Monday, March 31, 2008

Changes And Supporting McCain

I unsurprisingly got a comment about my writing and expressing surprise at my support for McCain. As I’ve said before, over the last several years, my ideology hasn’t changed much. But, my disposition has shifted and the conditions we face have changed dramatically. Here is my response:

Cindy:

I'm sure it was on Kerry's One Mom Blog that I saw a comment of yours. I still look in on a handful of Blogs that I watched for months. I've hardly watched my own, in March. Is this mental decompression? There are still things going on in my head. I think I'll turn to a more personal focus on my perspective on life as a person with MS who spends a lot of time analyzing socio-philosophical questions. I don't have the popular platform of a public office or a media program. I don't even have an academic title to flaunt as credentials. I went to graduate school and finished my coursework in the early 80's, but I started working before I finished my essay. In case anyone asks, you can make money as a salesman that you can't make as a student or even as a teacher unless you get a Ph.D. and a good university position. I was at Western Kentucky, not Harvard or Stanford. (Speaking of marketing credentials) :-)

But plainly, I do have a unique position as a philosophically oriented person with multiple sclerosis. It has been interesting watching what has happened in my body and my subjective experience, as well as looking at society from a perspective not largely occupied with labor or an office. There are a lot of people with MS who don't get enough input about the physical and social effects that one might face, and most people have a friend or family member with MS. That's a fairly large potential audience, and their attention might (hardly incidentally) be directed to some social questions.

Speaking of that, I believe I mentioned that I was a MAJOR McCain critic. In the 2000 election cycle, of 14 original Republican candidates, McCain was my LEAST favorite. I called him "philosophically incoherent."

But as I said, I've come to recognize his unique virtues and our unique situation. Especially given that those unique virtues include a gracious and well-meaning disposition, when it comes to those philosophical questions, we should befriend and encourage him, not scorn and repel him. If he disappoints conservatives, that should be all his doing, not ours.

But, the other virtues include a thoroughgoing patriotism relative to foreign policy. And also critically important TODAY is his record and resolve against extravagant government spending. This is no longer a future concern: the entitlements tidal wave hits over the next ten years. For instance, S.S. disability is getting difficult to be approved, because bureaucrats see that there is no money. The plain truth is that there are very few politicians with the resolve McCain will have about controlling spending. That's why Tom Coburn supports McCain. In the statewide constituency pork barrel-prone Senate, Coburn is the closest thing you will see to a "Dr. No."

Just yesterday for instance, McCain said that it isn't the federal government's job to bail out businesses that made bad loans. He's right. This is just the umpteenth manifestation of the endemic pathology of the federal government that subsidizes failure and penalizes success. Of course, this invites more failure and less success. We need to support McCain for these literal VITAL reasons, and encourage and counsel him where we disagree. I think I'll post THIS.

17 comments:

Cindy said...

Larry,
Even though I don't have MS, I'd be very interested in hearing about perspectives from someone who does! I've coincidentally been thinking a lot about health lately, and as I've been preparing myself for a surgery (nothing chronic, tumor removal), I've been rereading books like Richard Mayhue's The Healing Promise and Joni Eareckson Tada's When God Weeps, and in the process find myself wondering about how it might be to live with a chronic condition.

Cindy

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Re Cindy's note. My wife, Pat, had a stroke in 1991 -- at a young age and seemingly in very good health. Like many people facing chronic illness, we don't know exactly what God has in mind in specific instances, but we know that God is good -- and all things balance out in the end.

I'm going to be contacting hundreds (literally) of Huckabee bloggers (and bloggers from other candidates and asking them to support John McCain. In this effort, Mike Huckabee has led the way, and I hope his supporters will endorse Mike's preferred candidate: John McCain.

One way to get very good updates from the McCain effort is to contact Patrick Hynes (a fine and decent man) at phynes@calypsocom.com. He will not bombard you with mail, but he will send material of great interest.

Today, I got the following e-mail from Steven Erfelt, who does the "LifeNews" site:

Barack Obama Would Back Daughters' Abortion, "Don't Punish Them
With a Baby"

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 31, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Barack Obama is drawing gasps
from pro-life advocates today over comments he made during a
campaign stop in Pennsylvania over the weekend. The leading
Democratic presidential candidate appeared to back a potential
decision by his daughters to seek an abortion saying he wouldn't
"punish" them with a baby.

Obama's remarks are likely to add another reason to the list
pro-life advocates are developing as to why he won't get their
vote this November.

Read the full story at:
http://www.lifenews.com/nat3827.html

Obviously, people who are strongly (or even moderately) pro-life do not want anything to do with the Obama candidacy. He talks about "bringing us together," but it's obviously all talk.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa
http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com

Larry said...

Cindy:

Well, there are obviously the changes in your family and social structure. But, it has been fascinating to me to watch the changes in my facilities and to watch the body work to repair the damage. It's a remarkable machine that we take for granted. I'll start on it soon.

