Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Koch Endorses Obama

Newsmax reports that Mayor Ed Koch has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Hizzoner repeats some of the now-familiar and unconvincing ex post arguments about Governor Palin, such as that she lacks experience even though she has more executive experience than Senators Obama and Biden combined, and has more experience than a number of former presidents such as Grover Cleveland, who had served two years as governor and less than one year as mayor before becoming one of history's best presidents. Mayor Koch's endorsement of Mr. Obama demonstrates that he is indifferent to inexperience because Mr. Obama has none. Nor does Mr. Obama's flip flopping on the issue of Jerusalem suggest that he has even a lay person's grasp of international issues, the Middle East or Israel's security.

Mayor Koch's endorsement has substance with respect to one important point. Allow me to quote him:

"Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks. It includes defending the public with respect to their civil rights, civil liberties and other needs, e.g., national health insurance, the right of abortion, the continuation of Social Security, gay rights, other rights of privacy, fair progressive taxation, and a host of other needs and rights."

Indeed, it is for these economic and social reasons, namely the threat that a Democratic president will further extend Progressivism, that I oppose Mr. Obama. While he was Mayor, Mr. Koch oversaw a city in economic decline due to Progressive, socialistic policies that Mr. Koch did nothing to reverse. These included a bloated city payroll; an incompetently run Department of Social Services (I worked there for a few weeks in the 1970s while I was a student and know about it first hand); a welfare system destructive of human dignity and the incentive to work; corrupt construction regulation; public housing that induced crime and depravity; and massive pension benefits for all city workers. As a result of New York City's pathological Progressivism, between 1960 and 1990 three quarters of the Fortune 500 firms that had been headquartered there left. Mayor Koch, although a noble, feisty soul, did nothing to reverse the People's Republic of New York's destruction of economic opportunity for future generations.

Mayor Koch and the New York Times would like to see Senator Obama impose New York City- and Chicago-style Progressivism on all of America. The result of their ideas will be a two-tiered society and declining economic opportunity for all Americans, especially the working class.

I do not doubt that Mayor Koch is an honorable man and that he truly believes that Barack Obama is capable of improving health care and social security. I happen to believe the reverse. But this disagreement has gone past the point of possible reconciliation. Mayor Koch and the Democrats have forced the nation to adopt failed policies. Now, Progressivism and Democratic Party ideology are irreconcilable with the beliefs of Americans who believe in freedom and traditional values. Either the Democrats will have to compel people like me who disagree with their theories with violence, or they cannot adopt them.

To reduce the tension that the Democrats' insistence on failed Progressive ideas is causing, I have come to the conclusion that the country needs to decentralize into two or more federal regions that offer alternative policies. The thought of social democratic health care, extension of social security, or Barack Obama's extending welfare in ways that Mayor Koch and Senator Obama consider attractive is unacceptable to me and many others. The time is past when the stupid theories of "liberals" can be rationalized as experimental or innovative. They have failed, and I am tired of paying the costs of the New York Times', Mayor Koch's and Barack Obama's dim witted ideas.

Having come from the same city as Mayor Koch, I do not feel any need to share a nation with him. He and Senator Obama are aliens to me. They can take their health care, their welfare, their dim witted programs, their incompetently run bureaucracies, and their chums on Wall Street, and keep them in New York. New York's Progressives have done enough damage as it is. I do not like the country that they envision, and I do not like the policies that they have forced me to support.

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