The Centrist Party endorses Barack Obama

As founder of the Centrist Party, I can only speak for myself as an individual. Maybe this is representative of the Centrist point-of-view for some, but certainly not all. I don't know how much it matters, but I wanted to share why I am voting for Sen. Barack Obama.

I am a traditional conservative. In my case, that means conserve as much as possible, don't waste. These days, that sounds like the description of a democrat. I don't believe in entitlement programs for the rich or the poor. I believe that if we don't earn our money, we don't own our money. And if we don't own it, it is likely we won't respect it. Ultimately, if you can't respect something, you might waste it.

Our current economic maelstrom is partly due to entitlements given to corporations and leaders that have bathed in those entitlements (including politicians that relied on corporate campaign money). There are deeper problems, but let us primarily realize that the integrity levels of many CEOs (not all) are far beneath the principles many claim to stand for.

The partnership between politicians and corporate America has led to a society that values consumerism so highly, that we have forgotten where true values really exist: in our ability to live honorably and foster the values of community and family.

Some proclaim "free market," which is silly (because we are in a federally regulated market based on Keynesian economics, "free market" is not even possible in this system). Corporations and pundits say they don't want government in business. But as soon as they get in trouble, they ask the government for handouts (700 billion anyone? How do you spell inflation?). From Bill stacking to pork barrel projects our government is struggling under its inability to cut the fat out of the budget and get responsible.

Those very same corporations are wasting our resources to maintain what they say is a higher standard of living, yet they don't realize that quality of life will suffer due to their actions. Corporations promote "that standard" to uphold their profits at "our" expense.

What is really valuable? Security, health, friends, family and, in my view, above all, honor.

I was fairly evenly split between Sen. John McCain and Obama for quite some time. I like McCain because he has a strong record of working across the aisle. I liked Obama, because he was able to be serious and discuss unpopular issues that America needs to deal with. So what helped me make up my mind?

I feel that Obama has a better sense of the economic problems, his policy ideas for performance-based education are sound, and his willingness to be strong in how he will approach problems; and his open-mindedness in evaluating them, in a rapidly changing world. On the environment, I think both are evenly aware of the critical issue of Global Warming. Health care is difficult because it is becoming increasing impossible to afford. I hope our next president will come up with a health plan, rather than a health care plan.

Generally they are good candidates for president. The reason I began leaning toward Obama is the tone of his responses and his campaign. I believe it upheld the tradition of honor better than the McCain campaign. But my tipping point occurred after a careful examination of the two vice presidential picks. In that, Gov. Sarah Palin stood out: watching interviews, getting a sense of her ability beyond the talking points she had been briefed on, it became clear that she does not have the experience required.

I believe the risk is far too high. With all due respect to McCain and his exceptional record, America cannot afford an inexperienced person in the White House, in the event of the president's demise. With all due respect to Palin, she has no foreign policy experience, she has very little understanding of the serious challenges Global Warming will put on our economy and her energy policy is drill, drill, drill, above all other considerations.

We need a pragmatic Centrist in the White House. For these reasons and others, I am voting for Obama. Centrists right and left should carefully consider the short and long term; think outside the box of right/left. Then cast your vote for the most reasonable presidential ticket. It's not an easy choice, but it may be the most important choice in our lifetime considering all that is on the table at this point in history.

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