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.