That’s right. I’m going to tell you who to vote for president. Not only that but I’m pretty sure you will take my recommendation.
People get pretty wrapped around the axle about a candidate’s foreign policy or domestic policy proposals. So let’s look at Obama and Bush. McCain was labeled as being nothing more than Bush by a new name. Obama was supposed to right all of Bush’s wrongs. He’d bring the troops home. He’d close Gitmo. He did take our troops out of Iraq. This was done in accordance with the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Not only that, Obama was trying to negotiate for our continued presence in Iraq. Have you heard about Club Gitmo lately? Neither have I, but it is still up and running.
I neither support nor condemn any of those choices. But the fact is that Obama is strikingly similar to Bush in many areas of foreign policy. You might point out that he has made decisions that are different from what Bush would do. His running around the world bowing to every foreign leader he met would definitely be a change from Bush but I’m sure he’s made substantive decisions that are very different from Bush. But that is my point. There is very little in the overarching theme of US foreign policy that changes that much and little of lasting import that one president can do in foreign policy. Presidents either carry on with the same old policies that were there already or go about changing things back and forth so that no changes last.
There is one thing that the president does which has a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of the Americans who come after us. What is it?
During the interviews with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church Obama was asked whether he believed the Second Amendment guaranteed a collective or individual right to keep and bear arms. Obama replied that he believed it to be an individual right. Yet both his Supreme court nominees voted against findings for the Second Amendment being an individual right. This came as no surprise but here is the issue. Justices Sotomayor and Kagan (Obama’s two appointees) will be there long after Obama’s presidency. Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986—over twenty-five years ago! Off the top of your head can you think of a decision that Reagan made which is still having such a direct impact on our lives? There may be one or two but it’s not springing to mind. The president appoints many other judges as well. These decisions have a lasting impact.
So I put this to you. When you are evaluating the lack-luster field of prospective presidents for this next term ask yourself one question, “Who is most likely to nominate people that I want to be judges?” And then vote that way.