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Obama or Romney?

November 1, 2012

This question was asked of me recently and my first reaction was to write this post here.  But this is a fair question and a timely concern so here are some my thoughts on this.  I acknowledge that this analysis may be simplistic but my overall hope is that it helps people to look at issues from another perspective.  I also realize that I may alienate those who might disagree with me but so be it.

Before I do, I should let you know that I come from a view and hope of a future world where weapons are non-existent, artificial borders like Nations do not exist, where all energy and resources are renewable and free and where our priorities are decided by the cycles of nature instead our own egos. But given that such a world is more of a dream for the distant future than a present reality then here are my thoughts regarding this question.

I prefer not to view this Election race as one between Republicans and Democrats nor Conservatives versus Liberals. I believe these over-used labels confuse the matter even further.  Instead I prefer to look at the race as a choice between the Private Sector and the Public Sector.

The Private Sector is about free enterprise, freedom of speech and religious freedom.  The Public Sector is about social values and services for the common good, civil rights, civil liberties and equality regardless of sex, race, religion, and wealth.  The Public Sector IS the Government and these two gentlemen, with these distinct differing values, are in a race for the highest Public Sector office in the country.

This is a race between between the competitive entrepreneurial “we built it” mindset (Romney) versus one of civil obligation and service of “we’re in this together” (Obama).

It’s a race between championing and rewarding entrepreneurs, businesses, corporations, banks and Wall Street (Romney) versus promoting and creating government programs and regulations that serve the greater good (Obama).

It’s a race between “let Detroit go bankrupt that it can learn to be more competitive” (Romney) vs. “Save working class auto-maker jobs” (Obama).

It’s a race between privately owned media run by the likes of Rupert Murdoch (Romney) versus Public Broadcasting (Obama) or Fox News vs. Big Bird and Bill O’Reilly vs. Bill Moyers.

It’s a race about imposing private Religious values on abortion, woman’s health issues and marriage equality (Romney) versus supporting the civil rights of free choice and equality (Obama).

It’s about supporting the interests of Big Oil and other Private Sector Energy Companies (Romney) versus pushing for National Energy independence as a priority (Obama).

Romney is a career businessman and even though he may have been a Governor, his decisions are and will be based on his business experience and mindset which ultimately is about free enterprise and reward by effort. Romney is also a man who will allow his private and personal religious values influence his decisions.  Romney and his ideas clearly comes from the Private Sector.

Obama, on the other hand, is a career civil servant who has worked his entire life in the Public Sector.  He has Public Sector values and strives to make decisions based on those. He has repetitively demonstrated those values throughout the last four years and most recently in dealing with the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

So the question for me is this: Do we need more Private Sector values influencing in the Public Sector or not? My answer is an emphatic “no”!  We’ve had plenty of this with eight years of the Bush Administration and earlier.  Even Obama’s Administration, to the extent that he has career businessmen in his Cabinet, has been influenced by the Private Sector despite his Public Sector values.

The main problem that I see in today’s politics is that it has had too much influence from the Private Sector where there should be none at all.  I believe that we need to keep the Public Sector public and the Private Sector private and that means getting business and religious interests out of government and keeping them out.

When the Founding Fathers chose the first President, they chose a career civil servant, a soldier; they chose George Washington.  They did not choose the best businessman nor the best clergyman among themselves. Since Washington’s time business interests in government have only grown and they now dominate and run public policy.  Corporations are now given the title and rights of “Personhood” which is absolutely ridiculous.  I believe this trend has been disastrous for this country.

If Romney is elected then we can all be sure that this trend will continue.  He will promote Private Sector interests that include ignoring Climate Change and Genetic Engineering Concerns.  Obama, on the other hand, will continue to push for policies that prioritize  and strengthen the Public Sector while diminishing the influence of the Private Sector.  Romney and his backers naturally criticize his efforts as creating a “culture of dependency”.  But don’t be mislead by this.  This is a matter of divorcing the values of the Private sector, meaning business and religious interests, from the Public Sector, meaning civil rights, equality, social programs for the needy and so on. Public sector values do not interfere with Private Sector values at all unless they cause harm to people.  However, Private Sector values that influence the Public Sector serve only the special interests of those Private groups and this should not be allowed to continue as the default way of government and as has been done for far too long.

