by Gary Fouse
One of my regular co-respondents (who almost always disagrees with me), challenged me recently to write a piece on John McCain explaining why he should be elected. Since I have written so many negative pieces on his opponent, I was also challenged to focus only on McCain's attributes as opposed to bashing his opponent. I did not support McCain in the primary, and I don't agree with all of his positions. I am not altogether sure I would find him to be a likable sort if I ever came to know him. None of that, however, disqualifies a candidate from getting my vote. I will definitely be voting for McCain in November.
In terms of a life long resume, McCain has an impressive one. There are not too many people in this world that can claim the mantle of "hero"-even from one's enemies. McCain served his country more than just honorably in the Viet Nam war as a pilot, who was nearly killed in the USS Forrestal accident and then when he was shot down over Hanoi and spent over 5 years as a POW subject to constant abuse and torture. As a POW, he actually refused an offer of release from his captors, who wanted to cash in on the fact that McCain's father was a top admiral. Following the code of honor, he would not leave the prison before other captives who had been imprisoned longer. Even from other veterans, McCain is a person to look up to. (McCain eventually retired from the Navy.)
In terms of political experience, McCain has served over two decades in Congress both as a congressman and US Senator. Agree or disagree, he does have a record of legislative accomplishments-often writing bills together with Senators from the other side of the aisle. In a Congress that has enraged many Americans with their petty bickering and mudslinging, McCain has tried to bridge the gap. The above efforts have not always pleased his Republican colleagues in Congress, who have often felt that McCain did not toe the party on line on various issues. That tendency on McCain's part has led to the tag of "maverick".
One of McCain's biggest pluses is his promise to cut spending and fight earmarks. He has acknowledged that all of Congress has been corrupted as an institution by special interests. (McCain himself was touched by scandal in the Keating Five episode though many of his defenders still argue that his name was added to the group of politicians to be singled out because the rest were all Democrats. He was eventually cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee, but received a mild rebuke for exercizing poor judgement.) In terms of illegal immigration, while I am not sure how far he will go to crack down on the border problem, in recent months, he seems to have learned the public anger on this issue, yet, I feel he will handle the issue in a humane manner.
In terms of judgeships, which doesn't get enough attention, in my view, McCain will almost surely nominate judges who believe in the Constitution as opposed to shaping the law to their own liberal desires. It is McCain's stand on foreign policy that I really support. He will finish the war in Iraq with an aim for victory and a stable and friendly government in that beleaguered country. In the face of public impatience and frustration over Iraq, he has stood firm that we must win and continue to battle terrorists. Indeed, it was McCain who pushed for "The Surge" that has brought us close to achieving our goal of victory in Iraq. He recognizes the threat that is posed by Iran.
All in all, John McCain is one who is eminently qualified to be president of the United States. To me, he is the sound, sober choice to lead this country in such dangerous times.
Gary Fouse is a regular contributor to Radarsite with his popular and incisive Fouse Report