My reply to a family member about the candidatesSubmitted by Redgyl on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 18:49
This is a response to a brave discussion started by my brother and sister-in-law. I'll follow the rules they have set: rely on what the candidate themselves said or did, and not on speculation or opinion pieces. I will also not use bad language or demonize, and I'll do my best to be respectful and objective. In my brother's post, he gave his states to support Romney and reject Obama (Romney's a good family man and church man, Obama's a socialist who supports socialists), and then added that Hitler won thanks to a split vote, and that Ron Paul's foreign policy was to let the Hitlers of the world run amok. So, here is my reply to him:
Being in Obamaland California, it is clear that even if every 3rd party voter chooses to support Romney instead Obama will win all of California's electoral votes, I do not feel compelled to vote for anyone I see as the lesser of two evils. Since most of my family is in either Romneyland Utah or Texas, I felt that they should not feel compelled, either. Romney will win all of Utah's and Texas' electoral votes, just as Obama will take all of California's. Only two of my family members are in a battleground state (Florida), and to them I will not pressure to vote a certain way. They are in a different situation than I am, and I'll will not condemn them or take offense in how, or even if, they vote.
Quite possibly my top priority in choosing someone to be president would be choosing someone who understands and defends the Constitution. Basically, I want someone who has demonstrated that he will fulfill his oath of office. This is a minimum requirement. Considering who is available to me on the ballot, I will either vote for Gary Johnson or write in Ron Paul. If Virgil Goode had been on the California ballot, I might vote for him. Listening to Gary words and reading them, I have come to the conclusion that he understands and has demonstrated the concept of restraint in government. He won the governor chair of New Mexico as a Republican at a time when New Mexico was 2-1 Democrat, and though he vetoed more bills than any other governor during that time and basically was a Republican in office, complete with real financial conservatism, he was reelected by a wider margin. The people felt first hand what his conservatism had done, and the supported him stronger the second time around. Gary Johnson is not my ideal candidate, but he's the next best available to me. Even the things I disagree with on him, I feel I can trust him on. For example, he states that he's pro-choice up to the age of viability, but he had rejected motions promoting late-term abortion, and he supports parental rights (no teenagers sneaking behind her parent's backs to have an abortion). Not only this, but he states that the abortion issue is a state issue, not a federal one. This tells me that he is not an extremist, and he once again understands the bounds that should be in place on a government. He describes himself as a "common sense" politician, having rejected bills that he felt that government had no real business getting involved with. As a politician, I have not seen any sign of corruption in him. Instead, I saw corruption working against him. He is not a "Ron Paul Republican," since he was governor of New Mexico before Dr. Paul's name got big, but I appreciate anyone who has demonstrated restraint when he was in power, and has no apparent sign of corruption or dishonesty in spite of having been in power. To be honest, I also appreciate anyone who speaks well of Dr. Paul ^_^ When it's popular to badmouth the doctor-representative and deny him more than 89 seconds in a debate, and so forth and so on, it takes courage to openly say that you would have Dr. Paul as a running mate in a Republican debate. Considering all of the corruption that goes on in politics and with the bias in media, the fact that he got blacked out worse than Ron Paul did speaks well of his relative good character. (I know that sounds funny. I base this on things I have seen myself, just like everybody else.) He doesn't cite the Constitution much, but his basic character seems to go along well with the true intent of the Constitution. He is not inclined to abuse power, nor to take away rights from the people. He didn't even claim credit for creating jobs in New Mexico, though others had said he did.
Being focused so much on the Constitution and on libertarian political philosophy, I cannot vote for Obama. My favorite example of his disregard for the Constitution is with him signing the NDAA for 2012. For those who don't know, the NDAA each year deals with how money is spent on the military, and is therefore usually no big deal, but in this one a provision was added that allowed the president to use the US military to arrest anyone, including US citizens on US soil, and indefinitely detain them without a lawyer or any form of due process. In an interview he had with Ben Swann, he said that he felt uncomfortable signing it and only signed it to appease the Republicans, and he promised that he wouldn't abuse this power, but when a lawsuit brought up by another democrat to try and demolish that unconstitutional provision, he sent lawyers to defend that provision. The fact that he didn't line-veto it speaks against him, as well. He has signed lots of other bills that weren't constitutional at all, including several this year that I know of that criminalize protesting around federal politicians, whether one knows that said politician is around or not.
That said, I must also explain why I cannot vote for Romney unless I get a strong message from the Holy Ghost telling me to do so. I do not agree with the things he had done as governor of Massachusetts. I have not studied his time in Massachusetts in any great detail, so I won't say more on it, though I feel like I understand more of what he did as governor than his supporters do. I sincerely do want to hear what a Romney supporter has to say about the things he signed into law as governor, and how it does or does not pertain to how he may act as president. The matter of fact is, we have no record of how Romney would act on the federal level beside his word, so he's even more of a wild card than Obama was (at least Obama had almost half of a term in the House to judge him on). All we have are his words and what he says. Judging strictly on what he said in the Republican debates, I have little reason to believe he understands or supports the Constitution any better than Obama does. Referring to my favorite anti-Constitution example, the NDAA of 2012, when asked in a debate if he would have signed it as written, Romney said he would. He said that he believes that with the world being so dangerous, it was necessary to have that power available, he wouldn't abuse it, nor did he believe that Obama would abuse it. Mind you, this is the power of making someone disappear indefinitely based on the president's say-so alone. A lighter issue that also demonstrates Romney's lack of understanding of the Constitution was when he was asked in a debate if states had the Constitutional right to regulate birth control, he didn't know. He had to turn the matter over to Ron Paul, calling him the "local Constitutionalist." I could go on and on, but it's enough to say that as far as understanding and following the Constitution goes, in my view Romney is closer to Obama than supporters of either person care to see.
