Category Archives: Election

A Fresh Face for NC

As a relatively new blogger, I was excited to get an invitation to participate in a blogger’s conference call helping to kick off the candidacy of Renee Ellmers, who is running for Bob Etheridge’s seat in the House of Representatives.

Honestly, I am normally a bit skeptical of these kinds of events, but since it isn’t everyday that a small time blogger such as myself gets invited to one of these, I took the opportunity to participate. As I began looking into who Renee Ellmers is, I became more interested in hearing about her candidacy.

Without regurgitating her bio (you can check out her website here), the part of her story that interested me the most is that she is not your typical politician, nor is she coming out of the typical politician “farm team” (that being a lawyer). She is a nurse by training and vocation, and up until recently has had no interest in running for public office. In what I suspect will be a story repeated throughout this country, Renee decided to get involved in running for office after the contentious debate over healthcare during the summer of 2009.

Renee’s candidacy is exciting to see for two reasons. One is that she is running to unseat a long-term Democrat incumbent in Bob Etheridge. Two, Renee’s candidacy is more of  what our Founders had in mind when they created a sense of civic virtue. Our Founders never intended for public service to be a career. Most of them saw public service as an obligation that one fulfilled, not a vocation in which you served long enough to draw a pension.

George Washington, I think, best embodies the ideal in this case. He was more than willing to serve his country, but he was always looking forward to returning home to his vocation of planter. He never saw himself as a politician or career public servant. He viewed his public service, both as a general and as President, as an obligation he owed to the country, and never saw his public office as something he was owed.

Obviously, I am not comparing Renee Ellmers to George Washington, but her story is one that I think he would recognize. She sees the country at a crossroads, and is very concerned about its direction and especially its impact on the next generation. As she put it on the conference call, being a mom is what really got her to run for public office. It seems that Renee sees holding public office is a way for her to help her country, and I suspect that, if she wins, she will always have one eye on returning to the medical practice that she and her husband run in Dunn, NC. If we can get a few more people like Renee in office, and a few more of the career politicians out, I suspect our government, and our lives will be the better for it.

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On The Job Training…

Hello to all my faithful blog readers. Again, apologies for being noticeably absent, but as I have stated before, until someone wants to pay me to write (which I give the same chance as a snowball might have in Greenland, what with rampant Global Warming), real life might intrude from time to time.

Mea Culpas aside, I submit for your review another excellent piece by Mark Steyn of the National Review on the state of the Obama administration a paltry three weeks in. He makes the excellent point that, while most presidencies rely on events to cause them to lose their footing, the Obama team seems perfectly adept at doing it to themselves. This is all the more surprising given the superb campaign that they ran, from a strategic and tactical point of view.

So, remember those desperate days long (4 months) ago, when one of the major issues the Republican Party (and conservatives in general) had with Obama was that he basically had no experience? Remember how we were told by the Obama team (and the mainstream media…or does that go without saying?) that the lack of experience was a non-issue and even a point to be lauded, political outsider that he was? Now, far be it from me to put forth the idea that we should have a professional class of politicians. Our founding fathers considered public service a type of noblesse oblige, the price to be paid for affording the blessings of living in a free society. I suspect that many of them would cast a curious (if not skeptical) eye towards those in our government, especially those that hold elected office, that are in public service year after year after year.

However, the apparent stumbles of the Obama administration do point to what is an obvious issue. One should probably have SOME experience doing SOMETHING before one aspires to hold the highest office in the land. By something, I mean a position where it falls on the person to make a decision about something meaningful and substantive.  A position that calls on one to make day to day decisions for the good of an organization or group. A position where success or failure for others rides on your abilities and character. With all due respect to President Obama, his resume is sorely lacking in these types of positions.

(Public Service Announcement – Anyone caught using the absurd analogy that Jesus was a community organizer will be ridiculed mercilessly. And then they will be challenged to show in the Bible where it clearly states Jesus was trying to organize a community. We return you to your regularly-scheduled post).

I do not think it is a coincidence (if I believed in coincidence) that many of our most effective Presidents have been businessmen or soldiers. Not to equate the two, but there does seem to me to be some similarity between the two vocations and their need to make decisions that are good for the organization (if not the members within). It is a far cry for one’s decisions to have an immediate effect on the livelihoods, or lives, of the people one is in charge of than it is for one’s decisions to have no such immediate consequences.

