I have never been a fan of John McCain. Not ever.
His continued wishy washy stand on the 2A, and the disastrous campaign finance reform legislation he authored, which was later (I still cannot understand how or why) held up as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, put him pretty low on the "candidate who best represents my values" totem pole.
I have voted conservative most of my life, though I have voted for people of both major political parties. It is about the candidate and their policies, not a political party for me.
In this presidential election, all of the democrats in the field have pandered to me. Pandered to people like me -- educated people, thinking people, business people, parents, firearms owners. They say they will raise taxes on "the wealthy," particularly capital gains taxes. What they leave out is that the middle class is who usually pays capital gains taxes. Anyone who owns investment real estate -- even the smallest rental home or a duplex -- can legally avoid paying capital gains taxes using an IRS 1031 tax deferred exchange. Anyone! This includes middle class investors and "the truly wealthy." Doing so, they indefinitely defer their capital gains taxes. But "taxing the wealthy" sure makes for a hellava sound byte and buys some votes from people who don't know the difference. The MSM gleefully laps it up, passing on this powerful policy proposal when in reality it is smoke and mirrors.
This kind of "weasel wording" is intellectually dishonest, in my book. Its wrong for the candidates to propose this, knowing it is just for show. And as a former journalist, that no one in the media is even calling the Obama campaign on this subterfuge is, well . . . makes me embarrassed for my former profession.
Democrat candidates for president have also told me they support the Second Amendment. Then they tell me all the reasonable reasons my firearms rights should be limited. Regulation for the children, they say. They guilt the American people into accepting gun control that government stats, anecdotal evidence, and anyone with a brain knows does nothing to stop or even slow crime. Common sense, they add.
Even though I am a law abiding American taxpayer, because I enjoy the lawful use of firearms, I am referred to as "bitter." I'm not bitter. But I am educated. I am enlightened. Again, this is an intellectually dishonest approach. But if it helps them try to convince voters in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to trust them, Sens. Obama and Biden will play "the gun card."
To the GOP. The few republican choices I liked dropped by the wayside fairly early. The only one left standing was John McCain. I was not thrilled. Not one bit. He is strong on the national defense. I credit him that, and know that he understands that particular issue better than anyone else running for America's highest office. But many in the republican party have been lackluster about this choice, myself included. War hero and POW experience aside, he has done little in his time as a public servant that motivates me to push the button next to his name. In fact, he has done more to push me away than encourage me to give him a second look.
Gov. Sarah Palin changed that.
There are areas in which I disagree with her. Several actually. But most of what she says she stands for, I stand for. I am with her on far more issues that those where we part ways. She is the rugged individualist, the government waste killer, the reformer when ethics issues bubble up, the moose hunter, the limited government enthusiast, the "we can do it better here than what Washington tells us" aficionado, the self defense advocate, the firearms enthusiast, the handy-with-a-competition-rifle soccer mom -- all packed into some Prada, perched atop a pair of Manolo Blaniks, and sporting designer eyeglasses.
When her name first popped up, I, like many other Americans, said "Sarah Who?" I am not saying that any more.
Let me tell you a story. Living in Central Ohio, I am an Ohio State University football fan. Having grown up less than three miles from "The Horseshoe," I was raised on Scarlet & Gray. Several weeks every autumn found me and my dad, or me and one of my dad's friends, heading to Ohio Stadium to watch the Buckeyes. I was raised on Woody Hayes. He will always be "The Coach" to me. I have the books he wrote. I still have posters with some of his inspirational messages. I know the stories of him tearing cheap wristwatches off his arm to motivate players. One of his books is signed and inscribed to me. I will treasure the day I handed it to him and he asked me my name, then signed it. I was probably 13 or 14 then.
Fast forward to a few years ago. The new OSU football coach is being introduced. I am listening on the radio and they say it is going to be the (then) head coach of Division 4 Youngstown State University. I am asking myself, "what the hell are they thinking?" My idea of a coach was the fire and brimstone of Coach Hayes, a teacher, a philosopher, someone who motivated his players to do their utmost personal best -- not just to perform in hopes of getting to the NFL. Sure, the guy had won multiple national championships, but . . . Division 4? Why would we be reaching back to a school that many (mistakenly) likened to a community college?
Then I heard the man speak. I was transfixed. Jim Tressel was waxing poetic about growing up in Ohio, and meeting and sitting at the knees of the great coaches who knew his dad, also a college football coach. He talked about personal responsibility, doing your best, being all you can be, working for an education, and having fun playing football, too. It was like I was listening to Woody reincarnated, reanimated. I called a couple of friends, told them to turn on the radio and listen to this guy. "He's going to be awesome," I told one buddy from my college days. "He IS Woody all over again," I told another. Finally, I realized who he was. He was a teacher first, a football coach second.
He was Woody Hayes for the 21st century.
Fast forward to September 3, 2008. I am listening to this speech last night. Sarah Palin. Not a politician. A statesman (statesperson? . . . stateswoman?). Not someone who is pushing a big government agenda, but someone who lives for her family, lives to help others, and has the credentials to back it up. Like listening to Ronald Reagan, some have said. Ronald Reagan in a skirt.
There is an old saying: "If you want something done, ask a busy woman." Gov. Palin came across as someone who gets things down. I have been doing my reading the past several days. As someone who works until I'm done, rather than punch a clock, much of her "can do" attitude resonates with me. She is resonating with women, too. Many women are infuriated that the media and others suggest a woman cannot serve her country and her family at the same time. Focus groups, mainly hired by opposition researchers, are finding that people like Sarah Palin. Even if they aren't convinced she is on the ticket they will vote for, they like her. "She is real," they tell those who ask. She understands the issues families face. If you follow the more scandalous things being said about her, her family has issues alright. But they are the issues of an American Family. She, her husband and her kids are not unlike many others across this nation.
In a conversation with a good friend today at lunch, we talked about pros and cons of McCain and Obama. The choice of Biden and Palin as VP picks. The issues where we disagree with these two presidential candidates. And where we agree with Sens. Obama and McCain. Of concern was Supreme Court justices to be appointed by either of these two men. How such nominees would fare in the confirmation process through the left-leaning U.S. Senate. And in particular, where, if at all, would a president compromise in order to get their candidate confirmed. On gun rights? On abortion? Private property? Privacy? Civil Unions? Gay Marriage?
These are things to think about as every American heads to the polls in November.
So what to do? Sarah Palin rocked the house last night before delegates to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Sent the MSM into PSH. The Obama camp was sending out rebuttals left and right to things Gov. Palin said. For someone who is such a lightweight, why were Sen. Obama's staffers scrambling to undo things she was saying? Was she resonating in the minds of people across this nation who are unhappy with the choices they have for president? With people like me?
I mean really . . . Why bother?
Until recently, I have told everyone who would listen that there is nothing that John McCain could say to convince me to vote for him for president. Not one thing. But there have been PLENTY of things that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have said that have disturbed me. That might convince me to vote for McCain. Even though the thought of such a move has been more than distasteful.
Several days ago, John McCain uttered 12 words or so (who's counting) that are causing me to reconsider. He was in Dayton, Ohio, of all places, just a little over an hour west of me. His words made me say to myself, "Hey John, yeah okay, I just might vote for you."
Those words were -- and I am paraphrasing here -- "I have asked Sarah Palin to join the ticket as my vice president."
04 September 2008
I have never been a fan of John McCain. Not ever.
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:57 PM