Thursday, January 24, 2008

McCain's not Abel

There is a hot debate within conservative ranks over what to do come November and Johny Mac is the ticket. I have the utmost respect for any man who gives everything for his country in service, and John has. But, that is as a man and a private individual. As a politician he is a divisive self aggrandizing ego with apparently a singleness of purpose in attaining fame and power. As a consequence, he has burned the conservative base multiple times with many issues. Furthermore, he has repeatedly played with the devil on the Sunday shows when he should have been finding a more consecrated path someplace else. All of these add up to many, many conservatives ready to forgo a chance at the White House for the next four years.

Where to go? Is it disloyal to close up the wallet, stay home in November, and look to the future? This is a question many are wrestling with. But lets get some perspective. I am a conservative politically. Why? My personal life philosophy is represented there. My education leads me to decide what economic policies are fruitfull to the country, and I find them echoed among conservatives. History is filled with lasting societies that exercised peace through power, so I side with the security moms in the conservative camp. These are all examples of what forms the "conservative base", yet how much success have we had in representation in the last two decades?

The '94 revolution curbed spending to some degree. There was some welfare reform. Bush's response to the threat of global jihad was correctly intentioned. We place two exceptional judges on the Supreme Court. There are a few more examples. But taken in the context of where this country has trended overall, its a few drops vs. a torrent of popular socialism. This reflects more the system of politics than the underlying views of the populace. Americans tend to love our representatives that go to Washington and get something for us. Otherwise, why elect them? We will be stuck in this trend for a long time, so as conservatives, we need to repackage our political philosophy in a way that clearly identifies the individual and group benefits of electing like minded representatives.

This is why Reagan was successful. He could communicate the positive vision of tax cuts, and how that would benefit everyone. He could unveil a world without the Cold War through real and perceived military strength. Conversely, this is where our more conservative candidates have failed. They have the right ideas, the correct policies, the fortitude and character to be good leaders and representatives. But they have failed at revealing a positive vision of the future. Not that some haven't tried. But those attempts have been generally ensnared in the war, economic rhetoric, or some other pessimistic popular perception.

Trapped in public perception, our clearest conservatives have been buried. What we are left with is varying degrees of standard politician. Fred Thompson was closest to a conservative candidate, yet still had a few missing pieces, and a complete washout of a campaign. But this is about McCain, and why he is such a quandary. One answer is that he has played public perception, rode the waves of opinion, sided up with populism for political gain. He brings forth a consistant offering, always to appease what is popular. Always to engender favor with money and power. Going after campaign money, yet leaving union contribution alone. Proposing immigration reform, to appeal to a voting block and garner corporate support in one devious backroom swoop.

There is a parable here. Cain offered up the yield of the field but was rejected. Abel made a sacrifice to God that was accepted. Cain became jealous and enraged and smote his brother. It seems that McCain has offered to us that which is popular, that which is from the field. Additionally, could his jealousy and anger from the 2000 primary sprouted into resentment? Could this be one of his core motivations in repeatedly stabbing at the conservative base for the last seven years?

I don't know all the answers, but I do know that the evidence points toward a disaster under McCain's leadership. We are looking for a conservative leader, a party leader. A bitter maverick is a poor fit. It would seem that finding a conservative leader would be more important than having a placeholder as president. Grasping for power through a particular party in disarray does nothing for our political philosophy. With this in mind, let us turn towards the future, find men of character who can see a bright future, and elect them.

The country is not headed towards conservative ideals, and when we ostensibly held complete power, we were disappointed to find that the party was not conservative. Whether Hillary or McCain is president probably won't result in vast differences. Loosing more seats in the House and Senate will be more important than the above choice. And if you argue simply court appointments, think of the judges appointed by Reagan and Bush Sr.

Abel was murdered, but the path he folowed is clear. Bring to God the acceptable sacrifice. Tend to the flock, the breathing things. Lets find a leader who will do likewise with our conservative ideals. Leave the inanimate ideals of socialism in the field. Don't stand with the son's of Cain. I jest in my metaphor, with kernels of truth.

Lest anyone be offended, I would stand for McCain's entrance, shake his hand anyday and thank him for his service to this country. And for those who take the alegory to far, no, I don't equate the conservative base with God. Lighten up. I ponder however, what is acceptable to the faithful should be reflected in their political allegiances, no?

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