By: Natasha Donghia
Ah where to begin…Normally I just read the blog, and although I am often tempted to respond, I do not. Perhaps it’s the fact that so often, especially around these parts, when I express views that aren’t a direct quote from a Toby Keith song I tend to get treated like some sort of communist, godless, heathen who eats babies in my spare time. However, it seems there are few who are willing to step up to the plate and say “Yes, I voted for Obama and here’s why” so I guess it will have to be me.
First let me start by saying I am not a fad follower. I don’t jump on bandwagons, and I was never caught up in the fanfare. I never regarded Obama as the second coming, the great mixed-race hope or the only chance our country had at salvation. But I did recognize him for what I believe him to be: the best PR for our country.
Our country has lost the respect of the rest of the world. We are portrayed as fat, lazy, undereducated, over-privileged and ethnocentric. We have been represented by leaders who have shown such arrogance and self-righteousness that we are despised in countries where self-righteousness and arrogance are considered a hallmark of good politics.
Do we have great people in this country? Yes! Are we a great country? Of course! But that’s not the face of America we have shown the world in the recent past. And we desperately need to change that. If we were to hire the very best PR manager in the world, she would tell you the same thing: America must change its image.
So yes… we needed “Change”. What a fantastic word that is. What phenomenal marketing. The world ate it up. And at the end of the day…that’s good for all of us.
That’s not to say that I voted for Obama solely on those grounds. I would never have voted for him if I disagreed with his policy. But like all the men whose promises I’ve listened to in the past..it’s clear that the follow through will be somewhat lacking. I am greatly disappointed in his healthcare plan. It is so flawed that it would only serve to benefit private health insurance itself. I am disappointed in his wishy-washy stance on torture policy and the war. However-I am proud that he voted to lift the ban on federal funding of stem cell research. I am glad that he seems to be concerned about putting the focus back on sound science in government policy. I am also proud that he and I share the same views on what the constitution is really about and that writing discrimination into the constitution goes against it’s very spirit.
At the moment, though, I guess the big question is are we moving towards socialism in this country? I don’t think so. Let’s not forget that this administration inherited a huge problem. A broken economy that is not likely to magically repair itself. So perhaps the steps being taken at this point are unprecedented. Perhaps everyone doesn’t agree with the Government’s involvement, but it’s irresponsible to cry “socialism” instead of seeing it for what it is, a drastic measure in reaction to a drastic problem. All this talk about socialism just makes me think that some people do not have a basic understanding of it’s concepts. Where is the evidence that this administration WANTS industry to be nationalized by the government? Might I remind you that this was a process initialized by the former administration? Where have you gotten any real indication that the Obama administration is against the free market? Government oversight into a flawed system is far different than outlawing profit. Market forces will continue to direct our economy, but we can’t rebuild our economy on an unstable foundation.
The world is a constantly changing place, and what worked yesterday will not always work tomorrow. The structure of our economy was different 30, 40, and 50 years ago. The “spreading of wealth” was something that took care of itself. Now big business destroys small business. Instead of passing on a family business, mom and pop close the shop because Wal-Mart opened down the street. The very rich get much richer and the rest of the population remains stagnant. Perhaps there SHOULD be a safety net in place to protect capitalism from its worst qualities.
I am not sure how it is a bad thing that the rich get richer. I'm sure I will be castigated for this by some, but I believe that trickle-down economics actually works and is based on common sense. If those who open the big stores make more money and build more stores, doesn't that create jobs? Isn't that a good thing? And while the U.S. may benefit from a good PR campaign, I'd just as soon our president put the interests of this country over those of any other. PR spin-meisters are part of the problem with the media infatuation with Obama now and frankly, I'm not overly concerned whether some backward Mid-East country thinks America is arrogant or self-righteous. Legalizing gay "marriage"(June is gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender month?), expanding abortion and other extreme left-wing ideas does far more damage to our standing with much of the world than does whether we are cocky or not. I know that change sounds good and makes us all feel nice and warm and fuzzy but change for the sake of change isn't necessarily a good thing. And a free market isn't free at all when the government(that's with a small "g")can fire the CEO of a private company like GM. I'm not sure how many signs of our slide toward socialism one needs to see. Maybe I don't understand the concepts of what that actually is. Let me just say this: The path we are heading down with this president is a place I don't want to go, whatever it is that is at the end of the path!
