Friday, January 11, 2008

Why I am Not Voting for John McCain

With John McCain’s recent rise in the polls and primary victory in New Hampshire, I have been forced to take a closer look at his candidacy for President. I have never been a supporter of him, but do not hate him either. Let me get the obligatory “He is an honorable man and served his country well both in the military and the government” out of the way. All of this is true, but is not nearly a good enough reason for me to support him for President. The following are the reasons that I have chosen not to support John McCain in the Republican Presidential primary.

The first reason that I am not supporting him for President is the most obvious, his age. Few political pundits are willing to admit it, but this is a major disadvantage in a general election for him. In American politics, we are always looking to elect the “next generation” of leadership. Senator McCain, would be a step towards electing the previous generation. President George W. Bush was born in 1946. Senator McCain was born in 1936. This means that Senator McCain will be 10 years older than the current president on the day that he would take office. Even more striking is that he is 25 years older than Barak Obama, 17 years older than John Edwards and 11 years older than Hillary Clinton.

The second reason that I am not supporting John McCain for president is his position on immigration. McCain has not been a strong supporter of securing our borders. Although the recent immigration bill he tried to pass did include a component of securing the borders, that was not what it came to be know for. It became known for being an “Amnesty Bill”. Whether or not you believe it was amnesty does not matter. McCain was not able to argue effectively to the American people that this bill was the right course of action. What makes us think that as President he will have any more success?

The third reason I am not supporting John McCain is that he has never been a strong proponent of tax cuts and fiscal discipline. McCain did not vote for President Bush’s tax cuts and still says that he would not vote for them. McCain does get some credit for his being against “pork barrel” spending, but this issue also shows McCain’s lack of being able to influence Washington as earmarking is still prevalent in government budgets.

A forth reason I am not supporting John McCain is that he has never been strong pro-life advocate. McCain will argue that he has a pro-life voting record and that may be true, but he has never conveyed that it is an important part of his political life.

The fifth reason that I am not supporting John McCain is his work on campaign finance reform. I believe that if it was up to John McCain we would have total public financing of elections. He has worked to limit the money that individuals and groups can spend in support of an issue or candidate. His famed McCain-Feingold bill is opposed by just about every important voice in the conservative movement as an attack on free speech.

The 6th and final reason that I will give in this article is perhaps the least purely logical reason, but still it is important. I believe that John McCain will “surprise” conservatives with something major that he does if he is elected president. McCain has been too willing to compromise conservative principles in the name of showing bipartisanship or progress for a specific issue. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill and the failed immigration bill and are both examples of this trait. Neither bill is based on American conservative philosophies.

I have not made my final decision yet on who I will vote for in the primary, although I am leaning toward a certain candidate. Connecticut votes on February 5th, so I will need to wait and see which candidates make it to that date before making my final decision.


Nomad said...

Good analysis, CRChair.

I still find it interesting (and a bit depressing) that it is easier to find Republicans that we CAN'T vote for than the ones we CAN vote for.

quizwedge said...

Thanks for posting this... I've been trying to find reasons not to vote for John McCain as he seems to be the best choice for me, even though it sounds absurd to say so. I'm still on dial-up/cell phone (that post coming soon), but looks like I'll have to write up an article from the opposite opinion. :)

Ward said...

I agree with Nomad...There is not a single candidate on the right that I can get excited about at all.