Sunday, March 2, 2008

PUTTING ASIDE IDEOLOGY TO VOTE FOR McCAIN


I have always considered myself to be a conservative. In fact, I would describe myself as a hard-core Republican. I first voted in the 1972 election for Nixon. I was in the military, in fact, I just returned from a Southeast Asian vacation, all expenses paid by the US Government. I thought then, and I think now, that we needed to either win the war or leave. It was apparent in 1972 that we were looking for a way out. Operation Linebacker and later Linebacker II, were nothing more than feeding more and more GIs into the meatgrinder in an effort to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table. I was appalled by the government's policy.

You then should ask yourself why I voted for Nixon. McGovern had stated that he would immediately withdraw the troops from the theater. While I and my colleagues were happy to hear that, we also understood that he was pandering to us. We were the ones who had been there and we saw that to pull out without finishing the mission would dishonor all who had paid the ultimate price. That may sound a little naive, but it is how we felt. How can I say "we?" McGovern got crushed in the election. We of all Americans got it.

For those who use Reagan's name to say that we should engage our enemies, I have some news for you. This isn't the Cold War. The Soviets were a lot like us in that they didn't want the destruction of the world. They wanted to dominate the world, that's for sure. But they also understood that if they were complicit in the destruction of the world in the process, everybody lost. The Cold War was a battle of ideals. Thankfully, the US won and our ideals are those of most of the world.

However, the difference then and now is stark. Our enemies now are of an incredibly different type. Unlike the Soviets, the Islamic extremists aren't about anything but making the rest of the world bend to their will by any means necessary. All you have to do is look at the fact that suicide bombers, and beheadings are their form of political speech. My question is this: How do you think that you are going to talk to these people, and be able to converse on some kind of human level?

History is a good lesson in how you should deal with foreign leaders. Let's take Woodrow Wilson for an example. He was an idealist who felt that if you get people together to talk out their differences you can save the world. That thought is very attractive. Attractive, but very misguided. That thought was thankfully rejected by the Senate. Article 10 of the League of Nations stated that an attack on one member was an attack on all members. George Washington was right in his Farewell Address when he counseled that America should avoid "entangling alliances." America should, as a country, act in its own interest. There are countries on who conversation is lost. These people are not someone that you can talk to. As much as Obama and Clinton want to portray these people as ones that you can engage in a dialogue, these people can not be engaged in a constructive dialogue. They respect bombs and beheadings. They deny that the Holocaust occurred. They think 9/11 was an inside job. They are convinced that blowing yourself up and killing innocent people is a political statement. Are you kidding me?

I don't want some starry-eyed idealist, or a political opportunist to be my president in these times. I want a president that understands that the world is populated by some scary people who only understand a resolute realist. As President Bush said, "I don't give a damn about polls." That's what we need at this time in history. In other words, we need someone who has felt the fire. We need someone who has been in the battle. The only candidate who fits that bill is JOHN McCAIN.

12 comments:

texbookie said...

Your thoughts on the reality of the situation mirror mine. As much as I would want a "conservative" candidate to pull the lever for in November, I don't see one and this is no time to let the country be put into the hands of "appeasers."

The mentality of the general public in 2008 reminds me sadly of the climate during the Vietnam War. No one sees the implications of not standing up for principles and believe that enemies can be coerced like children into "playing nice."

I am just glad that the farmer-soldiers of 1776 did not share the present day mentality and lack of conviction.

nunoftheabove

Donald Douglas said...

Great essay!

The first thing I noticed is your honorable and appreciated service to country. That just adds a lot of credibility to all of our debates these days.

Thanks for that.

Also, I like your analysis of the nature of our present enemy. I wouldn't let the Soviet off too lightly, however; they did kill millions of their own citizens in the Stalin years, and had the U.S. not contained them, the iron grip of totalitarianism may have spread over the world. The Soviets were considerably more rational as a nation-state actor of course, and Marxist-Leninist ideology counseled two steps forward and one-step back. They believed that one day the world correlation of forces would allow for the total annihilation of capitalism, and of course the U.S.

So I'm glad that's over.

But as for the Islamists. I regularly post on the culture of death I see, and I have a particular quibble with those who call Islam a religion of peace. It's not. Their doctrines clearly call for the elimination of infidels and challengers to Islam. There may be secular moderate Muslims who renounce those teaching, but it's not the Wahhabis or Shiite radicals who are doing it. Iran's backing any old Islamic cell it can, in Lebanon or Palestine, to continue the devil's destruction of Israel, who is a proxy for the West.

I think McCain's the best to fight these challenges. Even he's not perfect, of course, and he's got a weary public to deal with, but by no means are our challenges over now that the surge looks to succeed.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on your excellent post!

Don, American said...

But the lies about McCain are already starting : The non-existent mistress, and the phony native-born American smokescreen. Democrats have no shame.

By the way, do you want to have some fun? My post today (3/2) is a complete fabrication. Do you think we can get somebody to believe it. Ideas welcome.

Average American said...

Hey Teacher! When did I give you permission to read my mind?? Fantastic post. 100% right on!!

I think McCain is to soft on illegal immigration but aside from that, I feel comfortable with where he fits in the liberal/conservative chart. He is more moderate than he is trying to portray himself these days, but, that is exactly why I like him so much. The 2 sides have become so far apart over the last 30 years that it is a wonder that anything gets done. Maybe the next 4 years will see actual progress in our beloved country.

