Voting for McCain

I believe that one should be able to articulate why one is voting for a candidate, not against another. I call the latter "negative voting" and, in the end, I think it's harmful to the political process. (Just why is an essay for another day.) Even if one decides to vote for Candidate A because she'll do less damage than Candidate B, that's still a positive reason, albeit a sad one.

With that in mind, I set out to explain why I support John McCain, not just oppose Barack Obama. But the ever-incisive Charles Krauthammer beat me to it and said it better than I ever could:

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis — indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

My main concern is foreign affairs. We're in the midst of World War IV, a multi-generational struggle against a jihadist Islam that wants nothing less than our submission or destruction. Tinhorn dictators the world over are seeking nuclear and other horrific weapons to threaten us and our allies. Great powers such as Russia and China are becoming more and more aggressive and threatening to the liberal international order we thrive in. Outside of a small circle of like-minded liberal democracies, the world is a dangerous place, existing in a Hobbesian state of nature — bellum omnium contra omnes.

Does that scare you? It should.

In such a world, of the candidates we have to choose from, there is no other reasonable choice. I want John McCain.


3 Responses to Voting for McCain

  1. John H. (Shikoku) says:

    Charles Krauthammer is my hero. Everything he writes is simply golden in my eyes.

  2. Matt Goodman says:

    “I want John McCain.”
    But since you live in California, your vote does not count.

  3. Phineas says:

    Well, yes and no. I expect the Golden State to stay blue, but I can still contribute to the popular vote total. If Obama does win an Electoral squeaker, I’d like to see McCain win the popular contest.
    Anything to counter any claim of a mandate for Hopenchange.

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