I don’t think that Obama and his team will continue to make the kinds of mistakes and errors in judgment that we have seen from them so far. At least, I hope not; not that I particularly want his policies to succeed, but whether I like it or not, Obama is now IN a position where, if he makes a mistake, millions of people could be adversely affected.  I am not talking about the, “gee, my 401(k) is down so I am going to have to put off retirement” kind of effect, but ones that have much more severe and immediate consequences.

Maybe now, some of the people who were blinded by Obama the candidate can see what those of us who weren’t could: there is a big difference between running FOR office and running THE office.

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Filed under Election, General, Politics

Thoughts On The Inauguration

As I write this post, our country prepares to celebrate tomorrow what comparatively few countries in this world can celebrate: another peaceful transition from one leader to another. The fact that, for the most part, this process has happened peaceably for over two hundred years is in itself an achievement. However, I am apparently not as excited by it as the projected millions that are to be in Washington, D.C., or the vast majority of the mainstream media in this country.

If you have subjected yourself to any of the coverage of the inauguration at this point, then you may have experienced the same thing I did. The level of fawning and pontificating over Obama, and what he is going to do to “heal” America has reached a fever pitch.  I thought the media was largely against torture – I guess I was wrong.

So forgive me for not participating in the Obama-gasm. Yes, I fully realize the historical nature of Obama’s election. I do find it ironic that his inauguration is being celebrated using the very language that Dr. King (whose birthday we celebrate today) sought to get rid of (i.e, he is the first black President). However, it certainly does reflect how far our country has come from its racist and prejudicial past. But, the problem is that I can’t separate the man from his ideas.

It is hard to get excited about a President that promised things on the campaign trail like:

“I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons.”

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” (FYI, 50% of our electricity in this country is generated by coal-fired power plants, according to Pew Research.)

“The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom Of Choice Act.”

Of course, this is just a sampling of the kinds of choices Obama says he will make once he is President (in this case, less than twenty-four hours). So, again, forgive me if I am not doing cartwheels down the street over the fact that he gets to set a large part of the public policy tone for the next four years. Then again, he is a politician, and politicians promise all kinds of things while campaigning to get elected, then follow through on very few of them…so maybe I have nothing to worry about.

My advice? Shut off the TV…maybe even the radio. Set your internet home page to blank (or better yet, this blog), and wait for this feeding frenzy of self-congratulations to subside. Let’s face it, the mainstream media would not be nearly so excited if a conservative African-American had won the election. They are excited because, (a) Bush is leaving, and (b) their guy won.

I could probably go on, but decency forces me to stop there. So appreciate tomorrow for what it’s worth: another peaceful transition of power, and maybe we can finally get over this albatross of “America is racist” hanging around our collective necks. Beyond that, it means that our country has elected the most left-leaning President since FDR – and that is no cause for celebration.

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Change We Can Believe In??

Now that the euphoria of Obama’s victory is beginning to wear off, he and his team are settling down to getting the first iteration of Team Obama squared away. I have been watching with great interest, and not a little bit of trepidation, as names have been bandied about for posts in Obama’s administration.

Being interested in foreign policy first and foremost, I have been unpleasently unsurprised by the names that have been offered up for the Secretary of State job (Hilary being only slightly better than John Kerry). With that position simmering, Obama’s transition team is still hard at work filling positions. Here is an article from National Review on the AG position.

I am not surprised at the AG-designate’s positions on such things as how best to deal with the enemy combatants at Gitmo and other issues. I think the thing that is most notable is how Holden was heavily involved in the Clinton Administration’s Justice Department, especially at the end of the administration and its efforts to pardon a whole slew of nefarious characters. I know that all Presidents tend to use their power of pardon in a political manner, but I think that many observers, on both sides of the aisle, thought Clinton’s use of this executive power especially egregious.

Obama ran largely on a message of change, including changing the way that politics are “done” in Washington. So far, I haven’t heard one name outside of the political insiders circle being considered for any major posts in Obama’s administration. I realize that most Presidential candidates (unless they are the incumbant) run on a platform of change, and that many of the people that are qualified to fill positions within any administration have had previous stints in lower posts with other administrations or have held some other political position. But Obama was able to mobilize thousands with his message. Which leads me to the question of just what kind of “change” did they vote for?

