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Why I would vote McCain...If I were American

By Philippe Manteau
web posted October 27, 2008

"People have the Governments they deserve", said my father as the TV screen unfolded line by line the computer-made image of just elected French President François Mitterrand.  I was a little boy back in 1981, with no political conscience, but I remember the matter-of-fact statement my father gave me.  And I could well imagine him saying it again almost three decades later, on November 4 of this year, should he be alive.

The only reason I am writing this column is because I owe it to the American people.  I have no interest in doing so, being surrounded by an overwhelming wave of democratic excitement---not to say hysteria---here in New York, at work, in political circles, among friends.  But I have decided to speak out after Colin Powel endorsed Barack Obama as the presidential candidate of his choice.  After the endorsement of one of the greatest Americans in a generation, here is the witness stand of a not yet American, let alone famous in his own French, native country.

I did not travel more than 3,000 miles and re-invent myself in your blessed country, study here night-time while I was working full time during the day to feed my family, work very hard and started to succeed just to see the "Land of the Free", the country I love, take the path of the near-death experience Europe took for more than seven decades with various forms of socialism, from the mild social-democrat one to the heavy-handed soviet one.  All failed, one way or another, as socialism is contrary to human nature and the fundamental values supporting its progress: Liberty, Justice for All, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

The Free World does not need, and cannot support, another socialist experience.  The Free World does not need, and cannot support, an approach to international affairs that cannot distinguish what is right from what is wrong. 

The choice at hand is not about Barack Obama, whom I admire and would be honored to meet.  The choice at hand is not about Barack Obama's amazing achievements, which remind us that the American Dream exists.  The choice at hand is about Barack Obama's judgment and policies, and the now more than real risk that his presidency would destroy this American Dream that made Barack Obama become Barack Obama.

Change is essential, but more essential is the direction that change might take.  And change in the wrong direction is worse than no change at all.  I have carefully read and listened to Barack Obama's economics and tax arguments and they are based on, and driven towards, big-spending, pro-government philosophy, agenda and policies: I hope I am wrong, but like anyone very well aware of the early signs and disastrous effects of a poison for having been exposed to it, I recognize the features and, through this campaign, early symptoms of what brought Europe to its knees.   

Maybe it is not yet too late.  Maybe, in a few days from now, I will not have to say to my French-American kids in front of the TV, "people have the Governments they deserve". 

Americans, and the world, deserve better than socialism. ESR

Philippe Manteau is an Attorney at the Paris, France and New York Bars, he is the Vice-President of the French "Parti Libéral-Démocrate" and founder of the Euro-American Liberty Institute, a think-tank dedicated to fostering free-market policies and strengthening the Transatlantic Alliance. 






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