Getting Political

Posted by on Nov 3, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I rarely discuss politics here. But on the eve of this much anticipated election, I wanted to voice my support for the candidate I will vote for. And offer a little insight as to why I support him. And remember, regardless of who you support get out there tomorrow and vote!

Why I will vote for John McCain on November 4th:

“I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.”

~John McCain, 2008

When the returns started coming in, and results were being reported on Super Tuesday I found myself in a room full of Mitt Romney supporters. Josh Romney stood quietly in the back of the room watching the numbers. There was a sense of disappointment. A resignation that the Romney campaign was indeed at an end.

And yet, each of us was hopeful for what the future would bring. Whether that future was 2012 and another Romney candidacy, or 2008 and a McCain presidency, we did not know.

Over the course of the summer I quietly held my nose when it came to John McCain. He was no conservative’s conservative. I turned my attention to the Democratic primary, and thoroughly enjoyed watching Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama punch each other in the stomach.

It wasn’t until late in the summer, as the Republican National Convention approached, that I realized I needed to figure out why and how I was going to support McCain.

The candidate made it extremely easy, or easier, when he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. For all the vitriol and hatred and lies that have been spat out about Palin, she remains a classy, intelligent, sharp individual. She is no doubt, a conservative’s conservative. And in every way, qualified to have her name on the Presidential ticket.

But there was still that issue of McCain himself. His campaign of reaching across the aisle was tiresome. And ineffective. I wanted to see him stand for the very principles that allowed the United States to rise from obscurity into the greatest nation in the history of the world. I wanted to hear more about personal liberty and responsibility. I wanted to hear more about honor and freedom and all those other great words that Americans love.

In short, I wanted McCain to speak like Obama. I wanted to be inspired by a stump speech.

And then I realized that inspiring stump speeches, sloganeering, and millions of people chanting in unison will mean nothing when real leadership and when real experience are needed. Joe Biden may claim that Obama is unqualified, yet has “steel in his spine”. But Obama has never demonstrated that steel.

McCain has.

John McCain showed incredible courage as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He endured countless beatings and cruel torture. He put his fellow prisoners before his own desires. He knows what it means to sacrifice and suffer for freedom. And while being a prisoner of war is not qualification in itself to serve as President, it does speak volumes about the man’s character. His resolve, his love of country. Instead of returning home bitter and disillusioned, he returned determined, motivated, and willing to dedicate the rest of his life to fighting for freedom and democracy. He said at his Republican National Convention speech that,

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.”

While John McCain was enduring torture and brutality in a war prison, Barack Obama’s future mentors were home in the United States setting off bombs and encouraging young people to “kill their parents.”

The contrast is stark.

John McCain understands the realities of evil in the world. He lived through that evil for over five years. And as a United States Senator for the last 20 years he has witnessed firsthand the intent of our enemies, both home and abroad. He understands that it is only through military might that this country thrives and survives. He knows that any sign of weakness will lead to the emboldening of our enemies.

Something Joe Biden also understands. He warned us all that an Obama presidency would be met with an immediate crisis. A crisis that Obama would apparently, have no idea how to handle.

Not exactly inspiring words.

But my support for John McCain goes beyond his dignity and courage as a military man. It has become clear over the course of the recent weeks that McCain is determined to reform the Washington political machine. He is determined to root out the corruption that has caused the current credit crisis. Corruption that Obama has his fingerprints all over. He is determined to eliminate earmark spending, those pork barrel pet projects that inflate every bill they have ever poisoned. Billions and billions of dollars will be saved when pork projects are rejected. Billions that can be used to generate quality change, quality improvement.

It has become clear that McCain is ready to empower the individual citizen. John McCain has no delusions of “spreading the wealth.” He understands the very basic economic principle that the less government involvement in the free market, the more wealth is created. He understands that government handouts create a culture of dependency. Or, as Mitt Romney put it, “dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is culture killing. It’s a drug. We’ve got to fight it like the poison it is.”