A PR man? The US needed a PR man? Wake up people. Do you really believe that since Obama is the president that ANYONE is going to like us any better??? Last time I checked we are still at war (With Obama basically handling it the same way George W did) and North Korea just blew up a nuke and shot about 20 missiles in the air. Oh and Akmed ASDJFARFJOEWSFDSFJL over there in Iran is still crazy and saying Israel should be wiped off the map. Oh and don't think he wouldn't wipe America off the map too if he could. Please understand this folks, YOU CAN NOT REASON WITH CRAZY PEOPLE!!!! They don't hate us because of who is president. They simply hate us because we are Americans. I want a president that our enemies are scared of. (Like Reagan or W). That is the best way for us to stay safe. Who cares what people think of us anyway. They all bash us relentlessly and then come crying for our help when something goes wrong. And we always help and then get bashed relentlessly again. But I guess Hope will change all this……………………………………..Kevin
First Natasha let me say thank you for your post. I have wanted to see some differnt view points on here to possibly spark some sort of debate or exchange of ideas. So thank you for wading into the shark invested waters here. Now, I believe that our country is the greatest country in the world. We have fed more of the worlds hungry, cured more of the worlds ills and freed more people from oppression and tyranny than any other country that has ever existed. We have never asked to be repaided or even thanked and most of the time have spent our own tax dollars to rebuild the countries we have fought against. That in and of its self is unheard of. For us to now have to worry what European Countries think about us turns my stomach. Most of them would not even exist today if not for us. The biggest and most powerful in any group are going to be looked at with disdain from the weaker. Their systems, like health care, are ruining their countries and now we are holding them up like the perfect examples we should follow. And for President Obama to go to Europe and apologize for our arrogance is almost treasonous. They call us the "world's police" for a reason because no one wants us around until they need us. We also don't need the U.N.'s permission to protect American lifes or property. The U.N. has proved to be one of the most corrupt institutions operating today. So why should anyone ask for leadership from them? Change seems great sometimes. And I will agree we did need change, but we need the right kind of change. If a person is in an accident and is injured their health has changed, but not for the better. As far as science being put back into government science says we have a better chance of finding cures with adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have never cured anything. Adult stem cells are already being used to cured numerous ills.I voted against Obama because his view of the constitution and mine are completely different. I do not believe that discrimination is or should be writen into the Constitution. I do believe in free market capitalism which is what is under attack. I believe Obama does WANT governmental control of industry. How else do you explain the government telling bailed out companies that they will not accept repayment of the money. The only reason possible for that is that they want their hands in the companies affairs. If we were to have let market forces dictate the events of conpanies like GM we would have let them file bankruptcy. GM would have been able to restructure debt and and would have come out of it a stronger more viable company. Instead the government threw billions of dollars at them, at the same time breaking just about every contract law on the books, and they are still in no better shape.The Obama administation did not inherit economic problems from Bush. The Congress holds the purse strings in this country and the Democrat were holding congress. Furthermore Obama himself was a member of congress. So really Obama is suffering from his and his parties economic platform.
Man it said my post was too long and would not let me finish.So to continue…."Spreading the wealth" is exactly what is wrong with Obama's plan. How can you punish people for working hard an trying to obtain their part of the American dream. If I will be punished by my government for my success and wealth why strive and work hard? You are rewarding laziness and punishing hard work. I hate that people make conservatives out to be racist. I think that all people are equal. All races have the same ability to make something out of themselves. By not expecting any group to contribute to society for what ever reason I think that is racist. When you tell someone we will give you money so you can stay home and not work and not try to better themselves you form a welfare mentality in people. People think that they are due certain benifits without any obligation on their part. People are better than that. People need to work. Work builds character. God gave us work because it helps us feel important. It helps us feel like we are doing something with our lives. Letting someone do and be nothing is wrong. People identify themselves by their occupation. If someone ask you to tell them about yourself one of your first responses will be "I'm a…." or "I work for…..". Why is that? Because your job gives you a degree of your identity. Why would you want someone that can do more to be content living off the government unless your goal is to keep people dependant of government for their basic needs. Again thanks for speaking up. And I look forward to your response.
As usual, Troy, very well said.
