Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time to Close Ranks, Unite Behind Obama

Today we will all witness a historic day in America: the swearing in of Barack Obama, America's first black president. But today is historic for more reasons than that. For the first time in decades a new president will take the oath of office at a time when we are not only at war, but also in dire financial straits.

I have been a frequent critic of the liberal agenda, the Democratic party, and occasionally Barack Obama himself. However, as Obama assumes the presidency today, I call on Americans everywhere to close ranks and unite behind him. Now more than ever is a time to put aside partisan bickering and ideological differences. Our country faces tremendous challenges in restoring our weak economy, cutting the deficit, securing Iraq, and healing our wounded relationships with other countries.

Barack Obama cannot do this alone. He will need the help of all Americans: Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative, white and black, men and women. America, this is a time for us to stand together and focus our energies on solving the problems common to us all.

Although I strongly supported the GOP candidates in the primaries and the general election, I have always been impressed with much of what Barack Obama has to offer. As he is mostly untested at this point in his career, it is difficult to know what we can expect from him. However, I want him to succeed, and I want him to succeed fantastically. As Obama himself said after clinching the election, he is now everyone's president. So let us now throw our support to President Obama. Pray for him. Support him in our words. Support him in our deeds. Because he's going to need our help.

Barack Obama does indeed have a special aura about him. He seems to have the potential of a great, perhaps magnificent, leader. He is highly intelligent, sensitive to viewpoints that differ from his own, well-spoken, even-tempered, pragmatic, a solid family man, a person of strong character, and a hard worker. I pray to God that these traits which many of us perceive in him are in fact representative of who he really is, and that they will play a major part in how he governs these great United States of America. Obama is not now a great leader. He has not proven anything yet. But I, and I think most people, truly want him to become a great leader. God knows we need one right now.

Americans close ranks. Unite behind President Obama. Unite together to help him solve the serious problems we face. And if we disagree with him at times, let it be as part of the loyal opposition. We can disagree with some of his positions while still supporting and respecting him in his role as the president of our great country. In these perilous times, the need to support our leaders is greater than ever. It is patriotic to express divergent opinions, and we should continue to do so, but we must go forward with an eye focused on supporting those who are trying their hardest to do what they believe is in the best interests of the American people. Even if our support is qualified, it will go a long way toward uniting this country and giving President Obama the moral authority he needs to lead us out of these difficult times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mitt Romney's Stimulus Plan: It's Brilliant

If Mitt Romney had been elected President, what would he have done to get our economy back on the right track?

Now we know.

To read Romney's brilliant stimulus plan click here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mitt's the standard-bearer, not Palin

by David Alvord

Now that the election is over, it is time to weigh-in on Governor Palin. There is no question that the media was not kind to her during the election. Part of it was due to the fact that she had not been vetted. Sarah had not run in the primary election and had little National exposure or experience.

I must admit that I had genuine enthusiasm for having her on the Republican ticket last year. She brought a lot of excitement to the ticket. Yet, now that I have had time to think about it, it was the fact that Palin could win that had me most excited, not what she would do with that winning. All we knew was that she was good-looking, wholesome, a family woman, and who was a rising star. And she still is all of those things, and I'm glad to have her on our side. I feel that McCain did not capitalize on having her be the spokesperson for energy independence. This was one area in which she was a bit muzzled and probably due to the fact that McCain wasn't totally committed to the cause.

On the downside, she did not bring very many new ideas to the party. She was not a champion of a cause that aroused much passion. She was a wonderful messenger, who never really got the message. We can blame McCain for much of that, but she had little to stand on her own.

But, when all things are considered, I still believe Gov. Palin would have been better than either Biden or Obama as President or VP. That said, she is not the best Republican we've got to choose from. That distinction is reserved for our man Mitt. Romney has been vetted. Romney has run a National Campaign. He went from having little name recognition to almost taking the nomination his first try (Something even Reagan could not do). And now that the election is over, many Republicans are lamenting giving the nomination to McCain instead of Romney.

