Time to Walk the Talk, Mr. President-elect

As I scanned the faces of the joyous crowd listening to President-elect Obama's victory speech early this morning, my heart broke, not just for the courageous and honorable war hero and public servant I supported for President whose political career is now in its twilight, not just for the trailblazing female governor from Alaska who was still the target of mean-spirited online commentary at a time which called for grace and healing, but also for the people in the crowd itself. They have invested so much in this idea of "change" in the person of Barack Obama and the hope and expectation in their faces was too much for me to take. That this man was able to persuade a majority of people in this country that he stands for change is more of a testament to his considerable political skills than the novelty of his ideas. In fact, one could lay his prescription for the nation atop John Kerry's or Al Gore's, shine a light through them and find nary a stray ink mark or deviating sentence. "I will listen to you, especially when we disagree," he proclaimed. Very well, then, Mr. Obama -- how about some real change for a change? Will you declare an end to the class warfare that implies wealthy people are somehow unworthy or undeserving of their gains? As one of those wealthy people, do you believe you and your wife Michelle worked hard to rise up from modest backgrounds and are deserving of the rewards of your hard work? If you believe this, will you from this moment forward stop portraying the creators of the wealth that makes America the richest nation on the planet as selfish, uncaring or criminal?

Will you promote policies that reward hard work and wealth creation, thereby generating more middle-class jobs and personal prosperity than any government giveaways or additional stimulus packages? Since government is inherently incapable of generating wealth but only takes it, redistributes it or supresses it through excessive taxation or overregulation, will you reduce the government's percentage of our gross domestic product? Will you reduce our corporate tax rate, currently among the highest in the world, so American companies can compete in the global marketplace and bring jobs home? When even Sweden is cutting taxes to boost jobs and encourage work over government dependence, will you promote free markets over democratic socialism?

Will you stand up to the teachers unions that have lost their bearings are are consumed with self-preservation over educating children? Will you promote alternatives to public schools to foster competition, give parents more choices for their children, and make more efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars? Will you demand accountability for teachers and reward the best ones as an encouragement to them and an incentive to others? Will you demand that education programs demonstrate measurable success with the public money they've received before they get another dime?

How about breaking free from your party's culture of death and declaring how we protect those who are least able to protect themselves is not a wedge issue but a defining ideal for a nation which was founded on the premise that life is an indisputable right of all people and cannot be taken away by mankind? Have you ever seen an abortion or its aftermath, Mr. Obama? I've seen images that would horrify anyone with a shred of humanity in them and I am ashamed that my country, the beacon of human rights and dignity, has legalized the dismemberment of an living unborn person for any reason. Even a child knows that big people are supposed to take care of little people, not hurt or kill them because they are inconvenient or economically burdensome or somehow imperfect. Does the 90% selective abortion of unborn babies with Down Syndrome stir your heart at all, Mr. Obama? Can you justify abortion as a human right equal to freedom of speech or religion or the press? Isn't the purpose of a right to grant life, liberty and equal opportunity to the people, not take them away?

Will you break with the unions and defend secret ballot elections so that workers are not coerced into unionizing by public card checks that expose them to intimidation? Will you defend the free marketplace of ideas and use your veto power to reject the so-called Fairness Doctrine? Will you use excellence in jurisprudence and neutrality over "empathy" to select federal judges?

If you want to be the President of "change," Mr. Obama, then align your public decisions going forward with your rhetoric, something that hasn't happened in your brief political career. That would be real change.