This is Tiffany S. I've signed on through Google, but it will only let me post as anonymous.Anyway, Natasha, what a great post! It is really hard to offer a differing opinion "in these parts." Somehow saying you aren't Republican is like saying you're not a real American.I personally, consider myself a moderate and try to stay Independent. I like to look at the individual candidate. During this last election I was very undecided between McCain and Obama, I considered them both fairly moderate, but McCain made the decision for me when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. She is so far right, this moderate just couldn't follow her. So, I did vote for Obama and at this point I'm still optimistic. His economic ideas may seem radical to some, but it's only been four months and I don't think that's enough time for all of us to start screaming that he's ruined this country.What I find strange is that the right wing is calling Obama a socialist and a communist and telling everyone he will be the downfall of our country, yet Brian Moore, head of the American Socialist Pary, has been all over Fox News calling him a Capitalist and an Imperialist saying the Socialist Party wants no part of Obama. So which is it? It all sounds like a bunch of propaganda to me.I think Barack Obama’s economic plan falls within the mainstream of American economic history. Just as the social radicalism of the 1960s produced great good – from the Civil Rights Movement to women’s rights – and the mainstream opposition today accepts these progressive strides forward, so the economic radicalism introduced market forces, encouraged competition, and has elevated many people in Third World nations from abject poverty as it’s mainstream opposition today accepts these positive effects of the market. I think Obama belongs more in the camp of mainstream opponents of extreme capitalism, not with the proponents of socialism. I think he is trying to take pro-active steps to reduce the destabilizing effects of globalization and capitalism while protecting our core values as a society.This isn’t socialism – this is common sense – and it has been the American system since our founding. The radicals are those who propose we do nothing in the face of attacks on our way of life and in the face of economic calamity – those who continue to favor deregulation and oppose sensible government intervention in the markets. The radicals are those who believe the free market will cure all ills and will heal itself. Those who claim that Barack Obama would be the most liberal president in history must have skipped the American history classes covering the period before 1980. Those who claim he is a socialist, I believe, have been misled by too much propaganda.
Tiffany…I didn't know you as well as I thought I did. The facts are: Obama is an extremely liberal president no matter what anyone says. His policies on social issues alone demonstrate that fact quite clearly. He has just proclaimed June Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender month. He favors unrestricted and late term abortions and says those things are are above his "pay grade." To call him a moderate of any sort is intellectually dishonest. "You can put your boots in the oven but that don't make 'em biscuits" someone once said. And what exactly is extreme capitalism? Wal Mart? Target? Big companies who make lots of money? How is that evil or bad? I'd love for mom and pop to be able to have their little corner grocery. In many cases they do. But pardon me if I partake in our free-market system by choosing to buy my chocolate milk at Wal Mart rather than from mom and pop because mom and pop charge me 3 times as much for it!Sarah Palin is not as far right as Obama is left and I'm not sure how anyone could argue otherwise. She has values and morals that she appears to actually believe in and doesn't go where the opinion polls take her. She doesn't ride the fence and somehow that is a bad thing? Go figure. It amazes and befuddles me how intelligent people have swooned over this man as if he is superhuman somehow. He is a smooth-talking, slickster whose qualifications to be the leader of the free world appear to be not much more than that of your average college graduate(which I am not, so he is more qualified than me). It is quite interesting that both the Obama supporters so far have insinuated that anyone who happens to be conservative in nature are nothing more than stereotypical southerners who base their worldviews on country songs. I'm sorry that those of us in "these parts" bring down the cumulative IQ of Alabama so much.
Oh, and Tiff…you know I love ya'!
Ha! NOT moving towards socialism my foot. What's next on Obama's plan is to take over the media.
Austin…It won't take much! He has practically done that already!
Gah. How pathetic has this contry turned into? Barack could be a good president, but he needs to change NOW before he gets to far into the muck. Have you heard of one of the northern states planning to sucede? They need some Conservative leaders to help. My father says when it gets bad enough, to "…pack up and meet me at the airport."
Democrats always have to act as if they are victims of some horrible circumstance. ie….people feeling like they can't speak out in "these parts". You can speak out anywhere (unless Obama gets his way) and not have to worry about being punished. Anyone who says Obama is not a liberal is absolutely denying the fact. He actually made Hillary Clinton look "not so bad" to me in the campaign. I thought to myself, "well if a democrat is gonna win, I hope it is her". Also, Obama could have very well been beaten in the election had the Republicans offered a candidate that didn't turn the stomachs of their own voters. I voted for McCain and still can't believe that he was the best the republicans could come up with………Kevin
So, Mr. Kevin, did you feel obligated/forced to vote for John McCain?
