by John S. Pinto
By now you must have heard the Barack Obama won the presidency and all is well. It has been said that a
president spends most of the time reacting to events that cannot be controlled. If you have been paying attention to
the media, it seems that news reports and opinion pieces suggest that people got exactly what they expected. For
instance, certain people expect an Obama administration to cut spending, while others expect it to increase
spending. There are those who believe that Obama is pro-life, while others believe that he is pro-choice. Others
believe that he will cut taxes, yet others believe that he will raise taxes. What to believe? We must wait and see
what the future will bring. Groucho Marx said that politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere,
diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. Groucho summed up our campaigns and our
government very well!
If Obama’s agenda is enacted into law, it will lead to less liberty (more government), higher spending and
taxes (again less liberty) and turmoil for years to come. The main reason for this will be that his proposals inject
government into areas where it should not interfere and are unconstitutional. Even today, the federal government
has injected itself into areas where the Constitution says it should not tread. Many federal government programs
have developed constituencies and trying to eliminate them will be time consuming and expensive. As human
beings we tend to take the path of least resistance and leave things alone. I think that the Obama administration
will be careful about how it conducts business. The first item will be to reassure the country about what it will
attempt to do. Maybe a piece of innocuous legislation that has broad support. Then there will be attempts to
appease liberal constituencies that heavily supported him, like taking away the secret ballot when unionizing
businesses. This type of legislation, if it passes, will gravely hurt small businesses and lead to even more
economic turmoil. The larger agenda items will probably have to wait. To paraphrase former President Dwight D.
Eisenhower, farming (or governing) looks mighty easy when your plough is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles
from a cornfield. However, we must look to the future. It is impossible to say what will happen.
As immigrants, consciously or unconsciously, the most appealing characteristic about America is the freedom
enjoyed by its citizens. When we support or oppose governmental policies, we must keep freedom as the
centerpiece of our decision making. During the Reagan administration, a Uruguayan author and journalist was a
critic of the administration’s policies towards Latin America. He said, “I have to say, in spite of what I think of the
foreign policy of the United States, especially vis-a-vis Latin America, one important thing that I have to recognize
is the real democracy you have in this country — the possibility to express your ideas, no matter what those ideas
are.” We have made many sacrifices. If we do not insure the survival of freedom for our children, those sacrifices
would have been for nothing.