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:: Saturday, September 13, 2008 ::

The Trade-Off 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 10:43 AM

The rational among us are anxiously debating whom to vote for in November. From one perspective on the current race for the White House, we are faced with a choice of which devil to cut cards with (to paraphrase Wellington at Waterloo).

Do we vote for John McCain, who may or may not be better than George W. Bush in foreign policy and in adopting a semi-rational attitude toward America’s dedicated enemies, but who is “pro-American” in the same sense that Mussolini was “pro-Italian” and Hitler was “pro-German,” that is, in an un-American, nationalistic, service-to-your-country-in-a-higher-cause-than-yourself way, which implies the partial or wholesale regimentation of the American population to combat the bogeyman of the moment?

Do we vote for Barack Obama, whose anti-American, anti-military, anti-freedom, serve-your-country-until-you’re-flat-broke-and-living-in-penury-for-a-cause-higher-than-yourself solution to all problems, foreign and domestic, might mellow once he is in office and is handed on morning one the intelligence reports from the various security agencies on what our enemies (including Russia and China, not just the Islamists) are up to vis-à-vis tightening the noose around America’s neck? Or would he just grimace and think: We brought it upon ourselves.

Do we vote for McCain, whose “patriotism” would compel Americans to “give back” what they were never given, and who may or may not give the rational among us half a fighting chance to spread the word of reason? Would the Ayn Rand Institute and other pro-freedom organizations be safely sidelined by his domestic policies? Would conservative talk-show hosts be any more secure against censorship or persecution than under an Obama administration? Both candidates are preeminently anti-conceptual mentalities, but this does not mean they would not be aware of the peril of freely expressed ideas or organized opposition, and search for some means to squelch, silence, punish or harass the recalcitrant.

Do we vote for McCain, whose election might stave off another attack on America, because our Islamic enemies (Ahmadinejad of Iran, the Saudis, et al.) just might possibly believe that he would bomb Iran’s nuclear power facilities, or give the Israelis the go-ahead to do it themselves (Israeli intelligence on Mideast matters being vastly more informed than the CIA’s or the NSA’s)? Would McCain’s election give the Islamists pause? Or would they strike before Cindy McCain had time to redecorate the Oval Office?

Do we vote for Obama, whose election most assuredly would guarantee another attack on this country soon after his inauguration, just to test his professed “love” of America? Or would our enemies be ferally intelligent enough to realize that he would destroy it for them, stay their hand, and settle for ramping up their cultural jihad, knowing that Obama would applaud it in the name of multicultural diversity? It is not for nothing that the Muslim world approves of his candidacy and more or less has remained mum about his alleged apostasy.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia, of course, macho dictator that he is, would have Mr. Change that Matters for lunch, and use Senator Joe Biden as a serviette. Would Obama be a diplomatic match for the heavyweight thug of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, or Snake Eyes Ahmadinejad? It is indicative of the world’s hostility for America that every dictator, sheik and “social democrat” is hoping for an Obama presidency and the chance to stick it to this country even more, knowing that Obama would contritely claim that America deserved it, as a kind of reparations for what the U.S. has done to the world. Like save it twice at great cost in lives and treasure, and after that act as the world’s selfless policeman and “democracy” builder, also at great cost in lives and treasure.

McCain may or may not choose to go head to head with America’s enemies. Obama is not likely to want to butt heads with anyone. McCain’s brand of patriotism is similar to Teddy Roosevelt’s, whose political shenanigans gave us the father of all servitude, Woodrow Wilson.

When one studies side-by-side photos of McCain and Putin, one sees a similar, power-hungry glint in their eyes. One may legitimately suspect that the “reform” McCain promises is not so much of government, but of the American people. No, he does not believe in compulsory national service, but one may be sure of penalties if one does not “volunteer” for it. His vision of Americans united in a single cause differs in no fundamental from Obama’s, except in the path on which each wishes to lead them, “reformed” or “changed”: socialism with fascist overtones, or socialism for the sake of gutting the country of the remnants of its individualism and liberty.

So, the question is: Between the two candidates, where is the trade-off? What smidgen of the benefit of one’s doubts should one grant McCain and hope against hope that his administration would not be as disastrous and destructive as Bush’s? On what evidence can one hope against hope that Obama would “grow up” in the Oval Office and see the error of his ways?

The answer may depend in one’s estimation of how much one can bear the consequences of either candidate reaching the White House – coupled with how well one can second-guess. This much is certain, however: Politically speaking, whichever candidate is sworn into office next January, America is in for times rougher than those of the Great Depression.

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