Should Conservatives Vote for McCain?
There are some conservatives who are seriously considering withholding their vote for John McCain on the grounds that he lacks sufficient conservatism to be the Republican nominee. The idea is that a Republican loss due to lack of conservative support would so shock the Republican establishment that a Reagan conservative would be virtually guaranteed the 2012 nomination. These people do not wish to compromise their principles and vote for someone whom they consider less than a true conservative.
While voting strictly on principle seems attractive in theory, it doesn’t work in practice. Letting Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama win the Presidency would simply cause too much harm. John McCain has liberal tendencies, to be sure, but is nowhere near Clinton or Obama.
Some conservatives focus so much on McCain’s liberalism that they forget that he does have many conservative views. He has opposed earmarks for years. Granted, earmarks make up a relatively small portion of the federal budget, but they usually form the most useless and corrupt parts of the budget. (The infamous bridge to nowhere got funding through an earmark). McCain’s crusade against earmarks could save taxpayer money, and would provide valuable ammunition against the Democrats.
On the issue of life, too, John McCain is far better than his Democrat opponents. He has expressed his opposition to Roe versus Wade, and has promised to appoint pro-life justices in the mold of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. While he is not perfect on life issues—for instance, he supports embryonic stem cell research—he is vastly better than Clinton or Obama.
Conservatives have criticized the mainstream media for dropping the Iraq issue as the situation in Iraq has improved. But conservatives do the same thing. Before the surge’s results were revealed, the most important issue for most conservatives (particularly the talk radio bunch, plus some the neoconservatives at National Review and the Weekly Standard) was the War on Terror. Now that the war is running relatively smoothly (thanks in part to a strategy advocated by McCain), suddenly Iraq is not so important.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are just as bad on national security now as they ever were, and the Iraq War is just as important issue now as it ever was. It is clear that having Obama or Clinton in charge of Iraq would be a disaster. Given the blood our brave soldiers have spilled there, is it right to allow their sacrifice to go for nothing?
Imagine what the world will look like four years from now if John McCain becomes President. He will have had the chance to appoint at least one, and possibly two, Supreme Court justices. (John Paul Stevens will almost certainly retire, and there is could easily be another retirement by another elderly liberal justice). It is a good bet that his picks will look a lot more like John Roberts than Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The War in Iraq will probably be won, or almost won. If McCain has his way, the Bush tax cuts will be renewed. McCain will, of course, endorse some liberal policies, and things could change, but I believe that the above scenario is a not unreasonable one.
If Barack Obama becomes President, consider the situation four years from now. We will probably have two young pro-abortion justices on the Supreme Court. The state of affairs in Iraq will make George Bush at his worse look like Julius Caesar conquering Gaul. Taxes will skyrocket; private enterprise will be limited. Obama will introduce universal health care, giving the government control of yet another area of American life. An Obama administration (or a Clinton administration, though it appears unlikely that she will win the nomination) would hasten America’s descent into European style socialism.
John McCain is not the best the GOP has to offer, but we cannot afford President Barack Obama. Often, it is better to support the lesser of two evils, and John McCain is definitely the lesser of two evils in this case.