Monday, November 5, 2012

The Case Against Barack Obama - And For Mitt Romney

I recall taking notice of Barack Obama in the late summer of 2004, on a Chicago “EL” ride into the city for work the morning following his much-heralded speech to the DNC supporting then-candidate John Kerry.  The Chicago Tribune had a lengthy recap of his remarks and a cursory description of his background.

This guy, I thought, has the potential to rocket to the top of the Democratic Party Popularity list.

I thought this for a whole host of reasons, but principle among them was his skin color.  America has a long, deep, and (in my opinion) thoroughly unfair cloud of guilt with regard to its Jim Crow and Slavery past.  Our pop culture and the average American, whether he/she admits it or not, looks for every opportunity to demonstrate its post racial bona fides.  To this day, the urge is no less powerful than it was before his 2008 election.  And, in the 2008 campaign, my prediction became reality (for the record, my view on race has always been seen through the light of Galatians 3:28.  We are all Created in the image of God).

Barack Obama had other qualities to compliment his racial advantage.  A powerful (if vapid and uniformed) speaker with a powerful stage presence, he spoke to the electorate’s need for someone with an Ivy League Pedigree and a smooth persona.  These traits coupled with his skin color made him an irresistible candidate.

Further benefiting candidate Obama was the challenger put before him and the political times in which he found himself.  Senator John McCain was, by any conservative measure, nearly anything but.  With a long history of siding with Democrats on key issues from Tax Reform to Immigration, many true right-of-center voters felt as though a vote for McCain would be nothing more than a vote for the lesser of two evils.  To make matters worse, many traditional Conservatives and Libertarians found themselves drawn to Obama either out of naïveté or spite.  Barack Obama in 2008 as a candidate was the beneficiary of a perfect storm of a bad Republican brand, a thirst for a “qualified pedigree” and “inspiring political oratory”.  The election that year wasn’t even close, on any level.

I was a small speck in a sea of ignored conservative voices that could make no logical sense of Obamamania. 

For starters, the man was being queued up for the most powerful Management Position in the world and had never run anything of significance in his life.  No executive experience in either the public or private sector.  Zilch.

Secondly, his voting record during his very brief stint in the US Senate was very troubling, to say the least.  He was afforded the title of the Senate’s“most liberal voter”.  No one seemed to notice.

Third, he had a tremendous sense of self importance.  Before the age of 47, and with almost no time in pubic life, he’d written two books that were largely about himself.

Lastly, and most troublesome, in a time when the US was engaged in an ongoing hot war and the Western Way of Life was battling for its survival against militant Islam, the Democrats had chosen a candidate that had spent his entire life surrounded by people who were either violent radicals or overtly Anti-American, or both.  From the associations with Bill Ayers to the spiritual guidance of Jeremiah Wright, those who appeared to be most influential in shaping Obama’s world view were people more apt to be sympathetic with America’s enemies than those who had her best interests at heart.  Putting such a person in charge of American safety and interests was the principal thing that kept me awake at night during the 2008 campaign season.

In summary, it made little sense to me that in a post 9-11 world we’d look to a person with a 7-11 clerk’s resume with radical roots to sit as commander in chief.  But it seemed people were (inexplicably) more concerned about VP nominee Sarah Palin’s fitness for the office she sought than Obama’s for his.  Barack Obama’s candidacy reminded me of the Simpson’s episode Marge vs The Monorail.  No one in Springfield could give you a coherent reason for spending the town’s money on a Monorail, they just knew they wanted to.  That, it seemed to me, summed up perfectly the obsession with Obama.  In fact, when I’d be walking around Chicago and run into a rabid Obama supporter, I’d start singing “Monorail… Monorail, MONORAIL!” to my wife’s chagrin. 

Thanks to, in no small part, white guilt and hyped up packaging, Barack Obama, community organizer turned brief state senator, turned brief US Senator was now the leader of the free world.  And he, like all narcissist do, felt he was destined for Mount Rushmore.

But something happened on the way to re-election in 2012.  Whereas Candidate Obama could hide behind powerful rhetoric of reconciliation, unity and change, President Obama would have to defend a record.  Not an impossible task if you have a grasp on how the market economy, human nature, foreign relations actually work to make the world function.  Unfortunately for President Obama, he still doesn’t have a grasp on most of these things, and the parts that he does understand, he either understands inadequately or understands too late in the game to save his bacon.

He supported Cap and Trade regulation, which, if passed into law, especially during a recession, would have been a dagger in the heart of business.

