It’s fairly clear and well documented that conservatives are in a crisis state this election. Since we’re generally in a crisis state every election, this is nothing new. This is one blogger who is tired; tired of the neverending repetitive news articles about this, that, or the other thing they wrote about last month or the month before and dusted off and reworded to present to us this month as NEWS, all of which are designed to distract us from the real problems, the problems that are going to affect our daily lives for generations to come.
I ramble so let’s get back to the title of this article: conservative concerns. The Republican nominee is John McCain. His supporters and the Republican leadership are spending an inordinate amount of time with talking points designed to “sell” this candidate to a large segment who would rather the nominee was anybody but McCain. The reaction to his “apparent nominee” status was imediately visceral and dismaying; not just mine but across the segment of the Republican party that is filled by conservatives.
While McCain’s voting record has a lifetime rating of 83.2 with the American Conservative Union, there’s still something wrong with the picture of McCain as President of the United States and it is has not been easy to put into words.
You see, McCain has an inability to see the bigger picture. He supports legislation that is “supposed” to do this or that thing without thinking about the long term effects of any part of that legislation. Long term effects is a conservative concern of the highest priority. This is beyond personal or traditional values that many like to center upon. Those are as individual as the individuals themselves. None of us are ever going to agree 100% with any other on any number of issues; not even husbands and wives.
It is his faults combined with this inability that make him an undesirable candidate because they become all the more crucial and concerning to staunch conservatives. It is this situation that none seem able to address in any way to calm those concerned. Given the inability to address the concerns, one has turned pessimistic.
Given our choices for November, I may well have to vote for McCain as the better alternative but I’m not happy about it and I doubt that will change between now and then. It might but not without some real “straight talk” from those who have chosen to ignore the big issues in favor of talking points that say little to nothing but allow one to infer whatever floats their boat in lieu of profound disappointment when they later find that no such thing was meant.
I prefer the big picture view. I take what information is given and try to extrapolate to all possible outcomes before making a decision. In this world of immediate results versus long term effects, I suppose I’m an anachronism, when it seems the world turns on immediate gratification regardless of future consequences.
Let’s look at some talking points via a memo reported upon at The Politico. (Note: the article used addresses an issue that might be of interest to you but we’ll stick to the talking points for this article.):
NATIONAL SECURITY: John McCain will stay on offense to defeat the threat of radical Islamic extremism. The Democrats have demonstrated no resolve to defeat this threat.
· McCain had the judgment and courage to call for a change in strategy in the war in Iraq — a strategy that is now succeeding. He has vigorously supported Gen. Petraeus’ successful strategy, while the Democratic candidates continue to call for retreat.
While radical Islamic extremism is an vitally important issue and enormous threat, it’s not the only threat this nation faces nor is it faced only within the Middle East where the war is being conducted. It’s here in this nation and flowing over our insecure borders; a threat that McCain consistently ignores as he chooses to fight against enforcement of our immigration laws.
TAXES AND SPENDING: John McCain will get our economy back on track by cutting taxes, spurring investment and innovation and ending wasteful spending in Washington.
· McCain will cut taxes and stop the outrageous wasteful spending in Washington. McCain will make the Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminate the AMT, and cut taxes on American businesses to help our companies remain competitive. McCain will stop the wasteful and pork barrel spending and enforce the conservative vision of smaller government by vetoing any pork-barrel bill that comes across his desk.
He really doesn’t have the power to do this. He can influence or try to influence taxes and wasteful spending but if legislation is deemed needful and enjoys majority support he will be overridden on vetoes or be forced to sign it with earmarks intact. Oh, he may manage to reduce spending by some measure on legislation that can’t be overriden by Congress but a Congress addicted to earmarks,taxes, and spending for pet projects is likely to hold the upper hand on this issue. This is where “the people” should be working, not looking to government to do it for them. The people prevent this by using their votes wisely.
HEALTH CARE: John McCain will reform our health care system using free market solutions to reduce the skyrocketing costs that threaten to implode the system. McCain will provide all individuals with a refundable $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) as incentive to buy health insurance.
This is not necessarily a bad thing but his chances of pulling it off with the other factors (like taxes and spending) affecting issues are slim to none. It’s a carrot tied to the stick in front of the donkey. One also must wonder how McCain’s “war against drug companies” will tie into this.
TRADITIONAL VALUES: John McCain will protect our traditional values. McCain has a consistent 24-year pro-life record, and believes that Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that should be overturned. McCain believes that the institution of marriage should be protected and defined as a union between one man and one woman. John McCain will nominate strict constructionist judges to the bench.
Traditional values are more than Roe v Wade and the Marriage amendment. Both of these issues are tied to religious principles as are many other issues that define traditional values. Roe v Wade hasn’t been overturned in the 35 years since it became a defining moment in the right to life. There have been several Republican/Conservative presidents during that time. This is another carrot (or perhaps an apple). Instead of following the apple, I would rather we worked on making it irrelevant (making Roe v Wade irrelevant).
We can do that by educating our young and fighting the sexualization of minors in the educational system and through our communities by empowering people to expect more from their personal conduct than the expectations of a government always looking for the next victim class.
As for the other, I adhere to the biblical teaching of “judge not, lest ye be judged.” I cannot condone homosexual relations because of my beliefs nor will I engage in such because the bible expressly forbids such behavior. However, judgment upon those who do is in the hands of God, not me. This is one thing I believe should remain in God’s hands not those of the government. Men, being imperfect beings, are likely to mangle it and make the solution worse than the problem.
History is a double-edged sword at times. Every time we criticize McCain for his position on a particular issue, someone somewhere points to a time in our history where another president had a similar position and was allowed to fail. This is concerning that we nor our leaders seem to learn from history anymore. If another at another time failed with a similar position, should we give a free pass to someone else to make the same mistake? We learn from examples, both the successes and failures, as well as making and acknowledging our own mistakes. John McCain and his supporters show an unwillingness to learn from past mistakes and expect a clean slate to enable him to repeat the mistakes of the past.
If we treat our country and government in such a manner where is the continuity of government, for the people by the people, that most of us seek? If we do not learn from past mistakes and even past successes, history is doomed to repeat itself until the truth is told, used, and guides our footsteps into the future. Even our past successes can fail if we do not account for the adaptation of those who would see us fail in our endeavors. We cannot hold up the good and ignore the bad. Both must be acknowledged to inform our decisions and better ourselves as individuals and as a nation.
Where is the candidate who will “stand athwart history yelling, stop”? Where is the candidate who can see the bigger picture and can extrapolate from immediate gratifications to long term effects before making momentous decisions that affect every person in the nation? Where is the candidate who will learn from others’ mistakes and work to avoid making those same mistakes?