Tags: john | mccain | president

More Than Ever, We Need John McCain

Wednesday, 29 Oct 2008 01:49 PM

By E. Ralph Hostetter

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Not in recent years has there been such stark contrasts between candidates for the presidency of the United States.

On the one hand, the political philosophy of the Democratic candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s, D-Ill., reaches to the far left.

His comment “spread the wealth around,” was given in a spontaneous manner as though it was on the tip of his tongue, ready to be spoken at the first opportunity.

It was the spontaneity of the remark that so clearly ties him to the comment.

Obama’s experience consists of being a community organizer and serving the poor and underprivileged people in a suburb of Chicago. He has had no managerial or executive experience.

He served in the Illinois state Senate for seven years (1997-2004) and has served in the U.S. Senate for four years since 2004.

Obama has relied on his superior speaking ability and his rhetoric to advance himself to the recognition he enjoys today.

While military service is not a requirement for the highest office in the land, in times of war it is certainly an enhancement.

Obama opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. He opposes the war in Afghanistan and voted against the surge in Iraq that proved to be highly successful. Obama has not acknowledged that fact.

He advocates withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He has amended his first statements to withdraw, depending on conditions on the ground.

His opposition to military force in Iraq from the beginning is shared by many in the United States, but as commander in chief, if elected, opposition is not a choice. Will his present attitude toward the war in Iraq affect his duty requirements?

These are critical times.

The United States was brought into a war, not if its choice, on Sept. 11, 2001.

It was the first time the United States faced a stateless enemy.

The present war is in fact against a stateless power. There are no identifiable boundaries within which the enemy operates. The world is our enemies’ stage and the United States has accepted that challenge, as regrettable as it is.

A firm hand is needed at this time to direct the ship of state and the world’s most powerful military force.

As vice presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., has so aptly pointed out, Obama is stepping onto the stage of a very dangerous world without having been tested.

It is a fair question: How will he react under the tremendous pressures that go with the Oval Office in time of war and as commander in chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever known?

There is no time for on-the-job training of the next chief executive of the United States.

The United States is fortunate to have another candidate who has been battle-tested in war and has the wounds to prove it. He is U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ranking member of the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee.

McCain has served his country since the age of 17 when he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

As a naval officer and carrier-based fighter pilot, McCain rose to the position of commander of the U.S. Navy’s largest fighter squadron. He did not direct operations from the deck of the carrier, but chose to fly into combat with his men.

It was on one of those missions that his plane was shot down over enemy territory in Vietnam. Despite the fact that he was seriously wounded in the incident, his Vietnamese captors repeatedly tortured him.

At the time his father was an admiral and was commander in chief of naval operations. As a war prisoner, McCain was identified as “the crown prince.”

This designation made his torture no less severe. Then, he was offered early release if he would publicly condemn the war and identify the United States as the aggressor. His answer was no. He refused to leave his men.

McCain’s mettle has been tested under the most extreme conditions.

At no time in history has the United States faced so many enemies or potential enemies in the world.

Opposition to U.S. interests and the safety and security of U.S. citizens come from nearly every continent in the world, from Iran in the Middle East to North Korea in Asia to Cuba in the Caribbean Sea and to Venezuela in South America.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is a time-honored expression. At no time in the history of the United States has that quote been more meaningful.

Of note is the comment made by Mark Mooney of ABC News in his column from Oct. 27 that the “Obama . . . campaign is awash in cash.”

There have been rumors of large amounts of cash that have entered the campaign for Obama and are now listed as unaccounted for. No doubt, a post mortem examination of the current election campaign will reveal this if it is true.

This election is critical. It will set the course of government for a long time to come.

It is imperative that McCain be elected to guarantee that America will keep its course of the peace and prosperity that assures lower taxes, job creation, and puts an end to any incursion into the American political and economic systems that would encourage such a left-wing notion as “sharing the wealth.”

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