Decision 08: Socialist Surprise or Hockey Mom at the Helm

15 10 2008

I’m totally confused and here’s why.

There was no question I was going to vote for John McCain a couple of months ago.  He embodies the three things I want most in a President – a strategic military commander, a social conservative and a believer in small government.  But the McCain campaign has made one blunder after another embodied in two words – Sarah Palin.  Through that pick McCain went from being the experienced, country first, uber Patriot to someone willing to play politics with our future (and his use of Ayers and gimmicks like buying all the bad mortgages in America continue to demonstrate this).  I really like Sarah Palin.  I’d love for her to be mayor of my town or even possibly, governor of my state, but I have no confidence that she is ready to be President of the most powerful nation on the Earth in a very dangerous time in history.

So I’m forced to take another long look at Obama.  Of the four people on the two tickets Obama is the one I like by far the most.  I wouldn’t only like to have a beer with him, I’d go on vacation with his family (I doubt I’d feel comfortable going on vacation with the McCain’s at any of their 7 houses).  But I totally disagree with Obama on almost everything (except diplomacy and the environment).  And with the dominate democratic congress we will have in 2008 he will be able to reform our nation from the ground up and I fully believe we will be in for a socialist surprise.  He will grow government in a way that perhaps we have never seen in history (other than perhaps during FDR).  And on the tax side he claims he will only raise taxes on 5% but he has also said he will dramatically raise the capital gains tax.  That will raise taxes on 50% of Americans (everyone who has a 401K or investments of any kind).  Raising capital gains at a time when people are pulling their money out of the Stock Market seems crazy to me.  The capital gains is the primary determining factor in my decisions to invest (whether in businesses or real estate).  I can’t imagine what that will do to our financial sector.  And I’m saying nothing about the abortion question that is closer to my heart than any other single issue.

So there you have it.  Someone please help me because on November 4th when I’m staring at that ballot I’m going to have two thoughts in my head – Socialism vs. Hockey Mom.  What should I do?  Why did you do this to us McCain?




21 responses

15 10 2008

Well, although I was never a McCain fan, and I’m still not, I would have rather seen Huckabee or Brownback get the republican nod but neither of them had the financial backing that McCain had. Until recently I was convinced God was leading me to vote for Obama, I know that sounds foreign to most christians considering his pro-choice platform but I had my reasons, just watch Rick Warrens Faith Forum on YouTube and you will see his relationship with the Lord appears more grounded than mcCain’s. But the truth is that as Christ-followers we don’t have a good choice on either side of the fence, either we vote for someone who is pro-life as far as abortion goes but does not define pro-life in a more wholistic manner that the majority of the 20-30 something Christian population does or we vote for someone who is pro-choice. So I’m stuck, McCain makes my skin crawl because he seems to be a slick and polished politician, Obama seems humble and I agree with him on so many issues but my heart just can’t be reconciled anymore regarding pro-choice. I’m with you. Someone much smarter than me needs to tell me how to vote so I’m praying for wisdom and follow-through.

15 10 2008

oh, and you don’t want to get me started on Palin.

15 10 2008

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about… if I don’t feel like I can support either candidate with a clear conscience, is it worse to not vote at all, as opposed to choosing “the lesser of two evils”? Your thoughts?

15 10 2008
Alan Hirsch

Jeremy, great to meet you this week. I did feel that it was one of the most difficult group of people I have had to deal with for a long time. There was very little spark in the group! Sorry about this.

As for your post, I don’t always have time to comment so this is rare but I think I can say this for just about every non-American…if you guys don’t choose Obama at this point in history, it will be a major loss for American prestige throughout the world. He provides you with a wise, non-abrasive, persona who will symbolically heal American racial scars and at the same time symbolize America’s greatness to the rest of the world. To me its a no-brainer! Partisan politics aside, you would be foolish not to choose this opportunity–because it doesn’t come very often! And in current world conditions, might be America’s best chance to reinstate its cause globally. Taxes ain’t everything…money sucks anyhow.

I wish I could vote here.

15 10 2008

Some brief thoughts..

Colin – VOTE! People have died fighting for the democracy that allows people to have a voice in their government. It is a right that Americans take for granted, and a right that millions are without. I understand feeling stuck in the options, but I think voting is very important.

