Monday, October 6

McCain, a moderate under impending death?

I've already stated my views on why Democratic Senator Barack Obama is not the best choice for the office of the President of the United States of America. This was based on his record within his short term in office as a Senator, rather than rumors (whether true or not) of his embellishment of his 'community activist' time and his 'job' prior to becoming one.

It was my intention, in an effort to explain why I feel neither candidate; either Obama or Republican Senator John McCain is unacceptable.

Perusing several liberal websites, blogs, commentaries, and so on, that task of finding the reasoning behind why McCain should not be President isn't the issues, rather it is centered, as far as I could tell, on one item that seems to be a generational issue:

His age.

Not that there isn't alot of nonsensical articles and commentaries out there on why Republican John McCain shouldn't be the next Presidential office holder; typically centered around articles of the "John McCain: Blowing Up the World at 3am? By Doug Bandow, of the American Conservative Defense Alliance" type. Unlike a majority of the articles I found concerning Obama, most of the articles concerning McCain are misquotes, misrepresented truths, and downright wrong interpretations of what he actually said. But, still, there is enough to cause me concern about Senator John McCain as the 44th President of the United States of America.

"McCain similarly appears to share George Bush's simplistic view of the world. Both see America threatened by numerous enemies who are all alike – al-Qaeda members, secular dictators, Palestinian terrorists, Ba'thist insurgents, Shia nationalists, Hezbollah fighters, Taliban fundamentalists, Hamas activists. McCain told an audience at the Virginia Military Institute last year: The Iraq war "is part of a broader struggle in the Arab and Muslim world, the struggle between violent extremists and the forces of modernity and moderation." The extremists, he adds, "wish to return the world to the 7th century."

According to Bandow, it is "perhaps McCain's willingness to irritate, anger, enrage, and threaten countries all over the world" that has strengthened the 'loose collection of transnational terrorists' of the 9-11 attacks from a "nasty" to the radical extremists today.......Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda terrorists, who are simply fighting against the US invasion of 'their' homeland, although none actually had Iraq as their 'homeland' prior to the US war.

More important than the "transcendent challenge of the 21st century [of] radical Islamic extremists" , in the eyes of liberalists like Bandow, are the disagreements with Russian, challenges from China, likely controversies from Brazil and India, and the endless complications from nations being transformed in a new globalized world order which will be "far more decisive in shaping our world."

Opponents feel his willingness to "risk the lives of other Americans for causes not vital to our nation's security," shows he lacks the temperament to be a "wise commander-in-chief." His knowledge and philosophy are also on the table against his ability to have a decisive and effective foreign policy and therefore "is the last person who should be answering any 3am phone calls at the White House."
This despite 46% in a Zogby poll that feel McCain is the right candidate to handle the Iraq, 49% who feel he is the right one to combat terrorism, and 55% who feel he would be the right one to "handle any 3am phone calls."

Of course, McCain has a wealth of experience, laced with courage and honor that has been labeled a 'maverick' in good light and a personality gone amok in darker circles. Some feel it is his temperament, a sanctimonious certainty, and his arguments with Senate colleagues over disagreements from both sides of the party lines that make his 'good' points ineffective.

Charlie Savage of the Globe feels that McCain is the stereotypical politician, seeming to genuflect to a man he once denounced by name. ''This tells us that John McCain is a living, breathing politician who has looked in the mirror and said 'I should be president of the United States,' " said Stephen Hess, a political analyst at the Brookings Institution. ''The media built McCain into something more than [a politician] when he last ran for president. They made him into an icon -- the maverick."

Nothing new in the annuals of political processes here in the USA. Politicians have, like McCain, been twisting themselves in knots switching their long-term views when enamored with a possibility of being President.

Since 2000, McCain has pushed bills limiting political campaign donations, banning the torture of suspected terrorists, and allowing illegal immigrants to become legalized guest workers. Don Feder feels that McCain is a hardcore leftist who panders to the Democratic Party with his "socialist, anti-speech, open-borders, enviro-Marxist measures" over the years; "McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Edwards", to name a few.

