Monday, March 24, 2008

Why Conservatives MUST Support John McCain

I have been resting from my Blog since Mike Huckabee withdrew from the campaign for the Republican nomination on March 4th, after John McCain secured enough delegates to clinch the nomination. I must soon be about changing many of the objects on the Blog, including revising its primary objectives. There are always current events I want to discuss and in fact, some specific writing that I want to focus on.

But for right now, it is a priority that I establish my resolve to support John McCain for the fall election and state why I believe this objective is critical. My feelings are independent of but unsurprisingly consistent with Mike Huckabee's expressed intention to direct his infinitely greater influence to the same end. With respect to me, some may find my disposition odd, given my history of dissent and criticism of conservative drift in The Republican Party. Perhaps I am a little different, but I certainly think the immediate situation is a LOT different and I will explain why I think so.

It is important first, to briefly explain my own background. I am a lifelong conservative who began reading conservative thinkers and ideals as a teenager in the 1970’s. After developing multiple sclerosis in the 1990’s, I became an activist participant in Republican politics and the convention process. I went to the 1998 Republican Party of Texas convention armed with flyers about my problems with John McCain. Even today, on most of the standard conservative catalog of McCain infidelities, I may generally agree. And in fact, I declined to support or even vote for George W. Bush, whom at the time I saw as only marginally better than McCain. I didn't and don't dislike Bush. I just thought he was not constrained by sound conservative principle.

The profligate spending and federal government usurpation of the past six years have born that concern out. But looking back, perhaps Bush was more politically constrained. What has become clear is that on the things that he strongly believes, John McCain has been an uncommonly resolute United States Senator, including on urgent issues on which we agree. And, he has run his campaign this year in an uncommonly civil and gracious fashion. Let me explain why a few of those points of resolve and agreement rise categorically above any list of disagreements:

First, all of us other than some Ron Paul enthusiasts understand that on the primary duty of the federal government and the president, defending the American people and their interest, John McCain is not only with us but most assertively so and most prepared for the responsibility. America’s physical defense is of course, constitutionally established as a priority for the federal government generally and the chief executive specifically, who is the commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces. And in a world that technology has brought close and in which America is the technological and military supreme power, defending American principles of humanity is a duty the neglect of which is a human dereliction. As we know, today, these concerns are not incidental but pressing priorities.

Secondly, there is another great crisis upon us that some have warned of but many Americans seem to have slept through the approach of. For decades now, we have had warnings of the long-term insolvency in government’s accrued liabilities versus reasonably expected revenues. But, when plans to devise a correction have been raised, political rhetoric has killed the effort. In fact we have only continued to widen the shortfall. Well guess what? We are only barely talking about a future problem, now.

For the next decade the entitlement liabilities will devour the disbursements of the federal budget. Discretionary expenditures will be cut. And the gap won’t be near filled. The yawning debt will be expanded. New taxes, benefit cuts, and accelerated currency printing (i.e., rapid inflation/devaluation of money) will be the only options to try to meet the liability. Unless a dramatic change is made to boost productivity and revenue (a massive tax reform – like The Fair Tax plan) is implemented, all three of these supposedly more modest solutions would probably be tried. But, the net effect would be to make matters worse. John McCain has the resolve to resist these efforts.

Whatever course is taken to infuse the system, America will have to stop the bleeding; that is, the spending. Say what we might about John McCain, there has not been a more resolute actor in Washington against budgetary extravagance. Under the Bush administration, a Republican majority expanded government at a rate not seen for forty years, since Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress. Most dramatically, these Republicans greatly increased the Medicare entitlement that along with Social Security was already long-term insolvent. John McCain was among the few who opposed this action. There probably is not a more stark demonstration of why fiscal conservatives like Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and former Senator and economist Phil Gramm are enthusiastically supporting McCain.

