Barack Obama is a powerful, eloquent, talented orator and he proved that today when, in front of the old state capital building in Springfield, IL, he announced his candidacy for president.
If you watched the speech or if you see it replayed you’ll note that he not only spoke eloquently, he spoke extemporaneously. You’ll also notice as you listen to his speech or read the transcript that he did not enter this race calling his opponents names, nor did he enter the race trumpeting the superiority of his Democratic Party over the Republican Party; he entered the race by rallying the crowd around the concept of a failing America that can, under his leadership, be made great again.
It is his chosen path for greatness that concerns me.
Ignoring, for the purpose of this post, Obama’s stance on the “War against terrorism” (and, specifically, his confused call for our immediate withdrawal from Iraq as the definitive answer to successfully fighting terrorism); Barack Obama has two especially dangeous ideas that relate to our day-to-day American life; ideas that tell all you need to know about Barack Obama.
Obama feels that stronger labor unions are essential to returning America to greatness.
Obama is so strongly pro-union that his call for stronger labor unions was one of the first important points he made in his speech. What he did not say, or even conceive of saying, is that unions have traditionally taken the role of adversary to American business and in that adversarial role they have hurt business and have done immeasurable damage to the American worker.
Labor unions have done many things that most Americans perceive as ‘good things’:they’ve forced increased wages, they’ve forced improved benefits and they have forced improved working conditions but while doing that they drove many companies to the brink of bankruptcy, have closed the doors of many more businesses and unwittingly gave birth to the concept of outsourcing, causing millions of American jobs to be lost to foreign countries.
When labor unions start being a force for positive change for both parties, for both the worker and the company, they will begin to be a force for good, but that is not likely to happen until our economy is so disastrously crippled that the workers themselves rebel against and disband the unions that created the disaster. (This is, in fact, already happening and that is why labor unions will, no doubt, pour money into Obama’s warchest; to regain the power that many American workers are now denying them.)
Obama feels that Universal Health Care is the answer to America’s health care problem.
He used the term “Universal Health Care” only once but the crowd heard it and the world heard it; and those around the world who now live under a system of universal healthcare are, no doubt, shaking their heads at our flirtation with the idea. Universal health care in Canada, for example, has those who can afford it flocking across the border on a daily basis to receive their health care in the United States. Why? Because under Universal Health Care they receive medical care that they consider substandard.
Consider this: Every country that has adopted universal health care has a “back door” for those who can afford to use it – it may be, like Canada, travel to a place where they can get healthcare that is tailored to their particular illness or, like England, it may be a private healthcare policy that allows them to see a doctor of their choice when they need to.
Also, if you think about it logically you’ll see that the United States already HAS a system that comes very close to the concept of Universal health care. We have private/premium healthcare for those who can afford the premium, we have HMOs and other health plans that provide excellent care for others who make a good income but aren’t rich and we have hospital emergency rooms and clinics that provide care to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. If there are “holes” in the system (I’m not saying there are no problems) let’s patch the holes without destroying the system and let’s NOT turn health care into another government program. Let’s always bear in mind that the proper role of government is to protect our rights and freedoms, not to control our health care or any of our social institutions.
The United States achieved its greatness through the sweat and tears of individuals — individuals who worked hard to build better lives for themselves and their families. It is the private citizen, driven by the profit motive, that made this country great and who will help this country stay great. These two ideas that Obama introduced today as essential parts of his campaign for the presidency: more powerful, government-supported labor unions and universal health care are both ideas that reject individual freedom and Capitalism (individual rights), the two foundations of American life.
I can not and will never support a Socialist for President and Barack Obama, beneath the flowery prose and eloquent presentation, has announced his position as a creature with two too many socialist ideas.
The Kansas City Star: Obama invokes Lincoln in bid to be first black elected to White House
The Boston Globe: Obama announces ’08 campaign, talks of leading new generation
From the blogosphere:
American Reality: Reviewing Barack Obama’s Big Announcement
Democratic Edge: Commentary: Obama’s running