Top reason on the Feder list; Immigration. McCain is pro-open borders with amnesty for all 15 million illegal aliens in the country today, evidenced by co-sponsoring a bill with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, which would have led, in the eyes of The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector, the largest expansion of the welfare state in US history, costing an estimated $2.6 trillion. To his opponents, even fellow Republicans, McCain has accused them of being 'xenophobes' and now promises to close the borders first and then grant amnesty. Along with an open-border policy, McCain has opposed official English education and supported an amendment to President Clinton's Executive Order 13166 that would require any recipients of federal funding to provide translation services in any language requested. He is the darling of the LULAC (the League of United Latin American Citizens).

Another reason is what Feder describes as "Enviro-Marxism," because McCain was one of only six Republicans to vote against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to "make the caribou comfortable." This despite research, technology, and experience proven in report after report that such drilling would have little to no impact on the refuge, which is largely uninhabited even by caribou. McCain has also co-sponsored, with Senator Lieberman, a $660 billion dollar bill to cap C02 emissions, pandering to the mythical man-made global warming.

Abortion, one of the hot buttons of conservatives, is something we have less of a clear view of McCain's views on until recent months than Obama's, and they seem to have changed as his realization of the Presidency became a possibility. McCain has supported embryonic stem-cell research, claimed until recently he would not support a repeal of Roe v. Wade, and has voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Under the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill, McCain seems to have supported limiting a pro-life organizations right to highlight a pro-abortion legislator's record sixty days before a general election and 30 days before a primary.

A disturbing anti-family stance in conservative eyes. As far as his judicial nominations would be, McCain prevented, along with 13 of his colleagues, a rules change that would have stopped unconstitutional filibusters on such nominations, that have derailed many conservative judges from having their nomination approved, often used by the Democratically-controlled Congress.

McCain, trying to show a more conservative bent, hasn't the record to support it. Working with the 'left', even as a 'bipartisan maverick', is a 'natural inclination' Feder feels. He quotes former Senator Rick Santorum who said, "The bottom line is that I served 12 years with him (McCain), 6 years in the United States Senate as a leader, one of the leaders of the Senate; the number-3 leader, who had the responsibility of trying to put together the conservative agenda, and at almost every turn on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side."

"If McCain is elected, it will be roll-over time for Congressional Republicans," Feder concludes, "on taxes, regulation, environmentalism, speech-suppression, internationalism, multiculturalism, civil liberties for terrorists and open-borders."

"John McCain is not the "true conservative" he claims to be, and using the label in order to attract voters isn't panning out too well." according to Maritza Carroway in an article, McCain too liberal for conservatives, "A recent Fox News poll of 1000 conservative activists showed that when asked if they thought John McCain was a true conservative, 59.5 percent said no and 20.8 percent couldn't make up their mind." Most conservatives, myself included, are totally unsure as to McCain's leanings. To me, he seems more of a moderate liberalist than a conservative.

Even if McCain is the a-typical politician, that is not the reason most Americans are leery about placing him in the Presidential office.

It is his age and several indications that he is in poor health (despite a partial release of McCain's medical records showing good health), that has prompted support to be given to Obama or a third-party candidate.

In one story floating around the internet allegedly by two soldiers, according to TBR News, who met McCain while he was on a 'fact-finding' mission in Iraq. Though it is probably hype created by the opposition, as evidenced by the ability of the two being able to gain access around 'more security than Bush had' and other comments, it shows the mindset of the younger generation that are typically leaning towards the younger Obama.

Such statements contained in the post, such as "He looked at us like we were cows and kept blinking. Finally, he smiled and said, 'Hey, there, soldiers! How is it going? Is it going good?" ......McCain smiled at nothing and looked around the room......." and "....he began a conversation with someone who wasn't there ....when we left, the Senator was talking complete of the staff personnel told both of us that the Senator had "a little accident" and he had to change his pants" seem to be disbelievable to even the most critical voter.

The rumor this story supports is that Senator McCain has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.

McCain himself has recognized the 'enhanced importance' of having a vice-presidential candidate who could take his place as President due to his age, as most voters are taking in the life expectancy and the statistical probability of him dying in the near future.

According to Amy Weiss, in a Buzzflash news analysis, Paul Begala is noted as remarking: "For a man who is 72 years old and has had four bouts with cancer to have chosen someone so completely unqualified to become president is shockingly irresponsible. Suddenly, McCain's age and health become central issues in the campaign, as does his judgment."

According to the 2004 Social Security Administration's actuarial table, a man exactly 72 years old has about a 3.3% of dying in the next year, without additional concerns such as McCain's lethal skin cancer history. In the Politico, it is noted that there is a roughly 1 in 3 chance that a 72-year-old man will not reach the age of 80, which is how old McCain would be at the end of a second presidential term.