Economically, I have a hard time trusting him. His job in the marketplace was based on using debt to give failing businesses a chance to turn things around. Either the businesses succeed and manage to pay off the loan, or they fall harder. Whether the business succeeds or not, Romney's company profits. Mind you, this is not a strike against him as a businessman, but this is his business experience. When after Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum dropped out and only Ron Paul was left and gaining in the polls, Romney said that if Ron Paul was in office his policies would damage the economy. Mind you, Ron Paul's policy would not have taken anything from the private sector, and would only drastically shrink government spending. So when Romney said that Paul's would damage the economy, he revealed himself to believe the Keynesian model of economics: that government spending and control is essential for a healthy economy. This is not free market economics, which he claims to support. Keynesian economics supports bailouts as well as military spending (warfare). Romney has demonstrated a trust for entrepreneur ingenuity, that people will create jobs if given more freedom, but he's does not trust the free market enough to truly cut down on government spending.
Having studied Romney as he actively ran this election year, I have a lot of examples to support why I will not trust him as a politician. While it is true that he's a great family man, there is a disconnect between his actions as a father and husband and as a church member, and his actions while running for president. Sending affidavits demanding that delegates vote only for him or they will be replaced by those who will, turning a blind eye to the corruption happening against the supporters of his opponents, hiring people that file lawsuits against duly-elected delegates to try and prevent them from fulfilling their duty, creating a second Republican party committee in Nevada to replace the committee already there, and so forth and so on, it tells me a lot of how he'd run as president. He may keep his own hands clean, but the people he has surrounded himself with, and whom he has not reprimanded or fired or whatever as they committed fraud and crimes to destroy our republican process of law and prevent future grassroots, simply do his dirty work for him. The fact that these people would commit these many things just to support Romney casts a shadow on Romney himself. Even if he is somehow ignorant of the corruption or feels like he has no choice but accept the corruption, how does this show him to be strong enough to counter the corruption in the federal government? How do we know he would have won the Republican nomination fair and square, when so much corruption happened on his behalf?
On a lighter note, how can he justify asking for the Secret Services to protect him even though 3 other contenders were still in the race for the Republican party? The Secret Services are funded by taxpayers, and I know Romney is rich enough to hire his own security, which I'm sure he would have done if he trusted the free market's quality to be superior to the government's, or if he considered the cost to the taxpayer just to support him. However, the Secret Services are called to protect "presidential candidates," so the best explanation for why he justified this kind of welfare on his behalf is to support a presidential appearance.
Before I close, I'll go ahead and respond to the remarks linking Hitler to libertarians, and to Ron Paul giving the green light to Hitlers all over the world. My questions are these: how in the world was Hitler a libertarian? Having studied libertarianism, I'd love to know where this came from, and also how a smilier argument can't be made against either major party. I would also love to know how a split vote is the cause of Hitler winning. If the people of Germany at the time had a choice between two dishonest people and one honest person, and the honest person didn't win, how can those who voted "third party" be blamed more than those who actually voted for Hitler, or even for Hitler's near-identical opponent? In a 3-way race between Hitler, Stalin and Churchill, how can you rightly blame those who vote for Churchill just because Hitler won? Also how do we know that we are stopping Hitlers when we are the ones invading other countries and overthrowing/controlling governments of countries far weaker than our own, and when our own government is so corrupt that laws giving Stalin-esque powers that Hitler didn't legally have get passed in the name of "security?" (pst: NDAA 2012) Don't we have a beam in our own eye to take care of before we even have the discernment to judge other countries? How do we even know we have all of the facts to judge what we do in other countries, when our government and the media are not truthful with us?
I have more I could add, but it's enough to say that I have no reason to trust the justification of all of these wars. I do believe that all of these wars are not justified, aren't even legal, and it's horrible that people on both sides of these wars suffer more due to our flawed, failed foreign policy. Those in power have already demonstrated that they can't be trusted at home, so why should we trust them abroad? I do not trust the wisdom of those in power, nor the wisdom of the media that is so plainly biased and untrustworthy. I have plenty of evidence to demonstrate that we are provoking yet another unnecessary war with another nation that can't defend itself against us, only this upcoming war would lead to World War 3, because this defenseless country that we hate for some arbitrary reason is allied with both Russia and China. And in the meantime, we can't financially afford these wars, anyway. We're destroying our own dollar to finance these wars and having the military in 900 bases around the world, all while keeping up the welfare state here at home, while passing laws that criminalize the Bill of Rights and ignore the Constitution. We're kinda doomed either way, whether it be Romney or Obama. Ron Paul was our last real chance, and that chance is passed. So now all we can do is try to prepare for what's coming.
Not the most eloquent response, but there it is. There was so much more I wanted to add, but I didn't want to beat others over the head TOO much. This was enough.