And regarding the pro-life/choice issue, I think that the root of the problem of abortion goes much deeper than politics. While I agree that making abortion illegal may decrease its prevalance, thinking that it will fix the issue is silly. Christians should spend more time focusing on ways to help those with unplanned pregnancies, showing them Christ’s love, and offering support, instead of only waiting for policy to change. With that said, if the only thing holding you back from Obama is this issue, know that the pro-life work needs to be done in the church and community anyway – people loving others and showing them something different.

I know not everyone agrees with me on that… thoughts on why the politics of it all should have more importance than im giving it?

15 10 2008

Amen to that Heather! I agree with your perspective.

16 10 2008

Personally, I don’t see socialism as a bad thing. Communism yes, socialism, no. Anyways, that is another matter. Personally, Palin as President scares me so much I’d almost vote for anyone but her.

16 10 2008

Oh man…the abortion issue is all that comes up around me lately. Here’s my two cents:

I completely agree with Heather. Studies show that there were probably just as many abortions before Roe v Wade as after, only now women aren’t dying from the infection caused by trying to do it themselves. Most doctors will tell you that none of them want to go back to the days when they had to remove rusty hangers from….you know. My dad (an obstetrics doc) recently told me that the abortion issue in politics is a non issue for him. He said in our day of information anyone could go on the internet and figure out how to give themselves an abortion, it’s frighteningly easy to do if you can manage the pain.

I am of the opinion that the answer is not banning abortion. The answer is in prevention. Many abortions are done because women do not have the money to have their baby. Obama promises to increase funding for prenatal care, maternity leave, and less expensive adoption. And I know it’s a foreign concept for many pro-abstinence people, but sex education in schools would allow for teens to have knowledge about how to have safe sex, the repercussions for which would lead to: less abortions.

And above all I believe Christians need to have a non judgmental attitude toward women who get pregnant out of wedlock. Statistics show that over half of abortions are had by Christians. Why? Fear of being judged or shamed? I know a girl who just got pregnant at 17. Her “Christian” parents kicked her out of the house. The fact that Christians want to vote for a man (simply on the abortion issue alone) who has no real plan for reducing abortions other than maybe overturning Roe v Wade and then “letting the states decide” what to do, and then those same people turn around and condemn a woman for getting pregnant, possibly causing her to have an abortion, is mind boggling to me.

Also, after reading statistics like these about America:
Having a few socialist policies for the next four years doesn’t really bother me.

16 10 2008

Read the following article that should take away any confusion??

Commentary: Obama’s Abortion Extremism

by Robert George

His views on life issues mark him as the most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket.

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.

Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals — even self-identified pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals — who aggressively promote Obama’s candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.

What is going on here?

I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama’s self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama’s abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as ‘pro-abortion’ rather than ‘pro-choice.’

According to the standard argument for the distinction between these labels, nobody is pro-abortion. Everybody would prefer a world without abortions. After all, what woman would deliberately get pregnant just to have an abortion? But given the world as it is, sometimes women find themselves with unplanned pregnancies at times in their lives when having a baby would present significant problems for them. So even if abortion is not medically required, it should be permitted, made as widely available as possible and, when necessary, paid for with taxpayers’ money.

The defect in this argument can easily be brought into focus if we shift to the moral question that vexed an earlier generation of Americans: slavery. Many people at the time of the American founding would have preferred a world without slavery but nonetheless opposed abolition. Such people — Thomas Jefferson was one — reasoned that, given the world as it was, with slavery woven into the fabric of society just as it had often been throughout history, the economic consequences of abolition for society as a whole and for owners of plantations and other businesses that relied on slave labor would be dire. Many people who argued in this way were not monsters but honest and sincere, albeit profoundly mistaken. Some (though not Jefferson) showed their personal opposition to slavery by declining to own slaves themselves or freeing slaves whom they had purchased or inherited. They certainly didn’t think anyone should be forced to own slaves. Still, they maintained that slavery should remain a legally permitted option and be given constitutional protection.

Would we describe such people, not as pro-slavery, but as ‘pro-choice’? Of course we would not. It wouldn’t matter to us that they were ‘personally opposed’ to slavery, or that they wished that slavery were ‘unnecessary,’ or that they wouldn’t dream of forcing anyone to own slaves. We would hoot at the faux sophistication of a placard that said ‘Against slavery? Don’t own one.’ We would observe that the fundamental divide is between people who believe that law and public power should permit slavery, and those who think that owning slaves is an unjust choice that should be prohibited.

