Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

What Do You Fear from an Obama Presidency?

Posted by honestpoet on November 5, 2008

The number of people arriving at my blog searching for terms having to do with Obama and the Illuminati have skyrocketed now that he’s won the presidency. And I’m curious…just what is it that people fear?

I tried to allow an “Other” in the poll, but couldn’t get it to work, so please feel free to voice your fears, if they’re not included in the poll, in a comment.

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22 Responses to “What Do You Fear from an Obama Presidency?”

  1. honjii said

    I’m sure you’re right on about the reptilian overlords, lol. Everybody run for cover!

  2. honestpoet said

    Have you read (or read about) the work of David Icke? He’s got a bunch of people convinced that reptilian/human hybrids are in charge. (Bush is one, supposedly, and many think Obama is one, too.) It would be funny if people didn’t actually believe it. (It’s still kind of funny, but in a very sad and disappointing way.)

  3. honjii said

    No I’ve never read Icke’s work, but the gullibility (read stupidity) of some people is not surprising though often hilarious.

  4. honestpoet said

    People wouldn’t be so gullible if they weren’t primed to believe in ridiculous things by organized religion. (I mean, transubstantiation? Come on!) If rationality and critical thinking were encouraged, we’d be living on a very different planet.

  5. Soitgoes said

    Couldn’t find the button that says “nothing”.

  6. honestpoet said

    That’s what comments are for! I don’t fear anything from an Obama presidency, either, of course, except perhaps that the Secret Service will fail to protect him from all the hatred against him that was drummed up during the campaign.

  7. None of the above. To be serious, what I fear is more policies like the ones that got us into this financial mess. FM & FM were created by the government under broad expansions of socialistic-type power. In the ’70s and ’90s, Fair Housing Act laws were used to bludgeon banks into making loans that they didn’t want to make: they were required to use welfare payments and unemployment benefits as valid sources of income, which resulted in loans that couldn’t be sustained in the marketplace. The natural result: the government helped to insulate the mortgage lenders from their bad loans. Good, ethical businessmen (of which there are a lot) likely figured that this wasn’t a good, ethical place to make money by honest work. Crappy, greedy businessmen (of which there are a lot) saw an opportunity to be exploited.

    Let’s not forget the other albatross on the American economy’s back: social security and Medicare, more socialistic entitlement programmes put forth in the FDR administration.

    These things don’t collapse quickly; you don’t see the very next day or year how bad they are. It comes about through time. You can look to France and Great Britain for evidence of this: years after they tried their experiments with socialism, they are moving back towards capitalism. (As someone said, capitalism is a horrible idea, but it’s better than any other idea.) I fear that Obama doesn’t take those lessons from those who have tried it; I fear that he’ll implement a vast expansion of government (such as through his Universal Voluntary Citizen Service initiative, and his desire to nationalise philanthropic organisations), which, like all expansions of the regulatory state, is impossible to repeal.

    As a former R&D engineer, I fear that Obama is beyond short-sighted. Either he or Biden said that we don’t need super-high tech weapons now, so let’s cut defence spending. Thing is, the money you spend on technology development NOW is the benefit you get in 2020 or 2025. While things may be fine now, it’s gambling that a) nothing will happen years down the road, and b) our enemies won’t understand that we’ve brokered our future military strength, hunker down, and attack when we’re weak and it would take us a decade to catch up.

    I fear that Obama is in way over his head. Had he at least managed something – been forced to make hard decisions that come down on his head, and only his head, had some experience with the military (or even a state National Guard) so he can be an effective Commander in Chief, and had some economic experience to be what he now is – the CEO of the largest corporation on earth – I would feel better. The Dow fell almost 1,000 points after his victory speech: people are getting their money out, hunkering down, and hoping that the storm only lasts for four years.

    Speaking of the oncoming storm, the last time we tried a massive expansion of government entitlement, while raising taxes on the rich, during a recession, we had this thing called the Great Depression.

