Truly a Change Candidate
So with the two presidential nominees set to spar over the Executive seat up for grabs, we are all left asking ourselves, “Which is the lesser evil?” I would like to first point out that I believe these two candidates are both horrible choices for president, but right now I would like to focus on the self-proclaimed change candidate, Barack Obama. I hear Obama when he labels himself as an agent of change; I’m just not sure what kind of change he is talking about. Seemingly, nothing has come out of his mouth that is a big change for democratic presidential nominees.
Perhaps he is talking about his change in positions. In February, when asked about vouchers, which involves the payment of government money to the parents of private school children, Obama said that he might be open to them. His reasoning was that if studies could show that they help to improve education, he would not let his predispositions stand in the way. An interesting stance seeing as how some studies show vouchers do improve education, while others show they don’t. However, after a little pressure from teachers’ unions, Obama quickly ‘changed’ his stance on vouchers. His position now is to not support vouchers in any shape or form. Maybe he found a foolproof study among the lot.
Speaking about the Cuba embargo, which is the US trade ban with Cuba, in January 2004, Obama said we should, “end the Cuba embargo.” His reasoning was that it had, “utterly failed to overthrow Castro.” In a speech given in 2007, Obama ‘changed’ his position, saying that he would not, “take off the embargo,” because, “it is an important inducement for change.” Let’s not consider the fact that the trade embargo has been in place for 46 years already. Has much changed with Cuba in 46 years? The US trades with communist China and Vietnam, yet we deny Cubans the right to American goods. Is this 46 year-old initiative your idea of change?
While running for US Senate in 2004, Obama said he supported eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana use. However, in 2007 he ‘changed’ his position to fit in with his fellow democratic candidates in opposing the decriminalization of the drug. Obama has also ‘changed’ his stance on civil liberties. He now supports legislation to grant immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with wiretapping without warrants. Let’s not forget that Obama also voted for the Patriot Act, which is a gross overstatement of federal involvement in the lives of citizens. This bill lets the government illegally spy on its citizens, most notably through international phone calls. This is confusing if you consider that the democrat/liberal position of pro-choice is based on the Bill of Rights and our right to privacy, and, as Obama has stated, the trust he has of women to make the right decision. So evidently, he trusts us enough to decide if our children should live or die, but he doesn’t trust us to make overseas phone calls.
In January of this year, Obama described union contributions to the Clinton and Edwards camp as special interest money. However, once Obama started getting several union checks himself, he ‘changed’ his position. He now refers to unions as agents of the working people. How about campaign financing? Obama once was a supporter of public financing for campaigns and said he would accept public money as a presidential candidate if his opponent did the same. He now has ‘changed’ that stance and recently denied public funds so he could maintain his massive private fundraising. Keep in mind he will be the first presidential candidate since Watergate not to accept public funds. In good ole politician form, he also put a spin on why he did this whilst blaming his opponent at the same time. What a change! So perhaps the change Obama is talking about is the kind in his pocketbook.
Obama is also in bed with AIPAC, and is dedicated to Israel. He has recently sounded more like Bush in talking about the nuclear threat of Iran, which is pretty much non-existent. He doesn’t ever mention Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza’s 1.5 million people. He does downplay the threat of Iran to America, yet considers them a huge threat to Israel. I suppose we should risk the lives of US soldiers and the near suicide of the American economy so Obama can please AIPAC and keep Israel safe while not making a single American more secure.
The fact is there is nothing about this man that embodies change. People who believe this will be very disappointed in his performance. We deserve better than somebody who can merely give a good speech. We need good policies, and Barack Obama is lacking in them.