Re: A Mormon for Obama in New Hampshire

Dear Trent,
I read your post about why you're voting for Barack Obama. I felt you explained yourself very well, but I did want to respond to all of the reasons you enumerated for why your vote is going to this man. I would like to respectfully respond to each of your reasons with some thoughts of my own. Thank you.

1) He has family values. I can't really argue with you there about his family. When I see him and his family together they really seem to love each other and I like that. Jihad-ist fist bumps and all.
2) He is smart. Once again, agreed. I do have to say however, that I find it interesting that someone in his situation, who I believe is the embodiment of the American dream, would want the Federal government to get so involved in people's lives. Usually the Federal government creates road blocks with its involvement, it does not remove them. (Specific examples to follow.)
3)He is smooth- yes. He is a powerful speaker. While I do find the ability to deliver speeches well to be important, saying something and doing something are two different things. I do have to admit that Obama's lack of experience worries me simply because he has thus far declared that he intends to do a lot of things that, once he gets into office he may find that it is impossible for him to do. This goes along with my thought that the President has extracted far too much power in the past 30 years. He isn't our king, he is supposed to listen to the voice of the American people and then, working with Congress and the Judicial system, do what is in his capacity to do in the best interest of the People. Perhaps you haven't read your pocket version of the Declaration of Independence lately, so I will quote from mine. "
When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." I'll get back to this further on.
4) He is black. Trent. I know you said you were joking, but seriously, you need to be careful with this. While I do think it's sad that there are people in this country who won't vote for Barack simply because he is black, it is also worrisome to vote for him simply because he is back. If this still has to be an issue at all, it shows we really haven't come that far since the Civil Rights movement, which, PS, started well before the 1960s.
5) He is not always decisive. I'm not so sure this will lead to careful and deliberate decisions. Tell me something Trent, and I ask this in all honesty because I really don't know, and would like a clear answer. What decisions has he made thus far? I want to know, because I'd like to know what kind of choices he makes once he finally does make decisions.
6) He inspires. Again, yes, he is a powerful speaker, but words must lead to action or the inspiration will be lost. Additionally, too much of what I hear him say is, "the federal government will solve your problems." This goes back to the president having too much power, but moreover, if Barack institutes all of the programs he has talked about, where is the money going to come from? Read this history on taxes in America. Food for thought.
7) He has class. I won't say that Barack has never slung any mud back but I do have to agree that he has put up with some ridiculous accusations throughout his campaign. I don't care that his middle name is Hussein. Do people honestly think there was only one Adolf in the world? Let me answer that question, no, there wasn't, and just because one Adolf killed Jews doesn't mean they all did, in fact I'm pretty sure most of them didn't. Also all this Reverend Wright stuff bugs me because um, hello Mormons of the world, how many lies have we heard perpetuated about our religion started because there are a few crazy people in the world who happen to be Mormon. What it comes down to is that we weren't with Barack in church, and so we don't know what was said, and we're not fascist, so get over it. Okay, I'm off my soapbox about that now.
8) He is real. Okay, sure, honestly Trent I thought this one was a little weak so I can't really decide how to respond to it. Keep it real.
9) He has vision. This is where you mention health care, the 800 pound gorilla. So let me share a few things with you on that. You can read here to find where I'm getting some of this information from.

“We now face an opportunity — and an obligation — to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday's health care debates… My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness.”

— Barack Obama, Speech in Iowa City, IA, May 29, 2007

Nice words Barack, but did you know of all the health care available to those who can't afford it? Medicaid, HIPP, SCHIP, COBRA, to name a few. I'll admit, I know of more, but I left some of my research at work so I can't remember all of the names right now.

About a week ago I went to a Financial Stability Summit in Salt Lake, and one of the breakout sessions I went to was on health care reform. One of the speakers gave us some great figures, I'll share with you the few I remember right now, and I'll post the rest after I get back to work on Monday and pick up that folder. He told us that Hawaii requires that everyone in the state have health insurance, about 8% still don't. He also said that 50% of the people in Utah that don't have health care are eligible for at least one of these programs, they simply don't sign up for it.

He talked about how most of these people were the "young immortals" people my age who think they'll never die. It was interesting to sit in a room full of old people who gave some lame ideas about how to force people like me to get health insurance, and all I could think was," you people don't get it." You can't force people to do something, even if it is something that would be good for them.

Now, I want to talk a little about socialized medicine. I did a little research this past week on the French health care system. Read about it here. I do think there are some good things about this plan America could adopt. This does come back to my question with Barack on how he intends to pay for his plan. The federal programs that are already in existence create a drain on state's economies to fund them. At this financial stability summit I went to the man with the facts and figures told us that he had been talking with one of the Senators from Utah about the health care problem, and he said the Senator said, "the federal government will be talking about that, we want to help." To which his response was, " If you help anymore I don't know how we'll survive." I think there needs to be more accountability in the system on the part of those being insured, and I think that any problems with people being uninsured needs to be taken care of on a state level, where it can be individualized to the problems that face that state.

If you want to see what socialized medicine does to people, come to the clinic on a Tuesday or Thursday night, its awful, I could never want that for America, ever.

10) He understands the constitution. Well then he should know that the president has usurped way too much power in the past, and that we need to get back to some constitutional essentials on the role and responsibility of the president. Read here.

11) He has done a lot of things. I would like to request a list of what these "things" are. Most especially the impossible bill of which you speak. Thank you.