    I fear that Obama’s energy policies are a combination of short-sightedness and folly. Our nation has a badly aging electrical grid, power plants that are almost too old to run, refineries that are stretched to maximum capacity (which is why the price of gas shoots up if even one or two of them go down), and we pay other countries $700 billion a year for oil. R&D, as per above, takes a bloody long time. We aren’t going to change every gas-dependent (cars, home heating fuel) and coal-dependent (85% of our electrical power) part of America into something that is dependent upon natural sources of energy for another few decades. The question isn’t just what we should do in the long term; it’s what we need to do in the meantime. Plug-in cars are new and starting to show how we can switch from gas to electricity, but, as the driver of a car that would be old enough to vote if she were human, I know that a car on the showroom lot is different from a car in the garage of every American who drives. Even with the cars in the garages of some Americans, we’ll need to change our entire infrastructure. Gas stations will have to be replaced with electricity stations. Our grid needs to be overhauled, to sustain the transport of a massive increase in the load. So what are we looking at? 2030? 2040? How do we power America between now and then? More $5 gasoline? Another $700 billion a year overseas – some of it to countries that aren’t free, that don’t respect the human rights of their citizens, and are happy to milk Americans for all they are worth?

    Oh, and, as a feminist, I fear that we are seeing more of the same: minorities’ rights first (which is awesome, because discrimination on the basis of biology is total crap), followed, decades later, by women’s rights, maybe. Both Hillary and Sarah were subjected to a sickening amount of sexism. Mr. Hope and Change remained silent, preferring to watch someone else eviscerate his opposition. I don’t want a man in the Oval Office who subverted the feminist movement’s ideals of dignity for all women, in exchange for winning the election. Him first, women second.

    I know that was a rant, but I think there are valid reasons (economics being mostly on my mind as the Dow loses 1,000 points from Election Day) to fear Barack Obama – young, untested, with the executive experience of a sixth-grade student council member, with no military knowledge, and a seeming lack of understanding of R&D. Oh, yeah, and an anti-feminist to boot.

  8. honestpoet said

    I understand your concerns, but don’t share them. I think, too, that it’s unfair to blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for this entire mess. That’s a horn the GOP’s been honking, but I’ve heard from a number of economists on NPR that say that’s just not the case. The crisis we’re in now is actually the result of the deregulation that started with Reagan and continued rampantly under the Bush administration. A reasonable amount of regulation is a good thing, and can hardly be called socialism. It’s just good government.

    We do face a lot of challenges, militarily, domestically, socially. But I don’t think his lack of executive experience is as much of a weakness as it’s been painted. He’s a sharp tack. I trust he’ll be a quick learner. He’s certainly serious enough.

    And I totally disagree with you on the anti-feminist gripe. He’s married to a strong, smart, successful woman, whom he clearly sees as an equal. That tells me much more than a political campaign ever could about his attitude toward women.

  9. Soitgoes said

    Theo,
    I’m a disabled veteran now living on Soc Sec with access to Medicare. Since you express such disdain for those institutions (which I paid into until I became disabled), could you propose a solution for people like me (55yrs old, “unfit” for work, seriously in debt due to hospital bills, no relatives to help out)?

  10. Actually, HonestPoet, the Obama household looks like something out of Leave it to Beaver. Michelle said that she put her career and ambitions on the back burner so that she can create a nice, warm, loving home for Barack, so his career can come first.

    He has an Ivy-League educated woman at his feet. That tells me a lot about him, and it’s not good.

    By the way, when did marriage become like baptism in Catholicism, in which all sins are forgiven? If Barack has been sexist – and let’s be clear, he’s run exactly one campaign, i.e. to the U.S. Senate, that has not been horrifically sexist – then that tells us a lot about him. His wife doesn’t erase any of that, especially when it’s beneficial to him to have Michelle by his side (and, of course, cooking all of his meals).

    As for the economics – it wasn’t deregulation. Sorry. Even the New York Times agrees with me… it sounded the alarm in 1999. 🙂

    SoItGoes,

    Well, let me see – my point was that they contributed to the economic problems we are having now, and you conclude that I want them abolished. Nice straw man.

