My somewhat dated article
I wrote an endorsement of McCain about a month ago for my school paper. It is more geared toward the General Election:
In the last On the Edge, an op-ed author stated that although he is supporting John McCain, this year’s election is insignificant. Given my numerous problems with the state of American Politics, I understand his cynicism. However, I am writing in to show the viewpoint that millions of Americans have, that McCain’s candidacy is reason for optimism.
As a young fighter pilot serving in the Vietnam War, McCain was shot down and tortured by his captors. In a famous incident, the prison guards intended to show a Christmas service for the POWs for propaganda purposes. To ruin the effect, McCain repeatedly yelled, “Fuck You!” To McCain, they weren’t worth the dignity of a Patriot’s response.
McCain derives his value of honor from his family’s long record of military service. He talks of a conviction to “serve a cause greater than one’s self-interest”. Although the conservative Arizona senator may believe in the dignity of the individual, he is certainly driven by the common good.
John McCain is a conviction politician. He was an early critic of Bush and Rumsfeld’s failed strategy in Iraq. His outspokenness led to the “surge” strategy of sending reinforcements to Baghdad and the greater Anbar region. This is seeing violence decrease in the country.
His conviction is shown through his reputation as political maverick. He went to Iowa and criticized ethanol and corn subsidies. He went to Michigan and said that Detroit’s automobile jobs “aren’t coming back.” He said the same thing about South Carolina’s textile mills. South Carolina’s use of the Confederate Flag was opposed by McCain leading shady radio ads to slam him. And he of course went to Wisconsin to criticize milk subsidies.
When others flapped their gums about bipartisanship, John McCain was right in the middle of the big compromises. The Senator sponsored a historic bill with Joe Lieberman for a cap-and-trade approach to climate change. As Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee McCain led the investigation into corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff whose clients were mostly Republicans.
During the heated judicial-filibuster debate, McCain was part of the “gang of 14.” This consisted of 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans. The Democrats were assured that the filibuster would stay and the President would consult the Senate on his nominees. The Republicans were assured that the deal was tentative hinging on the agreement of Democrats to only filibuster under extreme circumstances, and the confirmation of Bush’s 3 more controversial picks that had been held up previously. McCain was part of several bipartisan Immigration compromises to deal with the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
As someone who physically bears the scars of torture, John McCain opposes the Bush Administration’s legalization of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” In other words- waterboarding, putting someone into stress positions while stripping them naked, and hypothermia. I am grateful that John McCain will end this policy that has gone a long way to harm America’s honor. McCain will stand up for limited government by opposing Bush’s more egregious expansions of the executive branch like the warrantless wiretapping program.
I am optimistic about a President McCain. This is a man who has not been afraid to challenge his party to do the right thing. There is no one in American Politics like John McCain. Given his remarkable character, McCain could do great things as President.