Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why I'm Not Voting For John McCain

"John McCain makes me talk to the appliances." Those were the words that I read from an online posting regarding the man. I'm not sure if I ever have heard a better comment about the diminutive U.S. Senator who would be president of the United States — but also is facing the hard fact that the U.S. voters, as muddle-headed as they might be, never will send this man to the White House.

Thus, I am writing about a candidate who is taking space on the various debate podiums, but never will be anything more than a guy trying to get attention and running on his personal history as a Vietnam prisoner of war. While I can sympathize with McCain and even admire him for being able to survive those horrendous and tortuous conditions, nonetheless the fact that he spent several years as an involuntary guest of the Hanoi Hilton does not qualify him for a political office like the presidency.

Given that, I will praise him for his bravery while a POW. He was tortured severely, and refused to be released early (the North Vietnamese offered to let him go as a propaganda measure, but McCain did not bite) unless his fellow prisoners also could leave. Thus, he subjected himself to the tender mercies of his captors for nearly five years longer. This speaks to a man's character, and I would be amiss not to point out this aspect of his personal history.

However, it seems to me that whatever honor he might have demonstrated while a POW has been negated, at least in part, by his public life since then. When it comes to elections, I am most interested in what a person will do while in office, not what that person did beforehand. Furthermore, I want to know if the candidate believes in limited government, and holds to a viewpoint (backed by actions) that the main purpose of the U.S. Constitution was both to create a functioning national government and to protect citizens from the ravages of the state.

John McCain, while he was a war hero, and while he managed to keep his honor (at least while a prisoner in Vietnam), does not pass the "limited government" test. That is all I need to know.

First, McCain likes being called a "Maverick Republican." Now, that term is usually meant for a "liberal" Republican, but since McCain generally scores high with the conservative rating systems, the "maverick" label comes because at times he will try to come out with a public point of view that goes against the party label.

McCain often has supported gun control legislation, which always is a favorite with the New York Times crowd. Never mind that places like Washington, D.C., with the nation's strictest gun laws also has one of the nation's highest crime rates. Gun control laws really are anti-self defense laws, and there is a larger picture that we have to recognize.

Countries like Canada, Australia and Great Britain, which have draconian gun control laws, also criminalize a lot of actual self-defense. For example, an elderly man was attacked in a London subway, and he used a point on his cane to ward off the attackers. He was prosecuted for "using an offensive weapon." There are many other cases like this, and the authorities openly admit that if police cannot help people who are being attacked, that is just too bad. As one Canadian who was "proud" of such laws told me, self-defense is just another form of violence. The idea is simple: all of us are property of the state, and if the state does not protect us, then we are undeserving of protection.

Second, nothing comes close to McCain's up-front role in passing "campaign finance reform," with the infamous McCain-Feingold Act. Called by many the "Incumbents Protection Act," the law criminalizes political speech, making it illegal for certain groups to air advertisements critical of candidates within certain time periods before elections.

The act was popular on the left, and especially among leftist Democrats, since it placed them on a more equal footing with Republicans, hence its absolute support among Democrats. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law (with the Democrats on the court — and Sandra Day O'Conner — providing the winning margin in the 5-4 vote), it still was a dark day for free speech in the United States.

Then there is the 2000 South Carolina primary in which George W. Bush was able to win in a bruising campaign. As one who was living in South Carolina at the time, I will tell a story that has not been in print before. People know that Bush spoke at Bob Jones University, and that McCain later used that to bolster his campaign in Michigan, calling Catholic voters there and reminding them of the anti-Catholic statements coming from BJU.

However, what McCain's followers did not say was that his campaign manager, a BJU graduate arranged for McCain to speak at Hampton Park Baptist Church the Sunday before the primary vote, which in Greenville is known as the "Bob Jones Church." Thus, John McCain, who publicly excoriated George W. Bush for not lecturing BJU on race or anti-Catholic attitudes, had many of the same people in his audience that Bush had in his at BJU.

Furthermore, McCain was well aware who was in the audience, McCain did not lecture anyone on race or anti-Catholic attitudes. To put it mildly, it was a blatant act of hypocrisy, and furthermore, McCain did something that few politicians have done: make political points by attacking the theology of a religious group. It would be like a politician going to Notre Dame and condemning Roman Catholics because they did not accept the doctrines of John Calvin. This kind of intrusion by someone from the state into the theological affairs of a Christian church has no place in this country. None.

John McCain crossed that line in 2000, and as far as I am concerned it meant that he had no real commitment to the values of the Constitution.

Likewise, his insistence on threatening major league baseball with all sorts of legal punishments if the league did not crack down on steroids in a manner of McCain's liking has told me that for all of his rhetoric, he is a little dictator at heart.

As for me, I don't vote for little dictators. I did not vote for him in 2000, and I did vote for him in the primaries. Instead I voted for Ron Paul. In fact, Ron Paul is the first presidential candidate from either the Republican or Democrat party I voted for.

Not that it matters as by the time the general election rolls around (assuming he secures the nomination at the convention in September), McCain will not win. In a nutshell, that says more about the current state of the GOP than it does about McCain or the eventual Democrat party nominee.


Anonymous said...


I'm in total agreement in not voting for McCain. I don't know about his hero status though.

Check out the story here:§ionid=3510303

Here is an excerpt concerning his POW actions. Hardly heroic.

Begin Excerpt:

Although he spent six years in captivity during the Vietnam War, he is well-known as a person who has done more than anyone else in Washington to bury the POW/MIA (Missing Personnel Act) and especially the POW/MIA Rescue Act, a bill which would have granted political asylum to any southeast Asian national who brought a living American POW to freedom.

Why would a former POW oppose such a bill?

Even though he likes to present himself as a hero, facts show he violated the Military Code of Conduct four days after being captured on Oct. 26, 1967, in exchange for better medical treatment.

The Code specifically orders American personnel to give the enemy no information other than name, rank, serial number, and date of birth, yet McCain admitted to exchanging military information during his six-week hospital stay in a May 14, 1973 interview.

Government records show that less than two weeks after he was taken to the hospital, Hanoi's press began quoting specific military information only Admiral McCain's son could have told them.

Records also show that McCain continued to collaborate with the Vietnamese after he recovered from his injuries and that he conducted several anti-US broadcasts.

This could explain why he personally traveled to Hanoi in May of 1993 with soon-to-be Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson and convinced the country to agree that they would never make public their interrogation files of American POWs.

End of excerpt

In June 2007 the Supreme court struck down much of McCain-Feingold as unconstitutional. Story below.

In June of 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., that BCRA's limitations on corporate and labor union funding of broadcast ads mentioning a candidate within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general election are unconstitutional as applied to ads susceptible of a reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate. Some election law experts believe the new exception will render BCRA's "electioneering communication" provisions meaningless, while others believe the new exception is quite narrow. The Federal Election Commission's interpretation and application of the new exception during the 2008 election cycle will determine the true scope and impact of the Court's decision.

Catch you later,

Amelia said...

Nice research. How about posts on why not to vote for Clinton and Obama? I'd like to read more on the most popular candidates along with McCain. That would be interesting, too.

Chris F. said...


I will be posting my thoughts on them next month. Stay tuned.