John McCain: Presidential character

Satellite As I said the other day, while Barack Obama is busy reinventing himself and marketing himself, John McCain is just living his normal life and getting the recognition from the evangelical community simply for being himself. It’s ironic that Barack Obama, who many feel is so charismatic and some dare say messianic, is actually manufacturing who he is; while John McCain, who is normally not referred to as a charismatic leader is actually a man who we Americans should be looking up to and voting into office. But with all the media hyping Barack Obama, they don’t seem to have the time to showcase real presidential material.

A couple of articles in the Jerusalem Post over the last week or so reminded me just how underrated and under reported the real John McCain is. For instance in the article ‘Scoop’ McCain, Senator McCain clearly recognizes that strength and freedom go hand in hand.

“My friends,” McCain proclaimed, “as the people of Israel know better than most, the safety of free people can never be taken for granted. And in a world full of dangers, Israel and the United States must always stand together.”

I’m not sure Senator Obama, his socialist opponent, buys into this whole life, liberty and freedom thing that has made our nation great, so I’m glad we have at least one viable candidate who tends towards liking the America we all know and love.

And I know I’ve said this before, but one of the things I like most about John McCain is that he has the guts to say what he means. Take his description of a situation he was in following 9/11.

The Jihadists’ wanton destruction was so outrageous, so unjustified, so threatening that it should have ended our era of moral relativism. The Islamist attempt to establish a reign of terror should have ended the reign of error centered in our universities that consistently finds fault with the West and absolves Third Worlders of guilt.

The blood unnecessarily and tragically spilled of so many workers, both black and white, rich and poor, American and non-American, should have cleansed the polluted, self-abnegating souls of so many America bashers, in the United States and abroad. The fact that it did not raises disturbing questions about what is happening in the West culturally, ideologically, existentially.

I recall one meeting I attended of Canadian academics who spent so much time blaming the United States for what happened on 9/11, that when it was my turn to speak I said, “I must have been watching a different channel than the rest of you that Tuesday in September. I saw that America was attacked that day, not the other way around.”

Senator McCain’s comments should ring real true with anyone who pays attention to the anti-US bologna manufactured right here in our own college town.

In another article titled A not-so-public man: the private character of John McCain, the Jerusalem Post writer delves into the largely unreported “sterling character” of Senator McCain, a man who has served in congress for 25 years and is in his second presidential run. How many people know

…McCain has raised seven children? Or that he adopted his two oldest sons as small boys (children from his wife’s prior marriage)? Or that he has raised a Bangladeshi girl with severe health problems adopted from Mother Theresa’s orphanage? Or that his own sons have served in the military, including in Iraq?

And I’m sure that everyone has heard some referring to the McCain family’s military tradition as a tradition of fear and war mongering, but have you heard this newsworthy perspective on their military service.

Anyone can talk about “supporting our troops”; the McCains serve. McCain’s father and grandfather were respected American admirals. Of McCain’s four sons, three have gone the military route. One was a Navy pilot like his father, one enlisted in the Marines at age 17 and recently completed a tour in Iraq, and one is completing his education at the Naval Academy (raising the strong possibility that, for the first time in half a century, the United States will have a president with a son at war).

Yet, likely because of those same values, McCain maintains a strict code of silence about his sons’ military service, no matter how legitimate his pride or politically useful their military status. Through 2007, McCain was the strongest Senate advocate of vastly increasing troop levels in Iraq, strongly influencing the administration’s wildly successful “surge” strategy.

Yet McCain never brought up his own son’s service in some of the roughest areas of Iraq. His principled refusal of political advantage from his son’s Iraq service extends to refusal even to be interviewed on the subject, or to introduce his son to campaign audiences.

I could have wished for a candidate with stronger conservative ties, but upon reading more and more about John McCain, I don’t think I could have wished for a candidate with stronger character. What a stark contrast to the Hollywood made up character that we have in Barack Obama.

I find it pitiful that people who call themselves Americans actually believe this guy, let alone may actually vote for him. But then again remember the DailyKos, where their liberal, progressive, whatever the heck you want to call them, actually polled their readers and found that over 40% of them would prefer Iranian President Ahmadinejad over President Bush for US president. So I guess it is no surprise that they would also support Barack Obama. By the way, Governor Gregoire was pimping for Barack Obama back in February at the DailyKos, and I’m still wondering which way she went on the poll.

The second of the two JP articles ends with a very direct question; a question I pray everyone will ask themselves before November.

Character is critical to determining how a leader will respond to crisis. Will he reach deep within himself and in the traditions that shaped him and find the courage and grace to inspire strength and greatness? Will soldiers trust the wisdom and integrity of his decision when he orders them to war? Will he truly understand the terrible toll of war, as well as the price of appeasement? Will he make decisions based on considerations greater than cheap political expediency?

Now, ask yourself: which candidate has repeatedly demonstrated that kind of character?

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One Response to “John McCain: Presidential character”

  1. Mark says:

    I agree totally with your assessment of characters.

    McCain’s challenge is to expose his character to the undecided voters so that they can judge him for who he is.

    Obama, I believe, is going to appear slick and contrived as the campaign continues.