My support this election for John McCain has been no secret, as regular readers know. But while I’ve offered my reasons here and there, I’ve never put them all together in a single piece. I try to do that now.
Some of my case for McCain comes from agreeing with positions he holds, and some of it comes in reaction to what I fear Barack Obama might do if elected. All of it is important in explaining why I will vote for John McCain on Tuesday.
Obama promises, “I will change the world.” McCain knows he can’t do that — that it’s not the job of the president of the United States. His own experience as a prisoner of war taught him the dangers of messianic politics.
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The last century was defined by political leaders who promised to “change the world” — a century that saw unprecedented political oppression and terror, as chronicled by historian Paul Johnson in Modern Times: the World from the Twenties to the Nineties.
As Obama told a congregation in Greenville, South Carolina, “I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on earth.” “The One,” as Obama is called, feels confident he can do what no head of state has ever done in human history: bring an end to injustice and inequality.
How will he do it? I fear that Obama will use the courts and the Congress to redistribute income, pass laws against “hate crimes,” make abortion a national entitlement, use taxpayers’ funds for abortions here and abroad, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, pass the Fairness Doctrine to silence opposing viewpoints, and appoint judges who rule by empathy rather than law.
If a Republican had promised to create “a Kingdom right here on earth,” he would have been pilloried as a religious nut by the media every day for the remainder of the campaign.
McCain talks very little about his personal faith and uses religious concepts sparingly. I’ve interviewed him three times, and the only time he brings up faith unprompted is on the topic of immigration: “I think we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values, and these are God’s children — we ought to recognize that as we try to address this very emotional issue.”
Immigration is the issue that kept McCain at the back of the pack of GOP nominees for many months, but it is also the issue that reveals the most about him. He can break ranks with movement conservatives and the GOP, but it’s not guided by his “maverick” image: It’s guided by core principles and values, in this case the created dignity of the human person.
This same understanding of Judeo-Christian values undergirds his commitment to protecting unborn life. With his zero percent rating from NARAL for many years, the pro-abortion leaders in this country are spending every dollar they can to keep McCain out of the White House.
When McCain answered Rick Warren’s question by responding, without hesitation, that “life begins at conception,” he could not have distinguished himself more clearly from Obama, who pleaded moral agnosticism. You would think the man whom Louis Farrakhan calls “the Messiah” would know the answer to such a basic question: “When does a baby get human rights?”
In the end, I will vote for John McCain because he knows there are things about the world that cannot be changed. McCain knows there are real and immediate threats against our freedom by men whose intent to harm is resolute. I trust McCain because he knows himself — he is humbled because he has been humbled — and knows the world, because he has fought against and suffered its ineradicable evils.
If America is going to be tested in the first six months of 2009, as predicted by Sen. Joe Biden, I want John McCain in charge of dealing with our enemies and protecting our liberty.