Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

01 November 2004

The Presidential Election

The two contenders for President are very different men. One is a resolute, principled man whose beliefs stem from a mix of pre-Enlightenment Christian religion and the Enlightenment view that we live by reason and this requires freedom of choice. He sees most Americans as basically competent to live their lives and to make their own choices. He knows that he cannot be successful in doing this for us in most things, but feels obliged to guide us to be virtuous in some Christian beliefs. He is a man who has faced the practical choices of managing in the free market economy, where he learned something about how business investment creates jobs and produces the great wealth of America. America has managed to survive this kind of belief mixture for a very long time. The other is a man committed to socialism and a post-modernist view. To him, we are largely programmed by circumstances and race and are generally characterized as victims or oppressors. Few of us are able to intelligently make the most critical choices in our lives. We need a few elite leaders, most especially him, to provide us constant direction in making these choices. He sees us as children dominated by envy of those who have more income and property than ourselves and promises to distribute these more equally. He would have us become more like France and Germany, where we trade off a more dynamic and rich society for one with more equality. He has experience only in government and working for non-profit outfits. He believes that government creates jobs and that any tax cut is a gift government gives to those who earned the taxed income or property.

It is widely believed that the war on terror is the most important issue of our time. While it is very important, I am not convinced that it is as important an issue as the excessive scope and size of our present governments. Nonetheless, the critical nature of this job and the fact that the President is the Commander-in-Chief direct us to examine which contender for our vote is best able to provide for our security. Both men have military experience and served in Reserve units. Kerry's was called to active duty and he served in Vietnam. Upon returning to the States, he not only opposed the war, but he actively proclaimed the moral superiority of the North Vietnamese communists cause. He used the public attention he received to build a political career and he has been in public service ever since. While a senator, now in his 4th term, he repeatedly sought reductions in defense and intelligence budgets while the cold war was very much in progress. Over and over, he sought reductions far beyond anything his more right-minded colleagues thought reasonable. As President, Bush has shown that he is resolute in pursuing terrorists and in putting pressure on those evil regimes who support them to cease doing so. He has delegated the theater responsibilities to commanders on the ground in a manner we were not so fortunate to see in Vietnam. The results have been better as a result. He is a pragmatic man, who believes that all people want to be free. He is learning from his mistakes, as are his commanders on the ground. Those commanders trust him to be resolute in his purpose, as do our allies. Kerry does not trust military commanders, so he will never heed their advice or give them the necessary power to conduct the efforts on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. Given his history as a traitor during the Vietnam War and his record of bad judgment in almost 20 years as a senator, our military leaders will not be able to respect and trust him. This is a huge burden to add to their shoulders. Kerry's disrespect for the brave men of Afghanistan and Iraq who are trying hard to create democracies with vastly more freedom than those countries have ever had is also a terrible problem. The same applies to our allies, whose efforts are not trivial, given the limited war-making ability that most of them have. Furthermore, Kerry cannot really regard the terrorists as evil and cannot muster the resolve that comes with that evaluation. He sees them as victims, who have been programmed by poverty and environment to hate us. He believes that hatred is not without considerable justification. This is not conducive to a commitment to the vigorous pursuit of terrorists. Long ago he showed us that he was little repelled by the terrorism of the North Vietnamese.

While the defense of our country is one of the core purposes validating our Federal government, the greatest issue we always face in the modern era is that the many levels of government not infringe our daily exercise of choice in managing our own lives. In this, among the most important issues is the maintenance of our right to choose how we will use our time. The sum of how we use our time is our life. Most of our time is devoted to the production of income and the acquisition of property. We should be very reluctant to select the candidate for president who is entirely wrong-headed about how the economy and private enterprise work. Kerry has little respect for those who produce. He thinks they are cows to be milked to provide the money necessary to provide the government programs necessary to sustain most of us. President Bush understands that earning a living makes a man a hero. He wants to make it easier for us to achieve as much as we can as the producers of the unheralded American wealth. He has fought hard to achieve tax cuts which have reduced the punitive nature of the income tax. He also has worked hard to lessen the tax burdens on business investment and to allow companies to bring profits earned overseas home. The lowering of personal tax rates, corporate tax rates, and the rate on money from overseas operations will allow entrepreneurs to create many jobs. He understands that foreign companies have created many jobs in America and that American companies with operations overseas are dynamic concerns who create more jobs here in America. We are growing at a rate much faster than Canada, France, Germany, and Japan as a result of his tax reductions. He still has much more on his agenda, including more tax cuts for personal and business income and investment. He also understands that the tax law is much too complicated and that taxes and planning for their avoidance rob us of much of our productivity.

President Bush is willing to recognize that the Social Security program is failing. He knows that the future costs have to be contained or America will suffer the French disease of extremely burdensome taxes, slow growth, and high unemployment. Kerry wants to follow the French example and imagines he can avoid the consequences. If Bush manages to push the privatization of the social security program forward, this will have a huge impact on freeing Americans of the sense that socialism is sometimes good. By making almost every American a property and investment holder, we will have a great decrease in the politics of envy practiced by Kerry. I can think of nothing more important. If we do not fix this social security problem, we will have a horrific tax burden falling on those who will be workers in 20 years. I have heard many complaints about the 3.5% of GDP debt we have now (and it is too high), but the debts and the taxes of the future will be huge in comparison, if we do not now reform social security. For 20 years, this problem has been clear and politicians have ignored it. Bush has shown far more honesty in recognizing it than any other President and has the resolve to tackle the problems he sees needing his effort. Kerry has no practical plan for social security. The privatization plans Bush favors will put an incredible boost of investment money into the economy as well. Our private sector will become even more robust and productive. This will provide well enough for the Baby Boomers in retirement and allow their children to be able to count on a means to retire. There is a huge differential on this critical issue between the candidates.

It is clear to me that President Bush is much wiser than Kerry and has the resolve to lead the nation in the right direction on most issues. He is wrong on issues such as that the government has a role to play in sanctifying marriages and some other issues steming from his religion, but on many issues, he understands that the people are adequately qualified to make their own choices. I will have more to say about his errors of judgment at a later time. If he wins office again, it is our duty to oppose his errors with letters to our Representatives and Senators. I will do my part. On the other hand, Kerry thinks we all need constant guidance and assistance. To him, we are each and every one the prodigal child. I find this offensive. I have long been an adult.
Aren't you an adult or planning soon to be one? What could be greater than to manage one's own life as a free self-entrepeneur?

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