Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

A Sanity Injection for President: John McCain

Posted by sanityinjection on October 27, 2008

It has never been the intent of this blog to serve as a mouthpiece for any political party or candidate. I hope that readers of varying political persuasions can find information, entertainment and the chance to offer their voices here. Nevertheless, with only one week remaining before the biggest election in our country’s recent history, I feel that it is time to be clear about my choice for President of the United States. Sanity Injection officially endorses Senator John McCain for President.

It is certainly tempting for independent voters and even some Republicans to consider a vote for Senator Barack Obama. With the war in Iraq and foreign policy in general fading as an issue of concern to voters, this election has become one about the economy. The current economic difficulties seem to deliver a failing grade for the nation’s leadership, and Obama’s message of change resonates with voters who are fearful and looking for someone to lead them toward brighter horizons.

Indeed, Obama possesses many fine qualities for voters to admire. He is intelligent, an astute politican, possessed of remarkable charisma and great rhetorical skill. He projects a quiet confidence combined with the ability to truly inspire even the cynical in a way no other political leader has in the last eight years. Obama’s candidacy, to the extent that he has inspired people to become involved in the politicial process, has had a positive effect regardless of the outcome of the election.

And yet, a closer inspection of Senator Obama leaves me with areas of concern. Does he really represent change? Well yes, as an individual, a young black man with a very different personality and leadership style from our current President. But the policies Senator Obama has made the focus of his campaign (as opposed to those he has paid lip service to such as NAFTA and offshore oil drilling) are not new and different, but have been advocated before by many within his party, which it should be noted has controlled Congress for the past two years as the economy has gone sour. Electing a Democratic President whose views are solidly in line with an even stronger Democratic Congress is not “change” – at least, not change for the better.

Secondly, while Obama has great potential as a leader, his relative youth and inexperience raise questions about his ability to handle the most powerful job in the world. Obama would be the second most inexperienced President since 1900. His rapid, meteoric rise to power, impressive as it is, leaves one searching for anything resembling adversity that Obama has had to overcome. We have virtually nothing to tell us how a President Obama will respond the first time he fails at something, as all Presidents inevitably must. One of President Bush’s worst qualities has been his inability to recognize, admit, and work on his mistakes; we cannot afford to risk more of that in the future.

By contrast, Senator John McCain has been tested by adversity in ways few of us can ever completely appreciate. McCain’s long history of service to his country as a soldier and a legislator leave no doubt as to his readiness for the office of the Presidency. His record is full of instances in which McCain bucked special interests and his own party leadership in order to do what he thought – rightly or wrongly – was best for the country. Senator Obama’s record is empty in this regard.

It is hard to imagine a circumstance a President McCain could face that would faze him compared to what he has already endured in the past. McCain’s much-discussed temper does not control his actions, and has not prevented his long and successful political career. Like his opponent, McCain possesses a healthy sense of humor which helps to keep him balanced, as well as a very real spirit of humility and the ability to criticize his own mistakes- a rarity among politicians.

Finally, I must note that I have personally met Senator McCain on a number of occasions. It is hard to explain the impression that he makes in person – a man who bears the scars of his past, but wears them lightly; whose diminutive, even crippled stature somehow only serves to enhance the quiet strength of his will. The McCain I have walked and talked with is the man who, time and time again sat alone by the bedside of the dying Democrat Mo Udall when all of his other political friends had forgotten him, to gain nothing for himself but simply to quietly be there for a man he viewed as a mentor and a friend, never seeking press coverage.

If the two criteria for selecting a President are one’s character and the record of one’s career of public service, there can be no question that Senator McCain is the better of two above-average choices. Sanity Injection recommends that voters still undecided ask themselves this question: “Of the two candidates, who do I feel is more likely to put the country’s needs ahead of his own personal and political ambitions?” Let that answer guide your vote.

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