By far, this final debate, was the most productive of all in this season. It did not change an Obama voter into a McCain supporter or a McCain supporter into an Obama voter but it may have helped that small minority of undecided people in the electorate to inch closer to a decision and it is my opinion that many of them were swayed in McCain’s direction. Not because John McCain is a Republican but because he is not a liberal.
In this final forum two America’s were laid out. One was articulated by Senator Mcain where “Joe the plumber” lived a life of choice and opportunity that was unrestricted by government intrusion and limitation. The other was Barck Obama’s America, where Joe the plumber’s life was limited and directed by government.
Although Barack Obama was more eloquent in his description of his version of America, John McCain was more correct in his description.
McCain was able to articulate a direction in domestic policies that was rooted in the principles of a free society. A society that allows individuals to go in the direction that is best for them. Not in the direction that is dictated by government under the control of government bureaucrats.
This philosophical difference was perhaps best portrayed in a statement that was a slip up. A slip up that was probably the most accurate name that either side has yet called the other. It came from John McCain who accidentally referred to Barack Obama as “Senator Government”.
McCain quickly corrected himself but the Freudian slip was out and the jury, in this case, cannot be asked to disregard the statement.
Senator Obama is Senator Government. He comes to us from a philosophy that believes government should do all that people should do for themselves. Barack Obama stems from the school of thought that believes government is the answer to all things. This type of thinking is more than wrong, it is dangerous. It leads to an expansion of government that grows into an endless bureaucracy that costs more money to operate than the problem it was created to solve. It is the type of thinking which requires two government agencies, and a third for oversight, to hire three people to change one light bulb.
This thinking was consistently displayed in Senator Obama’s government solutions to such things as education and health care.
On health care Barack Obama proposed a government run bureaucracy that financially penalizes some so that government can demand to all, the type and amount of health care they can get.
John McCain offered a plan that allows government to make health care more affordable and gives you the freedom to choose the care you want. Senator McCain also addressed the need to focus on awareness and early physical education that helps people to avoid severe health conditions. Conditions such as obesity.
On education, Senator Obama rejected expanding school vouchers and increasing the chance for the natural raising of standards that comes with competition. He stated that vouchers were not a worthy effort because there weren’t enough of them. Instead he proposed a litany of government run policies that would eliminate choice and limit opportunity.
Senator McCain made it clear that that which has worked should be expanded, including school choice and vouchers. He pointed out that such a program should not be eliminated because, as Obama put it, there were not enough them. But it should be implemented by creating more of them.
Through it all, “Joe the plumber” became the quintessential embodiment of both Senator’s vision and the victim or benefactor of their policies..
In Barack Obama’s America, Joe the plumber must pay the government more money so that he can be forced to educate his children the way the government wants, be forced to get the health care that the government limits him to and be forced to layoff people from his company and make less money because the government is taking more money.
In John McCain’s America, Joe the plumber is allowed to keep more of the money he earns which gives him the ability to hire even more people. In John McCain’s America, Joe spreads the wealth through freedom and his ability to increase his own wealth without the intrusion of government and it’s fees. In McCain’s America Joe the plumber can choose the kind of care he wants and the quality of the education that his children can receive.
So John McCain was right, Barack Obama is “Senator Government”.
Barack Obama is a Senator who wants government to intrude into every aspect of every American’s life. From their pockets to their education, Senator Government wants to govern it all and he wants to do it with a government that increases in size and spends more of your money.
Under “Senator Government”, Joe the plumber is not safer, not richer or more free. He is just a tool of government. A tool that is used to fund it’s bureaucracy and be restricted by it’s regulations. Under Senator Government, Joe the plumber is not better he is just more controlled.
The only other point of real note in this final face-off was John McCain’s reminder to “Senator Government” that if he “wanted to run against George Bush,” he “should have done so four years ago.” But beyond that clarification, this debate did make things a bit clearer and all the Joe the plumbers from Toledo to Texas and Seattle to Sarasota should surely know which America is the best America for them and everyone in between.
THE HOT TEMPERED SENATOR
A member of the Senate, known for his hot temper and acid tongue, explodes one day in mid-session and begins to shout, “Half of this Senate is made up of cowards and corrupt politicians!”
All the other Senators plead to the angry member that he withdraw his statement, or be removed from the remainder of the session. After a long pause, the angry member accepted.
“Ok,” he said, “I withdraw what I said. Half of this Senate is NOT made up of cowards and corrupt politicians!”