Kathryn Lopez

While I'll be voting for John McCain in the fall, I can understand why some conservatives might read this or listen to Howard's speech and pine for a time machine to go back to his prime ministership in Australia and take a political vacation in an ideological heaven. But that's not how politics works. And it's not all that bad here in the United States. McCain is a disappointment inasmuch as he is not a defender of all the values I hold dear. He has admitted that he doesn't care so much for the social issues that move me. We face fundamental challenges in our culture, and some presidential support wouldn't hurt. But here's another consideration: We won't be having these debates if we're dead. And on Sept. 11, 2001, the plane that went down in the fields of Pennsylvania was headed for one of the very places where we have these debates, where policy is carved out in Washington, D.C. McCain has been a stalwart defender of the surge policy in Iraq. So even if I wanted another candidate, I can rally to McCain -- particularly if he teams himself up with an experienced leader with a devotion to the issues I care about.

As Howard put it, "the battle of ideas is never completely won and must always command both our attention and our energy." This is where we can come together. McCain, I suspect, has realized it. Conservatives will realize it. A conservative vice president might help us all get along. That, and the sound of surrender coming from the Democratic Party.

And if you need an extra boost, McCain, get John Howard supporting you.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.