To Dog Owners Who Support Obama
Is Your Freedom To Own Dogs The Most Important Issue?
by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
The 2008 presidential election has become emotionally charged for dog
owners, resulting in a virtual brick wall that divides supporters of
Democrat Barack Obama from those of Republican John McCain. The two
candidates present a stark contrast in both style and substance.
As the campaign draws to a close, neither side seems willing to listen to
We are asking Obama supporters to hear us out, but want to be up front from
the beginning. The American Sporting Dog Alliance is opposed to Obama's
candidacy because of his close relationship with the Humane Society of the
United States and his political alliances with several key animal rights
movement supporters in Congress. We also think he has been dishonest about
his views regarding hunting and firearms, and these are issues of major
importance to many of our members.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance sees this election as a watershed for
animal owners. We think that its outcome will determine the future of the
private ownership of animals in America.
We are convinced that animal ownership is doomed if Obama becomes our next
Some people may ask if this is really important in comparison with the
candidates' views on foreign policy, the economy and social issues. The
truth is that animal issues have played no role in this election for
mainstream voters, because the news media, political pundits and politicians
have not identified them as important.
But they are important to us.
We also believe that these issues should be important to everyone, because
the way Obama would implement the animal rights agenda is a perfect
microcosm of his views on the future of America. Those views accurately
predict Obama's approach to foreign policy, the economy and social issues.
Throughout American history, animal ownership has been regarded as a
personal choice. Each individual has had the freedom to own animals or not,
to eat them or not, to enjoy them or not, and to hunt or not to hunt.
It has been freedom based on the idea of "live and let live." You do your
thing, and I'll do mine.
The principle was to create a society that is based on the maximum possible
amount of freedom for each American to live the way that he or she chooses.
America was founded on the simple yet radical principle that the purpose of
human life was to be happy. The Declaration of Independence used the words
"pursuit of happiness" as a vital aspect of freedom. What makes a person
happy was seen as each person's private choice. Government was seen to exist
only as a way to ensure the greatest opportunity to make and pursue personal
"Happiness" was not mentioned specifically in the Constitution or Bill of
Rights, because it was seen as a given. Those documents attempted to create
a government that provided the greatest possible opportunity to pursue
choices in one's life, and to protect Americans from both foreign and
domestic threats to our freedom to make personal choices and live our lives
All of the complex protections of due process, voting rights, civil rights,
checks and balances on political power, and redress to the courts boil down
to exactly that: Protecting our freedom to make and live by personal
Our relationship with animals is one of the choices each of us has had the
freedom to make and live by. It was part of our American identity, and still
is for most of us.
It was all about the freedom of the individual.
In the Twentieth Century, however, a new philosophy swept over much of the
planet: Collectivism. It boils down to a belief that "social good" is more
important than the individual. It defines benefit to society as a higher
value than benefit to the individual.
It was a philosophy of sacrifice, maintaining that each person should be
willing to sacrifice him or herself to "the greater good," which was defined
by the collective. In real life, the collective usually translates into
government and those who have the power to influence it.
This philosophy was at the heart of Marxist/Leninist thought, and it also
was the underpinning of Nazi ideology. In both cases, the collective - that
is, government - became the sole arbiter of how people must live. Government
existed under the pretext that its job was to define and promote the common
good. This was seen as the highest value - not freedom!
Collectivism actually is a very old idea that reached its greatest influence
during the Medieval Period of European history, when the concept of
individual freedom was viewed as heretical. During the Dark Ages, the
purpose of human life was to serve and glorify the monarchy and the church.
A belief in basic human rights and individualism often led to being burned
at the stake.
In light of this historical background, the American emphasis on personal
freedom was truly revolutionary. It's core belief is that the job of
government is to protect freedom so that people could live the way they
choose. Many people mistakenly believe that this was meant only to protect
people from religious and political oppression.
In fact, it was meant to protect the individual from any kind of oppression
that threatens the individual pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. The
right to own and enjoy property was a major issue for the founding fathers,
as this is basic to the freedom to pursue happiness.
Obama represents the modern reincarnation of collectivist thought, and his
views and alliances on animal rights issues illustrate this clearly.
The endorsement of Obama's candidacy by the radical Humane Society of the
United States should send up a hailstorm of red flags for anyone who values
individual freedom. The HSUS ideology embraces collectivism in its purest
Without exception, every political position advocated by HSUS boils down to
a belief that individuals have an obligation to society to sacrifice
individual freedom in order to achieve the "common good" - as defined by
HSUS. Every HSUS position tells animal owners that they must sacrifice their
own freedom in order to pay for the sins of a few people who treat animals
For example, everyone knows that there are a few bad "puppy mills" in
America that should not be allowed to exist. All of us would agree with that
statement, including owners of commercial breeding kennels.
But HSUS argues that these few bad kennels make every breeder of dogs
suspect, and that this requires "Big Brother" to look over his or her
shoulder in order to protect dogs from exploitation. It is like saying that
we shouldn't enjoy our supper because people are starving in Ethiopia, or
that all parents should be licensed and inspected because a few of them
abuse their children.
The fallacy of this argument is easy to see. All of its premises are utterly
It assumes that government is somehow morally superior to individuals, and
that government can be trusted more than people. Read any history book for
an hour and the flaws of this argument become apparent. Throughout history,
government has been the greatest oppressor of people, animals and the Earth
itself - by far! I doubt if Al Capone harmed as many people as the average
corrupt restaurant inspector in Chicago.