Thirdly, we are looking at long-term social imprudence prevailed upon the country if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton appoint the next generation of federal jurists, including 2-4 Supreme Court justices. The folly will be broad and deep, but for example, the social calumny of “legal” abortion will be guaranteed until at least the middle of this century. I always emphasize that, as hard as it is to believe, the most tragic victims of this would not be the innocent lives lost over what will have been 60-80 years. God has always dealt with and will continue to handle the deaths of innocents. They are a class that will bypass this vale of tears and be delivered directly to perfect justice.

However, as usual, the true sufferers and victims will be our children that have to live in a society that has assimilated this most fundamental and grave selfish incivility. Why will neighbors and commercial relationships be afforded a respect that is not held up even for our own offspring? Relatively speaking, dog-eat-dog sounds like an innocuous social standard.

For all of last year, until he withdrew on March 4th, I was a Mike Huckabee supporter. I studied Mike Huckabee’s record and campaign for over a year, and found the supposedly “conservative” criticisms of him to be misrepresentation. But, most remarkable about his candidacy was his distinctive positive and engaging approach, which often disarmed and engaged even liberals who disagreed with his policy conclusions, but trusted Huckabee’s honesty and sincerity, which was particularly ironic in that those were precisely the thoughtful qualities that many conservatives were suspicious of. In defending him, I often found myself oddly cast as a “liberal,” just like he was.

But, John McCain conducted a campaign that was likewise civil and genuine. For the sake of the nation and an American model for an elevated disposition, it is critical that conservatives rally around John McCain and engage him by putting their concerns before this genuine and resolute American patriot. Let’s help him with everything we have and ask him to help with our sincere and noble concerns for America.

18 comments:

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I'd like your permission to print your piece about John McCain on my blog. My own personal commitment to John McCain relates to the heroism and grit he showed during the Viet Nam War, one in which I lost many fine and courageous friends, including the guy who played the role of "Fonzie" in our Catholic elementary school -- Sandy Petromalo. Since he beat up the larger and older guy who gave me a concussion, Sandy was partiulcarly to me. I see John McCain as a "Sandy" type, just the kind of great person we all admire.

I've been writing for two months about Barack Obama. I have no personal grievance toward him and admire the qualities he does have, including his ability as an orator.

The main problem with Obama is that he's not truthful. In his (constantly running) commercials in PA, he is talking with grat admiration about his "loving" grandparents, one of whom served in "Patton's Army" and the other (grandma) worked on a bomb assembly line. The only problem is that these are ths same grandparents he indicates in his book and "The Speech" were guilty of racial stereotypes. As I've explained at length on my blog, there is NO EVIDENCE these people had anything other than basically a loving relationship with all races. In his book, Dreams From My Father, Obama indicates his grandfather did nothing more than march around in the French mud and "never" saw real combat. Of his grandmother, he calls her "Rosie the Riveter." There's a real suggestion that Obama didn't really realize what was at stake in World War II -- especially for people who didn't fit Hitler's Aryan model. Also, even people who were not on the front lines (and few of Patton's aggresive army fit that description) were in danger every day from the Luftwaffe and remnants of the Wehrmacht.

In "The Speech" Obama paired his grandmother off against his minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Frankly, the two have nothing in common (Wright being at best a nominal Christian). His grandparents helped ensure that Obama went to the finest prep school in the Hawaiian Islands, which gave him the foundation to go to Columbia and Harvard.

So, which is it Barack? Are you grandparents (and your outstanding mother, Anna Dunham, the daughter of those grandparents, clownish -- vaguely racist people -- or are they the heroic types you feature in your commercials. You can't have it both ways.

In Dreams From My Father, Obama viciously stereotypes white people, especially those in Kansas. He sees what others have called "The Greatest Generation" as ignorant, intolerant, and relentlessly racist. By the way, the "racists" of Kansas voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

This is a man who looks and talks the part of a President, but the inner Obama is one of emptiness and prejudice.

