Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Conservatives MUST Back McCain

All onliners who want to know how to help John McCain should go to an important resource: On that site, Kathy Morrison has many suggestions on how you can help build you own small (or large!) coalitions for Senator McCain. I'll review some of her points here on Monday -- with specific emphasis on New Jersey. Hope you all had a great weekend!

NOTE: For those of you interested in the Republican Veepstakes, take a look at Sunday's piece by super-columnist Jack Kelly. He likes both Chris Cox, former congressman and current head of the SEC, and Mitt Romney. You can find Jack's column at: Scroll down to his name. (My guess is that Romney will get the nod, partly because of his electoral strength in his home state of Michigan.)

For Sunday and Monday, I'll be reprinting Larry Perrault's fine essay on why conservatives need to support John McCain. My comments will appear at the bottom of Larry's piece, which you can find at:

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 misrepresentations. 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.

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