David Aas, Minot
I had to laugh out loud at Kathryn Wickman's letter to the editor concerned about Rick Berg's ad that criticizes President Obama. In her letter she states, "I was taught that we support our president no matter to which party he/she belongs." This comment requires me to respond to Kathryn's concerns about disrespect to our president.
No, Kathryn, you were taught incorrectly. As Americans, we are not required to blindly "support' our leaders. In Stalinist dictatorships, the people are taught to support their leaders. In the United States, we have the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, which has encouraged 236 years of vigorous debate of issues affecting our government and our lives.
I can understand Kathryn's confusion. It is currently quite fashionable for the liberal elite in this country to say they support freedom of speech. However when conservative speech offends their politically correct sensibilities, they promptly move to squelch that freedom of speech. The latest example of this hypocritical behavior is demonstrated by Rahm Emanuel's outrageous comments in the recent Chick-fil-A controversy. Kathryn is succumbing to the blind liberal attitude that President Obama is the second coming of Our Savior and we should be worshiping the ground that he walks on.
Of course the first question I have is this: Where was the "support" from the Democrat Party for President George W. Bush? Going back further, where was the "support" from the Democrat Party for Ronald Reagan? Of course, there was no "support." In fact Kathryn, if you will recall, there was vile hatred at both of those two presidents while they were in office from those on the left.
I was taught that as Americans, it is our responsibility to respect our president. I respect the office of the Presidency, and I offer my respect to the current holder of that office, whoever he or she may be. I respect President Obama for his ability to gather enough votes to win an election. However, for me to respect President Obama the man, and for that respect to grow into support, I want to see results.
I could go through a litany of issues that are disappointing in our current president, but the biggest issue is today's national economy. President Obama is obviously in over his head, and our national economy is suffering. Four more years of the Obama administration will do little to improve the economy and get people back to work. The United States Senate is also contributing to this problem. The "leadership" of President Obama along with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi during the first two years of the Obama presidency has killed any hope of an economic recovery. These liberals feel that the best way to stimulate the economy is to create more government jobs and have more government spending on "investments" in our infrastructure. These "investments" are the primary concern. How to pay for these "investments" are not considered in their decisions.
Government does not create jobs. The private sector creates jobs. The private sector wants to know what the rules are, and wants a stable tax and regulatory environment so that they can make plans and have confidence that the money that is invested will pay off in profits. To liberals "profit" is a four-letter word. "Profit" is a word that should be embraced and celebrated, not denigrated.
There are other issues that President Obama is also on the wrong side of, including his "War on Carbon" and his "War against the Catholic Church." Besides this, the Obama EPA will (if they get their way) expand regulation to shut down the fracking industry, along with their already successful efforts at destroying the coal industry. They are also hot on the trail to expand the Clean Water Act to regulate every pothole and wet ditch in the country. If this is allowed to continue, the North Dakota economy will be dragged down to the same level as our national economy. It is hard enough seeing 8.3 percent unemployment in the United States. Do you want to see that same rate in our little piece of the world?
Generally speaking, it is human nature to respect someone who is respectful to you and what you believe in. In other words, for me to respect you, you have to earn my respect. Two actions of President Obama question my ability to respect him. First, Obama has flouted the Catholic Church by his recent actions in the health care arena. Second, Obama is the first president to disrespect the Boy Scouts of America by not appearing at a quadrennial National Jamboree. The last National Jamboree was held during the celebration of BSA's 100th anniversary. President Obama disappointed 50,000 young people and adult volunteers by appearing on a video screen instead of in person. That day of the National Jamboree, Obama appeared on the "Ellen" talk show.
The point of the ad that Kathryn criticizes is that a vote for Heidi Heitkamp will be a vote for Harry Reid, and indirectly, for President Obama. As much as Heidi is attempting to advertise herself as more conservative than Rick Berg, North Dakotans aren't buying it. If she would be elected, she would go to Washington and support the liberal Democrat agenda, including adding more regulations and taxes to the producers of this economy, and punishing achievement and success. Heidi would be powerless to stop the EPA from killing the oil and coal industries with her support of Reid and Pelosi. Rick Berg will work to stop overregulation and he understands the importance of setting up a level playing field so that the drivers of our national economy can put people back to work.
Heidi's support of President Obama, Harry Reid and Obamacare are losing issues for Heidi. All three are toxic to most voters in our state and will doom her chances of getting a job in Washington DC.
So Kathryn, in response to your letter, I must disagree. I do not support President Obama, and I do not feel that it is my obligation as an American to support a leader who is doing little to solve our nation's problems. There is a difference between support and respect. I respect the office of the president. As far as my respecting President Obama the man, he has not earned that yet. After three and a half years, the outlook for earning that respect is bleak.