Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If She Were Muslim

In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann has come under fire from the Left for her beliefs about homosexuality and the role of women in marriage. Liberals are very upset that Ms. Bachmann accepts the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is a sin and that wives should be submissive to their husbands. They are fearful that the Tea Party favorite might try to impose her beliefs on the whole country if she should become president. So liberals have been asking Michelle Bachmann to explain herself.

I think this is very unfair.

I understand that to liberals, and even some conservatives, Michelle Bachmann's beliefs are threatening. But why are they threatening? Is it the nature of the beliefs themselves that liberals are fearful of, or is it the fact that they are rooted in Christianity that has liberals so upset? I believe it's the latter. If Michelle Bachmann were a Muslim things would be very different.

Muslim societies have a history of treating gays and women in ways that liberals claim to find abhorrent. However, since leftists have made Muslims collectively a member of the "coalition of the oppressed", their criticism of Mohammed's followers is restrained. Liberals portray peaceful Christian opponents of gay marriage as rabid bigots yet turn a blind eye to the actual execution of gays by Muslim regimes. Liberals eagerly blame the Bible for sexism, yet are deafeningly silent when Muslims commit honor killings, imprison rape victims, or practice a casual misogyny. It is, liberals seem to believe, their multiculturalist duty to defend or rationalize ALL actions by Muslims.

If Michelle Bachmann were a Muslim leftists would never question her beliefs. They would never ask her to explain herself. They would never imply that President Bachmann would impose her beliefs on others, and they would never nervously speculate that her presidency could violate the separation of church and state. No, if Michelle Bachmann were a Muslim, liberals would be defending her moral disapproval of homosexuality and her pro-submission view of marriage as valid parts of her culture. Any criticism of her would be denounced as Islamophobic fearmongering.

But Michelle Bachmann is not a Muslim, she's a Christian, so it's open season on her. She can be questioned, and her beliefs probed, however extensively liberals choose, and not one will yell, "Christophobe!".

I don't know if I'll vote for Michelle Bachmann in the primary, but she's earned my respect for helping, albeit unwittingly, to expose the hypocrisy and anti-Christian bigotry of the Left. Ms. Bachmann has a right to her beliefs. She has a right to act in the public square according to her religiously informed conscience. If a Muslim doing that doesn't terrify liberals, a Christian doing that shouldn't scare them, either. After all, that's only fair. And why would liberals be scared of a little fairness?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mr. Buffet, Why Don't You Just Pay More?

He's at it again.

On Tuesday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor it was revealed that billionaire businessman Warren Buffet has written an op/ed piece once again calling for rich Americans to be taxed more. It's been asked before and I'll ask it again. If Warren Buffet wants Uncle Sam to have more of his money, why doesn't he just give it to him? There's nothing preventing Buffet from giving the government as much of his personal wealth as he chooses. So why does he persist in his campaign for more governmental confiscation of private income?

I think Mr. Buffet wants people to think his campaign is about a patriotic desire to bring America back to fiscal solvency. Yes, the US has an ASTRONOMICAL debt problem, but taxing the rich more won't solve it. There simply aren't enough of them and they don't have the amount of money needed to put even a dent in America's deficit. Warren Buffet is smart enough to know that and that brings us to what I believe is the second reason for Buffet's tax-the-rich campaign: "social justice".

The Left's economic creed is that the rich are avoiding income taxes and the government must rectify this injustice by seizing the rich's assets and redistributing them to the less fortunate. Sounds nice, but it's just not true. Wealthy Americans not only pay income taxes, they bear the brunt of the federal tax burden, with the top 1% paying about 40% of federal income taxes. The rich are paying they're fair share, contrary to the class warfare rhetoric of the Left. If Buffet and others like him really want to increase revenue for the federal government while also promoting tax "fairness", they should go after the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes. It's those people, NOT the rich, who are the real federal income tax freeloaders.

Imagine the revenue that would pour into Uncle Sam's coffers if the freeloading half of Americans was made to pay up. And wouldn't it be the height of fairness to make millions of people who take from the system contribute to the system? Warren Buffet would do his country a better service by supporting legislation taking away the lucky ones' free ride. After all, why should I, a lower-income person, have my money taken from me in order to support those who add nothing to the pot? Where's the social justice in that?

I think Warren Buffet suffers from "embarrassment of riches" syndrome. I believe he feels tremendous guilt not only for being successful but for enjoying his success. The mere thought of government confiscating his money assuages that guilt. Furthermore, I believe Buffet has projected his guilt onto his fellow rich, which is why he's pushing so hard for higher taxes on all the wealthy rather than simply asking for more charitable giving. Freely giving one's money away doesn't stigmatize it the way having it seized like contraband does. And being stigmatized is part of the rich's punishment for being rich.

So why doesn't Warren Buffet just give the government more, maybe even all, of his money in order to help the country? Because helping the country isn't really the endgame here. The endgame is to convince himself that he really is a good person in spite of enjoying all the perks his filthy lucre can buy. And I think that's a very sad goal, indeed.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I'm a Palinista But...

...I don't think Sarah should run for president.

In fact, if Sarah Palin ran for president I think it would be a disaster not only for her personally and professionally, but also for the Republican party. Why would I say that if I like Sarah Palin? Because, as much as I like her, I don't think Mrs. Palin has the experience to be president. Yes, I know that Sarah Palin has held executive elective office twice, once as mayor and once as governor. I know that in those positions she did reasonably well. However, I just don't think that being the mayor of a small town or the governor of a sparsely populated state provides anyone with the experience needed to lead a nation, especially a super power. And that's especially true when you bail out of your elected duties just halfway in, as Sarah Palin did when she quit the governorship of Alaska for reasons I still don't understand.

Sarah Palin may have had genuinely good reasons for abdicating her job as Alaska's chief executive, but stepping down still doesn't look good on her resume. It makes one legitimately ask if Sarah Palin lacks not only the experience but also the fortitude to govern. Being president of the United States can be an extraordinarily difficult job, as the current occupant of the White House can attest. Regaredless of their political leanings, we need someone at the helm who's not going to pick up their marbles and go home when the going gets tough. I don't believe Sarah Palin is that person, at least not now.

I'm not saying Sarah Palin doesn't have inner strength. She and her family have been the objects of rabid hatred and vicious personal attacks ever since John McCain chose her as his running mate in the '08 presidential elections. For the most part, Mrs. Palin has handled those attacks with a grace that stems only from a strength born of deep faith. However, having the strength to endure and overcome personal trials doesn't necessarily mean Sarah Palin has the strength needed to persevere in the high pressure cauldron of national leadership.

I am a conservative socially and fiscally. Sarah Palin is a conservative socially and fiscally. I agree with most of Sarah Palin's positions on the vital issues facing America today. I'd love to see her as president. However, I just don't believe she's ready now. Maybe, after she's had time to gain more political experience, she'll be ready to run for the nation's highest office in 2016. Until then, I think Sarah Palin's most effective role is as a "kingmaker" for conservative/Republican candidates. I believe that she can energize the conservative base the way few others can, and that can only be a positive for conservative candidates. So, for the foreseeable future, Sarah Palin should focus her energies there. Who knows? By being a kingmaker for others, she could end up becoming more powerful than she would've ever been sitting in the White House.