Monday, March 24, 2008

McCain, my reluctant choice.

I know many of you out there know I was anything but pleased to have McCain as the "presumptive" republican nominee, but I must now come out and say, I'm okay with it now. I was bothered by McCain's attempt to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status while millions of others who were doing it the right way got shafted. I was bothered by the fact that he has constantly plagued American businesses, especially Pharmaceuticals with anti-big business legislation. Big business is what keeps America employed (despite its many drawbacks). I was bothered by the fact that he almost defected to the democratic party. I was bothered by the fact that he had no real world economic experience. I was bothered by the fact that he's a grumpy, weird old man.

However, I have now seen the light (this may have a lot to do with my options). Both Hillary and Obama want to bring socialized medicine to America. Obama has the "audacity of hope" to create 2 million new jobs in the public sector (hmmm...kinda like overtly bureaucratic poorly run nations like Russia and France). Hillary even made the comment that, "It's time for the government to fix the economy." I nearly spat out my gum. Since when does the government control the economy? Don't get me wrong, the government has certain controls over things like interest rates, trade embargoes and the like, but what controls the economy is big Joe down at the deli, consumer confidence, your investment portfolio and what color Kmart chooses to use to advertise its blue-light specials. On top of it all, both Obama and Hillary want an immediate pullout of troops in Iraq regardless of the situation on the ground. Let me get this straight. After we invaded the country, toppled its corrupt but stable regime and trudged around without a decent strategy against the growing insurgency leaving it in social and political anarchy, and finally got it right and are working to fix the mess WE caused, WE all of the sudden are going to leave. That's like me going over to my friends house, ransacking his pantry, then sweeping up part of the mess, peeing on the rest and running away. That's brilliant. That brings me to McCain.

McCain is a battle-tested, torture-endured military man. He knows what it takes to win a war. He knows what it takes to survive. He sees the big picture. He wants to see more political reconciliation in Iraq. He wants to see more work on rebuilding and creating new infrastructure. He wants to allow the Generals to have the full support of the government to do what they need to do in order to bring internal stability to a war-torn, secularly, religiously and ideologically divided nation. Many might think his support of the surge is for political expediency. Others may think his support is political suicide. To me his support shows he GETS the big picture. McCain knows we erred. Hindsight is so nice. But we cannot live in the past and undo what has already been done. We need to look forward and fix what we can and leave Iraq better than we came in.

On another note McCain admitted he was wrong on how he approached immigration. Good start. Hopefully he stays that way. McCain also is vehemently opposed to pork-barrel spending (all those little multi-million dollar earmarks that allow congressmen and senators to take home projects to their home states and districts with our federal tax money). This is good. We need a government that can run smoothly, effectively and transparently. We need to know where and how our money is spent. Furthermore, the correct way to slim the debt is not only through careful and well-regulated spending, but tax cuts. We should only pay what we have to, and nothing more. McCain was reluctant to call the Bush tax cuts a good idea, but now that he's latched on to them, he most likely won't be swayed back so easily (because he's a grouchy, stubborn, stick-to-his guns type of guy). For these reasons, and many others McCain has my vote. For those of you who think Obama is cute and has a nice voice, I can't really argue. Yes he's charismatic. However, he's also a socialist with staffers who worship leftist guerilla Che Guevarra. Not a good reason to vote for him. He's a political neophyte. McCain is old, wise and as stubborn as hell. I'd take that over a supple, 46-year-old shaven chest from Chicago's south side any day.


Anonymous said...

I am two generations removed and have voted for the lesser of two evils too many times. I do not believe McCain as he has proved himself very willing, almost compulsively willing, to cross the aisle and support left wing agendas.
As for the war,you are right that he will follow the Bush tradition. He will not have new ideas, but pursue old ones. The real place of concern is Afganistan and Pakistan. I do not think that he or any of the political hopefuls are equipped mentally or experience wise to deal with the situation there.
I will listen to McCain carefully in the next months and try to see where his previous actions correspond to his political promises to attract conservative support. He is a politician through and through.
I thought it interesting that McCain's state, Arizona, passed the most truly responsible immigration laws on the books targeting employers who hire illegals and fining them progressively for any repeated violations. Maybe the fact that his home state does not agree with his amnesty will influence McCain. Any change will not come from personal thinking or principle.
Thank you so much for calling me and letting me share my thoughts with you. I hope you learn a great deal from the French ambassador. I will be inerested in what topics he addresses.

Anonymous said...

Given his desire to start lots of new wars, I don't see why you'd have such a big problem with him in the first place, Ian -- though I guess his moderately non-reactionary stance on gov't regulation of business (look how great deregulating the financial services industry turned out! Thanks Sen. Gramm!) as well as the looming threat of global climate change irked the Right, as well as the being moderately in favor of the rights of immigrant laborers (how dare they perform our lowest-paid and most-dangerous jobs?!).

But I thought the war thing would always win over the Right: and hey, it looks like I'm correct, to judge from your post at least. If you want to stay in Iraq for 100 years, he's your man.

Also, remind me again how it's a _good thing_ that we're the only industrialised nation in the world without a national healthcare plan? As far as the charge of socialism goes, that might a) work amongst those who have a knee-jerk fear of socialism; and b) carry more water if Obama and Hillary both were not relying on private insurers in their plans.

If they're your idea of Socialists, you're redefining the term. Check out the Italian or French or German left, who are _actually_ communists and socialists.

Anonymous said...

I doubt we will get involved in any new wars given how over-extended our military is currently. No one wants to be there for a hundred years, but let's remember that we still have troops in Korea, the Philippines, Germany and Guam. The wars that brought them there have long since been over, yet they remain as a stabilizing presence. And guess what, not a single democratic President has called for their removal. Now I know Iraq has a far larger number of troops, but the situation as you know, is far more volatile. Taking them out would only exacerbate things. But, I suppose if all we care about is ourselves, then that is fine, but for a party that claims to care about human rights and civil liberties it is about time we stopped talking about how quick we can run away from the problems we caused. We are obligated to fix our mess. But, of course I'm sure you'd call for intervention in Darfur or Rwanda. Perfect logic.

And the deregulation of business had little to do with current financial lending and investment crisis. That, my friend came from years of propping up a bubble with quick fixes like interest rate hikes.

I have nothing against guest workers (who do things legally) but I don't think enforcing our laws is a bad idea. You ignore the 2 million people who are waiting their turn patiently to receive citizenship while we offer amnesty to those who chose not to abide by the rules. I am not one to be in favor of a double standard.

And, as far as health care, it may not be great here, but we are way better off than a majority of the world. What makes you think the state will do a better job? The TSA sucks. Homeland security is a farce. How about we allow smart, well-motivated, innovative people from the private sector to have more autonomy? Our HMO coverage and insurance premiums are so high because of frivolous lawsuits and too many people taking advantage of an over burdened system (yes illegals get free care, how genius). Our healthcare system is partially subsidized by government funds...possibly part of the problem and not the solution?

And yes, I do know what socialism is, and while one sweeping medical reform does not bring us immediately to it, it certainly brings us a lot closer. For a non-socialist nation, the amount we pay in taxes is not far off pace from becoming one like Sweden, Finland and Liechtenstein.