Just for the sake of argument, though, let us assume that there could be a morally meaningful distinction between being ‘pro-abortion’ and being ‘pro-choice.’ Who would qualify for the latter description? Barack Obama certainly would not. For, unlike his running mate Joe Biden, Obama does not think that abortion is a purely private choice that public authority should refrain from getting involved in. Now, Senator Biden is hardly pro-life. He believes that the killing of the unborn should be legally permitted and relatively unencumbered. But unlike Obama, at least Biden has sometimes opposed using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, thereby leaving Americans free to choose not to implicate themselves in it. If we stretch things to create a meaningful category called ‘pro-choice,’ then Biden might be a plausible candidate for the label; at least on occasions when he respects your choice or mine not to facilitate deliberate feticide.

The same cannot be said for Barack Obama. For starters, he supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest. The abortion industry laments that this longstanding federal law, according to the pro-abortion group NARAL, “forces about half the women who would otherwise have abortions to carry unintended pregnancies to term and bear children against their wishes instead.” In other words, a whole lot of people who are alive today would have been exterminated in utero were it not for the Hyde Amendment. Obama has promised to reverse the situation so that abortions that the industry complains are not happening (because the federal government is not subsidizing them) would happen. That is why people who profit from abortion love Obama even more than they do his running mate.

But this barely scratches the surface of Obama’s extremism. He has promised that ‘the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act’ (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed “fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, ‘a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined ‘health’ reasons.’ In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”

It gets worse. Obama, unlike even many ‘pro-choice’ legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice. He has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a ‘punishment’ that she should not endure. He has stated that women’s equality requires access to abortion on demand. Appallingly, he wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need. There is certainly nothing ‘pro-choice’ about that.

But it gets even worse. Senator Obama, despite the urging of pro-life members of his own party, has not endorsed or offered support for the Pregnant Women Support Act, the signature bill of Democrats for Life, meant to reduce abortions by providing assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies. In fact, Obama has opposed key provisions of the Act, including providing coverage of unborn children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), and informed consent for women about the effects of abortion and the gestational age of their child. This legislation would not make a single abortion illegal. It simply seeks to make it easier for pregnant women to make the choice not to abort their babies. Here is a concrete test of whether Obama is “pro-choice” rather than pro-abortion. He flunked. Even Senator Edward Kennedy voted to include coverage of unborn children in S-CHIP. But Barack Obama stood resolutely with the most stalwart abortion advocates in opposing it.

It gets worse yet. In an act of breathtaking injustice which the Obama campaign lied about until critics produced documentary proof of what he had done, as an Illinois state senator Obama opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist’s unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. This legislation would not have banned any abortions. Indeed, it included a specific provision ensuring that it did not affect abortion laws. (This is one of the points Obama and his campaign lied about until they were caught.) The federal version of the bill passed unanimously in the United States Senate, winning the support of such ardent advocates of legal abortion as John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. But Barack Obama opposed it and worked to defeat it. For him, a child marked for abortion gets no protection-even ordinary medical or comfort care-even if she is born alive and entirely separated from her mother. So Obama has favored protecting what is literally a form of infanticide.

You may be thinking, it can’t get worse than that. But it does.

For several years, Americans have been debating the use for biomedical research of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (originally for reproductive purposes) but now left in a frozen condition in cryopreservation units. President Bush has restricted the use of federal funds for stem-cell research of the type that makes use of these embryos and destroys them in the process. I support the President’s restriction, but some legislators with excellent pro-life records, including John McCain, argue that the use of federal money should be permitted where the embryos are going to be discarded or die anyway as the result of the parents’ decision. Senator Obama, too, wants to lift the restriction.

But Obama would not stop there. He has co-sponsored a bill-strongly opposed by McCain-that would authorize the large-scale industrial production of human embryos for use in biomedical research in which they would be killed. In fact, the bill Obama co-sponsored would effectively require the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage that were produced by cloning. It would make it a federal crime for a woman to save an embryo by agreeing to have the tiny developing human being implanted in her womb so that he or she could be brought to term. This “clone and kill” bill would, if enacted, bring something to America that has heretofore existed only in China-the equivalent of legally mandated abortion. In an audacious act of deceit, Obama and his co-sponsors misleadingly call this an anti-cloning bill. But it is nothing of the kind. What it bans is not cloning, but allowing the embryonic children produced by cloning to survive.

Can it get still worse? Yes.

