Billy Davis Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2009

Billy Davis

Pay attention as Democrats forward their party’s platform

“The Republicans deserve to lose the White House,” I told Sen. Roger Wicker at the end of a phone interview last October.

The November 4 General Election was then barely a week away. Polls showed Sen. Obama was enjoying a comfortable lead in his race against Sen. McCain. 

When the interview was done, I took off the reporter hat and rattled off a list of frustrations.

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I pointed out to Sen. Wicker that the Democratic platform calls for homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military. Would Americans approve if they knew the Democrats are pushing for such a change?

The Democrat and Republican party platforms describe each party’s goals and core beliefs. On page 36 the Democratic Party suggests that our country “allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.”

The Republican platform declares “the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”

How many middle-aged military veterans, who vote and who consider themselves Democrats, would approve of that change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which forbids homosexual behavior?

“Why aren’t the Republicans airing a commercial that shows the difference stances in the two parties?” I asked Wicker.

 That question led to my you-deserve-to-lose statement. Sen. Wicker was eager to get off the phone and go back to campaigning.

Politics is a clash of competing ideas and goals. Senators, mayors and county supervisors must share their ideas and goals, and defend their past decisions, in order to return to public office. 

The freedom to share our ideas and to air our grievances with those in public office is more important than the freedom to vote. After all, millions of Cubans have a right to vote, but that vote remains an empty ceremony since they risk prison by criticizing the government.

Now that a new administration is in the White House, the question of the hour is this: do you know President Obama’s ideas and goals for our country?

Be careful with your answer. Don’t confuse ideas and goals with visions of hope and change. Bringing our troops home from Iraq is a goal, which is accomplished when the last combat boots leave Iraqi soil.

Hope is a mushy feeling that’s as tasty, and as filling, as cotton candy.

“The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” Obama, responding to a question, told a Planned Parenthood gathering in 2007. (You can view it on Youtube.)

Addressing the wobbly economy has likely become a top priority of the new administration, so the abortion bill may have to wait several months, or a year or more, before it reaches the President’s desk.

Of course that’s not the issue. The point is how many of the 8,690 Panola Countians who voted for Obama have ever heard of the Freedom of Choice Act, which their choice for president once considered a priority.

During the last eight years, many Republicans chose principle over party, helping derail amnesty for illegal aliens, the Dubai ports deal, and Bush’s pick of Harriet Myers as a Supreme Court justice. Some Republicans spoke out against the excessive federal spending, allowed by a Republican-controlled Congress and rubber-stamped by Bush, which helped double our national debt. 

There will soon be plenty of reasons to pay attention: new gun control bills; interrogation of terrorists; allowing illegal aliens citizenship; bringing back the Fairness Doctrine; ending the Bush tax cuts; allowing unions to organize via “card check” vote; taxpayer-funded abortions; adding “hate speech” to federal crimes; closing Guantanamo Bay, which means shipping those terrorists to our homeland.

I hope my Democrat friends pay attention to Obama and Congress, and weigh the politicians’ ideas against what their conscience tells them is best for our country. To do otherwise is to be like those Cubans, happy and fat on cotton candy, but never free.