He rammed his Stimulus through Congress, which we were told would keep unemployment below 8 percent and take it further down to 5%.  It stayed at 8% or higher for most of his term and federal debt has skyrocketed to 16 trillion dollars under his watch.

At a time when business were looking for relief from burdensome regulations, he signed into law the Dodd Frank Act, which put a stranglehold on lending.  His justification was to correct the wrongs in lending that led to the Financial Crisis.  The bill, however, did nothing to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two principal culprits in the housing meltdown that brought the US economy down with it.  Meanwhile, banks are hamstrung.

He rammed though his Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – at a time when people needed a focus on growing the economy.  Among the many malicious components of the Health Care law is the idea that you can cover people limitlessly with limited means.  As Obamacare is set up, it will undoubtedly lead to shortages and rationing.  Supply and Demand and the whole concept of Shortages seem to be a foreign concept to this President.  And a new entitlement in the era of trillion dollar deficits is the last thing America needs. 

His only solution to deficits and debt is to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” – a solution that will not even cut our budget deficit in half.  It also doesn’t register with the President that many people who fall into this category – in fact, most of them – are investors and business owners who, when acting in self interest and looking to get wealthier, invest and grow the economy.  First, if he targets them for derision and punishment, it will not encourage them to take risks with their money.  Secondly, in the long run, it will drive needed investment capital underground or off shore.  He can hate it all he wants, but it’s a reality someone with a primary focus on business and not “social justice” can comprehend.

Alienating Israel, abandoning Eastern European Allies to Russia, being a lapdog for Russia and bowing to foreign leaders, emasculating defense, and dallying while Iran speeds toward nuclear weaponry, Barack Obama has done little to make America and her allies more secure.  Neville Chamberlain has a new roommate in the college of the naïve.

Now, four years later, America is paying for its fascination with a smooth talking politician with less real world experience than a bus driver.

We have millions more on Food stamps, 20% of the country is living below the poverty line, a federal budget has not been passed in years, countless Americans are struggling to find work or to find any work that will provide a decent wage.  Our debt grows at an alarming rate and the President shows little more than a cavalier attitude in the face of it all.  His plan for a second term?  Regurgitate the naivete of the first four years, only this time, there is a picture book (with multiple pictures of himself) to compliment the plan.  To our relief, he rushed the picture book into production at the 11th hour in the campaign.  We were worried there, for a while, about the lack of vision.  Nothing alleviates that fear more than glossy photos of Barack Obama.

Not to pat myself on the back, but if you go back to the archives of JGAH in 2008, you’ll notice that I saw ALL of this coming straight at us.  Barack Obama’s lack of experience coupled with his narcissism and radicalism would never translate into prosperity, comfort or lasting safety for America.

Enter into the picture, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  If there is a person more polar opposite of Barack Obama, I’ve yet to discover him.

As a former business consultant, I can understand what motivates Mitt Romney with regard to his understanding of the functions of business.

Mitt Romney has experience managing and leading.  Both as a politician and a businessman, he has been accountable for budgets, payroll, and organized leadership. 

But what makes Romney most appealing is his record of getting positive results, especially in business.  He has taken struggling companies and set them on the proper course (the list is endless).

He took the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics from struggling enterprise to successful endeavor.

He took a bi-partisan approach to his job as Governor of Massachusetts and turned a state deficit into a surplus.

Legions of acquaintances and former parishioners have come forward with extraordinary tales of his benevolence and charity.  And his recently released tax records serve as empirical proof of this.

His demeanor is positive, humble and gentle. 

Contrast that with what we know of Barack Obama in 2012.  The President has shown us that he is a cold, childish, arrogant, petty man.  He carries himself with a sense of his own importance, constantly lecturing the American people as though he is a divine sage sent from On High to “get our minds right.”

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, speaks messages of encouragement and of America’s (and Americans’) goodness.  He has stated repeatedly that he will “never apologize for America” and has a book of the same title, written years before his nomination, to prove it.

Mitt Romney is the man we need at this time in our nation’s history.  Unlike Barack Obama in 2008, he is IMMINENTLY qualified to address the largely budgetary and economic problems the nation faces. 

In 2008, we had no reason other than soaring rhetoric to vote for the man who would, inevitably, become President. 

In 2012, given the dire financial and economic times we face, we have every reason in the world to trust that Mitt Romney’s business intuition and leadership experience will help get our nation on course. 

Mitt Romney for President, 2012.  Get out and support him tomorrow.