Thad, I am definitely not swooning. I don't swoon, especially over any politian, no matter who they are. And I wasn't attacking Sarah Palin. I commend her for being a strong woman and for sticking up for what she believes in, we simiply just don't believe in all the same things. And I certainly didn't mean to offend you or anybody else reading this by quoting "in these parts." My husband says I'm a walking contradiction – conservative on many issues, moderate or liberal on some other issues.(By the way, I like Toby Keith's music. Some people don't know it, but he's a Democrat. I saw him talking about it on T.V. one night – Talk about a contradiction! lol) It's just a fact that MOST of our friends and neighbors in this area are Republicans, very conservative, staunch, vocal Republicans. Unfortunately, I have heard folks say, or at least infer, that Independants and Democrats are un-American. I love America, I truly believe we are the greatest country in the world and I know my family and I are blessed to live here. Blessed to be free. Free to even share my opinions on this hometown blog.Anyway, it's not easy to speak out when you are in the minority. It was hard for me to get the nerve up to post on this subject because I know a lot of my friends, who I love and respect, have a very differing opinion than mine on this subject.I really must sign-off now, my four children has been having a run of the house while I have pondered this great debate!Tiffany
Troy Evans, you and I must be twins separated at birth … well said! I couldn't agree more, and ditto, Thad …
From Reuters"Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President Barack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.During one of Chavez's customary lectures on the "curse" of capitalism and the bonanzas of socialism, the Venezuelan leader made reference to GM's bankruptcy filing, which is expected to give the U.S. government a 60 percent stake in the 100-year-old former symbol of American might."Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," How moderate is that. Who better to know about socialism than Chavez. And he seems to think Obama is a socialist. Indeed it has only been 4 months and he has already tripled over national debt and is printing money that has no backing to it. The only bright spot I see is that we are in the worst shape we have been in since Jimmy Carter and that helped usher in the first Republican revolution. So there is hope.As far as people not being able to speak their minds freely around here, I think Thad has been recruiting Democrats to speak up. I think we can debate here without name calling and back biting. If you feel like we think you aren't as American as we are for your views we feeling like for the most part we are looked down on as simple minded people clinging to our guns and religion, oh wait a minute that's what our President said about us sorry.
Like some of the others, I enjoyed reading your post and on some points, I understand the point of view. In some rare cases, I even agreed with him on some of his issues and plans of action. On most of those, however, I, like you, believe his follow through is going to be and has been quite different. However, on the following, I would like to offer a suggestion and I quote: "…he and I share the same views on what the constitution is really about and that writing discrimination into the constitution goes against it’s very spirit."You may want to look at the record of and soundbytes from his latest supreme court nominee. While, it is not he who said it, he is endorsing her work/views with her appointment.
Okay, still here, really need to drag myself away, but . .. I never said I didn't feel free to speak my mind. I said it's hard to speak your mind and jump into a debate when you know you will be in the minority. 90% of my family and friends are conservative Republicans and I love and respect all of them, differing opinions or not.Tiffany
Not obligated or forced to vote for John McCain. Picked the one that was closer to my viewpoints. I do not like John McCain. I didn't like him before he ran for president. He was the only choice in the election. I certainly wasn't voting for Obama or Ron Paul. I actually voted for Romney in the primary…………Kevin
Hey Adam what about his own autobiography where he says "White man's greed runs a world in need."My real concern with Obama is his anti Christian views. In just 4 months he has said we are not a Christian nation, refused to appear at the National Day of Prayer, had a cross covered up at Georgetown University before he would speak there, said America should be seen as one of the largest Muslim countries in the world and add Conservative Christians and military vets to the terrorist watch list. Not to mention bowing to a Muslim king, blaming Israel for the problems in the middle east and stating Iran has the right to nuclear power a step away from nuclear arms. Now he is in Cairo quoting the Quran. In only four months. The next 3 2/3 years will be interesting.
Anyone in their right mind should be at least a little concerned, don'tyou think?
Barack Obama is not anti-Christian. He is in fact a Christian. He has said in print and televised media that he was baptized and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. And I also believe that his quote was "we are not entirely a Christian nation." Which is not denouncing Christianity, it is stating a fact: We are not wholely a Christian nation, we do have a huge population of Jews and Muslims in this country. As for the matter at Georgetown, Obama did not have a "cross" covered up. One of his staffers asked that they be set up in a secular area with only American Flags as a back drop and a Georgetown staffer took it upon themselves to cover up a small plaque, that would be in the background of the shot that said IHS, which Catholics and Jew commonly use as an abbreviation for Jesus. Also, during that speech at Georgetown, Obama mentioned the name of Jesus during his address and he also referenced Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Not really the act of an anti-Christian. And the whole bowing to a Muslim king, just a bunch of inate hoopla worked up by the likes of Rush Limba. With all that we as a country need to be focusing on right now, does it really matter if Obama might have leaned in too far on a handshake – or whatever they are calling it. I mean, Condoleeza Rice and other female dignitaries wear a head scarf in muslim countries out of respect for their culture, do you also consider them anti-Christian? I find it highly unpatiriotic to refer to the President of the United States as anti-Christian. This only helps to keep us separated as a nation.By the way I am new around these parts, I hail from the great State of Texas, I was raised by very conservative Republican parents and I am now an Independent voter.Drew Hayes
In June 2007 Mr. Obama said" Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least not just". In 2009 he said we "do not consider ourselves a Christian nation." I consider us a Christian nation and so does the Unites States Supreme Court. In 1892 Church of the Holy Trinity v United States Justice Brewer stated that "this is a Christian nation". Our nation was founded on biblical principles and Christian values. I disagree with him going to a forgein country and saying that WE do not consider ourselves a Christian nation. We do. He may not like that , but we do. We are a Christian nation that contains and protect several other religious groups. As far as the bow, leaning in too far is pure spin. I believe there is a past post on this issue on this blog spot. I do not believe I have questioned the President's personal believes or said he is not a baptized believer of Jesus Christ. My statement was that his policies are anti-Christian and I am offended to be called unpatriotic for expressing my views. If you can show me where in my post I stated anything about his salvation I will apologize.Welcome to the debate Mr. Hayes.
