Why I’m voting for McCain

Published 12:47 pm Monday, October 27, 2008

I have experienced considerable concern, confusion, frustration, anger, and yes, even amusement, as I have read some of the comments in The Post-Searchlight regarding the present political climate surrounding the election of our next president.

As a general rule I am not a writer of “Letters to the Editor.” However, since I expect many readers have experienced some of the emotions I have felt, perhaps I can shed a little light on what appears to me to be a rather dark and gloomy situation.

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As I read and watch I am concerned that a large majority of voters in this country simply do not get it. At the present time they are caught up in an emotional revolt over the status of the economy, and they have forgotten all of the other times when we have been in a bad economy. Our economy has always righted itself and eventually improved, and it will do so again. Coupled with this emotional reaction over the economy are a majority of voters who are caught up in a fervor, which they can’t explain. They call it “change.”

And I ask, change what? They say we are going to change America. And I ask, in what way? The answer most often heard is that they want someone new and fresh in the White House. So, my response is that must mean someone who is not a politician. And then I get an answer something like, well no, we can’t get that, so we want a lot of stuff changed, and that is why I am voting for Obama.

What I get out of that is that our current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has allowed a man like Obama to grow up in this great country, get an outstanding education, raise fantastically large amounts of money, dominate the news, capture the news media, and win the Democratic nomination for president is a system that is all wrong.

The answer is, no, no that part of the system is OK, we just need a lot of change. And so it goes. We need change we can believe so they say. And I would like to know what change that is. So far, no one has answered. Thus I am concerned that vague proclamations of change do not hold any promise for me.

Whenever I hear folks say they are voting for Obama because he is going to change things they never tell me what he is going to change. Just that he is going to change a lot of “stuff.” All I seem to hear is change, change, change. So far I have not heard one single person, whether politician, political pundit, or anyone else, tell me distinctly, forthrightly, and convincingly why Senator Obama is qualified to be president of the United States and commander-in-chief of our armed forces.

So far all I have heard is that he is going to implement a lot of change. The change that I have heard is that he is going to raise taxes on rich people (without a clear definition of who those people are), that he is going to raise taxes on corporations (which means that all of the goods and services those corporations provide are going to cost more), that he is going to surrender in Iraq, and that he is going to provide health care for everyone.

I continue to ask, what qualifies the man to be president? That he is a brilliant orator, has a convincing smile, and talks about change. Change what?

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Now I have a question for everyone. Where were you and what were you doing five and a half years ago. Maybe starting a new job. Maybe finishing school. Maybe just married. Maybe a newborn child. That child is now almost six years old. Whatever your situation, five and a half years is a good piece of time. That is how much time John McCain spent in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp (1967 to 1973).

He was offered early release as a public relations stunt and refused it. As a result he suffered beatings and torture that most of us cannot even imagine. How many of us have such strength of character? If we were locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country and were offered our freedom would we turn it down in favor of our fellow man? John McCain did. I believe that is a quality of character that one rarely finds in this day and age. That singular act defines the man John McCain.

Over the past many years several presidential candidates, and even some presidents, have had questionable or non-existent military service. But no one can denigrate the integrity and moral courage of McCain. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy and had a distinguished career. His son is currently serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq. Barack Obama is fond of saying, “We honor John McCain’s service … BUT…” That to me condescending and offensive, because what I am hearing is, “Let’s forget this man’s sacrifice for his country, and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change.”

I certainly do not agree with McCain on everything. As a matter of fact, I violently disagree with some of his stances. But I am certainly convinced that he is immensely more qualified to be president than is Obama.

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It is time that all of we silent Americans take a stand. It is time for everyone who is a “thinking” American to say, “Enough!” It is time for people of all political persuasion to stop following the party line. It is time for all Americans who want to keep America first, and who want the right man leading this great nation, to start a dialogue with their friends and neighbors and ask who they are voting for, and why.

Most Americans who have lived for very long know that there is a lot of evil in the world. What we have seen in the past few months should make that readily apparent. When we are faced with evil, as we are now, we should want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. As for me I want a man who puts my family’s interests before any foreign country.

I want a president who is qualified to lead. That man is John McCain. I want my country back. That is why I am voting for John McCain.

John Cunningham Bainbridge, Ga.