Vote for Character, Not Color

If you vote for Barack Obama because he is black, you do not believe in a just society.

Some black Americans will vote for Mr. Obama out of a sense of racial solidarity.  Racial solidarity was the bedrock of the Nazi movement.  Need I say more?

Some black Americans will vote for Mr. Obama as a form of payback for the way that this country has treated black people in the past.  While gross injustices were done without doubt, putting a black man in the White House because he is black is the antithesis of a truly civil, equal society.  Put him there if you think he will make the best president, not because of his skin color.

Some white Americans will vote for Mr. Obama out of guilt or to prove their "liberal" standing.  Both are equally inappropriate, frankly racist-in-reverse reasons for supporting a candidate.

I am white.  I voted for Mr. Obama in 2007, but not because he is black.  I thought he would make a good president.  I was wrong.  A black man is just as entitled to be a bad president as a white man, and that is what we got -- a bad president.

On August 28, 1963, another doctor (Ph.D., not M.D.) gave us the compelling image of a society where people would "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  The best way to judge someone's character is by what he does, not by what he looks like or says.

What can we say about the candidates' character based on their acts?

A man of character protects his underlings.  He does not let them be murdered by terrorists -- viz., Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens -- and then lie about it, putting off the blame off on others.  What happened to "the buck stops here"?

A man of character does whatever it takes to protect those for whom he is even remotely responsible -- even to the point of shutting down a multibillion-dollar business to search for the lost daughter of an employee.  See the story of Melissa Gay and how Mitt Romney led the search to find her.

A man of character does not reward his political supporters by giving them $500 million of taxpayer money just before they go bankrupt (Solyndra) and by moving the unions ahead of private investors in the creditor line for GM stock. 

A man of character uses money entrusted to him (Romney and Bain Capital) to create new jobs, make money for his investors, and produce greater tax revenues for the nation.

A man of character does not spend $4.1 million on a vacation (Obama, December 2011) during a severe recession and then blame the rich for not doing enough. 

A man of character, rich by his own commercial efforts, takes no salary for four years as governor of Massachusetts. 

A man of character, particularly when he is President, strictly upholds the rule of law.  He would never, ever encourage citizens to disobey the law for his own political gain. Character would prevent him from telling large employers to withhold pink slips (in direct contravention of the WARN Act) or to suddenly stop deporting illegal residents after three and a half years of approving the largest number of deportations in history.  Mr. Obama is guilty of that and much more.

One man has character, and one does not.  I will vote for the former and reject the latter, without regard to skin color, as Dr. King hoped all Americans would do some day.

Deane Waldman, M.D., MBA is the author of Uproot US Healthcare, Cambio Radical al Sistema de Salud de los Estados Unidos, and Not Right! (February 2013).  He is an adjunct scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation in New Mexico.

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