Thursday, November 15, 2007

Which Repub? Part II

John Hinderacker from Powerline makes the case for John McCain:

He is a life-long and thorough-going conservative, a man who has grappled publicly with every important issue of our time, a man whose courage, dedication and intelligence are beyond question. He took a wrong turn, I believe, on a couple of major issues. McCain will always disagree with most Republicans on campaign finance reform, but that's not a deal-breaker for me. He got on the wrong side of the illegal immigration issue, along with President Bush and others, but has since moved back toward the Republican center, arguing that while a comprehensive solution is ultimately necessary, the American people have made it clear that they want enforcement of the borders and of our existing laws first. And I think that McCain has an excellent chance to beat Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic nominee.
All good points. One point that especially bothers me is his seeming disregard for free speech as shown by the campaign finance reform debacle which produced a much worse system. We ought to allow any individual to support any candidate for any amount, the only requirement would be full disclosure of all donations on a daily basis.

However, much of what I read (this article, for example) about John McCain mentions his character. I think this is an element that must be of great importance. We've started a leadership initiative at The King's Academy this year which centers upon a phrase in our mission statement: "knowledge, wisdom and godly character." These are elements of a true leader and should be seen in any person vying to lead this great nation.

Then, there is "electability", which seems to be holding much more sway this year because of the haunting specter of another President Clinton. William Murray comments on this phenomenon:
Why is the social conservative movement in the United States committing suicide? The answer is power politics. Evangelical conservative leaders are backing candidates they think will win rather than those who have been consistent social conservatives with 100% pro-life records...The assumption is that the GOP must choose a “centrist” presidential candidate or Hillary will win. The logic goes, “We need a New York liberal to beat their New York liberal.” By that logic Ronald Reagan would not have gotten the GOP presidential nomination.
Electability must be considered since we are dealing with the worst form of government (except for all the others). However, I am disconcerted by how these individuals and groups are rationalizing their decisions because of fear. It's 82 days until Super Tuesday. Now is the time to be purists in who we vote for. After we settle our family disputes here, then we go out and vote for the candidate with the strongest character, depth of knowledge and cunning wisdom and lines up most closely with our conservative principles and God-given sense of justice.

At the same time I disagree with evangelicals (such as Mark Noll in 2004) who refuse to vote in the general elections because none of the candidates line up with the ideal. That, I think, is politically obtuse, refusing the good to wait for the perfect while ushering in the worse.

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