"The type of skin cancer McCain has had was melanoma, "the most serious type of skin cancer." Three of [cancers] were "Stage 0" melanoma, considered "of little long-term concern." They were removed in 1993, 2000 and 2002." Weiss reports in the Buzzflash news analysis, "The fourth is suspected to be a Stage IIA melanoma, an invasive one that went beyond the first layer of skin. It was removed from McCain's left temple area in 2000. The American Cancer Society says a Stage IIA melanoma "is associated with a five-year survival rate of about 78 percent and a 10-year survival rate of about 66 percent.""

Weiss recognizes that such statistics aren't melodramatic, just insightful. "Certainly we shouldn't immediately dismiss a person's capabilities because of his or her age, but it is impossible to argue that age -- unlike race or gender -- plays no role in a person's performance." she continues, referencing aDNC speech that remarked about McCain's age. "'So remember, when we choose a commander-in-chief this November, we are electing judgment and character, not years in the Senate or years on this Earth.' John Kerry quipped."

The Culture and Media Institute released a special report, "'Character' the Most Important Issue in the Presidential Primary Debates." An interesting fact, one supported by perusing the media and debate commentaries is that the Democrats are being as twice as many 'softball' questions as the Republicans; 48 to 25 percent. Is this the proper way to elect judgment and character?

Of course, with the issue being age, focus has turned to the would-be President if McCain was to meet what many feel is an inevitability; his death in office. Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, has redeemed partially the disastrous Couric interview in the one and only Vice-Presidential debate. Of the Couric interview, even Republican sites were commenting negatively and the ticket seemed to be in danger.

When a liberal misspeaks, it's a slip of the tongue. We all make mistakes. Your faith shouldn't matter, being checked at the door when you report for work and you are not responsible for sitting under liberal, controversial, and racial theologies.

"Couric's questions [were] straightforward and responsible. Palin [was] mediocre, again, regurgitating talking points mechanically, not thinking. Palin's just babbling. She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero... I am well and truly embarrassed for her. I think she's a good woman who might well be a great governor of Alaska. But good grief, just watch this train wreck."

Palin seems to have recovered from her 'gaff' at the hands of Couric with a spetacular debate with Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic nominee for the Vice-President slot, and she has more executive experience than even Presidential hopeful Obama does and the record to show it. But if it is McCain's age that is helping to deflect the younger generations from voting for him, it is Palin's faith that is throwing off many more of the humanistic, universalist, and emergent generation that claims religious morality.

If you are a conservative, you commit an unforgiveable sin when you misspeak or blunder. No second chances, no 'oppsy'. And your faith, no matter how 'personal' it is kept, is brought under the light of what denomination and its belief system (mainstream or not) that it espouses. A Los Angeles Times story claimed that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin espoused young-earth creationism, leading liberal Internet columnist Robert Paul Reyes to call Palin a "religious fanatic" with a "Neanderthal faith" who "thinks that 'The Flintstones' is a reality show.""

Ron Meyers, a 62-year-old Orange County banker said Palin "needs to explain what she would do if she became president," reflecting the opinion of many young voters following this year's election.

Weiss wraps up her analysis pointing out that the Obama camp has portrayed McCain as out-of-touch and a longtime Washington insider, which are in her opinion more important than his age. "But," Weiss concludes, "age undoubtedly contributes to being out-of-touch, especially with technology."

So the question concerning McCain's suitability, moderate as it may be, to perform the duties of President aren't much in question. It is how long he will be alive to do so and if his Vice-President is capable of taking over in the eventual demise of the 44th President.

Aren't American politics great?

You have a choice of a liberal, universalist that sat under a Black Liberation Theology preacher and is rumored to have embellished his credentials, which are few and unimpressive compared to similar adventurers in the hallways of Harvard and the Senate, as President or the war-hero, embattled Republican nominee ready to drop off with an inexperienced (according to the Democratic Party) Vice-President to assume power, if statistics are accurate in regards to McCain's old age.

In my opinion, we will wind up with a liberal socialistic society in which big government will continue at the end of four years, no matter who is elected. It is just a matter of how soon it will become plainly evident to those who allow history to cloud their judgment or water their values down to make one candidate the most acceptable.

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the heroes that once made this country great?


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