McCain: The logical choice

By Caleb Enerson

It seems every four years, we hear that this particular election is the most “crucial” one of our time. While one must always take this claim with a grain of salt – especially because one generally hears it from pretentious blowhards that threaten to leave the States if the election doesn’t go their way (I’m talking about you, Susan Sarandon) – it is valid in the sense that the two major candidates for president offer extremely different views for our country and for its future. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., may not be a perfect candidate, but he is a vastly superior choice to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Despite Sen. Obama’s Messiah-like status amongst many, especially my peers, I cannot in good conscience support him. His entire message, which seems to consist mostly of throwing together the words “change” and “hope” as often as possible, relies on his ostensible bipartisanship. Unfortunately, upon closer examination, Sen. Obama is just another very liberal Democrat. The National Journal ranked him as the most liberal senator in 2007, beating out such liberal stalwarts as Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd – no small feat! In fact, some conservative Democrats, including Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., are refusing to endorse Sen. Obama, claiming that he is too liberal for their constituents.

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By contrast, Sen. McCain has the actions to back up his claims of bipartisanship – it’s not “just words.” While this may cause some Republicans to grumble about Sen. McCain’s commitment to conservatism, the simple fact is that he will have to work with substantial Democratic majorities in Congress if he wins in November. However, he has a proven record of working across the aisle on issues ranging from taxes to the environment. I may not always agree with Sen. McCain policy-wise, but I will admit that his record shows a long history of true bipartisanship. The fact that Sen. McCain’s victory in the GOP primary sent some conservatives into a temporary panic is proof he is not another ultra-conservative. Conversely, Sen. Obama has consistently found the most support amongst the more liberal elements of his party, such as college students.

During peace or war, national security should always be a crucial issue. This is especially true in today’s uncertain times. As a result, a candidate’s national security experience should serve as one of voters’ primary litmus tests. Sen. McCain’s extensive experience in foreign policy and military matters makes him a much better candidate than Sen. Obama. While Sen. McCain’s stance on immigration, for example, may not totally please conservatives or liberals, Sen. Obama’s position should not please anyone. Sen. Obama favors granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, a patently absurd proposal. Not only is it about as popular as bringing back the draft, but it is horrible from a policy standpoint – we will never discourage illegal immigration if illegal aliens continue to receive any sort of privileges or benefits from our government. This is, however, far from Sen. Obama’s only foolhardy foreign policy position. Part of the reason that his (lack of) experience is important is that it seems to have given him an overly idealistic view of the world. His ultimate goal is to have a nuclear-free world. I hope al-Qaida has not read that part of his platform.

Part of me wants to support Sen. Obama. It can be difficult for us to realize that less than 50 years ago, blacks in many areas had enough trouble simply voting, and it would have seemed impossible for a black man to make a serious run for president. While I think Sen. Obama’s candidacy is groundbreaking in many ways, his policies are not. Senator McCain is the only logical choice for president.