Tomorrow, America will see the closest thing it has to a national primary. Voters will step into the booth and shape the general election–and by extension the country–in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (Democrats Only), Illinois, Kansas (Democrats Only), Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico (Democrats Only), New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.
If you live in these states, please get out and vote. If you consider yourself a conservative, please vote for Mitt Romney.
When the election process first started, almost at this time last year, I got my first look at Mitt Romney. I saw a guy that looked the part but was questionable on a few core conservative issues, including but not limited to the Second Amendment, abortion, and a free market approach to health care. When I look back over the past year, however, I see a guy who came into the race knowing what he was supposed to believe in, then spent every day of every week since driving around the country, shaking hands, listening to stories and concerns, and connecting with the American people. It seems to me like he came out on the other end knowing what he indeed does believe in, not just what he was supposed to think.
I know a little about such transformations, as I was a liberal democrat back in 2000.
Romney argues his positions with passion and gets frustrated when the message does not come across, or is largely ignored by his competitors. Somewhere along the way, he went from a guy who may have believed in certain ideals but never saw them in practice to a guy who deeply knows why conservatism is the true and only path to American prosperity. His transformation seemed to me to be not so much a flip-flop as a solidification of ideals already in place.
On the other side, however, is Sen. John McCain. Being held prisoner and being tortured by a ruthless enemy absolutely makes an American hero, but it does not necessarily make a conservative, and it certainly does not warrant instantaneous qualification for perhaps the most difficult and weighty job on the planet.
I cannot pull the lever in the Republican Primary for John McCain and, at the risk of sounding like an overbearing prick, I don’t think any of you should, either. Here’s why:
The next President of the United States will be in the position of nominating two–and maybe three–Supreme Court justices. Inherently insulated from the ebb and flow of politics and Washington, the Supreme Court is in the unique–and sometimes unfortunate–position of shaping almost every element of our lives, our culture and our country. We need to ensure that those who are nominated to that bench respect the United States Constitution enough to interpret it as strict and narrowly as possible — recently, we have been dealing with justices that look at their position as one endowed with the right to legislate from the bench and not merely interpret the Constitution with regard to the matter at hand.
While I certainly do not want the likes of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to select the judges to fill the robes of Ginsburg and Breyer, the idea of John McCain picking the nominees is not much better — and could actually get worse.
- John McCain does not understand the Constitution. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill and the restrictions it placed on political speech showed either a clear misunderstanding of or blatant disrespect for the First Amendment. As it stands now, a crucifix soaked in urine and displayed as art qualifies for protection under the First Amendment, while advertisements made by Wisconsin Right to Life in July 2004 to encourage fellow Wisconsin residents to contact Democratic Senators Herb Kohl and–SURPRISE!–Russ Feingold to oppose the filibuster of President Bush’s federal judicial nominees ran afoul of McCain’s Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002. I don’t want a man with such a misunderstanding of the First Amendment picking life-term-serving justices for the highest court in the land.
- McCain could actually be more dangerous in this respect than Clinton or Obama, as any judge nominated by the latter two would be placed under immediate scrutiny by congressional Republicans, while McCain’s such nominees may go through easier because Republicans may be hesitant to not support their Republican president. His inclusion of Warren Rudman among his closest advisors is especially worrisome, as Rudman was behind George H.W. Bush’s nomination of David Souter. The Supreme Court is crucial, and I don’t trust John McCain as its steward. As I said a few days ago, a wolf in sheep’s clothing can get closer to and kill more sheep.
Prosecuting the Global War on Terror
When many voters approach the inside of the voting booth, they think of the president’s role as Commander-in-Chief. Understandably, many voters cast their votes for president based upon who they believe will best lead the country’s armed forces. Equally as understandable–but wrong–is the idea that Sen. McCain’s previous military experience will automatically qualify him as the best candidate out there for effectively prosecuting the Global War on Terror. While certainly more qualified than, say, Cynthia McKinney, the heroics, patriotism and heart displayed by McCain 30 years ago are admirable but have little or no bearing on the current conflict.
Yes, a good offense is the best defense, but fighting these Islamic animals involves more than simply staying on the offense overseas. We cannot fight a war to protect our front door while our back door swings wide open. John McCain’s indifference toward border security, his hope to close Guantanamo Bay and bring the terrorist prisoners into American courts, and his absolute restriction on interrogation techniques regardless of context all makes me wonder if he is prepared to fight this war with the intensity that it deserves and requires.
It’s the Economy, Stupid
McCain has already admitted–twice–that he does not know as much about the economy as he should. He does, however, have Alan Greenspan’s book, so that’s worth something.
The truth is, I’m not incredibly well-versed on the economy, either. I do know, however, that lower taxes bring in more revenue and that any tax cuts need to be done across the board, as it is the vilified “wealthy” that build businesses, create jobs, and invest in our economy.
John McCain, however, does not understand the merits of a reduced tax burden. He was one of only two Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cuts, and as recently as December 27, 2007 said that he wouldn’t think twice about voting against them again. Conveniently, he changed his tune over the past month, and now says that the tax cuts should be made permanent. Regardless, we need someone in the White House who understands how the American and the Global economy works, how they intertwine and how one feeds off of the other. We need someone in office that understands that the record tax revenues seen in the United States are a direct result of the Bush tax cuts. John McCain is not that man.
Supporting and even boosting the economy also involves facilitating the best from this country. Playing into the hands of the Al Gore crowd and advancing federal mandates with regard to American corporations and greenhouse gas emissions would render the international playing field extremely tilted, leaving China and India to expand their economies AND pollute the planet while our own economy languishes in clean air. We do not have definitive proof that the global warming phenomenon is actually man-made, yet John McCain is ready, willing and able to work with the tax-and-spend liberals on the left to enact new environmental legislation which would cripple our economy and make only negligible conservational strides.
Problem at the Border
McCain championed a thankfully-failed bill which compromised our security, signed away our sovereignty, jeopardized our culture, our economy and our healthcare and educational systems, and allowed for people whose very first action in this country was to break our laws to jump ahead of those who have lived their lives waiting to do everything necessary to legally become American citizens.
Sam Fain’s most recent contribution to America’s Right does a phenomenal job explaining the intricacies of this despicable piece of proposed legislation. I myself can no longer write or think about it for more than a few minutes before becoming extremely frustrated. The mere idea that, in a time when our economy is teetering on the edge and when we are faced with the single-greatest threat that we have perhaps ever seen, we have legislators like Sen. McCain who has no problem whatsoever with undermining everything that a sovereign nation stands for, just absolutely makes my blood boil.
Stand Up for Your Beliefs
I know that I’ve been extraordinarily critical of Sen. McCain, but this is the primary, the time when people must stand up for what they believe in out of hope that the party and the country can be turned in the right direction. If Republicans want to see the GOP move toward the center, where the basic rights afforded to Americans by our Creator are undermined and up for sale and compromise, where the state of our economy takes a back seat to government greed and empty environmental theory, where activist judges can ignore the intent of our founding fathers and legislate from the bench, where our borders are open to any and all who want to come here for reasons both wholesome and sinister, and where political correctness governs how well we prosecute the war against those who want us dead — then McCain is your man.
He is certainly not mine.