Three Weeks and Counting

We have less than three weeks until the Big Day.  For me personally, it has been quite busy.  This week I was invited to speak on behalf of the campaign regarding health care, social security, mental health and disability rights.  It was a great opportunity to lay out the Republican party’s essential philosophy that private decisions, such as health, should remain in the hands of private individuals and those that they choose to consult with, such as doctors and yes, insurers of choice.  In addition, it was a chance to remind people that McCain not only seeks to make health care accessible and more affordable, but he is committed to mainitaining and improving the quality of health care.  For him, this is just as important.  And most importantly, it gave me the chance to explain that McCain’s commitment to improving the lives of those with disabilities is unparalleled.  In addition to drafting some of the key provisions of the Americans with Disabilties Act (ADA) he himself knows what it is like to be disabled, due to his wounds suffered as a POW.  But it is his appointment of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate, who is charged with the priority of working with special needs families and his commitment to protecting the weakest members of society, the unborn and the aged, that underscores and guarantees his commitment to improving care for everyone.  It was a great “debate” and opportunity to meet some devoted advocates for the disabled from Evanston’s Center for Independent Futures, who sponsored the talk.  It is clear that much work on behalf of the disabled is done through private and non-profit groups and individuals and we need to make sure they can continue their mission in the most creative, innovative, productive environment possible by insuring that the best programs, research and opportunities are available and rewarded.

This last week also had the final presidential debate.  To be honest, I think Sen. McCain did a great job detailing the significant differences between the two party platforms.  He also had an opportunity to present issues to the public that have been disguised by the main stream media.  Not only did he catapult “Joe the Plumber” and the concerns he represents, but he was able to introduce the issues regarding Acorn and Ayers, Obama’s links to those groups and how they are representative of his socialist ideology.  McCain said it best, do we want people like Joe spreading the wealth by growing companies, creating jobs and investing in our communities, or do we want to give it to the government (we saw how they handled the mortgage business) and let them decide?  Under all this is the fact that Obama is proposing an essential socialist system where the wealthy are required to give money to the less wealthy in the form of tax credits, which for over 40% of the Americans who do not pay taxes will be in the form of a check – essentially welfare.  What we have to ask ourselves is what is the role of government?  Is it to provide services and protections that we need across the board that facilitate trade, exhange, the free market, growth, such as roads, military, safety net programs, court systems, or is it to redistribute the wealth of some to give to others?  Who is better at this, the government or private individuals who are incentivized to succeed and are generous through their charity and churches?  We are looking at the greatest socialist expansion of our government since 1965 and probably since 1933.  Is this the model that really works?

I also had a chance to watch the candidates tell their jokes about each other during the Archdiocease of New York’s Alfred E. Smith dinner.  Both candidates were hilarious and it seems like Bill Clinton was the greatest butt of their jokes.  In watching this, I had to ask myself:  these guys can get along, they don’t appear to despise each other despite the rigors of the campaign and it won’t matter, it will all work out.  But I am reminded that this complacency is exactly what gets our country in trouble, if not in watching our financial systems, keeping an eye on Fannie and Freddie, or Congress itself, then in thinking our enemies aren’t that bad or evil.  A lot is at stake over the next four years, not just our economy and how we structure it but how we fight for our place in the world and demonstrate what it means to be free.  We have a lot to uphold, not just for ourselves, but for others and we need to remind ourselves often of that.  There is too much at stake to think it will somehow be taken care of by others.  With that said, I am hunkering down for the homestretch.  I have a couple of more speeches and talks to give – one next Thursday for the Evanston GOP monthly luncheon on my experiences as a delegate and the other on Wednesday, the 29th on freedom and how it is expressed/protected/promoted through conservative principles.  I am so excited to do both.

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