If you say an individual is anti-Christian, isn't that a direct statement to his personal salvation and beliefs? If someone pointed out an individual to me and told me they were anti-Christian, I would assume they weren't saved at all. If someone called me anti-Christian I would take it very personally. That's how I took it. And please know that I did not mean to personally offend you in regard to the unpatriotic statement, maybe I should have elaborated more on that somewhat.For example, do you remember when the Dixie Chicks were completely ostrasized and thrown out of the relm of country music because their lead singer said she was ashamed that President Bush was from her home state of Texas? They were roasted by the right wing. They still to this day receive death threats because of her "unpatriotic" words. But now those same right wing conservatives are calling our current President, among other things, a scary anti-Christian. Isn't one statement as wrong as the other? As unpatriotic? I've even heard Rush Limbaugh refer to him as the actual Antichrist. Isn't that the most horrible, dispicable thing you can say about any person, let alone the leader of our nation. The Dixie Chicks are now dispised by a large part of our nation and seen as the most unpatriotic of people.I found it unpatriotic when democrats made fun of Bush and I find it unpatriotic when republicans made fun of Obama. You don't have to respect the man, but I think we must all respect the office. And as to the topic of being a Christian nation, whether you or I as Christians like it or not, there are millions of Jews and Muslims and many other denominations that do not view this as just a Christian nation. Stating that fact does not make someone anti-Christian, it's just stating a fact. Don't read so much into it.Remember folks, there are choices out there outside of the traditional Republican and Democatic candidates (google Wayne Allan Root, saw an interesting interview with him on CNBC the other nigh). Keep an open mind. Keep this country great.Drew Hayes
Dr. Martin Luther King, Franklin D Roosevelt. Harry S Truman, Dwight D Eisenhower And that just names a few. All these men have alot in common but the one thing that they all had was integrity and honesty, Which is what america needs. without it we will faulter until it returns. Dr King once said " a man can't ride your back unless it's bent", right now americas back is bent and everybodys riding the change train. Now I'm not going to say Obama is evil or the anti christ, but he is definatly not the next Abe Lincoln or Martin Luther King, he is merely a puppet of his own creation. When we actually get a true black president Obama will be long forgoten about. So don't worry change is coming its only about three and a half years away. Jason Rodgers
I'm sorry, but there is just no way that any of us can say what Barack Obama's Presidential legacy will be 100 years from now. In the 1860's Abe Lincoln was in no way viewed as the greatest leader of our time, heck half of the country seceded from the union upon his election. Talk about your bad poll numbers! The Copperheads and other opponents of the war criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, the abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. He was so hated, he was assinated. It took many, many years after the civil war ended, maybe until the early 1900's, before Abe Lincoln was considered a great man and a great leader.As for the other great leaders you posted about, all of them had different varying degrees of controversy in their time and each one was accused, at one time or another, of being the person whose leadership would lead to the ruin of the United States of America. Truman faced challenge after challenge in domestic affairs. The reconversion of the economy of the United States was marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes, and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over HIS veto. He was often referred to as a baboon in the press and had to overcome the low expectations of many political observers. At different points in his presidency, Truman earned the lowest public approval ratings that had ever been recorded at the time.Well, anyway, I could keep going with this history lesson and talk about all of these great men for days, because each one of them was truly great and each have fascinating stories, but the point is probably moot. None of us really know how Barack Obama will be viewed by our nation 100 years from now.I do want to say that this blog entry has been quite an interesting read. But is anyone really listening to anyone else's viewpoints?
Can't speak for anyone else, but I always listen. Don't always agree, but I like to know what other people think and why.And what fun would all this be without the rampant speculation on what America will look like in 20 years or what sort of legacy President Obama will leave? Vive la difference!
Oh…and too good a post not to put your name!