    Let’s see – you’re a disabled veteran. Now, one of two things is the case:
    1. You were disabled in the line of duty, and any just country should care for its veterans who are harmed by their disability, not because of socialistic ideals, but because that is something we owe them. IMHO, the way we treat veterans in this country is shameful. The GI bill is fantastic, but we don’t do enough otherwise. Law schools fall all over themselves to push “liberal” legal clinics, but don’t offer their services to veterans. Mental health is another huge, and silent, issue.
    2. You were disabled in another situation and happen to be a veteran. In that case, there is disability insurance, worker’s comp, etc..

    Also, I will say that I have very little patience for people who use their personal life stories to strengthen their ideas. If you are a Satan-worshipping baby seal clubber, albeit one with good ideas, then I’ll listen to them and consider them and think about them. The fact that you’re a veteran doesn’t make your ideas any better, nor your criticism of me any more valid. (In fact, many people see it as a sign of weakness: rather than defending your ideas, you try to force people to back off of the fight, rather than look like the jerk who fights the good guy.)

    By the way, I’ve been paying into SS and Medicare and FICA all my life, and I’m not seeing a dime of it. Ever. People at the bottom of the pyramid scheme get screwed. You are actually helping me to prove my point (albeit in a roundabout way): SS, Medicare, etc., stay in place because no generation is willing to give up that which they think they paid for. If you force people to pay into it, then you know that you’re breeding a new generation of supporters. What we need is someone brave enough to put a stop to this business, not push it further.

  11. honestpoet said

    Theo, I don’t have the time or the inclination to go into the economics arguments, except to say that I do consider that we Americans seem to have difficulty striking the necessary balance between guarding the rights of the individual and the needs of the community. We are social animals, and we need to maintain the connections between us, or we’ll all fail together. I don’t want to live in a world, if only for selfish reasons, where there are large numbers of people falling through the cracks. How peaceful do you think this place will be when large numbers of people are hungry and homeless? Do you want your children, if and when you have them (you may already), to go to school or play on playgrounds with kids whose parents couldn’t afford their vaccinations? Even if you don’t believe in or care about the morality of caring for the poor, it’s only logical to admit that all of society is better off when all of society is better off.

    On the idea that Obama is sexist, however, because his wife is choosing to stay home and support him, I find it offensive that you would tell women that the only valid choice is to work outside the home. First of all, she was working outside the home and making $300K, so it’s not like Obama imagines that she “needs” him as anything other than a loving husband and supportive father, a best friend and life partner. Feminism is about women being free to make the choices that they want to make and which feel right for them and their families, not just about us being able to work outside the home and make the same wage as a man doing the same work. And how exactly were his campaigns sexist? Did he say that Clinton was weak, or that she might be unstable when she had her period? No, he disagreed with her ideas and some of her political actions in the past. Political campaigns are ugly, and the only attacks that can be considered sexist are the ones that are actually sex-based.

    I judge Obama and Michele as a couple by actually looking at them. Even someone with a degree in drama from Yale couldn’t feign the level of relaxed intimacy that they’ve shown on the campaign trail. They share a mutual regard and respect that’s inspiring, and that sort of thing is only possible with a man who actually sees women as equals. Personally, I think a lot of couples in the country could probably learn a thing or two from them.

  12. honjii said

    Theo, You say

    Michelle said that she put her career and ambitions on the back burner so that she can create a nice, warm, loving home for Barack, so his career can come first.

    .

    I believe the sexist here is you, as you seem to be projecting your own values when you make the ASSUMPTION that Michelle Obama stayed home because her husband wanted her to do so rather than entertain the idea that it was SHE who made the decision. She’s a strong intelligent woman, enough so that she didn’t succumb to societal pressures to put her career before her family.

    I know many women who consider themselves feminists, yet when they marry and have children believe it is best for the children to be raised by their mother rather than be given over to a nanny.

    I saw no evidence of sexism from Barack. What you see as his lack of experience is irrelevant. He is highly intelligent and capable, and individuals such as these know enough to know what they don’t know and surround themselves with people who can take up the slack. His intelligence also makes him a skilled problem solver, a quick learner, and, I believe, more than capable of handling the daunting tasks that lie ahead for this country.

