Why I Am Endorsing Sen. John McCain
By Jerry Zandstra Posted in 2008 — Comments (29) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Why I Am Endorsing Sen. John McCain
Since the fall of 2006, I have served on Sen. Sam Brownback’s national steering committee for his presidential campaign. Sam is a good man and I was saddened by the news of his departure from the race. His consistent voice honoring life and highlighting the need to restore the family will be missed from the presidential dialogue. He reflects what’s important to me and many conservatives.
I have thought about each of the Republican candidates and examined their strengths and weaknesses. Each brings something unique and on many points, we agree. And each has policy positions which do not completely align with my own. After careful consideration and following the developments of each of the candidates, I have decided to wholeheartedly endorse Sen. John McCain.
Pragmatically, two recent polls (Fox News and News/Opinion Dynamic Poll) show that Sen. McCain is best positioned to defeat Sen. Hillary Clinton in the general election. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney are 12 points behind Hillary.
But true Republicans are deeper than mere pragmatism. My reasons of principle fall into two categories. The first is that of ongoing issues and principles and consist of what are usually thought of as core positions in Republican platform. I have examined several years worth of comments and articles on Sen. McCain’s position on abortion. He is a consistent opponent of abortion. While some other Republican candidates, like Mayor Giuliani, are pro-choice or, like Gov. Romney, have only recently become opponents of abortion, Sen. McCain’s record is clear, consistent, and lengthy.
Sen. McCain also defends marriage. He serves on a committee in Arizona which focuses on defining marriage as it has always been defined: occurring between one man and one woman.
The second category of reasons for supporting Sen. McCain is more focused on the unique situation in which our nation currently finds itself. Wise organizations of every size and shape know that it is important to pay careful attention to the challenges they face when searching for new leadership. People with particular skills and experience are brought into specific situations because they are best positioned to lead through a crisis. There really is a phenomenon of “for such a time as this.”
I believe that Sen. McCain is the leader for such a time as this. The next political leader of the United States must have vast global experience. He or she will be a war president and a deep and personal understanding of the military will be vital to the interests of the United States. The next president must have first-hand knowledge of friends and foes alike around the globe. Knowing the name of the Canadian prime minister or having vacationed in Europe is not enough. Holding a position as a business executive is not enough. On-the-job training is simply too precarious in a complex and dangerous world.
John McCain’s military service to our nation is beyond reproach. His understanding of the complexities of the global political and military challenges is unparalleled in either party. He was right when he called for additional troops at the beginning of the Iraq war and he is right in his unswerving support for winning the Iraq war. Neither position was popular, but Sen. McCain has demonstrated courage, experience, and prudence by calling for what is both right and necessary. His statement that he would rather win the war than the presidency speaks volumes about his heart and soul.
Equally important, the economy of the United States faces enormous challenges from globalization. The easy answer is isolationism – build the walls around the United States high and thick. The Democrats and, unfortunately, some Republicans are adopting the failed strategy of isolationism, hoping to gain political points. But economical isolation has never worked and it will not work now.
We can attempt to isolate ourselves from the world or we can engage and compete in the world. As Sen. McCain clearly demonstrated at the presidential debate in Michigan, he stands with those who see opportunity where others see a reason to hide. Saying such things in Dearborn, Michigan takes guts and, again, Sen. McCain demonstrated that his love for our nation comes before his concern about his political career.
For courage, for wisdom, for experience, there really is only one choice: Sen. John McCain.
Rev. Jerry Zandstra, PhD