By: Delegate Chris Saxman
Print Edition, Opinion Editorial
Sunday, February 3, 2008
During one of the Republican presidential debates, my twelve year old son, William, asked me who we were supporting for president. I told him, “John McCain”. He replied “Okay. But why?” I thought about discussing Senator McCain’s conservative political philosophy, his impressive resume and clear leadership qualities. Instead, I went right to the point.
I said, “John McCain inspires me to serve others.” From there I told William about John McCain’s triumph over five and a half years torture, imprisonment and oppression in a Hanoi prison. I talked to my son about how John McCain was challenged by the greatest test anyone can face and how McCain not only survived that test, but was a leader for his fellow captors and found a love of his country and his faith that makes me, to paraphrase John Kennedy, “ask what I can do for my country” to make William’s world a safer, more prosperous place for his family.
To my fellow Republicans, I am supporting John McCain because he has been a substantive conservative leader for almost thirty years. He’s been a stalwart fiscal conservative who was fighting corruption in Washington long before people knew the real story. McCain has been fighting to reign in earmark spending that destroys even the hint that our government will do anything to save us from entitlement driven fiscal calamity.
He has consistently supported a social conservative agenda ever mindful of the federalism that is at the core of our Republican philosophy. That is not an easy row to hoe, but for over a quarter of a century, John McCain has done just that. He has supported strict constructionist judges, supported our 2nd amendment rights, an unborn child’s right to live and traditional marriage.
When it comes to the fight against Islamic terrorists, John McCain has been right and the Democrats have been wrong. But it is not just simply about being right. One has to get the job done, John McCain did that. The defense of our nation is the first job of our federal government and John McCain will not need any training on the first day. No Democrat comes remotely close to his record on national security.
As president, John McCain will cut wasteful spending, make the Bush tax cuts permanent and will reduce onerous obstacles to economic growth.
Senator McCain will restore trust in our government and work with people not against them. Both parties have such a jaundiced view of one another that it is weakening our country at home and abroad. Our country needs a real leader who is already respected and will be more concerned about the next 50 and 100 years rather than the next election cycle. America’s allies respect John McCain and America’s enemies fear him.
For me the choice is clear next Tuesday. While a country is not defined by one leader or one presidency; a president can lead us to sacrifice for a cause greater than ourselves. A great leader can inspire us to serve one another more, work together and build that shining city on a hill. I believe John McCain has these qualities.
Will I disagree with President McCain? Not as much as I agree with him that’s for sure. But in between those times, I know I will be inspired to work a little harder, give a little more and think about others before I think of myself.
John McCain will be a great American president and I look forward to telling my children and grandchildren about his story of sacrifice and service. Better still, I look forward to the country we have built by working together for a real change.