I personally believe that, ideally speaking, all government services should be voluntary-based, like a small community might have a volunteer fire department.  I also believe in free public education, free libraries and free emergency response services and all other services which are already in existence. I also believe in free healthcare services including free macrobiotic education as I don’t think anyone should profit from the sickness and death of another human being.  There are many more services that I think belong in the Public Sector which aren’t in it now.  In other words and in my humble opinion, the Public Sector is really not doing enough at present.

I also believe that Public Sector services do not impede or interfere with the growth and development of competing Private Sector enterprises at all.  There are private schools and private mail and package companies and many other private businesses that co-exist with competing Public Sector services.  In other words, I believe it is a mistake to think that Public Sector Services means that the country is becoming “socialist”.  Being for greater and stronger Public Sector services does not mean that one is against Private Sector free enterprise or “capitalism”.  We’ve got to stop thinking that it does.

Just as I believe in a strong Public Sector, I also firmly believe in a strong Private Sector: in free enterprise, in a free marketplace, in religious freedom and in freedom of speech.  These things are alive and well in this country and in no way have they ever been threatened or will they ever be. While the Public Sector services provide for the common good, Private Sector endeavors satisfy the needs and desires of private individuals and groups.

The two sectors should remain distinct and separate and the private sector should not influence the public sector and the public sector should involve itself in the private sector except when it is harmful to and endangers the people or the environment. The Public Sector provides the foundation from which the Private Sector can flourish.  Without this strong Public Sector foundation the businesses and religious values of the Private Sector cannot thrive.  If the Private Sector interferes with the Public Sector and, if it’s business, then we risk becoming a Plutocracy and if it’s Religion then we risk becoming a Theocracy.  The continued Private Sector influence over the Public Sector has and will make both weak.

To make the Public Sector strong it must be separate from and can not be run by Private Sector values.  So, in regard to this Election, the choice between Obama and Romney for the most important Public Sector job is clear:  the seasoned civil servant, Obama.  Meanwhile, let Romney be the great businessman that he is.  Let him operate fully in the Private Sector, which he is better at doing and in that way he can help this Nation by creating more jobs and improve the economy.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2012 1:23 am

    A very good description. I understand that you are trying to define the yin and yang of these current events. I would suggest that while your descriptions are well stated and accurate in the description I believe they really address the superficial trendy way to discuss both sides of these coins. The main two sides of the USA’s government polarities have been swinging wide for so long and yes it would be good to get to balance in the center.

    I am understanding that Romney is the perfect energy that is required for balance because Obama took the energy of his policies and practice to such an extreme that the universe is requiring this correction.

    By the way the true imbalance is now in government sector which is at least three times richer than the private sector.

    To me, everything is in perfect order as yin and yang energies play themselves out in a search for balance.

    • Mirella Ruscio permalink
      November 2, 2012 3:11 pm

      Thank you, Alan.

    • phiyakushi permalink*
      November 2, 2012 3:51 pm

      Thank you for your counterpoint analysis, Alan.

      The imbalance that I am talking about, namely the heavy hand of Corporate and Banking interests controlling the US Government, started long before Romney and Obama and became most apparent during the Industrial Revolution. For reference read the book, “War Is A Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler ). This trend has not stopped and the acquisition of foreign resources for Corporate interests has been the cause of an inflated Government, especially for Defense spending and War including Iraq and Afghanistan. The drive to control the worlds resources by force and other means is due to the profit-making interests of the Private Sector. If it were not profitable then there is no cause by the powers that be (the corporate interest) to be involved in a foreign country, even for humanitarian reasons, as in the case of Sudan and many other situations.

      Private Corporations are driving and causing the increase of Government size, not the social programs of one President. Romney’s clear intent is to grow the Defense Budget including increasing the Navy. What for? Is this downsizing Government? Who gains by this? Clearly the manufacturing companies that build these ships. Obama is only the beginning of a trend to correct this huge imbalance. It will at least another one hundred years and longer to regain any sense of balance that could eventually lead to a future world of peace and minimal Government..

      It is true that in the past it was the heavy hand of Governments that drove expansionist efforts with England, Spain, Portugal, France and other European nations racing to colonize the planet. But that time is long gone and the power has greatly shifted in today’s world to private international banking and corporate interests. While it may seem like that Romney is for less Government, the reality is the opposite. A stronger Public Sector will make Government smaller and more efficient to the point where, in the long distant future, it will exist only voluntarily and by principle.

      These are, again, my humble opinions. Thanks for listening.