John McCain will undo that poison of dependency. Barack Obama might know what it is like to accept a handout. But he also knows the fruits of independence. His grandparents sent him to the finest private schools. Using money they earned in the free market. Using money that came from their own hard work, not the innovation and productivity of others.

I support John McCain because he is anti-dependence. In fact, more so than any other issue or ideology or association, it is the dependency doctrine that sways my vote.

Barack Obama is the most dependency laden candidate since Jimmy Carter.

Personal liberty and responsibility are the reasons Joe the Plumber might one day own his own business. They are the reasons that you and I can someday own our own business. Or accept a six-figure corporate job, or become an organizer on the streets of Chicago.

John McCain absolutely understands this principle.

He understands the relationship between our national security and our dependence on our enemies for oil and gas. That same poison of cultural dependency applies to our energy policies. As long as we are sending billions of dollars to hostile regimes then we will always enable and abet them in their mission to destroy our way of life.

Barack Obama talks about energy independence. But has never once acted on behalf of it.

Americans declared their independence in 1776. Today we need to do declare it once again. This time not from the British, but from the idea that government is the solution to the challenges that face the United States. Our great successes and our greatest triumphs have always been because of the American individual.

John McCain knows this. Barack Obama resents it.

Today we need to declare our independence, not by using eloquence and inspiration. But by act

ing. By doing. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

And that is why I will be voting for John McCain in 2008.


  1. Ed
    November 3, 2008

    Very well written, thanks for that perspective.

    Go out and vote everyone!


  2. Ski Bike Junkie
    November 3, 2008

    “He understands the very basic economic principle that the less government involvement in the free market, the more wealth is created.”

    Really? Have you been watching what’s going on on Wall Street lately? Didn’t the Bush administration just socialize our banking system because the unregulated market got out of control? And didn’t McCain propose dealing with the housing bubble by putting an artificial floor under it? Interesting rhetoric about free markets, but there’s not a lot of foundation to it.

  3. StupidBike
    November 3, 2008

    You know how I feel, and I know no one will change our minds.

    But, did you wake up the day after the Democratic Convention to the news of Palin and think ‘Who?’

    Also, words inspire action, positive and forward thinking action.

    Faith without works is empty, if anything the action has already begun with involvement on either side.

    In the end, the platforms are not very different and what one administration has promised over the other will likely be very similar. The culture of blame and polarization HAS to END. For me it comes down to small things, like words.

  4. Corey
    November 3, 2008

    Well said, WELL SAID!!!
    I too had an issue with supporting McCain based on some of his previous legislative antics. But at the end of the day, as a Senator from the State of Arizona, he can say that he has done what his constituents asked of him. He has represented his state tenaciously, even in the face of what the rest of the Republican party thinks. I still disagree with some of the bills he has been involved with, such as McCain/Feingold, but I can respect him for being his state’s champion on Capitol Hill. Based on this, when he says “Country First” I believe him.

    As for Palin, a mother of 5 kids, one of whom is handicapped, and running a state as large as Alaska and rooting out corruption any place she finds it…that is exactly what this country needs. I can’t believe that more feminists aren’t on board with her. Isn’t this what they have always said they wanted? Could they have been lying to us about their real intentions for women all these years?

    Anyway, thanks for putting yourself out there and helping to cut through some of the lies perpetuated by the media and the Obama campaign. (sorry for that redundancy)

    As for me, I already voted for “McPalin” last week!

  5. MO7S
    November 3, 2008

    Regardless of how this turns out, the BEST news is the amount of voter interest and engagement this year, especially among younger voters – it bodes well for our democracy. I am a lifelong republican but I think the answer on the issues lies somewhere between the two candidates, so I am voting based on leadership qualities alone. While I really do admire McCain as a true American hero, I have seen Obama’s style to be more steady and inclusive. Even in the debates he repeatedly pointed out where he *agreed* with McCain – I think this is the sort of behavior that will be required to mend this nation. So for me it is not the issues, it is the approach.

