I’ve dismissed those who say that this is “the most important election of our lifetimes” because it’s hyperbole. When this question came up over the last several months, I’ve gleefully listed at least three elections that were far more important. (For instance: Bush v. Gore, to avoid giving a seal of approval to the Clinton character; Kerry v. Bush, to keep us on track in the war on terror–and that’s just the two most recent presidential elections!) Yet today, I’m ready to say that this is, if not the most important election, then certainly among the most.
Issue by issue, there is less difference than in most years between the Democratic and Republican candidates. The critical difference, however, is what they see as the reason for this nation’s existence.
Senator Obama believes in the “economic justice” agenda. That’s where we tax high-producers not to pay for things we can best secure only as a nation, but to “spread the wealth” from those who work hard, act on clever ideas, or just “get lucky” to everyone else–not just the unlucky or the lesser skilled, but also those who simply don’t care to “work hard.” A nation founded on the idea that individuals have a fundamental right to keep what they earn is being transformed into a nation where “what’s yours ought to be mine, too, since you have so much, and I’ll use the coercive power of the government to make it happen.”
Elections should be about which (relatively minor) corrections to make as we travel down an agreed-upon road. This election is about changing that road entirely, from indivdiualism to statism. Many voters either aren’t aware of the change they are about to invite, or know and don’t care because they see themselves getting more material things out of the new arrangment. (Or maybe they’re just frightened, and Sen. McCain has given them almost nothing to vote for instead of against. That’s a lot of it, too.)
I thought this election was just another election. I was wrong. This one matters as much as any I can remember, because we are at a crossroads that could lead to a change in our national policies as significant as those of the New Deal. If the outcome is as expected, I will agree–but for entirely different reasons–with the loudest of the left: This is not the America I hoped I knew.
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