    • phiyakushi permalink*
      November 2, 2012 4:37 pm

      For further clarification of Romney’s alarming expansionist interests for Big Government with a bigger Military by continuing a doctrine of perpetual war including invading Iran please read this article:

      http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/12/the_romney_cheney_doctrine?page=full

      Thank you, Phiya

  2. Bill Johnson permalink
    November 2, 2012 3:28 am

    Nice distinction. When I find the public/private interface within my self…It is immediately clear on which side is a more livable, interesting future; on which side is the wisdom and safety that arise out of recognizing that outside of my skin and inside are one reality.

  3. chris munkholm permalink
    November 2, 2012 5:48 am

    Very disappointed. You’ve written a string of sing song cliches that does no justice to the discussion or decsion. I expected something more original from a perspective of unification. You showno appreciation of thecreative influence of the “businessman”nor the State driven war machine of the “public servant”. I suggest you study more about the underlying mechanisms of capitalism, and the power it gives everyone To achieve their dreams. Thomas Paine: Can we possibly suppose that if government had originated in a right principle, and had not an interest in pursuing a wrong one, that the world could have been in the wretched and quarrelsome condition we have seen it? What inducement has the farmer, while following the plow, to lay aside his peaceful pursuits and go to war with the farmer of another country? Or what inducement has the manufacturer? What is dominion to them or to any class of men in a nation? Does it add an acre to any man’s estate, or raise its value? Are not conquest consequence? Though this reasoning may be good to a nation, it is not so to a government. War is the faro table of governments, and nations the dupes of the game. If there is anything to wonder at in this miserable scene of governments, more than might be expected, it is the progress that the peaceful arts of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce have made, beneath such a long accumulating load of discouragement and oppression. It serves to show that instinct in animals does not act with stronger impulse than the principles of society and civilization operate in man. Under all discouragements, he pursues his object, and yields to nothing but impossibilities. Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.

    chris munkholm 978 828 7448, mobile 617 254 7677

    • phiyakushi permalink*
      November 2, 2012 2:48 pm

      Thank you for sharing your concerns and for quoting Thomas Paine. His words may have been true during his lifetime but the world has drastically changed since. We now have weapons manufacturers and international banking interests that greatly profit from war. We have agricultural companies and monopolies that seek to control and reap profits from poor farmers of distant lands. The world has greatly changed in ways that Thomas Paine could not have imagined. Though we may seek the sage advice of persons past we must continually face realities of today. Thank you.

  4. Ian Madge permalink
    November 2, 2012 9:16 am

    This seems written by a socialist sympathizer who is trying hard to play to an audience he wants to influence while fearing to offend and harm his own image. It seems to vaselate rather than follow solid principal, almost like a waffling politician’s ‘answer’ to an uncomplicated direct question!

  5. phiyakushi permalink*
    November 2, 2012 1:25 pm

    Clarifications for the above commentators:

    This post is strictly about the present choice of Obama versus Romney. It is not about the merits of capitalism over socialism, though they are mentioned to certain degree. To be clear, I strongly oppose all war regardless of where it originates from, be it from Government or from Corporate Economic Interests. I also oppose any form of oppressive Government or Corporate power. I also believe in free enterprise so long as it does not harm or interfere with our basic rights, the people and the natural environment. It may appear that I am socialist sympathizers but that’s only because I feel that the strong hand of free enterprise and capitalism has reached detrimental levels causing the over inflation of the Government and inducing a State of perpetual war. Government backing of the Military Industrial Complex has to stop and the Military Industrial Complex has to get out of Government. Let the free market economy build plowshares and not swords. Let it sell organic food and not patented terminator crops for special interests, and so on. Government should be ideally small and even non-existent which is why I say that I prefer it to be voluntary based but that can’t happen until we, all of us, become clear about our priorities and hopefully the distinction and separation of Private Sector Interests versus Public Sector Interests aid in that task. Thank you.

  6. George Bakhos permalink
    November 12, 2012 7:22 pm

    Clear cut and incisive . Thanks again

  7. Wyandotte permalink
    July 16, 2013 6:32 pm

    Obama is almost as big a warmonger as Romney. Maybe you could not see that in November 2012, but as of today, July 16, 2013, that is the situation. Obama is nothing but a tool. Can you believe that this ‘man’ was awarded a Nobel PEACE prize?

    War is the health of the state.

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