12) He likes people. That's good. You know who else likes people? Bob Barr. So does Ron Paul. So do I. Vote for me.

13) He understands where he came from. This brings me back to the question of him being for a liberal government. I'm not saying that it was easy for Barack to get where he is today, but I think the Federal government would find that if they withdrew themselves from some programs in the country, or at least changed their role, that they would be removing road blocks some people face. Moreover, those who simply live off of the welfare of others would be held more accountable for how they live their life.

14) He is open minded. My main problem with what you talk about here is that he didn't vote on a third of the bills last year?!?! What was he doing? A fault I have found on both Obama and McCain's sides is that they seem to forget that while they are running for president they are currently serving in positions that we have already elected them to. If Obama hasn't been in office that long and hasn't voted on a lot of bills that came by during that time then what has he been doing? Has his open mindedness left him too indecisive?

15) He is prepared to lead. Please cite specific examples of his leadership, because thus far what you have stated sort of shows me that he has not done a lot of leading in his lifetime.

16) He is a champion for the middle class. I have talked about taxes previously in this post. He may be a champion for the middle class, but I think he has forgotten, as most presidential candidates do, that all the programs they promise to the people will cost money, where are they going to get this money from? Especially in a liberal government. Liberal means big government, no downsizing. Is he going to closeout some programs that aren't fulfilling their goals right now and redistribute that money? I'm confused as to how this is really going to work. Believe me Trent, I know I'm not rich, I've had that drilled into me for my entire life. I just think that when someone's job involves voting themselves a raise every year, they forget what its like when you don't have to power to do that. I think you are forgetting that the American people are more monetarily and economically connected than we sometimes want to believe. I'm all for tax cuts, I'm all for people like Warren Buffet getting taxed more than I do, but I also think the Federal Government has a tendency to just throw money at a problem in the hopes it will fix the problem, and all of that money has to come from somewhere.

Moreover, the world is more globalized than ever before, and as time goes on our economy will just become more and more intertwined with other nation's economy. This can be a very good thing, but it also means that the things the government does here affects more than just us. Where is 90% of our economy right now? In China. The only presidential candidate I ever heard saying anything about the importance of the big picture was Ron Paul, and he isn't running anymore.

In conclusion, while I respect your desire to vote for Barack, I just can't do it, I don't think he is the man for the job. But if its any consolation, I don't think John McCain is either.


trentathon said…
haha, renny i love you. after i originally posted my obama thing, i started thinking about some of the points i raised and i thought that someone could easily call me on several points because i didn't do a good enough job of explaining myself. no one really did though, until now! thanks! i wish i had time to respond, but i don't. at least today. civil procedure beckons me. but for such a well-thought out and well-written response, i am slightly offended that you did not put it in my comment section. unless of course you wanted others to know that you are really not for obama. but i figure that either mccain or obama will win. why not help decide the lesser of two evils? unless of course you think that mccain is less evil.
Docface/Wilbur said…
McCain is the lesser of two evils. Read my blog! (Lindsey already did.) About taxes, remember that the rich guy is the one who employs the middle class and poor guy. If rich guy's pocket book hurts, so does poor guy's.
Nicely done, Lindsey!
kia said…
Great response, it sounds like you have a lot of the same kind of concerns I do about Obama. As for the health care issue...I could go on for days, but one thing that has really been bugging me this election when it comes to this issue is the lack of dealing with what I feel is the real issue at hand: why is the cost of health care rising and what can we do about it?

Even if we can somehow force everyone to take advantage of the insurance options that are out there and even if Obama's plan of "covering every American" happens, if we don't institute some major insurance reform we are going to bankrupt the entire system. When doctors treat patients with Medicaid or other governmental insurance, they are barely breaking even with overhead costs. And soon they won't even be able to do that, but instead will be paying out of pocket to treat those patients, which is no way to maintain a financially sustainable business.

I'm not saying that it's better if patients are uninsured though, because when physicians see those uninsured patients who seek care through the community health departments they are actually paying almost the entire cost of care out of pocket. So, we need to have some way of cutting the overhead costs before we throw a ton more "insured" people into the mix who have insurance companies that refuse to cover the cost of care. If you look at where the money is actually going it is not to the doctors, or the hospitals, but the insurance companies. (Yeah, like the ones who are charging doctors multiple times my yearly salary just for malpractice insurance).

Anyway, I could go on, but I should stop. It's a huge problem and I don't think it is being approached the right way by either candidate, which is really frustrating. But thanks for taking the time to present the info...and for the forum for me to vent. :-)
Renny said…
Kia, thanks for your input. The issue of health care is just getting worse and worse, and you're right, if we don't do something soon then we're going to find ourselves with a huge economic mess on our hands. I wish you could have come to the financial stability summit, I think you would have really liked it.
Docface/Wilbur said…
I just spoke to a parent at Jacob's football game on Saturday. He is a cancer surviver and he just recently had surgery because they found a spot on his kidney and they had to remove a part of his kidney. Fortunately, it was benign. He told me that he feels so fortunate to have the doctors that he does because they are all Mayo Clinic doctors. He said to me that after having such good care, it would be difficult to move to Obama syle care. I agreed that was true. He said that his doctors told him that if socialized medicine were put in place, they would have no alternative but to close their offices. Now, that would be a disaster. Fewer doctors to give the care, and fewer really good doctors practicing.

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