Decent people of every persuasion hold out the increasingly realistic hope of resolving the moral issue surrounding embryonic stem-cell research by developing methods to produce the exact equivalent of embryonic stem cells without using (or producing) embryos. But when a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to put a modest amount of federal money into research to develop these methods, Barack Obama was one of the few senators who opposed it. From any rational vantage point, this is unconscionable. Why would someone not wish to find a method of producing the pluripotent cells scientists want that all Americans could enthusiastically endorse? Why create and kill human embryos when there are alternatives that do not require the taking of nascent human lives? It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research unless it involves killing human embryos.

This ultimate manifestation of Obama’s extremism brings us back to the puzzle of his pro-life Catholic and Evangelical apologists.

They typically do not deny the facts I have reported. They could not; each one is a matter of public record. But despite Obama’s injustices against the most vulnerable human beings, and despite the extraordinary support he receives from the industry that profits from killing the unborn (which should be a good indicator of where he stands), some Obama supporters insist that he is the better candidate from the pro-life point of view.

They say that his economic and social policies would so diminish the demand for abortion that the overall number would actually go down-despite the federal subsidizing of abortion and the elimination of hundreds of pro-life laws. The way to save lots of unborn babies, they say, is to vote for the pro-abortion-oops! ‘pro-choice’-candidate. They tell us not to worry that Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy (against funding abortion abroad), parental consent and notification laws, conscience protections, and the funding of alternatives to embryo-destructive research. They ask us to look past his support for Roe v. Wade, the Freedom of Choice Act, partial-birth abortion, and human cloning and embryo-killing. An Obama presidency, they insist, means less killing of the unborn.

This is delusional.

We know that the federal and state pro-life laws and policies that Obama has promised to sweep away (and that John McCain would protect) save thousands of lives every year. Studies conducted by Professor Michael New and other social scientists have removed any doubt. Often enough, the abortion lobby itself confirms the truth of what these scholars have determined. Tom McClusky has observed that Planned Parenthood’s own statistics show that in each of the seven states that have FOCA-type legislation on the books, “abortion rates have increased while the national rate has decreased.” In Maryland, where a bill similar to the one favored by Obama was enacted in 1991, he notes that “abortion rates have increased by 8 percent while the overall national abortion rate decreased by 9 percent.” No one is really surprised. After all, the message clearly conveyed by policies such as those Obama favors is that abortion is a legitimate solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies — so clearly legitimate that taxpayers should be forced to pay for it.

But for a moment let’s suppose, against all the evidence, that Obama’s proposals would reduce the number of abortions, even while subsidizing the killing with taxpayer dollars. Even so, many more unborn human beings would likely be killed under Obama than under McCain. A Congress controlled by strong Democratic majorities under Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would enact the bill authorizing the mass industrial production of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are killed. As president, Obama would sign it. The number of tiny humans created and killed under this legislation (assuming that an efficient human cloning technique is soon perfected) could dwarf the number of lives saved as a result of the reduced demand for abortion-even if we take a delusionally optimistic view of what that number would be.

Barack Obama and John McCain differ on many important issues about which reasonable people of goodwill, including pro-life Americans of every faith, disagree: how best to fight international terrorism, how to restore economic growth and prosperity, how to distribute the tax burden and reduce poverty, etc.

But on abortion and the industrial creation of embryos for destructive research, there is a profound difference of moral principle, not just prudence. These questions reveal the character and judgment of each man. Barack Obama is deeply committed to the belief that members of an entire class of human beings have no rights that others must respect. Across the spectrum of pro-life concerns for the unborn, he would deny these small and vulnerable members of the human family the basic protection of the laws. Over the next four to eight years, as many as five or even six U.S. Supreme Court justices could retire. Obama enthusiastically supports Roe v. Wade and would appoint judges who would protect that morally and constitutionally disastrous decision and even expand its scope. Indeed, in an interview in Glamour magazine, he made it clear that he would apply a litmus test for Supreme Court nominations: jurists who do not support Roe will not be considered for appointment by Obama. John McCain, by contrast, opposes Roe and would appoint judges likely to overturn it. This would not make abortion illegal, but it would return the issue to the forums of democratic deliberation, where pro-life Americans could engage in a fair debate to persuade fellow citizens that killing the unborn is no way to address the problems of pregnant women in need.

What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama’s America is one in which being human just isn’t enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama’s America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: ‘that question is above my pay grade.’ It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy — and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.