For those of us that were pretty sure we knew what change meant to Obama, I suspect that this is but the first name in a long list of names that will confirm what we suspected.

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The Conundrum of the Conservative Christian

Like many of my fellow conservatives, I have been watching with a mixture of trepidation and pride as our country moves away from Election Day 2008. The pure history of the moment has not been lost on many people, the fact that our nation has elected a leader of color, the first predominantly white country to do so I believe. On the other hand, almost daily news comes from the Obama Transition Team that leads many of us conservatives to fear the worst, politically speaking.

Just so there are no misunderstandings, I do not like Obama’s views on…well, just about everything. From national security to economics to tax policy to immigration to energy policy, I suspect that if he and I sat down for a conversation (were I to have the chance), we would disagree on most areas. It isn’t that we would necessarily disagree on the ends, but the means. And in the political/social/economic realm, means are just as important as ends.

Which brings me back to the conundrum. Because while my views are conservative, I am also a Christian, and because of that I have (or at least should) a higher authority to answer to. Herein lies the conundrum – I am commanded to pray for him, and not only that, the Bible says that all leaders are annointed by God. Ouch! To be perfectly honest, that is a tough pill to swallow.

The worship pastor at my church has an interesting blog post on it here, which has inspired some interesting comments on the subject. He makes the point that if we believe that God is in control all the time, then we have to believe that God allowed Obama to win (note to liberals:before you begin gloating, that also means that he allowed folks such as Truman, Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush to be President as well). He asks the question who are we to question God? Double ouch!!!

The conundrum gets worse – while I can agree with praying for the guy while disagreeing with his policies, the Bible also says that rebelling against the government is rebelling against what God has instituted. Wow, that is a tough one. So, was the American Revolution rebelling against God? Our founders certainly didn’t think so – they thought they were taking the necessary steps to secure the rights God had given them. Is it rebelling to vociferously argue against policies that you believe are ineffective and in many cases immoral? Is it possible that the reason Obama is in office is partly to galvanize people to take action against many of the policies that I suspect he and the rest of the government will try to enact?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer, at least a definitive one. What’s more important, following the leaders appointed by God over us or securing the rights that he grants each and every person? I know where I come down on the argument, and so did many of the Founders – this quote from Thomas Jefferson says it all:

And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Obviously, I am not preaching armed rebellion, but TJ knew a thing or two about securing our natural rights and dealing with a government that had become obtrusive and tyrannical in nature.

I am interested in comments, both for and against. This is a subject I am almost certain will be covered in the future. But for now, I will pray for Obama and his family – that they remain safe and that God’s wisdom and discernment would permeate not just them, but the people he appoints. And I will keep the proverbial powder dry.

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Filed under Christianity, Election, Freedom

Our Needed “Patton” Moment

Many conservatives, like myself, have spent the past few days trying to console ourselves (and each other) over the results of the election. Here in the Tarheel State, not only did we not re-elect Elizabeth Dole (yes, that campaign was nasty, but not as bad as the national media made it out to be), we also elected another democrat for Governor.

Just a side note on that particular race…Kay Hagan complained that Elizabeth Dole’s campaign accused her of being “godless” during the last few days of the campaign. This, of course, after Kay went to a fundraiser put on by the Godless Americans. Hello??? Did no one in her camp not think…”hmm, North Carolina is a pretty religious state, it’s practically the buckle of the bible belt…maybe we shouldn’t attend this fundraiser…” The great thing about it is that, after that ad came out, Kay Hagan put her poor pastor up to doing ads defending her faith. Of course, she attends a Presbyterian Church (PCUSA, I am sure); this is the same wonderful denomination that just a few years ago at their General Assembly actually considered some new names for the Holy Trinity. Maybe not godless, but not exactly preaching the inerrant word of God either. Anyway, back to our originally scheduled post.

Here is a little piece of motivation by Bill Whittle over at National Review. My only question is couldn’t he have found a Confederate victory that made the same point??

Of course, no one can motivate like George C. Scott (playing Patton) can….

and who could forget this one from Braveheart??

or this one from Braveheart??….

So take heart, my fellow countrymen (and women). And in the immortal words of our Vice-President elect, “gird your loins”.

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