I haven't mentioned Obama's support for so-called "live birth abortion," which is basically a matter of infanticide, but that is a subject worthy of consideration of all who might even be thinking of voting for Obama. Senator McCain not only opposes "live birth abortion," but all other forms. Clearly, at the worst moments of his life (in the "Hanoi Hilton" being tortured), McCain developed a reverence for life in all its manifestations.

As you can see, I have a very low regard for Obama, based on what he's written about his life and done in his brief Legislative career. John McCain is an authentic American hero with a great understanding of the basic values of this country.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

Larry Perrault said...

Steve:

Before I question some of your thoughts, let me say that I generally agree with your assessments of Obama and McCain. I think McCain is a true patriot and an honorable man, perhaps mellowed with age. Hey, I've mellowed and I'm only 51.

And, I think Obama is largely an act, besides being young and unprepared and WAAY liberal! I was aware of his opposition to the Born alive infant protection act in Illinois, before he was elected to the Senate. Here is a man who is immature and not mellowed. One can hope that he might achieve that, later. But, he wants to be president, NOW, and a lot of fantasizing people are swooning at his act.

Right now, Hugh Hewitt is playing and discussing Obama's own audio recording of his 1995 book. It is laced with street profanities, and Hewitt is asking whether it will make a difference. The book was written in 1995, but he himself, recorded the audio version a few years ago. Hewitt is not condemning him on the liberal use of profanity, but asking what it says about his judgment that he recently sat down and personally committed the whole thing to recording IN HIS OWN VOICE!

Frankly, the use of profanity (and not just bulls_t and "d_n, but a lot of "f-ing" that and "f_ing" that) is not a big deal to me. A lot of the language panic, including liberal reference to the "n-word" and stuff like that, reminds me of when I was a kid. The fact that they have any arresting impact is the only reason people use them. Otherwise, it's only syllables.

But what it strikes me as is more of Obama's high theater. He's a prep-school and Ivy-league bred lawyer who is trying to sound like a black street boy.

Speaking of which, I think that's why he joined and stays with that church: to be identified with particularly insolent black culture. It's childish Kabuki for a particular consituemcy. Basically, he's a political windbag.

And, I think he CAN have it both ways on his grandma. He can love and respect her whether or not he is genuine about "cringing" at private statements she made. The fact that he raises the matter is just more posturing.

Absolutely! If this "religious conservative wacko" can turn any heads to support McCain, I'm all for that. Just don't advertize it to people who consider themselves moderate or Independent.:-)

John McCain is plainly ten times the man that Barack Obama is.

Cindy said...

not at all persuaded

Larry Perrault said...

Cindy:

I read this last night. I repeat myself, but I wouldn't have supported McCain several years ago. He's not constrained by well-articulated principle, and easily drawn by unregulated emotions. But particularly at this point in his life, he has a good heart and will be uncommonly strong on a few very important issues, where his wilingness to buck standards might be cery important. One is confronting radical Islam and basic humanity in foreign policy. And, we really are at the point where we can't piddle around with spending and entitlements, anymore. And, I think he will get sound counsel on appointing sober judges.

I just read a comment from a "Cindy" at another Huckabee blogger's site, but I have no detail about you. Anyway, conservatives need to support and encourage McCain, not alienate him.

Cindy said...

Larry, pretty much the only 2 Huckabee blogs I post on are Kerry's onemom blog and Howard Richman's jews4huckabee--so if those are where you saw the Cindy, that probably was me.

When I first found your blog (months ago) I remember thinking how I so agreed with everything you said and was impressed with the way you articulated what I was thinking but couldn't put into words, that's why your post took me by surprise, because I thought we were more likeminded. I really like your blog, though, despite disagreeing on McCain.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Today (Sunday) I'm reprinting Larry's column about "Why Conservatives MUST Support John McCain." It will be on my blogs:
http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com. and
http://stevemaloneygop.blogspot.com.

Your comments are always welcome.

Larry Perrault said...

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 MS. 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.

Larry

Larry Perrault said...

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 MS. 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.

Larry

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