Last night Barack Obama made history by becoming the first black man to be elected President of the United States. For better or for worse, it is a historic moment. Americans did not so much put aside racial differences as embrace them. According to Fox News coverage of exit polls, most voters who said that race played a role in their vote actually voted for Obama.
Obama won by promising change. This promise capitalized on the resentment that many hold for the Bush Administration and the sluggish economy. Many felt that things could not get any worse. To them, let me say that change is not inherently good.
Many of the policy proposals that Obama has laid forth would definitely result in change, but not the type of change that people would like to see. Obama’s plans to raise taxes and restrict free trade through a unilateral renegotiation of NAFTA are strikingly similar to steps taken by Herbert Hoover at the outset of the Great Depression.
In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama talked about his cap-and-trade plan, which amounts to a huge new tax on energy: "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it -- whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers." (Chronicle Vol. 8, No. 45, Nov. 5 2008, www.patriotpost.com)
Obama’s capital gains and dividend tax increases would place further pressure on the already strained 401(k) and retirement plans that most Americans hold. Many of these plans have already taken losses of 40-50% due to the Wall St. crisis.
President Obama will also have to contend with congress. Even though the Democrats have majorities in both houses of congress, some parts of Obama’s platform might be difficult to pass. Obama’s tax plan is based on allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, which will happen easily, and then adding tax credits for low- and middle-income taxpayers. Passing new tax credits might be more difficult, especially as congress looks at paying for the many proposed government programs that will cost trillions of dollars.
A lasting impact of the Obama Administration will be his appointment of federal judges. Obama has said that he will appoint judges who are “sympathetic enough to those who are on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless, those who can’t have access to political power and as a consequence can’t protect themselves from being — from being dealt with sometimes unfairly” (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/what-kind-of-justice-would-president-obama-mete-out/). All Americans should be concerned if Obama appoints judges who decide cases based on your social class rather than written law.
The world will not get any safer with President Obama in the White House. Recent reports from Israel indicate that Iran may have already tested two nuclear weapons (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/128151). While this has not been verified, it is certain that nuclear proliferation in Iran, Syria, and North Korea will be an issue that the next president will face. Doubts about Obama’s support for Israel may convince Israel that the best course is a pre-emptive strike before Obama takes office in January 2009.
A convergence of Bible prophecies also points to the likelihood of another Middle East war. Joel C. Rosenberg, author of Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future, says that Ezekiel 38-39 foretells of a coalition of nations led by Russia and Iran that oppose Israel. Rosenberg points out that Russia and Iran have an alliance now for the first time in history. Rosenberg further points out that two nations conspicuously absent from the coalition are Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, and Iraq, which is rebuilding its military and dealing with an insurgency. The attack is ultimately defeated by divine intervention. If Obama is secretly pro-Arab, as many of his backers believe, then the time could be ripe for a fulfillment of this prophecy, which may then usher in further end-time events.
It has been suggested that Obama’s election may be God’s will. That is possible. It is also possible that Obama’s election is a repudiation of God’s will. At this point, it is impossible to know. Those of us who are concerned by Obama’s record and associations can take comfort in two Bible verses. The first is that “all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The second is “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). God’s will soon be apparent.
Obama’s first actions as president will likely signal the priorities of his presidency. While there has been no indication from the Obama team as to what his first priorities will be, some other Democratic politicians have indicated what they would like to see. There has been much talk about the Employee Free Choice Act, or the Card Check bill. This misnamed bill would actually deprive employees of the right to a secret ballot election in choosing whether to unionize. Another commonly discussed piece of legislation is the Fairness Doctrine, which would curtail the freedom of speech of radio stations and talk show hosts in an attempt to muzzle conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh. Enacting gun control legislation is another rumored priority of the new government. If any of these limitations to freedom are pushed by the new Obama Administration, Americans should be rightly worried.
America should rightfully be proud that a member of a once oppressed minority can rise to the highest office in the land. We should be less proud that in doing so we paid so little attention to the man himself, his record, and the people who surround him.
It has been suggested that Obama is the John F. Kennedy of our generation. Based on his policy proposals, I fear that he may be our generation’s Herbert Hoover, who tax and regulatory policies turned a recession into the Great Depression, or our Jimmy Carter, whose dictator-friendly administration saw a dramatic expansion of Soviet influence around the world. I pray that he is not our generation’s Lenin.
I will pay close attention to President Obama. I will give him a chance to prove that he is working for the good of the United States as a whole. I pray that he will be a wise and fair leader who stands by his oath to uphold the Constitution. If he doesn’t, I’ll work extra hard to find a replacement for him in 2012. I urge all Americans to do the same.