I must admit that they were also valuable learning experiences. Maybe I’m just someone who learns by making mistakes, and maybe you can’t relate. My experience is that problems are rarely as bad as we assume them to be. We may be embarrassed. We may be humiliated. We may have to crawl on our knees. We may have to overcome hardships, but we will, in the end, be better for it. 

I don’t like it more than anyone else when I have to suffer for my stupid mistakes, but if someone were to bail me out, would I learn anything?

The only folks I can see the bail out helping is the politicians who seek to manipulate and control their fellow citizens to their political advantage. The more dependent the average Joe and Jill become upon government, the less freedom they will have and the more power the politicians will have.

Are we raising an entire generation of Americans who think that government should care for them from cradle to grave and protect them from every stupid decision they make? Look around the globe. There already are many governments like that. We call them dictatorships. They are located in Cuba and China, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Want to Vote for McCain

               I Want to Vote for McCain
I want to vote for John McCain. I really do. Several times I have gotten close to deciding that I can overlook his track record on taxes (voted against the Bush tax cuts twice), on big government (McCain-Feinstein), on blocking the appointment of conservative judges (Gang of 14), on the "Global Warming" hoax (McCain-Lieberman), and on amnesty (McCain-Kennedy). I think, "I’ll just hold my nose and vote for Senator McCain." And then he becomes John McCain again.

First, he attacks the North Carolina Republican Party for running an ad he disagrees with. (What is he running for, president or dictator?) Then he reiterates his stand for "comprehensive immigration reform," i.e. amnesty for illegal aliens.
This election year reminds me of the lyrics from that old song by Ervin Drake/Steve Lawrence, "A room without windows, a room without doors." Basically we have a choice between two liberal candidates—Barack Obama (liberal strong) and John McCain (liberal light). Or perhaps it reminds me of the inverse of the title of Phyllis Schlafly’s book – An Echo, Not a Choice.

Obviously Senator McCain feels more at home with Democrats like Kennedy, Lieberman, and Feinstein than he does with Goldwater, Reagan, or any other conservative. For some men, their word is as good as their bond, but with John McCain, who knows? Yes, I salute him for his service as a POW, but that in and of itself doesn’t qualify him to be President of the United States.

John, I (and millions of other conservative Americans) want to vote for you, but we need a reason. Why should we cast our vote for you? Will you really nominate conservative judges even though you said that Sam Alieto was too conservative ("wears his conservatism on his sleeve")? Will you really reduce the size of government even though McCain-Feingold dramatically expanded the size and scope of the Federal Election Commission? Will you really "secure the border" even though you co-sponsored the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill? Will you really push hard for making the Bush tax cuts permanent even though you voted against them twice? Will you really work for energy independence even though you voted against drilling in Anwar? 

Who are you, John McCain? 

I’m holding out hope (but not much) that you will pick a young, clearly conservative running mate. That could push millions of conservative votes into your column (including mine). 

Short of that, is the war in Iraq and Afghanistan enough to justify the election of another Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, or Tom Dewey? Will President McCain really do less long-term damage than President Obama? Ugh! What a choice.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Message of Jesus

The Message of Jesus

All over the news and the Internet we find clips of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright cursing the United States, stating that the US Marines are just like the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus, and saying that when terrorists attacked the twin trade towers, "the chickens came home to roost." He went on to say a lot of other weird, hatful, and racist things. He’s not defensible. And it’s hard to understand why Barack Obama stayed at his church for more than 20 years, contributing lots of money.

Politics aside, I am disturbed by the fact that a preacher like Wright damages the Christian message just as much as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and the other "fallen" Christian leaders.

The message of Jesus wasn’t revenge. It wasn’t hatred. It was love. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." 

The result of Jesus’ love was forgiveness. In fact, as he was dying on the cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). 
It was because of the Father’s love for you and me that he sent his Son, Jesus, to earth. He shed his power and his glory to become a simple, humble man. We are not lovable, but Jesus still loved us.

He then lived the perfect life that you and I can’t live and in his innocence gave his life on the cross for your sins and mine. As it says in 1 John 3:16, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."

Thankfully the story didn’t end there. Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave in a victory that he shares with us if we only trust in him.

That is the Christian message. It is worth saying again. It is a message of love, not hate; of forgiveness, not vengeance. 

Politicians and misguided preachers come and go, but the good news of Jesus gives you and I hope that never fails.

All Biblical references are excerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV. Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved