Monday, January 26, 2009

No More Nice Guy

By Phil Fraietta
Fraietta@Fordham.edu

First and foremost let me state that what happened on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 20th was a truly historic event and one that Americans of all different political beliefs should at least appreciate the history in. But, with that said, it is now time to move past the history of the inauguration and into the Presidency of Barack Obama.

It is my belief that we as conservatives have gotten “soft” for a lack of a better term. We just endured eight years of the largest expansion of the Federal Government since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and many of us still refuse to speak critically of President Bush. Now yes, it is true that President Bush kept our nation attack-free after 9/11, and did some very honorable things with respect to AIDS in Africa. But, all in all, his entire Presidency was a complete and utter failure as well as an abandonment of conservatism.

I address this refusal to criticize President Bush because I fear some fellow conservatives may give the same treatment to President Obama. We must not be afraid to play insult to history. Meaning that just because President Obama is the first African-American President does not mean we should be afraid to evaluate and critique every decision he makes as President.

We must remember what the Civil Rights Movement was intended to achieve. The goal of the Civil Rights Movement, as stated by Martin Luther King Jr., was to “one day live in a nation where [a man] will not be judged by the color of [his] skin but by the content of [his] character.” I believe the election of President Obama does not signify that we have reached this day, but rather it will be when we are able to applaud or criticize his decisions without second-guessing ourselves for fear of being called racist that we will have reached this day.

In conclusion, while the election of President Obama will always be a truly historical event, it is time we stop looking out of a historical lens and resume looking into a political lens. We owe it to ourselves as conservatives; we owe it to this great nation and her citizens; we owe it to the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, who fought so hard for racial equality, to evaluate every last decision made by President Obama without using race as a factor and to voice our opposition to every last decision that opposes the principles of conservatism.

7 comments:

DSKohn said...

Difficult to argue with that. But remember, after Reagan's second term ended people called him a hippocrit for expanding the government budget overall.

Milton Friedman then pointed out that all areas of government spending halted with the exception of military spending. I know George Bush spent in areas besides the military but this was still where his primary spending increases went, rightly or wrongly. Would be curious to know the exact numbers.

As I have said before, there is no real right wing in America or in any other industrialized country for that matter because once social welfare programs such as social security are put in place, it becomes politically impossible to remove or even reform them.

Kate said...

Thanks for reminding us that we can critique President Obama just like any other President even though he's black!

Also, as a quick side note, this whole notion that Bush "helped" AIDS was mentioned in a previous blog post. It is so incredibly false I find it offensive, so I have copied and pasted my comment from the previous post that mentioned this on your blog.
--------

Ugh. Your nievete and disgusting callousness on the subject makes me sick. George W. Bush has shifted to abstinence-only sexual education and the promotion of monogamy (rather than education about condoms, or a comprehensive education), not only in American public schools, but in African countries.

In a country where the majority of people who contract AIDS get it from their spouse, abstinence-only education is dangerous. Monogamy is not the solution to AIDS if your spouse has it. This "education" is deadly.

This is an excerpt from the experience of an HIV educator who studied Bush's abstinence-only policies in Uganda:
"data presented at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto confirmed that the tremendous gains Uganda made in the fight against HIV have withered away in the past five years — since Bush took the reins of U.S. policies. The cited reason? More unprotected sex, stemming mainly from a significant condom shortage that, according to Stephan Lewis, U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, is a crisis “being driven and exacerbated by the extreme policies that the administration in the United States is now pursuing.” Such statistics reiterate what past evidence from an array of countries have already shown: that abstinence-only education not only persistently fails to curb the AIDS pandemic, but increases the risk of it spreading by discouraging the use of contraceptives."

Maybe if you ever thought of a person in Africa as just that--a person--you would a) research your self-righteous schlock a little more and b) consider consider fighting AIDS less as an economic interest and more as a moral imperative.

Kate said...

Also...
Just noticing, you commented back to my comment with this,

"No two people have the same moral views, therefore for government to act on any moral view is an abuse of its power."

But at the top of your blog it proclaims you guys are pro life. So...what's the deal with that?

Phil said...

Doug:
Completely agree with you there. Once a government program is created it never goes away. As far as military spending is concerned however, I am not a believer in this idea that the more we spend on the military the better it becomes. We need to spend on our military wisely. The way the Bush Administration spend on the military is no different that the liberal idea to throw money at the education system to fix the problem. More money is not always the answer.

Kate:
1. It has been my experience that many conservatives have become reluctant to criticize President Obama due to his race. Therefore, I chose to write the post.

2. Whether or not President Bush had success in curing AIDS in Africa is irrelevant. The relevance of the situation is the fact that attempting to do so was valiant and is something conservatives often point out in defense of the former President

3. Many members of this media outlet and of the conservative movement take a pro-life position. I for one do not. I hold to my belief that the State should not regulate moral issues. With that said, I am not the creator of this blog so that is out of my power. Also, if you have read any of my previous posts you will notice I am not a "conservative" per say but more so a libertarian.

DSKohn said...

Your comment on AIDS is ridiculous. That was my post. I had made a mistake in one comment but George Bush was relatively (would like to emphasize relatively) well respected in African countries for his contributions to AIDS. He tripled the amount of money the US committed to fighting AIDS to $15 billion.

Most of this money, as I said before, was channeled to ANTI RETROVIRAL DRUGS. Abstinence or no, this is where the money went. Check your facts before responding to anyone.

DSKohn said...

Also, yes in African countries men spread AIDS to their wives.....all 20 of them a piece acquired in 'temporary' marriages. And many of the children that have AIDS are the victims of local superstition that dictates if you have sex with a virgin you will be cured (look it up).

CharlesH said...

Mr. Kohn, did you just simplify an entire continent's many, many cultures and issues down to a few offhand stereotypes? I'm sorry but that is simply absurd. And it is reprehensible that that type of opinion can come out of someone receiving a higher education. The "facts" that you have presented, without any semblance of context are shamefully myopic and completely unacceptable.