In the end, the efforts of Obama’s apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn’t even amount to a nice try. Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

This article originally appeared in Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good and is reprinted with permission.

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.)

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16 10 2008
Michael Foster

I’ve decided I can’t vote for either Obama or McCain.

Obama’s position on abortion shows that he cannot be trusted to protect the civil rights of children. It reflects a serious lack of character in a black and white issue. I mean how is it that being a racist rightly disqualifies a person from office but radically supporting the murder of children doesn’t? Moreover, he is clearly a socialist that wants to forcibly redistribute wealth and that is terrible for about a billion reasons.

McCain’s has two major flaws that disqualified him from getting my vote. First, his foreign policy is horrendous. He seems to think we are still in the Cold War. Second, Palin is just an awful choice for a vice-president. I can’t allow her to that close to the presidency.

Thus, I must vote for a third party or not vote at all. I’ve decided to write-in. I know some will say I’m throwing away my vote or that by voting for a third party I’m in effect voting for either Obama or McCain. However, my response is that I believe that revolution starts with attacking this pathetic two party system that feeds the idiotic “lesser evil” approach to electing our president. I agree with Samuel Adams who said, ““It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

17 10 2008
Luke down the hall

Here is my question, is voting for a third party candidate, such as a Bob Barr, throwing away a vote? My internal struggles with this election give me a daily headache.

17 10 2008

Don’t forget the importance of a candidate that will appoint supreme court justices that support your values. Even if you do not like certain characteristics of a candidate knowing he/she will appoint justices that support your values is worth voting for him/her! Never throw away your vote. Be thoughtful, vigilant, do research and pray!

17 10 2008
Bill Faris

I’m going to be shockingly simplistic and offensive:

People who vote with their emotions will choose Obama (see Hirsch’s comments).

People who vote the issues will (gulp and) choose McCain (probably me).

People who recognize that things have gone too far for any one man to reign in will either not vote at all or vote third party.

That’s it. BTW- When this is all over, let’s all be friends again.

17 10 2008
Bill Faris

One more thing: over at my blog, I’m inviting people to help me build the perfect candidate. Give it a whirl.

18 10 2008

Well, Alan, I’m not sure which non-Americans you are speaking for, but you are certainly not speaking for me.

You Americans have a tough choice. My view is that the candidates can be divided by the oft-referred to modern/post-modern split (or however you want to define it). I daresay that’s why Obama appeals to me far more than McCain. But Obama’s arrogance and pro-abortion stance I deem to be far more of a problem than McCain’s – and even Palin’s – drawbacks.

(And Alan, really…you want a guy who says the world’s problems will all be solved when he’s elected? A man with such arrogance that he says oceans will stop rising when he’s in power?)

18 10 2008

I think after reading this article the choice is pretty obvious:

18 10 2008

I’ve been thinking about the third-party vote idea… It might be “throwing it away” in terms of this election, but if over the next 20 years, a third party can grow it’s percentage of the votes, it will become a viable alternative to the 2 dominating faulty parties. But I suppose that is presuming that the third party isn’t as faulty.

18 10 2008

Now, Teenshelter, you do understand the nature of “The Onion” don’t you?

18 10 2008

Teenshelter worships the Onion

20 10 2008

At this point I’m unhappily voting for McCain.

In our system putting all authority in the hands of one party is a bad idea. If Obama is elected he’ll have a Democratic Congress that says “yes sir” to every bad plan he has. Our government will grow and do more things ineffectively.

If McCain is elected the Democratic Congress will say no to many of McCain’s bad plans. Hopefully we’d learn to do fewer things more effectively before giving government more chances to mess up.

23 10 2008

As you wrestle with these issues, you might want to check out Andrew Sullivan’s blog at He’s a conservative who would like to see the original goals and values of conservatism restored (as opposed to what the neocons have offered). It’s not always easy reading and there are likely things you won’t agree with, but his journey is similar to yours. His conclusion is that Obama is the best choice we have, even if he doesn’t agree with absolutely everything. He believes having Obama as president is a way to help conservatives re-affirm their commitments (not so much in opposition, but because he sees Obama as a helpful partner with the essential qualities for leadership).

As for me, I don’t agree with Obama 100% either, but I cannot stomach McCain or Palin. They do not represent a Christian perspective or even a true conservative perspective. Obama gives me hope for a society that can at least discuss the issues civilly and help to restore the integrity of the nation.

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