  6. R
    November 3, 2008

    Adam, well said. I think you are wise and it is hard to put you in box; you quote Abbey and yet are very conservative on the things that matter. There are elements of the two platforms that are profoundly different and matter the most. I think you may be one rare few that understands the sacred. Life, marriage, children , friends, learning , and the earth are sacred gifts. Some lock on to one those, but you seem to connect to all. I am always a little better after reading your thoughts. Thank you.


  7. Emily
    November 3, 2008

    To each his/her own. I really respect your clear statement of why you are voting the way you do.
    Since I was old enough to vote, a candidate’s stance on the environment has been my primary reason for voting one way or another. I love backpacking, mountain biking, skiing and paddling too much to do otherwise. The executive branch has a great deal of power over public land use decisions, much more power than they have in other areas. I vote for the candidate most likely to keep the beauty of American landscapes intact– to limit the impact of industrial pollution, sprawl, strip mining, oil/NG drilling. I love this country and hate so much to see its beauty destroyed for the profit of a very few.
    So many other issues end up getting played out in congress– but the executive really does have most of the power to protect American wilderness. So despite some misgivings I am voting Obama, because I just can’t live with “drill baby drill.”

  8. Dave
    November 4, 2008

    Passing this up is like passing up a free banana split…


    Palin is not smart enough to be president. George Bush was not smart enough to be president. If you still disagree with the second axiom, then there is not much else to be said.

    I dislike McCain most for the exact reason you like him most. He is a creature of a world that is rapidly ceasing to exist. What was hinted at in the Mexican and Asian financial crises of the 90’s has come back to smack us in the face this year: the world is one. To declare independence from the world, in any sense, would be to become isolationist. What country would you have us emulate in this regard? Mongolia? Zimbabwe? There are no un-hyperbolic examples to use for a robust isolationist country today because none exist.

    The USA will soon cease to be “the greatest”, inexorably and definitively. We will soon become Europe to China, Indonesia, and India. We can age gracefully, or petulantly.

    McCain fought his mid-life, post-POW crisis with a twenty-something blond,. As president, he will do the economic equivalent.

    We need a president who will lead us away from the cliff of solipsism.

  9. Jill
    November 4, 2008

    I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your last essay and this one. For everything I disagree with, it’s refreshing to read well-reasoned arguements rather than talking points.

    I’m voting tomorrow in my first election since 2002. Sad but true, I’ve been a non-voter for a long while. I don’t think anyone can argue that this election hasn’t been inspiring.

    Tuesday will be a wild ride.

  10. Grizzly Adam
    November 4, 2008

    I appreciate everyone’s feedback and points of view. Thanks for sharing. If we ever find ourselves riding along an empty desert trail we will all have much to discuss! 😀

    Get out and vote today!

  11. Ed
    November 4, 2008

    “If we ever find ourselves riding along an empty desert trail we will all have much to discuss!”

    Not me, not if Ion lets fly words like ‘solipsism’!


  12. Grizzly Adam
    November 4, 2008

    LOL! Ed. So true. Dave has us beat on the vocabulary front.

  13. Dave
    November 4, 2008


  14. Corey
    November 5, 2008

    Are you asserting the philosophical or psychological definition of solipsism?

    As for “not smart enough”
    My grandfather graduated from Yale, and I can tell you that they don’t let just anyone in, even if your dad is an alumnus. And as for Palin, differing views does not necessarily equal stupid. Is everyone who disagrees with you automatically stupid? Do those who agree with you automatically qualify as smart? My observation on Palin is this: she is running a state with a large and healthy economy. She annihilates corruption and political excess wherever she finds it. That’s exactly the kind of “change” we need in Washington.

    These are all moot points now, but at least for this comment, I think we know where to find the solipsim, Dave 😉

  15. MOCougFan
    November 6, 2008

    Amen Brother.

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