I’m not going to offer yet another left-secular endorsement of Barack Obama for President. Instead, I offer a far more radical endorsement: Obama is the better choice than John McCain based on the editorial principles of The Warrior.
Obama will do more for Marquette students. He will do more to hold the federal government and the financial sector accountable. He will thoroughly expose George W. Bush’s abuses of executive power. He rose by merit, not family connections like Bush and McCain. His administration will be more transparent and efficient. He understands that free markets are not free when actors with privileged information make a mockery out of equal access. He will be the more fiscally responsible President. He lives by his Christian faith. Most of all, he projects a realistic vision of a great America.
Obama has proposed an annual, fully refundable American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000 for every U.S. student. To receive this credit, students will invest 100 hours of service to our communities. This is laudable for two reasons: first, it helps to show that Obama is not a stereotypical “something for nothing” Democrat. Second, it would get students out of the “MU bubble” and doing something about the real needs existing all around Milwaukee and thousands of other college towns nationwide.
Obama will do better than John McCain to protect Americans at home and our military forces abroad. In the vice-presidential debate, Gwen Ifill asked the candidates whether Iran or Pakistan was the greater threat to U.S. security. Sarah Palin, speaking for McCain, said Iran was the greater threat.
Conversely, Joe Biden, speaking for Obama, said Pakistan was the greater threat because it already has deployed nuclear weapoans, most likely harbors Osama bin Ladin and other senior al-Qaeda leaders and is a new democratic regime in need of our support. These are convincing arguments if we are serious about controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and hunting down al-Qaeda. Focusing on a country that is several years away from obtaining nuclear weapons, is vulnerable to multilateral sanctions, and does not harbor senior al-Qaeda leaders is a preposterous policy.
Obama also supports letting Iraqis determine the destiny of Iraq. He does not support McCain’s policy of leaving an American colonial edifice in Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time.
General David Petraeus, in his September 10, 2008 testimony before members of Congress, underlined the key role of Iraqis in choosing to say no to sectarian violence in their own country: “The tribes and the sheiks decided to say no more to Al Qaeda. They were tired of the indiscriminate violence, tired of the Taliban-like ideology and the other practices. They are Sunni Arabs rising up against a largely Sunni Arab Al Qaeda in Iraq.” Iraqis are a responsible, mature people. They do not need foreign tutelage to defend their lives and property. The billions of dollars that John McCain proposes to spend there are best spent at home.
Those billions are better spent on affordable health care for every American. In the second presidential debate, McCain spoke of health care as a responsibility; Obama spoke of it as a fundamental right. The teachings of the Catholic Church are on Obama’s side. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship states, “Affordable and accessible health care is an essential safe- guard of human life and a fundamental human right.” Insurers are only too willing to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, leaving me to reluctantly conclude that only national health care can overcome the problem of moral hazard – the systematic pattern where the healthy can readily find insurance and the sick struggle to get basic coverage. Unequal access to health care shows unequal regard for human life.
Many Catholics, Christians and voters of goodwill support McCain for his alleged “pro-life” platform. Leaving aside the self-evident truth that warfare and healthcare are life issues, let’s look at abortion and stem-cell research. I am quoting a posting that I made on an external website devoted to Catholic issues:
Abortion is abhorrent and repulsive. At the same time, we have a systematic breakdown in family life and sexual morality in this country. Would making abortions illegal, right now, universally in the U.S., change this? Would it not enable wealthy mothers to travel abroad and poor mothers to risk death? Would an abortion ban keep schools from failing? Would it keep fathers from abdicating their Godly calling to familial leadership? Would an abortion ban bring blue-collar jobs back into America’s cities from Bangladesh and Mexico and enable one parent to stay home with their children? Would it keep teens from absorbing and internalizing the message of their DVDs, TV series, iPods and websites that casual sex is fun, feels great and has no lasting, eternal consequences?
Which candidate is married and faithful to one wife? Which one stands before God in adultery, according to the teachings of the Church? Which vice-presidential candidate rebounded from great tragedy to rebuild his family and take time out of a busy official schedule to be present for his children? Which one cannot discipline her children from having unsafe sex, and then obliges her daughter to marry the father for political cover? Think about whose values Catholics should applaud.
Embryos are discarded en masse every day, so why not use them for stem-cell research? Do you want to pretend that embryos are never being discarded, or should an unwanted embryo preserve the life of another intrinsically valuable human being? Or are you neo-Gnostics who care only about the soul and deny the body?
Senator Obama stands for rebuilding America’s reputation abroad, reconstructing America’s broken domestic economy to bring prosperity back to our parents and our own pocketbooks, rethinking our mixed record in the Middle East and renewing the American belief in a better life through hard work. He deserves your vote on Election Day.
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