Other Voices: Hope is well-founded expectation of good
It is a hopeful sign that a 17-year-old high school student chooses current politics for his senior project. The young man showed in his article on Feb. 25 in The Union that he is intelligent, articulate and writes extremely well. I perceive a promising future.
Now for the “but …!” I would issue some caveats. Barack Obama is a charismatic, eloquent speaker. Handsome, possessed of pleasant voice and demeanor, he has an extraordinary ability to affect the sensibilities through, some say, messianic attributes.
But does his mantra of “change” have substance? What change does he promise? Is his rhetoric consistent? “… Whatever it takes” to end gun violence, but the second amendment secures the individual’s right to bear arms. Increase government control but preserve the free market. Protect Iraq but abandon it. Name his legislative accomplishments to date. Remember the “no gravitas” statement repeated ad nauseam during a past election cycle? Where is Obama’s gravitas? He currently sponsors the “Global Poverty Act,” which would send billions of dollars of aid worldwide, to satisfy the U.N. Will he save the whole world? Where would the money come from – more taxes on Social Security or the ever maligned “rich?”
Question his supporters. The Cuban flag with Che Guevara’s image hangs on a wall of one of his campaign offices. Even if Obama does not sanction it, the display demonstrates who supports him. He raises a clenched fist in a campaign video with the title, “Yes we can.” I might correct our young advocate. Obama did not coin that 1960s’ phrase. The gesture, historically is anti-capitalism. Perhaps he does not realize this. What influence have other questionable backers had, past and present?
Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would accelerate our slide from individual liberty and small government into socialism or pure government control. If the already burgeoning government interferes in our lives now, under both political parties, we “ain’t seen nothing yet.”
The young man “feels” inspiration. Feeling does not equal intellectual discernment, of which I know our senior is capable. He hears “sincerity and eloquence.” I am sure that Obama is sincere. His eloquence explains nothing so far. Eloquence has not always denoted forthrightness and the advancement of a nation’s good.
The young man embraces “change.” What cost and direction does that change portend? He notes that Obama has promised students an education. Better education is always a necessary goal, but no president can promise that. Committees and associations (special interests) have that power. Our educational system must encourage true learning – not seek to indoctrinate – with teachers who value their vocation and elicit the best from their students. Political correctness throttles education and the standards that our children deserve, whatever their race or creed. The privilege (not right) of a college education is available for those who aspire to higher education and are well prepared. Scholarships, grants and loans abound.
Other reasons prevent me from supporting either Democratic candidate, all of which derive from firmly held religious, philosophical and political beliefs. One may surmise, correctly, that my views are rooted in natural law, religion and the stated intentions of this country’s founders. I am pro-freedom of speech and religion (with no harassment in the public square, government institutions and schools), pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-traditional marriage, pro-lower taxes, pro-legal immigration, pro-judicial restraint and pro-victory over all terrorism from within and without.
From a moral perspective, I may not vote for the lesser of two evils, evil still being the direct result of my action of will (voting). I appear to be stuck with the principle of double effect (good and evil effects of an action of will – again, my vote). Good proportionately must outweigh evil. If the word “evil” is too strong, substitute “bad.” I have a problem at this point with candidates from both parties.
Feel free to disagree vehemently with my positions, but I pray that feelings, devoid of corresponding thought and objective research, never influence action. Finally, hope must be a well-founded expectation of good. In this case, it is the nation’s good.
Gloria Thiele is a longtime resident of Nevada County.
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