  13. Monte said

    By the way, I’ve been paying into SS and Medicare and FICA all my life, and I’m not seeing a dime of it. Ever. People at the bottom of the pyramid scheme get screwed. You are actually helping me to prove my point

    Hardly. We are not only individuals, we are a society in which we live and work and rear our children and decide what’s fair and what’s not. Every time someone like SoItGoes gets a cold shoulder from us together, the world in which our children grow up becomes worse.

    I, for one, find SS and Medicare and FICA (and thank God the Congress had the sense to stuff the Bush-McCain privatization of Social Security!) gives me a great deal of bang for the buck. I wouldn’t want to live in a society that didn’t offer them.

    Theo, you’re a moocher, thriving in a society that has given you a far fairer shake than you’re willing to give others.

  14. Monte said

    By the way, HP, you might enjoy this writing of Bill Ayers – What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been (speaking of things that we’re told to fear about Pres. O.)

  15. honestpoet said

    The link didn’t work, but I did read an interview of him in the NYT recently. I was glad to see that he was handling his vilification with equanimity. I’ve wondered about that, and worried about some wingnut harming him or that other fellow (the Palestinian scholar) whose names were dragged through the mud and equated with terrorists in this campaign.

  16. Monte said

    He has, indeed, had many death threats through the years. As you would expect, they’ve picked up lately.

  17. Monte said

    Oops. Try again: What a long, strange trip it’s been. In These Times – the website that published it – looks intriguing, too.
    Cheers!
    [Don’t you love all this talk about undoing the Bush exec orders? Now that is cheerful!]

  18. honestpoet said

    That’s a cheerful thought, indeed.

    And the article is excellent. I think I’ll end up making a blog post about it.

  19. Soitgoes said

    Theo,
    You wrote:

    By the way, I’ve been paying into SS and Medicare and FICA all my life, and I’m not seeing a dime of it.

    Amazing! That’s exactly what I used to say. I know better now. Thanks for displaying your ignorance in re Soc. Sec. (FICA actually being insurance. http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement/fica.htm

  20. Soitgoes said

    Also, still waiting to see your proposal for a solution to the problem.

  21. Monte said

    Theo – you sound like a pretty lucky fellow. Those who have seen payments from “SS and Medicare and FICA” prior to retirement would trade places with you in a minute. I’m certainly hoping not to see “a dime of it” until I retire.

  22. Monty, in case you can’t tell from my picture, I’m a woman. Frankly, I’m really pissed off that my opinions are apparently only those that can be held by a man, even when my nom de plume means “chocolate love” and there’s a picture of me (i.e. a long-haired woman) next to all my comments. Would it kill you to realise that women, as well as men, can be libertarians?

    There are always people who are worse off (and better off) than you. The people who will see payments prior to their retirement are the envy of people in other parts of the world; you’re better off poor and disabled in America than you would be in almost any other country, in any other time period on Earth.

    So, in short, your little “I’m an old guy who is going to go all philosophical/patronising on you” rebuke doesn’t really stand up to this thing called logic, now does it?

    So it goes:

    1. It’s a blog comment. It’s not ignorance, trust me. (Then again, I love how liberals are so quick to denigrate the intellect of women with whom they disagree. There’s no misogyny that’s as vicious as liberal misogyny.)

    2. It doesn’t change my point. When you can’t attack the ideas, nitpick!

    3. I have offered a solution – the private market and charity. You apparently don’t like those, since it undermines your theory that only the all-benevolent, all-perfect, all-caring Government can fix things for people. (Everyone’s looking for an entity that fits that description. For some of you, it’s found in religion; for others, in the government. Personally, I find it hard to worship an entity that once denied basic civil liberties to most of our population, imprisoned people during WWII, turned fire hoses on those demanding their civil rights in the ’60s, and still works to do the same (whether it be by killing private property rights, stripping people of their right to self-defence, inhibiting free speech in the name of being politically correct, etc).

    Call me crazy, but I would rather try to find a different company to handle insurance, rather than a different country to live under. But that’s just me.

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