The following article originally was published by Grand Junction’s Free Press on July 21, 2008.
How Obama lost another vote
by Linn and Ari Armstrong
We write as a father-son team. We almost always agree about fundamental issues, yet sometimes we look askew at each others’ strategies.
For example, last month Ari wrote on his blog (FreeColorado.com for June 6), “I deem that McCain is the worst evil in the race, and therefore I’ve decided to mark my ballot for Obama as the strongest possible vote against McCain.” Such a position is sacrilege to much of the family.
What’s so bad about McCain? Ari’s post reviews three main flaws. McCain snubbed the First Amendment with his campaign censorship law, saying he wants to violate our “quote, First Amendment rights” for his version of “clean government.” We wouldn’t want politics mucked up with all that liberty.
He pushes for faith-based politics and declares his support for “ending abortion.” And he humbly requests that you “sacrifice your life” to the state. (Where this involves military conflict, we’re reminded of Patton’s advice about which side we should get to sacrifice their lives.)
We agree about McCain’s flaws. We may disagree about what to do about them, but we now agree that voting for Obama is not the answer. Why the change? In brief, Obama proposes new political controls over our lives and the economy at an astounding pace.
Obama wants socialized medicine, more wage controls, more corporate and personal welfare, higher taxes, and more energy restrictions, to mention just a few highlights. How does he compare with McCain on the issues of speech, faith-based politics, and sacrifice to the nation?
Obama didn’t vote on the McCain-Feingold campaign censorship law, because the law passed in 2002, while Obama didn’t take his Senate seat till 2005. We were hopeful about a headline from Broadcasting & Cable claiming that Obama “does not support” the Fairness Doctrine, which is a euphemism for censoring radio.
However, Obama did not take a principled stand for free speech; instead, his spokesperson said that the proposal was a “distraction” from imposing other controls such as “media-ownership caps.” In other words, Obama believes the national government should be able to forcibly prohibit some people from owning certain media outlets.
Both McCain and Obama believe that the phrase “Congress shall make no law” actually means “Congress shall make a law” imposing speech controls.
Obama had nothing but praise for President Bush’s national faith-based welfare, which forces you to hand over some of your money to religious groups.
Obama promised that “federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs.” However, not only is it immoral to force people who disagree with a particular religion to fund practitioners of that religion, but it is impossible for explicitly religious groups to spend tax dollars in a strictly secular way. The national government has no business forcibly redistributing people’s money to any religious outfit.
The First Amendment also states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” While faith-based welfare does not sanction a single creed, it forcibly transfers funds to particular religious groups in violation of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
If you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t be forced to fund a Muslim organization, and vice versa. If you’re an atheist or “other,” you shouldn’t be forced to fund either. And churches shouldn’t bow to Caesar to stick their noses into the government trough.
What about the issue of sacrificial service? When Obama came through Colorado earlier this month, he outlined his plan for forcing students to serve politician-approved goals. The Rocky Mountain News reports that Obama wants to make “federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs.” In other words, Obama first wants to take your money by force, then blackmail your local school district with your money to force students to take time away from their studies, work, and other interests to “serve” whatever it is Obama deems appropriate.
And we always thought the Thirteenth Amendment prohibited involuntary servitude. True enough, people can pull their children out of government schools in protest, which means that they merely have to perform involuntary servitude to fund the school they’re not using.
McCain and Obama are not merely bad candidates. Their policies are profoundly evil, and they violate the principles of liberty on which this nation was founded. They also violate at least the spirit, and we believe the letter, of the Constitution.
So whom are we voting for this year? We doubt that any of our regular readers need some newspaper columnists to tell them how to vote. We’ll probably vote differently, anyway.
However, Ari feels free to mention that he’s seriously considering writing in John Galt for president. With so many political “leaders” blaming liberty for the problems caused by political controls, and promising as the answer more severe controls, this election is starting to feel a lot like the world of Atlas Shrugged.