In answer to Ivan Wolfe’s post below, in which he says he is an undecided voter and asks for reasons to support McCain, I propose the following.
Now keep in mind that I was a Mitt Romney supporter during the primaries, and I feel strongly that Republicans would be in much better shape right now with Mitt than with McCain. Also keep in mind I am not a big fan of McCain’s by any stretch.
But despite my reservations about McCain, there are still strong reasons to vote for him.
Before I start, a note to the angry left (or other angry people). This post is not for you. Please go click somewhere else. This post is aimed at people who have not really made up their mind about McCain and are searching for reasons to support him. If you already love Obama and are definitely going to vote for him no matter what, you will not like this post. Do yourself a favor and help your blood pressure by going to read Huffington Post, the Nation, the Daily Kos or Moveon.org. Really. Why get all worked up by the opinions of a blog that is read by a few hundred Mormons? And, if you still want to read this post, please note that comments that are insulting of me or other commenters — or overly contentious or mean-spirited — will get deleted so fast it will make your head spin.
Alright, on to McCain.
Reason 1 — lesser of two evils. Obama, if he is elected will be the farthest left president in American history. We know very little about how he would govern, except that he has no real legislative accomplishments in his short career, and all of his statements have indicated he would govern from the left. The far left. McCain, based on his legislative history and all of his instincts, will be a true centrist. Personally, I’m not much of a fan of centrists, but they’re better than extreme leftists.
Reason 2 — The economy. McCain supports lower taxes (Bush’s tax cut), he supports free trade and his health care plan is a winner. He spoke out against the dangers of Fannie and Freddie years ago, while Obama was collecting cash from past leaders of these disgraced institutions. McCain is far from perfect on the economy, but his advisers would help us get through a tough patch. Obama would raise taxes, increase protectionism and turn doctor’s offices into the DMV. The downturn would become a Depression. Enough said.
Reason 3 — energy. Republicans: drill, baby, drill while we continue to develop alternate energy sources. Obama and the Dems: hope that magically wind power and solar power will suddenly become viable through a combination of Al Gore speeches, government regulation and pixie dust. One policy exists in the real world, the other in fairy land. McCain has begun to adopt the real world policy.
Reason 4 — foreign policy. When Russia invaded Georgia, we got a test case for McCain’s foreign policy vs. Obama’s. McCain immediately and forcefully called for Russia to cease the invasion, and Georgians today directly credit McCain with preventing Russia from taking over the entire country. Obama equivocated and then started blaming the Georgians until finally getting it right. Kind of. Folks, we are worried about the economy these days with good reason. But the president’s biggest area of responsibility is foreign policy, where he has tremendous power. This is why Jimmy Carter was such a disaster — he did not understand the power of the presidency to keep the peace through strong words and if necessary action. Iran is one of our biggest enemies today, and people forget it happened on Jimmy Carter’s watch. Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. Same thing. The Sandinista victory in Nicaragua and near loss of El Salvador. Carter. Russian and Cuban expansion in Africa and elsewhere. Carter.
Obama’s instincts are even worse than Carter’s. Mark my words: if Obama is elected, there will be foreign policy tragedies along the lines of Carter’s on a regular basis. The Georgian crisis showed us exactly how he would respond, or not respond. If I were a Georgian, a Ukrainian or a Pole right now, I would move immediately if Obama is elected. He simply does not know how to deal with tyrants like Putin, and Putin knows it and knows he can get away with anything he wants with Obama in power.
So, who cares about Georgia, or Ukraine or Poland? Well, the problem is that the Russian invasion of Georgia is just the first step. If we do not respond the right way, Russia will be encouraged to take other steps. Remember the 1930s. Please read some history. Eventually, the United States will get dragged in because we did not discourage dictators forcefully enough early on. The problem is relatively small now and can be contained without losing U.S. lives. But if Russia begins eating at Ukrainian and Polish territory and threatening other countries, circumstances will reach a point where we can no longer remain neutral. Then you will care, as your sons and daughters are shipped off to an unnecessary war.
McCain was right on the surge and he has been right on Iraq from the beginning. He is experienced and respected internationally (there is a difference between respect and adulation — of course Obama is adored by many Europeans, but is he respected by them? I think not).
Nobody appreciates peace more than a man who has fought in a war. McCain will do everything possible to maintain peace through strength, which is in the end the best way to contain chaos and carnage.
Reason 5 — Judges. Let me put this simply: there is zero chance of any Supreme Court these days making all abortions illegal in this country. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will mean returning abortion to the individual states to decide. This is the way it is with the death penalty, and it seems to me the perfect compromise. So, now that everybody can calm down about abortion (even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will still be easily available to the vast majority of people who want it, and for others, they can get on a bus to get an abortion if they really want one), can we please note that the Roberts court has been the most respected Supreme Court (as noted by relatively neutral observers) in decades? McCain promises more judges like Roberts and Alito — Obama promises far-left idealogues. Why would anybody but the most extreme leftist want that? And we’re not just talking about the few possible vacancies on the Supreme Court — we’re talking about the hundreds of potential vacancies on federal courts.
Reason 6 — character and associations. Folks, Obama is a blank slate. We know very little about him, and the little we do know if not encouraging. He got his start in politics with a host of questionable characters as mentors (Rev. Wright) and associates (Bill Ayers). At the very least, his judgment is highly suspect. At the worst, he shares the anti-American views of Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers and is hiding it long enough to get into power. Ask yourself this: why does the far left, the left of socialism and liberal fascism, support Obama with no reservations? They certainly didn’t feel that way about any other major Democratic candidate (read The Nation in 1984 when I worked there — they favored Jesse Jackson and saw Mondale as way too conservative and they felt the same about Dukakis, Clinton, Gore and Kerry, but they unreservedly support Obama. Shouldn’t that send up a red flag of warning?).
McCain can be a dufus sometimes, but you have to admit he loves this country and has real character. He is a true hero and acted truly selflessly while a captive in Vietnam. You know exactly how he would govern — he would try to achieve compromise and he would do his best to be honest and forthright. He really has nothing to hide. In terms of character, we know a tremendous amount about McCain, and almost all we know is positive. We know very little about Obama, and what we know if extremely worrisome.
Reason 7 — Sarah Palin. Best VP pick since FDR chose Truman. McCain showed great instincts. Sarah Palin will be a force in the Republican party for decades to come and may even be elected president herself some day. This was McCain’s single most important decision, and he hit a home run. It shows that his cabinet picks will also be smart ones. Meanwhile, Obama chose Mr. Chia Pet (“watch the hair plugs grow”), one of the most change-averse and establishment-loving Senators out there. Excuse me, what does this say about Obama’s integrity, that he is supposedly for “change” and “reform” and he chose the man who is the exact opposite of that? Don’t you think it is an indication that we cannot believe anything else the man says?
Reason 8 — Same-sex marriage. As Latter-day Saints, modern-day prophets have made it clear that this issue must be one of our top priorities. We have been urged to to all we can to support constitutional amendments opposing same-sex marriage. McCain supports these amendments, and Obama opposes them. Seems pretty clear to me.
Respectful, non-contentious comments are welcome.