Obama vs. McCain: Why Their Families Are An Issue

The size of the families of the candidates is a relevant issue that should be factored into voters’ decisions. I know that this may sound preposterous. Pundits seem unanimous in declaring candidates’ families off-limits. But please hear me out.

If, like me, you arrive at the conclusion that worsening overpopulation is a serious issue or even the dominant issue of our time, then you have to ask yourself several questions about the candidates:

  1. What are their positions on the issues that may relate to population growth.
  2. Although they may not yet recognize overpopulation as a problem, what is the likelihood that they will be willing to consider it?
  3. Once overpopulation becomes an issue, will they be credible in a leadership role in addressing the issue?

Now let’s consider Obama and McCain. Neither candidate recognizes overpopulation as an issue. (If they have, they haven’t admitted it publicly.) But I believe that it is the dominant issue of our time. The whole point of my book is that it is the root cause behind the steady deterioration of our economy. Beyond that, it’s also a major contributing factor to global warming and to our dependence on foreign oil, just to name a couple of issues. Addressing overpopulation should be a national priority right now, but it isn’t.  I believe that within the next forty years, by the year 2050, there is a nearly 100% chance that it will be. At some point, hopefully sooner rather that later, something will precipitate this issue’s rise to national attention.

When that happens, it is critically important that we have the people in office who are most likely to be receptive to the idea and most likely to be a credible force in dealing with it. On these two points, will McCain be more likely to fill this role or Obama? I think that the size of their families is a good indicator. With seven children, is McCain likely to be receptive to the idea of overpopulation and the need to implement policies aimed at stabilizing our population? With two of those children being foreign adoptions, will he be receptive to the idea that our rate of immigration needs to be scaled back by 95%? If you were a McCain advisor, would you even raise the issue with him or would you remain silent out of fear of losing your job? In the unlikely event that an advisor broached the subject with McCain and he bought into it, what kind of credibility would he have in trying to explain to the nation new policies and programs designed to influence family planning decisions more toward choosing smaller families? Won’t peoples’ responses be predictable? “Oh, I see! It’s OK for you to have a big family, but not us! It’s OK for you to adopt two kids from foreign countries, but now you want to take that away from us!”

Or, with only two children, will Obama be more receptive to the concept of overpopulation and the need to address it? Will he have more credibility than McCain in trying to lead the nation toward an understanding of the issue? If there was only a small difference between the two candidates, then it wouldn’t be a factor. But seven children vs. two children is a significant difference. Throw in their running mates and the difference is even more dramatic: twelve children vs. five.

I have steadfastly maintained that we should not be judgmental of people regarding the decisions they’ve made about the size of their families, especially when those decisions were made without any understanding of the overpopulation problem. Who cares how many children any one family has? It’s only the overall fertility rate / birth rate that matters. Some may choose ten children; some none. As long as the overall rate is reduced slightly to the level needed to attain population stability (or even a slow decline), then the size of any one family is irrelevant.

However, when a person submits him or herself for judgment of their fitness to lead our nation and make the difficult decisions that will shape our future, then the size of their family is a relevant factor in judging whether or not they will be receptive to the concept of overpopulation and whether they would have any credibility in a leadership role on that issue. And there is no issue more critical to determining our future quality of life. Obama is the clear choice on this issue, not that he even recognizes it, but because the decision that he and his wife have made about the size of their family may be an indication that they are receptive to the concept of overpopulation, and it surely puts him in a better position to address it with the American people.


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