Terry Paulson

Why has McCain won the Republican nomination and why will he win the election in November? One word—Trust! I didn’t predict it. I didn’t even vote for him in our primary, but I’m coming to appreciate what I think a lot of Americans understood about this rock-solid patriot and public servant. At a time of economic and geo-political uncertainty, we want a leader we can trust. Even if you don’t always agree with John McCain, you can trust the man to do what he says!

An encore of the Clinton Years is a trust nightmare most Americans do not want. Hillary earned her negative trust numbers the old fashioned way by disappointing us over and over again. From her faulty memory on dodging sniper bullets in Bosnia and producing peace in Ireland to the past sudden appearance of Rose Law firm billing records, her actions have never engendered trust.

Barack Obama may be eloquent to some, but his trust account is already overdrawn. He promises to be a uniter, but where’s the evidence of ever producing on that promise. In the absence of a proven track-record, people look for ways to assess his judgment. His close associations with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the political rainmaker Tony Rezko, and Weather Underground leader William Ayers encourage more questions than trust. His campaign’s continuing and consistent mischaracterization of McCain’s “100 years in Iraq” comment do not match his promise to be a different kind of politician.

I have often disagreed strongly with John McCain. But as upsetting as John McCain can sometimes be to conservatives, his ability to take an unpopular stand and confront his own party is one of the things many respect the most. This man, who withstood years of captivity in a POW camp, is not afraid of a little criticism—giving it or receiving it. There’s no better sign of character than the ability to honestly confront one’s own party when you think it’s wrong. Whether it’s harping on Rumsfeld and calling for more troops on the ground, pushing for immigration reform or wielding the power of his gang of 14 in securing judicial appointments, this man can make waves.

In a recent talk in Pittsburgh, McCain provided some economic straight talk: “In so many ways we need to make a clean break from the worst excesses of both parties. For Republicans, it starts with reclaiming our good name—our good name as the party of spending restraint.” He promised a “top-to-bottom” review of federal spending and promised to veto any bill that earmarks money to pet projects of members of Congress. “That kind of careless spending of tax dollars is not change, my friends. It is business as usual in Washington, and it’s all a part of the wasteful and corrupt system that we need to end.”

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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