Sowell:”Conservatives for Obama?”
Thomas Sowell, noting that more than a few conservatives/Republicans are voicing their intent to vote for Obama, opines as to why they may believe they have legitimate reasons for taking the leap of faith.
Partly what is going on is that, in recent years, the Congressional Republicans in general– and Senator John McCain in particular– have so alienated so many conservatives that some of these conservatives are like a drowning man grasping at a straw.
The straw in this case is Obama’s recent “refining” of his position on a number of issues, as he edges toward the center, in order to try to pick up more votes in November’s general election.
Understandable as the reactions of some conservatives may be, a straw is a very unreliable flotation device.
If all that was involved was Democrats versus Republicans, the Republicans would deserve the condemnation they are getting, after their years of wild spending and their multiple betrayals of the principles and the people who got them elected. Amnesty for illegal aliens was perhaps the worst betrayal.
But of course, that isn’t all that is involved. And Sowell explains how the difference between Obama’s past actions and current words should be enough for conservatives to reassess.
But, while the media may treat the elections as being about Democrats and Republicans– the “horse race” approach– elections were not set up by the Constitution of the United States in order to enable party politicians to get jobs.
Nor were elections set up in order to enable voters to vent their emotions or indulge their fantasies.
Voting is a right but it is also a duty– a duty not just to show up on election day, but a duty to give serious thought to the alternatives on the table and what those alternatives mean for the future of the nation.
What is becoming ever more painfully apparent is that too many people this year– whether conservative, liberals or whatever– are all too willing to judge Barack Obama on the basis of his election-year rhetoric, rather than on the record of what he has advocated and done during the past two decades.
Many are for him for no more serious reasons than his mouth and his complexion. The man has become a Rorschach test for the feelings and hopes, not only of those on the left, but also for some on the right as well.
I know: here I go again, being the Obamapostate. But I keep harping on this stuff because I’m fascinated by how people can put so much faith–and that’s what it is–in any politician with a track record as sparse as Obama’s. Especially combined with his recent, quite remarkable, tendency to change positions on some of the fundamental issues that got him the nomination in the first place. Further, while I can understand how this typically political action (“moving to the center”) is ignored by the converted, I don’t understand how conservatives can’t see through this aspect of Obama’s, ahem, change.
Then again, I get the emotional satisfaction, the temptation, of supporting the compelling, and potentially historical, figure that is Obama. And I get that conservatives have had it when they see a GOP that has forsaken some key conservative principles and then topped it off by nominating a guy who predicated his primary run on attracting non-Republicans!
But is the logical reaction against a 70% solution to succumb to a negative political emotionalism and vote for the guy who you might agree with 20% of the time? Of course not, but this all about emotion. The temptation to contribute to a crash and burn scenario is strong, as we Rhode Islander conservatives know. But how can we be sure he’s going to fail spectacularly? What if he does just enough to get re-elected, entrenches a couple Supreme Court Justices and enlarges government beyond what it is now? Then who will get burned?