Monday, 03 November 2008

Musings on the U.S. Presidential Election

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Vote button on flagThe flying circus that is the quadrennial U.S. presidential-election campaign is finally coming to another cyclical finish. It culminates today, when millions of voters will go to their polling stations and cast their ballots. But millions will also stay away and not participate, feeling that it is a waste of time to stand in line for up to two hours, because they believe that, as a certain Southern politician once put it, "There is not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."

Nevertheless, there is a greater amount of excitement this presidential election year because the incumbent is not running for reelection, the Democrats have a black candidate at the top of their ticket, and the Republicans are running a woman as their vice-presidential candidate. Many are describing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama as a transformational figure. In my personal conversations with people, I'm surprised at the number of people who think that it would be cool to see as U.S. president a black person with a Muslim name. They seem more concerned with the symbolism rather than with the substance of the man. The notion that one might want to consider voting for the candidate who would best protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of the American people does not seem to be relevant to them.

Given that the present occupant of the White House is an extremely unpopular Republican, it might be at least somewhat understandable that the voters would want to replace President George W. Bush with a Democrat. However, polls show that the U.S. Congress has an even lower approval than the president but also that the Democrats are expected to increase their present majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Go figure that one out! Actually, studies have already explained it. When voters are asked why they would reelect an incumbent when Congress has such a low approval rating, a voter typically responds by saying, "Oh, my legislator is okay; it's the other guy's legislator who is no good."

Polls show that, barring a Truman-defeats-Dewey-type surprise, Barack Obama is expected to be our next president. Also, if there is any significant election fraud, it would likely work in Obama's favor, as significant numbers of illegal immigrants have figured out how to game the system. Also, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a radical welfare rights group that was implicated in numerous reports of fraudulent voter registration, vote-rigging, voter intimidation, and vote-for-pay scams during the 2004 election, is at it again in 2008. ACORN has submitted hundreds of thousands of voter registration forms and verification spot checks have revealed that, in some cases, most of them are fraudulent. Hence, one cannot help but presume that many fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN did pass through the net and were not captured.

So, if Obama does win, how much of a "transformational" president would he likely be? He has promised us "Change You Can Believe In," as the signs carried by his enraptured supporters put it. But history shows that newly elected politicians do not bring change to Washington so as much as they are changed by Washington. On the other hand, what if the Democrats do succeed in enlarging their majorities in both houses of Congress? In particular, what if the Democrats also get a filibuster-proof majority of 60 in the Senate? In that case, there would be nothing to stop the Democrats from imposing their political agenda on the country, and Obama really could be a transformational figure.

You can bet that the Democrats would try to come up with schemes to stay entrenched in power. They would try to create vast new groups of dependent Americans, in order to build a coalition of voters that would be able to repel any attempt to rebuild a conservative majority favoring a smaller, constitutional federal government. If Obama follows through on his promise to offer amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, the Democrats can count on millions of new Americans to vote Democratic for the rest of their lives.

Organized labor would expect to be rewarded for the millions of dollars and the thousands of "volunteers" it threw into campaigns to get Democrats elected. Democrats would be eager to pass legislation doing away with secret ballot elections to determine whether workers want a union shop. Instead, a so-called "card check" system would be imposed, whereby labor union organizers would be able to approach workers and ask them to sign a card supporting a union. Such a system would allow union officials to identify who opposes a union and then intimidate those workers into signing a union certification card.

Another major goal of Big Labor is repeal of Section 14-b of the Taft-Hartley Act, which allows states to pass right-to-work laws. Such laws allow workers to decline to pay dues to a labor union they do not support, and 22 states have such laws. Labor unions want to be able to force workers to pay dues into their coffers in order to keep their jobs because more money would mean more political power for Big Labor. Democrats would be happy to deliver, knowing that they would be the beneficiaries of increased union support.

Look for Democrats to revisit the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." This would require broadcasters to provide equal time to opposing points of view, even if there were no sponsors willing to support such programs. For example, conservative talk-radio shows succeed in getting far greater sponsorship than do liberal talk-radio shows, so the "Fairness Doctrine" would require broadcasters to air liberal talk shows for free, or cut back on conservative talk-radio programs. Obviously, such regulation is designed to restrict conservative political speech.

Those are just some of the shenanigans that we can look forward to if the Democrats win in a landslide — and if they follow the party line.
 

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