Joe

P.S. I just recently started a blog which I hope you find time to visit. Thanks for a great post!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Since this is a teaching blog, let's put this into teacher speak. We have three most popular students before us who want to lead the class. One has a grade of 83/100 (B), one has a grade of 17/100 (F), and one has a 0/100 (F-). While I would prefer to have an A student run things, the choice is pretty clear to me. I'll take a B student or two failing ones any day of the week.

Keep in mind people that chances are that at least one or two more supreme court openings will occur in the next two terms. Who exactly do you want to fill those openings?

Abdul-Rahim said...

And what will the winning of the Iraq war, whatever that is, help in America's quest for whatever it is that it is searching. Security? Plenty more Americans have been killed as a result of terrorist attacks on US soldiers in Iraq than in September 11. The Muslim world sees the death doll of civilians rising, regardless of any surge working the damage has been done and a much larger part are radicalised. How is America more secure?

Anyway, you said "Unlike the Soviets, the Islamic extremists aren't about anything but making the rest of the world bend to their will by any means necessary" How is that unlike the Soviets, or Americans, during the cold war. Look at the tactics employed in their own bilateral struggle for Africa.

Law and Order Teacher said...

America is more secure by virtue of the fact that there has not been a second 9/11. Now that is the function of a lot of things including more aggressive security measures, but also the decision to aggressively pursue its enemies.

As for the bilateral struggle for Africa between the US and Soviets that was second level at best. As evidence Cold Wars wars were fought in Vietnam and Korea, not in Africa. The Soviets chose to attack Afghanistan, not an African country. I am sure you are referring to CIA plots that allegedly fomented civil wars and the like. Again second level at best. The Cold War was fought on other battlefields. I have personal experience in this regard. Check out the Truman Doctrine and the Containment Policy.

As for the Iraq war radicalizing the Muslim world, please explain to me the outrage over cartoons and books about Islam. I submit the outrage was already there. We can disagree about the source of the outrage. The Iraq war is one of many reasons for any outrage. Please also explain violent riots in France, a country that absolutely refused to assist in the Iraq war and criticized the US for being there. I think the US would/will be criticzed for many things. A country has a right to defend itself. These radicals do not represent a country they represent an ideology. Here's hoping they don't succeed.

Thanks for the visit.

Texas Truth said...

I could not have said it any better myself. I have been talking to my students (mostly juniors and seniors) and they (almost universally) support Obama or Hillary.

When I start questioning them on why they support them, they cannot give clear answers.

Most of them are against abortion and raising taxes, are for a strong military and prayer in schools, and are against tax money for welfare.

I, of course, enlighten them as to their misconceptions.

As far as wanting to have a dialog with the terrorists, that cannot and will not happen.

These people (and I use that term loosely) have no respect for human life. That kind of mindset cannot be changed. They only understand force.

God help us if Obama or Hillary is elected President.

We need to get tough with anyone who is a threat to our way of life. I could not care less if other countries do not like our decisions. Being right is not always popular, but being right is better than being dead.

Thanks for an excellent post. Please keep up the fine writing.

The Griper said...

good afternoon all,

just a quick note to say that no one has to put aside his ideology to vote for McCain.

we should be voting for the best of those available to vote for. isn't that what we were taught to do when voting?

and ideology can be used to determine that. once, the best man has been elected, if the best man wins, then we can use our ideology as a determinant showing agreement or disagreemeent with issues supported or unsupported by the President.

Tapline said...

L&O teach, It seems we are of one voice here except for a couple. That's pretty good odds. I agree with your assessment of Vietnam. When I was there the only thing I heard about the Americans was I hope they dont leave us high and dry. We did. Orders came unfortunately from othere not in the line of fire. much like Iraq where we get from the warped press what they want us to hear, half truths and misguided information. Rules of Engagement and other orders are coming from the pentigon not the theater, and another war run by politicians ( a little pressure and we will change our rules of war)except now we have the blogs that help keep the politicians and left wing news somewhat honest. As far as the Isamofascist are concerned. We reap what we sow. History is not being taught in the schools and what is is warped makeing America responsible for all the ills of the world. Our children are not aware of the other religions of the world and unfortunately are not even taught our own nations heritage on a Judeo-Christian foundation God forbid it should be mentioned in a public school. They are not aware that an Arab will not shake hands with his left hand. nor eat with his left hand.( I wonder what happens if one is left handed>???)I ramble......This last is a real long term problem and unless a reformation is forthcoming, I'm afraid we are in for a rude awakening and like you I feel McCain knows the score, whether or not he will do something, if he gets in ????time will tell......stay well....

Law and Order Teacher said...

Griper,
Thanks for the visit. Your point is well taken. I was actually pointing that those who say they can not vote for McCain because their ideology will not let them, actually will do great harm to this country by facilitating the election of one of the Dems. To stand on principle as a reason to sit out the election is really destructive. I respect disagreement with McCain, I have many, but we must look at the long range implications of this election.

Again, thanks for the visit. I'll your site an everyday stop.

Law and Order Teacher said...

tapline,
I hope McCain is the answer. I don't feel that our shared experience gives us any greater insight than others, therefore McCain is not infallible on military/foreign affairs. But I tremble at the thought of either Dem as CINC. We will cede our right and duty to protect ourselves as it is clouded in a fog of misapprehensions of the left. A president who acts as a weather vane, or wets his finger to find the wind, will make judgements based on public popularity not national security. I suggest anyone read Edmund Burke's "Speech to the Electors of Bristol" in order to understand the trust and duty of elected representatives. My AP US History students read it and their understanding is comforting. Some of our elected officials should be so intelligent. Thanks for the visit.