Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I think I finally feel free to vote my conscience

I am so sick of the two major parties, and so sick of the lack of integrity or character on the part of the Republicans, in particular, I figure I can do no harm by voting my conscience (as I have refused to do the last two elections, due to the supposed "evil" of the Democratic Party).

Yes, I voted for George Bush both times. And what has that gotten us? More tax-and-borrow liberalism, and now, in the last two weeks, socialistic benefits for people who have dedicated themselves to acquiring the most money possible, and higher inflation and/or future misery for many people who have dedicated themselves to living frugally within their means.

I think this Time magazine article, titled
How We Became the United States of France
, expresses it well:
This is the state of our great republic: We've nationalized the financial system, taking control from Wall Street bankers we no longer trust. We're about to quasi-nationalize the Detroit auto companies via massive loans because they're a source of American pride, and too many jobs — and votes — are at stake. Our Social Security system is going broke as we head for a future where too many retirees will be supported by too few workers. How long before we have national healthcare? Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food.

Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by a half dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn. and FedExed to Washington D.C. to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. We're now no different from any of those Western European semi-socialist welfare states that we love to deride. . . .

Now our laissez-faire (hey, a French word) regulation-averse Administration has made France's only Socialist president, Francois Mitterand, look like Adam Smith by comparison. All Mitterand did was nationalize France's big banks and insurance companies in 1982; he didn't have to deal with bankers who didn't want to lend money, as Paulson does. When the state runs the banks, they are merely cows to be milked in the service of la patrie. France doesn't have the mortgage crisis that we do, either. In bailing out mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, our government has basically turned America into the largest subsidized housing project in the world. Sure, France has its banlieus, where it likes to warehouse people who aren't French enough (meaning, immigrants orAlgerians) in huge apartment blocks. But the bulk of French homeowners are curiously free of subprime mortgages foisted on them by fellow citizens, and they aren't over their heads in personal debt. . . .

Now the U.S. is faced with the same prospect in the auto industry. GM and Ford need money to develop greener cars that can compete with Toyota and Honda. And they're looking to Uncle Sam for investment — an investment that could have been avoided had Washington imposed more stringent mileage standards years earlier. But we don't want to interfere with market forces like the French do — until we do. . . .

Even in the strongest sectors in the U.S., there's no getting away from the French influence. Nothing is more sacred to France than its farmers. They get whatever they demand, and they demand a lot. And if there are any issues about price supports, or feed costs being too high, or actual competition from other countries, French farmers simply shut down the country by marching their livestock up the Champs Elysee and piling up wheat on the highways. U.S. farmers would never resort to such behavior. They don't have to: they're the most coddled special interest group in U.S. history, lavished with $180 billion in subsidies by both parties, even when their products are fetching record prices. One consequence: U.S. consumers pay twice what the French pay for sugar, because of price guarantees. We're more French than France.

George W., as far as I can tell, has proven himself more socialistic than Franklin D. Roosevelt was. And that's saying rather a lot!

Of course, we're not about to try to elect George W. again. That's nice. But now what does John McCain have to offer?

Prior to Palin being put forward, it was only the Democrats who had an inexperienced candidate being promoted for the White House. But now the Republicans have promoted an equally inexperienced candidate and, worse, they seem unwilling to admit what a sham she is.

She is supposedly a high-minded, principled person with a heart set on eliminating government waste. Really? Must be a relatively recent conversion.
  • Yes, she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. But only after she promoted it. (During her 2006 campaign for governor, Palin repeatedly expressed support for the bridge project, saying Alaska should take advantage of earmarks “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” [Anchorage Daily News, 10/22/06 (answer to Question #5); Ketchikan Daily News, 8/9/06, 11/21/06])

    Moreover, it was only after the issue became a national embarrassment that she decided it was a bad idea.

  • She was all in favor of as much federal pork as she could get her hands on for the community she served as mayor.. ($27 million in 14 projects.)
  • She permitted the $25 million, 3.2-mile long, federally-funded "road to nowhere" to continue. --I guess, as long as the federal government pays (meaning, U.S. taxpayers pay) for it and the taxpayers ignore it, such expenditures are okay.
  • Oh. And let us not forget her "travel expenses" incurred for staying--or, rather, going--home and/or for helping her family travel with her.

    "Her costs have been much lower than her Democratic predecessor's," say her apologists.

    Yeah. But what about honesty, accountability, ethics and integrity? Would the IRS permit private businesses to charge off these kinds of expenses as legitimate business expenses?

    If you heard of some private business person who was doing this, would you agree: "Yeah, that's really okay!"?

    I don't think so!
And then I'm supposed to take comfort that she is a quick study on foreign policy even though, by her own admission, that has never been of interest to her?

Sorry. I would be happy to do a similar "analysis" of Obama and Biden, but I have never had interest in potentially voting Democratic.

Now I have to decide whether to vote Libertarian or U.S. Constitution Party.
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