Austin Hill

Did you hear the news about John McCain being so closely associated with the conservative right, than he alienated some Democrats and Independents?

I know, I know. The notion of McCain being “too conservative” just doesn’t fit with the headlines and the stereotypes. And given that America’s most politically influential Evangelical Christian, Dr. James Dobson, has stated that he will never vote for John McCain, it just doesn’t make sense that the Senator would have any association or connection with social conservatives at all.

But I’m headquartered in McCain’s home state of Arizona (the capitol city of Phoenix, no less), and I’ve been covering McCain in both local and national media for nine years. I can assure you that there are a few details about his “conservatism” most people around the country have either forgotten, or have never known about.

The frustrations among fiscal conservatives over McCain’s unwillingness to support President Bush’s tax cut proposals are quite widely known. I was frustrated at that time, as well, given that McCain was (and still is) representing me in the Senate. It’s such a rare thing when the President and a majority in the Congress actually agree that cutting taxes is a good and noble thing, and to think that my Senior Senator - - my Republican Senator, no less - - was voting against it, was repugnant.

McCain’s stated argument against the “Bush tax cuts” was that, in his view, any reduction in tax revenues should be accompanied by a corresponding cut in federal spending. I don’t agree with this argument. I think it’s just fine to “starve the beast” of government - - spending will necessarily have to be reduced sooner or later.

But McCain is the Senator, and I am not. And while I didn’t like they way he voted on this issue, it’s difficult to say that his arguing for “fiscal restraint” in the Congress wasn’t warranted - - even “way back then.”

What fiscal conservative could say that they are not sickened by the spending behaviors of both the President, and the Congress, for most of the Bush presidency? McCain’s stand on fiscal restraint is, unfortunately, a minority position among both Republicans and Democrats. Yet it is one that is part and partial to being a “fiscal conservative,” and Republicans would do well to heed Mr. McCain’s call for fiscal discipline.

But while I understand the “McCain pain” among many fiscal conservatives, I’m a little less understanding of the attitudes towards McCain emanating from many social conservatives. Throughout his career in public office, Mr. McCain has always been unapologetically “pro-life,” and has always insisted that “marriage” is defined as relationship between one man, and one woman.


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.