April 18, 2008

A Dime's Worth Of Difference?

There are a lot of registered Republicans who didn't vote for John McCain as their nominee. Of course, a majority of them did. And McCain is the Republican nominee for President. It's no longer a matter of preference. It's a done deal.

And some of those who profess angst about his nomination like to say that there's little difference between the AZ Senator and the two Democrats beating each other to a pulp to win their party's nomination.

I say it's time to put aside personal grudges and consider the following. This passage is from pages 254-255 of John McCain's "Faith of my Fathers". As part of his account of his time as a prisoner of war at the Hanoi Hilton, McCain describes the process of truly understanding the lessons of his father and grandfather about service to country.

During the long pause between bombing campaigns in the North, while the months and years dragged on, it was hard to take our interrogators’ ridicule of our conviction that our loyalty to America was returned, measure for measure, by our distant compatriots. But we clung to our belief, each one encouraging the other, not with overexuberant hopes that our day of liberation was close at hand, but with a steady resolve that our honor was the extension of a great nation’s honor, and that both prisoner and country would do what honor asked of us.

In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn’t until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.

I loved what I missed most from my life at home: my family and friends; the sights and sounds of my country; the hustle and purposefulness of Americans; their fervid independence; sports; music; information – all the attractive qualities of American life. But though I longed for the things at home I cherished the most, I still shared the ideals of America. And since those ideals were all that I possessed of my country, they became all the more important to me.

It was what freedom conferred on America that I loved the most – the distinction of being the last, best hope of humanity; the advocate for all who believed in the Rights of Man. Freedom is America’s honor, and all honor comes with obligations. We have the obligation to use our freedom wisely, to select well from all the choices freedom offers. We can accept or reject the obligation, but if we are to preserve our freedom, our honor, we must choose well.

I was no longer the boy to whom liberty meant simply that I could do as I pleased, and who, in my vanity, used my freedom to polish my image as an I-don’t-give-a-damn nonconformist. That’s not to say that I had shed myself entirely of that attribute. I had not, and have not yet. But I no longer located my self-respect in that distinction. In prison, where my cherished independence was mocked and assaulted, I found my self-respect in a shared fidelity to my country. All honor comes with obligations. I and the men with whom I served had accepted ours, and we were grateful for the privilege.

Compare this to a candidate whose wife just recently became "proud" of her country or to a candidate whose candidacy is more about the acquisition of personal power than anything else (power so seducing that a simple concept like truth could never stand in the way of its pursuit).

No difference? Perhaps Sen. McCain is more like a Democrat on some specific issues, but in the recognition of what this country represents and for a true understanding of why it is so great there is no contest.

Posted by Gary at April 18, 2008 03:36 PM | TrackBack

As a matter of fact the majority of GOP voters didn't vote for McCain but why bother with the facts.
Would I vote for someone who wanted amnesty for gang bangers and murderers? Would I vote for someone who voted against tax cuts and sponsored a carbon tax?

Should I vote for someone who regularly attacks the capitalist system and big business?

Should we vote for a man who will not drill off the American coasts, suupport nuclear power or drill in ANWAR?

Should we vote for someone who attacks fundamentalist Christians, his senate coworkers and any and all who disagree with him on matters of policy?

I'm not talking about Snobama or the Hildabeast. At least with these two Marxists we can stand firm against them. With a faux Marxist like McCain what will you say when he pushes the amnesty bill and increases regulation and taxes? Say sorry but he's better than the two infants? Fool me with Nixon, fool me with Bush I, fool me with Bush II, you'll never fool me again.

Better the nutcase I know than the nutcase who happens to be in the GOP.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at April 19, 2008 11:09 PM

McCain has Teddy Roosevelt as one of his heroes, and that's probably not a bad pick. Teddy was hated by the establishment Republicans when he was named VP, and feared when he became President. Teddy also got many things wrong but a few big ones right. On balance, a fine President.

McCain occasionally acts like every other politician out there, but far less frequently. Uncomfortably for his own party:
- he shouted from the rooftops about the drunken sailor spending spree the Republican congress went on, and rightly so
- he opposed Pentagon leadership that was doing poorly in Iraq, and backed a surge plan that was politically a non-starter at first; nice job on both
- he can work across the isle. If we want DC to do anything remotely intelligent - or more importantly stop doing the dumb things - it will require working with others to make deals.

McCain is no shrinking violent in international affairs, is a committed free-trader, and is someone who will shine the harshest light on wasterful govt spending since Reagan (and maybe more so).

Oh, yes. And he could win. Hilary's careful plan to track to the center has been blown; she's had to lurch far left to catch up to Obama's positioning. McCain is sitting in a good spot. With both Democratic Presidential candidates way out on the left wingtip - and Pelosi and Reed to accent the point - McCain may just be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Whether or not he does, the fact that he's a contender makes real debates on real issues much more likely. Which is a good thing.

Posted by: yowza at April 20, 2008 08:10 AM