On my Regis University campus radio show the week after the election, a caller presented me with a striking question: He asked me to address the “fear” that some Regis students have expressed in the aftermath of the election—fear of an Obama presidency. This was not the first time I had been informed of or heard Americans expressing abject fear about President-elect Obama taking office. It seems that many are feeling that way.
As a supporter of Sen. John McCain’s and, even more so, an opponent of Obama’s candidacy, I sympathize greatly with those who are worried about the direction of this country. I, too, am naturally disappointed in the Nov. 4 outcome, as well as concerned for the direction of this country. The United States has elected the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate to lead the nation with a left-wing Congress eager to do his bidding.
I worry about what the Democrats will do with the economy, healthcare, spending, Iraq, climate change—the list goes on. There is much for a free market-minded conservative to be concerned about.
Obama’s recent comments that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” gives great pause, especially in light of the way his tax plan is structured (taking from what he arbitrarily considers “rich” and redistributing it to 44% of American income tax filers who don’t pay income taxes).
Obama’s proposals to increase taxes on capital gains, corporations, Social Security and income would discourage the type of economic involvement required in a recessionary economy.
His intentions to negotiate with enemy nations “without preconditions” is certainly disconcerting, as is his support for FOCA, the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would represent the most radical expansion of abortion rights since 1973, and “Card Check,” an act, which would revoke the right to a secret ballot in union elections, so radical that even George McGovern opposes it.
There is certainly justification for concern. Abject fear, however, is unwarranted, for politics and vigilance will provide the protection we need from extremely radical changes.
President-elect Obama is a very ambitious man, as evidenced in his rise to the Senate and then to the presidency after less than four years. Obama’s desire for reelection will help prevent against a sharp veer towards socialism due to his need to appeal to all sides.
That does not mean, however, that conservatives and Republicans can sit idly by as the Democrats use technology and Obama’s unrivaled communication skills to their advantage in introducing this country to institutions of yet bigger government, such as the President-elect’s healthcare plan. To do so would only embolden the liberal efforts.
As with FDR, who effectively secured four terms, anything Obama does can be tied to the economy—and he can succeed by using the Internet like FDR used radio. Therefore, in order to prevent some of the radical changes that might otherwise develop, conservatives need to remain active and vigilant in the fight for American principles. If we stand strong and ensure that our voices are heard, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
Those who did not vote for Sen. Obama must offer the “loyal dissent,” as Karl Rove put it. They must acknowledge when Obama is right, stand by him when it is required and respectfully hold him accountable when he does wrong. As Andrew Jackson said in his farewell address, “[Y]ou must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.”
President-elect Obama has said he will listen to those who disagree.
Let’s make certain that he does.
Jimmy Sengenberger is a political science student at Regis University in Denver, a 2008 honors graduate of nearby Grandview High School, a national organizer for the Liberty Day movement, aspiring radio host, and a columnist for the Villager suburban weekly.