A while back, I admitted that John McCain was not among my three favorite candidates for the Republican nomination. But I went on to say that if he emerged as the standard bearer for the GOP, he would get my vote. And to tell you the truth, I don’t feel I’ll have to bite the bullet in November so much as maybe gum it a little bit.
Needless to say, I have been hearing from a great many conservative hardliners. Among the things they’ve called me are sell-out, traitor, closet liberal and a mole for the Democrats. When a few of them settled for calling me a fool or an idiot, it almost felt like a compliment.
When you write what you honestly believe, you have to expect to raise occasional hackles. After all, I know very well that when I write about the sad fact that 80% of my fellow Jews can be counted on to vote for any cretin so long as he or she has a (D) after their name on the ballot, I can count on receiving a fair number of e-mails questioning my legitimacy and several more condemning me as a self-hating Jew. I also know that if I write a piece in which I defend Israel’s right to defend itself against Arab terrorists, I fully expect to be called a (expletive deleted) Zionist.
The thing that surprised me about the responses from those who hate McCain and who therefore hate me for insisting that there are meaningful differences between him and Obama/Clinton is how little sense they make. For instance, many people have taken me to task for not recognizing that McCain won all those primaries because Democrats crossed over to vote for him. In case they didn’t notice, the Democrats were a great deal more interested in their own hotly contested primaries than they were in ours. How many liberals did they really think were less concerned with the fight between the white woman and the black man than they were in whether McCain or Huckabee was our standard bearer? Frankly, I haven’t met one such person.
Then there were those Neanderthals who insisted they’d stay home in November or even vote for the Democrat in order to send a message to the GOP. These galoots seem to be stuck in a time warp. I tried my best to point out that it’s been a long time since a few big city bosses went into a smoke-filled room and emerged with a presidential candidate. In one primary after another, McCain took on and defeated all the Republican contenders. It was like watching Joe Louis in the old days, dispatching the likes of Tony Galento and Tami Mauriello on a regular basis, while barely breaking a sweat.
Worse yet, these disenchanted Republicans have to pray that the Democrat’s administration will be as awful as Jimmy Carter’s was, and that, come 2012, a Reagan clone will ride his white steed straight into the White House. How silly can you be? First, you have to hope that, with a sagging economy, gas at $3.40 a gallon, and the constant threat of Islamic terrorism, things will get even worse for America. Next, you have to hope that there is another Reagan out there. If there is, I’d like to know where he’s been hiding.
I say it pays to remember that the first, best thing that Ronald Reagan did before turning his attention to inflation and unemployment, even before pounding the final nail into the Soviet coffin, was defeating the smarmy disaster known as Jimmy Carter.
So, first things first. If the single greatest accomplishment John McCain performs is to keep Mr. Obama, the slogan-spouting radical, and Mrs. Clinton, the woman who never met a tax she didn’t want to raise, out of the White House, we’ll all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.
To sum up my position in the form of a bumper-sticker: Better an Imperfect Republican Than a Perfect Socialist.