By: Fern Sidman
Just contemplating the notion of President Barack Obama at the helm of our country for another term in 2012 causes many of us to recoil in horror and for a plethora of good reasons. Lacking any formidable leadership in Washington, our weary nation has morphed into a storm tossed vessel floating aimlessly in a forbidding sea. The man holding the highest elective office in the country has yet to present a cogent plan to revivify our anemic economy, to stimulate job growth, to concretely provide a sound resolution to the exploding national debt, to lower taxes for the middle class and to restore our status as a glorious beacon of democracy and hope in the international community. Rather than unifying Americans, the president has become the poster boy for acrimonious polarization; an agitator and a catalyst for “change” in a perilous direction.
As it pertains to foreign policy, President Obama falls way short of the mark of being remembered as a consummate diplomat and statesman. Failing to promulgate the concept of American exceptionalism, he obsequiously panders to avowed enemies as evidenced in his handling of the January 25th Egyptian “revolution,” the fallout of the “Arab Spring,” the insurgency in Libya and the lame response to Bashar al-Assad’s murderous rampages. If that were not enough, the president has all but alienated our only stable, democratic ally in the Middle East, namely the State of Israel by applying pressure on the tiny Jewish state to retreat to the patently indefensible borders of 1967; all in the name of an “enduring peace” in a totally unworkable two-state solution. Moreover, he relates to Israel with a palpable bellicosity, utilizing a ludicrous line of reasoning that states that it is perfectly acceptable to “wrestle with friends” while ever so gently coddling those who would seek our destruction.
Defeating an incumbent, however, will be no easy task as the president remains the darling of the mainstream liberal media who are responsible for electing him to begin with. As he continues to amass a stupendous war chest, it appears that the GOP has yet to select a candidate that can go toe to toe with him on the campaign trail. Retaining the slim Republican majority in the House of Representatives has proven to be a thorn in the president’s eye; a literal bulwark against rubber-stamping legislation that would drive our country under.
On the local level, we have the opportunity to make a difference. To stand up and say, “no more.” After Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) (who represented New York’s 9th congressional district) resigned in disgrace after a lurid online sex scandal, a special election has been called for September 13th. Those wishing to succeed Weiner for his seat are New York State Assemblyman David Weprin (D) and cable executive Bob Turner (R), who ran an impressive campaign against Weiner in the last congressional race. Falling short of a victory, he did succeed in garnering 41% of the vote and established a reputation as a no-nonsense, hard hitting populist candidate.
As opposed to Weprin, who has name recognition as the scion of a powerful political family, Turner, at age 70, is the new guy on the block, a man who extols virtues and beliefs that mirror those of his neighbors and friends and one who comes to this race sans political baggage. Touting the old party Democratic line, Weprin is just “more of the same,” another Obama hack whose views on the issues differ little from Weiner’s insipid record in Congress.
Having been endorsed by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch who has exhorted those in the 9th congressional district to cast their vote for a Republican so that President Obama will be sent a strong message about his policies vis-a-vis Israel, Turner is gaining momentum as a highly electable candidate in this staunchly Democratic district. At a recent debate at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, Weprin was taken to task by conservatives for his vociferous attack on the Tea Party for its impact on the economic debacle. Turner’s positions of eliminating redundant and wasteful federal programs, dramatically cutting federal spending and taxes and allowing small businesses in New York to flourish by removing the morass of federal regulations that have been a virtual albatross around their necks were warmly embraced.
Hot button issues such as the recently passed Marriage Equality Act in the New York State legislature do not escape voters either. Having voted for the law allowing same-sex couples to marry, Assemblyman Weprin, ostensibly an Orthodox Jew, said “this is not a religious issue” and taking the separation of church and state line, likened opposition to the bill to those who would seek to outlaw marriages between interracial couples or Jews and non-Jews. Nary an acknowledgment of the fact that moral depravity will have egregious effects on the society as a whole, Weprin relegates his purported allegiance to his religious beliefs on the alter of political correctness and dances to the zeitgeist of “tolerance and diversity.” Turner, on the other hand supports the Clinton initiated Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
Having traveled the globe as a seasoned executive in the highly competitive television industry, Turner brings hands on experience to the table as a full time business management leader. Calling for economic growth and job creation in the private sector, Turner has outlined his plans for battling a way out of the prolonged recession by cutting taxes for New Yorkers and removing the burdensome regulations that have stifled job growth.
Turner opposes the construction of the Ground Zero mosque on the grounds of sensitivity for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and not on grounds of religious discrimination as his detractors would have us believe. Assuming a flinty posture on the purveyors of terrorist doctrines and those who represent an existential threat to the United States and the western world, Turner doesn’t flinch when it comes to pursuing the war on terror in a pro-active fashion.
Keenly aware of the rancorous debate has swirled around the highly polemical healthcare reform bill that was pushed down Congress’s throat by President Obama, Turner has called for the bill to be drastically amended and for the restoration of $500 billion in cuts from Medicare. He sees this bill as yet more dross, as fiscally irresponsible and an exorbitant drain on private sector businesses and job growth.
While Weprin utters hackneyed platitudes about his support for Israel, he is reluctant to overtly challenge the president who has called for Israel to make more territorial concessions in the name of a false peace than any other administration. Says Turner, “I agree with Israel’s policy of refusing to negotiate with Hamas which has formed an alliance with Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. I believe that Jerusalem should remain free and recognized as the capital of Israel and I oppose atempts to have the UN recognize a Palestinian state at it’s upcoming General Assembly meeting in September.”
For New Yorkers in the 9th congressional district, and for those who have grown restive over the intrusion of the “nanny state” in the affairs of our daily lives, the decision on September 13th couldn’t be more clear. Political change is desperately needed and we, the people, are charged with chartering our own course, of becoming masters of our own fate, and captains of our own ship. Let’s send a bold message to President Obama by electing Bob Turner to Congress and saying “no” to more of the same.