Tuesday’s general election historical

Published 1:34 am Monday, November 3, 2008

By By Tray Smith
– Rudy Giuliani, Speech to the 2008 Republican National Convention
Giuliani, prone, as all politicians are, to hyperbole, may have overstated the consequences of this election, or his predecessors may indeed have overstated the consequences of elections past. However, all elections are important, and in light of the challenges posed by volatility in the oil and financial markets, Russia’s resurgence, and the ongoing malevolence in the Middle East, it is difficult to argue the circumstances facing the next President could be more threatening. Indeed, because the next President will decide if the financial rescue plan was an act of emergency relief or the beginning of a permanent slide to socialism, whether or not our troops will finish the job in Iraq, and how we will sustain our economic superiority against a rising China and a growing India, the election of an experienced, determined, and hard working commander-in-chief has never been more crucial.
Therefore, I will cast my first Presidential ballot for John McCain this Tuesday, disregarding the influence of the overwhelming majority of my youthful peers who have allowed their sincere hope for change to produce a naive disregard for reality.
There are many issues on which John McCain and I disagree, and I have written about them extensively on this page. The McCain-Feingold Act, the culmination of McCain’s career long effort to reign in political corruption, is, in reality, a restriction of political speech whose loopholes have been exploited by the McCain campaign itself. Throughout the turmoil that recently swept Wall Street, McCain’s multiple raw attempts at political opportunism did not inspire confidence in his ability to lead the nation in crises. For the past five months, John McCain, a seasoned politician, has repeatedly allowed his campaign to be outmaneuvered and outsmarted by the young Obama.
Nevertheless, McCain, initially reluctant to embrace conservatism whole heartedly, has found in this campaign a new passion for pro-growth economic policies and traditional moral values. He has emerged as a committed fighter for some policies he once opposed, including off-shore drilling and the Bush tax cuts, which are both essential prerequisites to economic recovery opposed by the Democrats. McCain has proposed the most thorough health care plan ever put forth by a Republican, establishing a strong alternative to the socialized schemes long advocated by the Democratic Party. McCain has also been the most vocal advocate for school choice to ever venture onto the Presidential campaign trail.
McCain’s long record on government spending provides credence to his pledge to balance the budget deficit, which is the greatest long term obstacle to economic prosperity and the most important issue for my generation. He is also dedicated to tackling the fiscal challenges posed by Social Security and Medicare, so they will be solvent when today’s workers retire.
Perhaps most importantly, John McCain is a staunch supporter of preserving the secret ballot system used when workers decide whether or not they want to establish a union. Our domestic auto and airline industries have been greatly hampered by union influence in recent years; yet the Democratic Party hopes to force workers to make unionization votes public so labor organizations can intimidate them into backing the labor cause.
On foreign policy, there is no comparison between the experienced McCain and the studied Obama, whose expressed desire to meet leaders of rogue states would loan credibility to those who seek harm upon our allies and our homeland. This glaring Obama deficiency has been evident throughout this campaign, as McCain has repeatedly listed the major national security crises he has been involved in while Obama has, seriously, cited his undergraduate major.
More than just a choice between two candidates and two agendas, this election is a referendum on what we value as a nation. Will we choose a candidate who selflessly sacrificed for the expansion of freedom and the preservation of our own national security? Or will we instead vindicate the politics of celebrity, which is more in sync with global opinion than the significance of our national heritage?
A few months ago, John McCain was asked to comment on the rise of China – for whom speculators have already named the 21st Century. McCain replied that America was still and would continue to be the greatest country in the world and that the 21st Century would be the “American century, too.” It is that unwavering faith in America and its values, matched by a limitless willingness to serve, that has convinced me McCain is the right choice for the future in which my children will be raised.
That’s the bottom line.
Tray Smith is a political columnist for the Atmore Advance. He is a student at Escambia County High School and can be reached at tsmith_90@ hotmail.com

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