I'm going to the Republican Party of Texas state convention in June. I'm anxious to watch things develope for it.

Steve:

You can point them to my Blog on the Huckabee Blogroll, and my posts about supporting McCain./ Heck, if they have questions, you can give them my email address.

Life is joys and trials. The test is how you deal with other people in the trials.

I get email from both Patrick Hynes (a few weeks, now) and Steven Ertelt (probably for ten years)

You know, I can't understand people who vote Democratic. In 2000, I was stunned that half of the electorate voted for Al Gore, whom I thought was an unprecedentedly ridiculous candidate. Europe went socialist when a majority migrated to the cities and their mass-cultures. I figured that we might be near that point, especially with mass-culture now reaching into every rural corner.

If this country could actually elect Barack Obama, we've gone over the edge. When he was an Illinois state senator, he TWICE voted against the infant born alive protection act, which called for prohibiting the setting aside to die of an infant born alive after a failed abortion. It sounds like The Twilight Zone (60's TV show)

Larry

Cindy said...

(Stephen, thanks for the encouraging word, and "amen" to God's goodness.)

Larry,
I suspect I'm not the typical Republican theologically conservative evangelical considering voting for Obama, but since you say you can't understand why I'd do that, this is why: national (and global) security. Considering the threat political Islam poses and the foreign policy positions of the candidates, McCain is the last candidate I'd want as President to face such threat. His intentions mean little to me if his diagnosis and prescription for the problem are wrong and lead to aiding the very people that want to destroy us. Anyway, I won't bash McCain on your blog, and only stated this much not to be contentious, but because you said you didn't understand why we'd vote Democratic.

Larry Perrault said...

Cindy: perrault@sbcglobal.net

That's my email address. I have a suitcase full of criticism of McCain, and have had for over a decade.

What I'm saying is that despite his philosophical infidelities, the things that McCain is particularly strong on, are vital concerns at this point in time.

And yes, one of them is that he loves his country and basic human decency and will defend both as a priority.

So also "yes," I not only don't understand the Barack celebrity, I don't even understand what you wrote: You are saying you would support Obama over McCain for purposes of NATIONAL SECURITY!? Am I dreaming? It's like I just saw a purple cow. Have I buried my head so deeply in policy details that I missed the otherwise obvious point that Barack Obama is a defense and foreign policy giant and John McCain is a relative naif?

Listen, I'll be frank about what I think about Obama. But first, let me say that yes, I am an evangelical theological-social conservative, too. But, I was a conservative before there WERE social conservatives: before there was Roe V. Wade, before there was any confusion about the components of marriage, before there was confusion about the rights of private associations....

Even if I suffered a chemical lapse into insanity, my arm might break off before I could cast a vote for Barack Obama. And that doesn't mean I don't have hope and don't want to transcend the bitter partisanship that distorts perceptions in America. I have hope that Barack Obama will never be president. I think his under-articulated high ideals have distorted a lot of perceptions about who Barack Obama is.

Look, the best thing I can say about Barack Obama as commander-in-chief is that I don't believe what he says. If he were president and presented will all of the defense, intelligence, and diplomacy details about the international situation that a president is privy to, all of his talk about getting out of Iraq and appeasing Iran (for instance) would probably go right out the window. And NOT because he is particularly wise or experienced (he clearly isn't), but because he isn't an idiot, to invite a calamity for which he would be scorned severely if not impeached, not to mention never reelected.

Obama is a young, insulated, academic liberal, who won't know a lot of the cold reality about the world until it is dumped on him like ice water. In the meantime, America would have sacrificed what social integrity it has left and it's economic vitality, which frankly requires dramatic measures, no matter who is president...EVEN if bare political prudence spares an American and/or international human tragedy.

Who is the wiser, more sober, more experienced man between John McCain and Barack Obama? It isn't even a close call: which is taller?: a horse or a rabbit?

I don't know how old you are. But, you sound like a sincere and very decent person. If I have garnered the credibility of a grain of salt, trust me: If I know anything about your heart, you DO want to not just support John McCain over Barack Obama, but persuade every voter you know to do the same.

Anyway, please don't take offense at all of that. I appreciate your attention and hope I continue to see/hear from you. There were a couple of things I wanted to post on, today. Maybe I'l get one out, tonight and start on the other in the morning.

Larry Perrault said...

Cindy: perrault@sbcglobal.net

That's my email address. I have a suitcase full of criticism of McCain, and have had for over a decade.

What I'm saying is that despite his philosophical infidelities, the things that McCain is particularly strong on, are vital concerns at this point in time.

And yes, one of them is that he loves his country and basic human decency and will defend both as a priority.

