Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why I Am Voting For Jerry Brown

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a Christian and a conservative - so why in the world am I voting for Jerry Brown? The short answer is that he is the lessor evil. the long answer follows.

First, on the social issues that conservative Christians care about, there is no difference between Brown and Whitman. They are both pro-gay rights and pro-abortion. I there was another viable choice I would vote for that person - but there is not.

Second, Meg Whitman has completely snubbed gun rights groups. Beyond a rather frightening statement on her website, she has refused to meet with any of the many groups who have asked to speak with her and will not answer any questions. As of today, there are 16 PAGES of question ON HER FORUM asking her specific questions on this issue with NO RESPONSE fro her or her staff. You may not care about this issue, but many people do. Think for a moment: If she acts this way before the election, how responsive will she be to citizen's concern on ANY ISSUE after she has been elected and doesn't have to face the voters for another 4 years?

Third, my number one concern when voting is: Will the person I am voting for respect the constitution? Over the summer, the Supreme Court issued another gun rights decision (McDonald v. Chicago) in which held the personal right to keep and bear arms applies to state and local governments. Even more significant, the court found that it protects a right "fundamental to our system of ordered liberty". This means that the right to own a gun is now accorded the highest level of protection - right up there with freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, etc. The court made it clear that felons and the mentally ill can still be prevented from owning a gun, but that's about it. The highest court in our nation held that the 2nd Amendment means exactly what it says.

How does this affect California? Well, at a state level, we have the most restrictive guns laws in the country - and as of now, they are almost all unconstitutional. If she wins the election, Meg Whitman will swear to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States". Not just the parts she likes - she will have to swear to protect the whole thing. Yet all she will say is that, "The 2nd Amendment must be balanced with common sense gun control laws".

Let's take that principle and apply it to other fundamental rights. "Freedom of the press must be balanced with common sense controls." How about, "Freedom of religion must be balanced with common sense definitions of acceptable religions." Would you vote for someone who said these things? Of course you would not. If you do not like the 2nd Amendment, the answer is to repeal is - not to defy it.

There is a very real threat to freedom of religion on the horizon. Would Meg Whitman sign a bill requiring churches to employ gays, regardless of the churches position on homosexuality? Would she sign a bill prohibiting hate speech that applies to sermons in opposition to homosexuality? Such laws exist right now in Canada. Would she consider this to be a "balanced position". I fear that she would.

So, is Jerry Brown any better? Shockingly, the answer is yes. The California Democratic Party is solidly anti-gun. Politically, Jerry Brown should be for gun control. Yet, earlier this year he took time to personally write a friend of the court brief in the McDonald case in which he argued that the 2nd Amendment protected a personal right that should be enforced against state and local governments. In other words, he reads the Constitution in exactly the same way as the five conservative justices who decided the case. That took both courage and integrity.

There are a ton of issues that I disagree with Jerry Brown on, but I believe that he deeply respects the constitution and that's why this conservative Republican will vote for him.

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