At the Saddleback Forum, you could see a clear distinction between the golden boy, Barack Obama, and the grumpy old man, John McCain. The only problem was . . . Barack’s gold was flaked and thinning and McCain’s grumpiness gently morphed into a strength of character and integrity that he has not shown this entire campaign. The short, direct answers to tough questions, when taken out of context, could have been perceived as being curt or a product of grumpiness. But when placed in the context of plain questions being asked of someone who wants to lead an entire nation, the simple responses were brilliant because they signaled resolve and gravitas. There was a depth of character that resonated with each response because you knew it was his heart, not his political head, answering the questions.
Barack on the other hand seemed irritated to have to answer tough questions without the drooling media covering his every gaff. He was off his game without notes or briefing papers and seemed ill-equipped to dig deep and respond from his heart. He was well-briefed, but briefing cannot compensate for lack of substance and foundational absolutes. His flowery rhetoric and non-answer sound bites just were not cutting it, and the crowd knew it.
When the old prospectors would be mining for gold, they would find fool’s gold that glittered on the outside but was dusty and unimpressive on the inside. There was no there there. But at the same time, they would occasionally come across a nondescript, brown, round rock, that when split open, would reveal a nest of crystallized gemstones. That is the new distinction that is slowly emerging as the dust settles around both candidates. Conservatives who in the past wrung their hands in frustration at the election choices, got a glimpse at the inside of McCain’s rough and blemished rock and saw the beauty of resolve, the sparkle of integrity and the refracted reflection of a man who has communed in the suffering of Christ.
How interesting that the choices in this election cycle should so wonderfully parallel not only the choices we have in life, but who we are as a nation. We have the glittery elite who foolishly believe the world revolves around them and we have the vast majority of Americans who quietly chip their lives out of granite blocks of humility, hard work, loyalty and perseverance. The outside of their existence might not look as exciting and glamorous as those who worship at the alter of appearance and fame, but their hearts are made of gold. Their hearts weep at the idea of an unborn child being ripped from its mother’s womb and they are vilified for this compassion.
When John McCain said that the time a human being should be given human rights equal to the rest of us was at conception, he separated himself from a legion of individuals who cringe at the idea of touching the sacred third rail of domestic politics . . . abortion. But what they don’t realize is that the numbers are on his side. There have been over 40 million abortions performed since 1972 which means that is about 80 million men and women who have been impacted by that choice. Add to that would-be grandparents, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles and friends, and you will see that every single person in this country has lost a friend or a relative to the ravages of abortion. But to speak out against this holocaust is a sacrilege to those who cower in the corners of political correctness while courage takes a stand.
John McCain might not glitter like the golden boy Barack Obama, but his substance and integrity are undeniable. The movie Being There, ends without us knowing if Chance wins the election or not, but it was clear, there was a point of sobriety that hit those who knew there was no there there and to elect him would be a disaster for the nation. Conservatives can prevent this disaster, by looking in the heart of the rock and making the right choice that could save lives.