Conservatives, liberals, and independents tend to have a different view of the world and all too often, pundits on the right and left end up preaching to the choir instead of putting out columns that make good sense to people who don't necessarily share our political views.
So today, I'd like to do something a little differently: I'd like to explain to the independents out there why they should want John McCain in the White House next year instead of Barack Obama.
Since most independents would probably acknowledge that McCain is more experienced than Obama, is more capable of handling a crisis, and has proven his bona fides as a bipartisan reformer, there's no need to go back over that well-traveled ground. However, what I would like to point out is that,
As Forrest Gump would say, (Obama is) "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get:" Paradoxically, one of the things that has helped Obama immeasurably is that his legislative record is so sparse that he has been able to simultaneously portray himself as different things to different groups of people.
All at once, he has been a doctrinaire liberal and a moderate, a radical anti-war candidate and a man who takes a pragmatic approach to foreign affairs, and a bipartisan senator who loves to reach across the aisle as well as a bitter partisan infighter who loves to fight Republicans. So, however you slice it, large numbers of Americans are destined to feel like they were misled when Barack Obama gets into office.
Who are those Americans going to be? I'd suggest that they're the people buying into the image of Barack Obama as some sort of reasonable, bipartisan moderate. If you judge Obama by his record (what there is of it), as opposed to campaign rhetoric, you'll find a candidate who is every bit as far to the left as Rush Limbaugh is to the right.
As Sarah Palin has said, this is a man who has been "palling around with terrorists" like Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn. He spent 20 years going to a radical, anti-white, anti-American church. He had the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate in 2007. In other words, this is a man who is comfortable on the farthest fringes of the American Left. Combine his radical views, his stunning lack of experience, and the rapidly shifting promises he has made during the campaign and it's extremely hard to predict exactly what he'd do and how far he would go if he gets into office. Given what we know about Obama, it would be far less risky to hand a teenage boy a bottle of whiskey and your car keys than it would be to hand Barack Obama the keys to the White House.
Giving the far Left your power of attorney, your pin number, and the keys to your house: Because our Founding Fathers designed a system of checks and balances to keep different branches of government from getting out of control, we don't typically have radical shifts in D.C. Usually different parties control the different branches of government or alternately, bad legislation can be stopped in the Senate, where the minority party has a lot of power.
Unfortunately, because the Republican Party in general and George Bush in particular have done such a lousy job over the last four years, the Democrats are going to have huge majorities in the House and Senate after the 2008 election and so if Obama gets in as well, the Democrats will essentially have carte blanche to do almost anything they want for at least two years.
Put another way, you may not like John McCain or the Republicans in Congress very much, but are you really willing to give Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama a blank check for the next two years? That's the situation we'll have if Barack Obama gets into office and it's why independent Americans who fear having the country radically shifted to the left would be wise to vote for John McCain.
”It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it”: Americans are sick and tired of spending our blood and treasure in Iraq -- and that's perfectly understandable. However, given all the money we've spent, the sacrifices our troops have made, the enormous importance of the conflict in the war on terror, and the staggering potential consequences if we lose (genocide, regional war), doesn't it make sense to make sure that we win?
Granted, because of the surge, which McCain supported and Obama opposed, the situation in Iraq has improved immeasurably. In fact, it has gotten so much better that it's not completely out of the question that Barack Obama could guide us to victory there. However, as Sarah Palin said of him,
"This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign."
Four years from now, it's unlikely that the United States is going to be taking significant numbers of casualties in Iraq or spending more than a fraction of what we do there today -- and that's no matter who the President may be. Since that's the case, shouldn't we at least be sure that we emerge victorious?
Come hell or high water, John McCain will do what it takes to win. He has essentially staked his entire political reputation on it. But, Barack Obama? The word "victory" never crosses his lips and he's setting a timeline that has the potential to hand over a war our troops have almost won to our enemies. If the American people allow politicians in Washington to steal a victory from our troops at this point, then future generations of Americans can and should damn us as utter fools.
Throwing good money after bad: The most disturbing thing about the 700 billion dollar bailout is not the fact that it rewards bad behavior, that it apparently didn't fix the problem, and that it dramatically increased the size of our national debt -- although those are all reasons the bailout should be condemned.
No, the biggest problem with the bailout is actually that Democrats in Congress, Barack Obama included, are refusing to acknowledge the root cause of the bailout, even though it's so obvious that they're doing skits about it on Saturday Night Live.
If Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress to demand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac give loans to bad risks in the name of "affordable housing," then we're going to be right back in the same place, bailing these banks out again in a few more years. In other words, if you want the exact same people in Congress who created the current bailout mess to create another one we're going to have to pay for somehow in five years, vote Barack Obama into office and that may be exactly what we get.
We don't have a debt because Washington doesn't tax enough; we have a debt because Washington spends too much: Many people have noted that the budget was balanced under Bill Clinton, but rocketed upwards under Reagan and George W. Bush. If you only have a superficial understanding of politics, that doesn't seem to make sense. After all, isn't it the Democrats who always want to hand out goodies while the Republicans always talk about fiscal responsibility?
Here's the little secret that explains that: primarily it is Congress, not the President, that ends up driving the size of the budget. So, folks, if we have more bailouts coming up in 2009 (and we do), the current group of Democratic big spenders in Congress adds to their margins (and they will), and Barack Obama, who is planning nearly a trillion dollars in new spending gets in, the deficit will take off like a space shuttle.
On the other hand, John McCain isn't a big spender. To the contrary, his reputation as a fiscal conservative has been one of the primary things that has kept conservatives on board who have disagreed with him on a host of other issues. Furthermore, John McCain wants to put an end to earmarks, has proposed a spending freeze, and has even set a goal of balancing the budget by 2012.
Now, honest question: since we're putting our children's financial future on the line -- who do you think will do a better job of controlling spending under those circumstances? Here’s a hint: it isn’t the guy who wants to spend enough to bankrupt 57 states.