So also "yes," I not only don't understand the Barack celebrity, I don't even understand what you wrote: You are saying you would support Obama over McCain for purposes of NATIONAL SECURITY!? Am I dreaming? It's like I just saw a purple cow. Have I buried my head so deeply in policy details that I missed the otherwise obvious point that Barack Obama is a defense and foreign policy giant and John McCain is a relative naif?

Listen, I'll be frank about what I think about Obama. But first, let me say that yes, I am an evangelical theological-social conservative, too. But, I was a conservative before there WERE social conservatives: before there was Roe V. Wade, before there was any confusion about the components of marriage, before there was confusion about the rights of private associations....

Even if I suffered a chemical lapse into insanity, my arm might break off before I could cast a vote for Barack Obama. And that doesn't mean I don't have hope and don't want to transcend the bitter partisanship that distorts perceptions in America. I have hope that Barack Obama will never be president. I think his under-articulated high ideals have distorted a lot of perceptions about who Barack Obama is.

Look, the best thing I can say about Barack Obama as commander-in-chief is that I don't believe what he says. If he were president and presented will all of the defense, intelligence, and diplomacy details about the international situation that a president is privy to, all of his talk about getting out of Iraq and appeasing Iran (for instance) would probably go right out the window. And NOT because he is particularly wise or experienced (he clearly isn't), but because he isn't an idiot, to invite a calamity for which he would be scorned severely if not impeached, not to mention never reelected.

Obama is a young, insulated, academic liberal, who won't know a lot of the cold reality about the world until it is dumped on him like ice water. In the meantime, America would have sacrificed what social integrity it has left and it's economic vitality, which frankly requires dramatic measures, no matter who is president...EVEN if bare political prudence spares an American and/or international human tragedy.

Who is the wiser, more sober, more experienced man between John McCain and Barack Obama? It isn't even a close call: which is taller?: a horse or a rabbit?

I don't know how old you are. But, you sound like a sincere and very decent person. If I have garnered the credibility of a grain of salt, trust me: If I know anything about your heart, you DO want to not just support John McCain over Barack Obama, but persuade every voter you know to do the same.

Anyway, please don't take offense at all of that. I appreciate your attention and hope I continue to see/hear from you. There were a couple of things I wanted to post on, today. Maybe I'l get one out, tonight and start on the other in the morning.

Larry Perrault said...

Cindy: perrault@sbcglobal.net

That's my email address. I have a suitcase full of criticism of McCain, and have had for over a decade.

What I'm saying is that despite his philosophical infidelities, the things that McCain is particularly strong on, are vital concerns at this point in time.

And yes, one of them is that he loves his country and basic human decency and will defend both as a priority.

So also "yes," I not only don't understand the Barack celebrity, I don't even understand what you wrote: You are saying you would support Obama over McCain for purposes of NATIONAL SECURITY!? Am I dreaming? It's like I just saw a purple cow. Have I buried my head so deeply in policy details that I missed the otherwise obvious point that Barack Obama is a defense and foreign policy giant and John McCain is a relative naif?

Listen, I'll be frank about what I think about Obama. But first, let me say that yes, I am an evangelical theological-social conservative, too. But, I was a conservative before there WERE social conservatives: before there was Roe V. Wade, before there was any confusion about the components of marriage, before there was confusion about the rights of private associations....

Even if I suffered a chemical lapse into insanity, my arm might break off before I could cast a vote for Barack Obama. And that doesn't mean I don't have hope and don't want to transcend the bitter partisanship that distorts perceptions in America. I have hope that Barack Obama will never be president. I think his under-articulated high ideals have distorted a lot of perceptions about who Barack Obama is.

Look, the best thing I can say about Barack Obama as commander-in-chief is that I don't believe what he says. If he were president and presented will all of the defense, intelligence, and diplomacy details about the international situation that a president is privy to, all of his talk about getting out of Iraq and appeasing Iran (for instance) would probably go right out the window. And NOT because he is particularly wise or experienced (he clearly isn't), but because he isn't an idiot, to invite a calamity for which he would be scorned severely if not impeached, not to mention never reelected.

Obama is a young, insulated, academic liberal, who won't know a lot of the cold reality about the world until it is dumped on him like ice water. In the meantime, America would have sacrificed what social integrity it has left and it's economic vitality, which frankly requires dramatic measures, no matter who is president...EVEN if bare political prudence spares an American and/or international human tragedy.

Who is the wiser, more sober, more experienced man between John McCain and Barack Obama? It isn't even a close call: which is taller?: a horse or a rabbit?

I don't know how old you are. But, you sound like a sincere and very decent person. If I have garnered the credibility of a grain of salt, trust me: If I know anything about your heart, you DO want to not just support John McCain over Barack Obama, but persuade every voter you know to do the same.

Anyway, please don't take offense at all of that. I appreciate your attention and hope I continue to see/hear from you. There were a couple of things I wanted to post on, today. Maybe I'l get one out, tonight and start on the other in the morning.

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