And so, going forward it should be clear that for the Republicans, and for conservatives, Romney is the Standard-bearer, not Palin.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Compassionate Conservatism

by David Alvord

In a few days we will say Goodbye to President Bush. His presidency will probably be remembered for the Iraq war. Obama's decision to extend the service of Robert Gates is encouraging to me and is a signal that America won't be rushing out of Iraq anytime soon. This must be very frustrating to the anti-war left.

When all things are considered, President Bush delivered on what he campaigned for. He promised to be a "compassionate conservative". When we conservatives first heard the word "compassionate", we worried that Bush was referring to a compassionate government. We worried because, as conservatives, the only compassion we want from the government is to be left alone. Had Bush not heard Reagan say "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"? Probably not.

I hope I speak for most conservatives when I say that we are for human compassion. We simply believe that families, churches, and communities are better at taking care of the poor than the government is. We believe that if the money is left in our hands, we will be more responsible with that money than the government will be. When a family gives financial support to one of it's own, there is accountability involved. The family knows if any individual is abusing the money and will make adjustments accordingly. The family will also encourage eventual self-reliance. Does anyone really think that a social worker knows as much (or cares as much) as the family does?

There may be some reading this who worry that there are some individuals who may not belong to a family who can offer any assistance. This is where churches, charities, and communities can step in. Ironically, one of the reasons families may not be able to take care of their own is due to the high tax rate we currently have. I believe that if you let Americans keep more of their own money, families will be empowered to take care of their own. And, the American people will be much more judicious with that allocation than any government agency can be.

When families have the money, it encourages a society to higher moral standards. For example, imagine a young college student who is considering experimenting with drugs and who is also considering getting body piercing, and tattoos. If Mom and Dad are paying for college, or helping etc, there will be the immediate thought that they may cut him off from that funding if he/she does not live up to the standards of the family. But if Uncle Sam/Uncle Obama is paying for school there will no immediate consequences. In fact, that college student will hit "decline"on his cell phone when Mom calls. After all, who needs Mom and Dad when the government is paying for things? What about the consequences of drugs and tattoos? Governments can run ads on TV warning of the consequences of drug abuse to a young person's body...but we are talking about people who feel pretty immortal. And the consideration of being able to earn a living? Won't those tattoos and piercings put a young person at a disadvantage? No worries...the government will be there for the young person if they hit "rock bottom". They won't have to go to Mom and Dad and hear their lectures, take out their tongue rings and get a job. No.... Pell grants, food stamps, public housing will all be there for them if they really screw up. The result? A decline in the character and morals of the society.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son. In the Parable, a son departs from moral living and spends his birthright on riotous living. When he comes to himself, he returns to his father who compassionately receives him. One of the essential elements of the parable is that the Son hit bottom. There was no government program to bail him out. He basically had no choice but to return and repent. The prodigal had to return to moral living in his father's house. The son is better off in his father's house than if he had continued in riotous living while being supported by some unfeeling sponsor. The father had the means to kill the fatted calf and put a ring on his son's finger because he was not overtaxed. The whole story doesn't work out if we get the wealth redistribution Obama is talking about.

I heard Obama say that if one of his daughters makes a mistake (gets pregnant), he doesn't want her to be "punished" with a child...therefore abortion should be an option. First of all, children aren't a punishment. And at the heart of all of this, is the notion that there should be no punishment for wrongdoing. When you try to take away the consequences of bad behavior, you are, in turn, likely to increase the opportunity for people to behave badly.

Conservatism offers a better way. Let the people keep their money. Empower families to take care of their own. Churches and communities can assist those who are disabled, the Elderly, or those who have made poor choices. There will be accountability when help is given.

Conservatism allows us to be compassionate. Our man Mitt understands this principle. It is my prayer that Obama will see it too.