WAKE FOREST, NC, September 17, 2012 — One man, one woman: One Vote. That is the way it is and the way it should be, whether anyone likes it or not. Should I decide to vote for a Communist, Libertarian, Marijuana Rights Advocate, Democrat, Republican, Neo-Nazi, or whatever, that choice is mine to make. Anyone who says that I will or will not vote for a candidate simply because I fit in some category, is not only presumptuous — his words are asinine.
“Asinine” means “extremely or utterly foolish; of or relating to, or resembling an ass.” Personally, I prefer the latter definition, but I digress.
Having been raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, La., I am a product of inner-city, urban America. My parents were hard working and did not allow me or my siblings to use our humble beginnings as an excuse for underperformance, laziness, dishonesty, or any other character deficiencies.
There were times when our household income was strained. Yet despite the financial hardship, my parents refused to accept public assistance income, opting instead for second jobs or exploring alternate methods to maximize thrift and economy. We were taught the Ten Commandments, and they emphasized one in particular: The Fourth Commandment says: “Six days thou shalt do thy work, and shalt rest on the seventh.”
Today, there are those who believe in resting on the seventh day, but have no intention of working the other six. My parents also taught us the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote: “If a man does not work, neither shall he eat.” These are value-driven principles that are personal convictions, not preferences.
It is for this reason that I, as a black man, do not support President Obama and the Democratic Party. Obama and the Democrats believe that government should look out for the people, and ensure their needs are met from cradle to grave. Their values are not mine. To me, limited government that allows constituents to have equal opportunity for success, versus attempting to guarantee equal outcomes, is the model that best mirrors my faith.
When a political party promises to give me everything that I need to live, I have to ask myself: “Where will the government get the money to pay for all of this?” The answer is: a) Assess more and heavier taxes on the people, or b) print more money.
Remember Margaret Thatcher’s aphorism: “The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
When President Obama says, “You didn’t build that…” he explicitly and implicitly declares that we owe our success and the fruit of our labor to others, and to the government. Wow, Mr. President — I never realized that my graduation with honors, my ability to write a book, and the recognition I earned as an excellent teacher/instructor were NOT my doing. Is it necessary for me to refer anyone back to the first part of this article to explain what I think of such a statement?
From January 2001 through January 2009, our nation saw an unprecedented period of 52 straight months of economic growth. At the end of that period, unemployment was less than 5% and gas cost less than $2.00 per gallon. Anyone want to take a wild guess as to the name of the U.S. President for those years? And more interesting is the fact that the Democrats took full control of both chambers of Congress from January 2007 through January 2009. New U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) joined his Democratic counterparts in January 2005. During this time, he did not vote against any legislation that (today) has proved to have been destructive and damaging to the U.S. economy. Yet, President Obama blames President Bush for “driving our economy into the ditch.”
Any bill destructive to the U.S. economy has to pass through Congress. If then-Senator Obama allowed destructive and damaging legislation to come forth without voting in opposition to it, he shares responsibility for the outcome.
Fast-forward to President Obama’s inauguration. For the next two years, the Democrats had complete control of two branches of our government, legislative and executive. The Republicans did not have the votes to stop anything the Democrats wanted to do. If the Democrats dominated the government in the first two years of his administration and things still got worse, Obama cannot blame the Republicans. In fact, he said in early 2009:
“You know, a year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there is still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
Many will be asking the question in November, “Am I better off today than I was four years ago?” When I ask myself this question, I consider a myriad of issues to reach a conclusion. No matter how the media tries to spin these past nearly four years under this president, I have to borrow another timely quote to determine if four more years is the way to go:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)
When we go through the process of choosing who will lead this country in the next four years, we should not have the temerity of assuming that black voters (or any other voting group) are a monolithic group. Each of us has to vote his or her values, and values don’t come with skin color, gender, or sexual orientation.
What President Obama has today that he did not have as a candidate is a record of accomplishment and failure. When the informed voter evaluates him through the lens of achievement, he has no one to thank or blame but himself. And when we evaluate him, we do it as individuals, not as colors of skin.
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