Monday, September 8, 2008

To Young Independents


Let me start by saying that I respect you immensely. Your initial instinct is to question everything you hear and make a level-headed decision. You think about how much a president actually matters in getting business done in Washington, as opposed to where he or she stands on every conceivable issue. You’re comfortable with opinion dissonance inside your own head. You’re practical, thoughtful, and, most likely, quite cynical about what government can do for you.

            But I urge you not to be cynical this time. This election’s important, and it’s going to be fascinating. Gov. Sarah Palin’s selection as McCain’s running mate was yet more evidence of this last week. Each candidate has chosen a running mate that buttresses (or perhaps highlights) his weaknesses or shortcomings. The Gallup polls have been nail-bitingly close all summer. This is the first general election in 56 years where we have no incumbent candidate nor a sitting vice president running for president. And we stand at a crossroads in our national security and energy policies, with the opportunity for substantial discussion. The fact that both parties have made history in this election is icing on the cake compared to what I think are the real points of interest.

            Now it’s most likely you’re an educated bunch who doesn’t buy into political theatre or rhetoric. You acknowledge that Obama is a brilliant speaker and McCain a brave veteran, but aren’t confident that these are sufficient for the presidency. So allow me to ask that you get into the true joy of politics – not the name-calling or mudslinging, although I get into that stuff like I enjoy reading People magazine – but the candidates’ strategies. Have fun reading between the lines of their speeches. Because the vast majority of Americans aren’t as smart as you are, and politicians need to make their message simple, emotional, and easy-to-understand for those other people. But you’re different – you’ve studied the candidates’ voting records. You read realclearpolitics.com and Politico every morning. Hell, you’ve stumbled across this blog today. And you’re waiting for the debates before you make your final decision.

            In that case, allow me to make an attempt at an intelligent pitch for McCain. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles and went to Harvard for college. I’ve always been a hesitant conservative/moderate in a sea of liberals. I’ve always been in environments where it was cooler and even seen as more moral to be liberal and to be vocal about it, or at least to be a moderate. But in my last semester of college, I realized that it’s ok to be partisan, and it’s no less moral to be conservative. I think a lot of self-proclaimed “moderates” want to be fair and magnanimous. But just because I’m a Republican doesn’t mean I agree with everything the party does – I’m a human being, not a political party, and my ideas are shaped by my personal experiences. Over the years they may change, though I must admit that my core beliefs have remained pretty Republican.

At the beginning of the summer, though, when I saw how empty Obama’s message was and how liberal his supposed “post-partisan” policies were, I stopped believing that he’d stand by that line in his 2004 Democratic convention speech saying that “there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.” That was a statement that I personally found very uplifting (if only many of my liberal friends would take it to heart). But I trust McCain’s record of across-the-aisle legislation and unique combination of morality and pragmatism when it comes to foreign policy. And these are all qualities we really need right now in a president.

            Voting can be a lot like accepting a job offer – sometimes you’ll be skeptical of the company and the job, but hopefully at the end of the day, you recognize that the corporation’s basic mission is sound and it gets some solid, honest business done. The same goes for politics. I believe that both parties’ presidential and vice presidential candidates this year want to help this country. That’s why they’ve made public service their careers. But I just think the Republicans are the ones with the right ideas about rejuvenating both large and small businesses, ensuring that America has domestic oil reserves as well as a sustainable plan for alternative energy, and disabling terrorists by leading the world, not caving to it. And that’s why I’m choosing McCain and Palin.

3 comments:

TheMassMouth said...

An Excellent post, Katie ! One of the most compelling appeals I've yet seen o/b/o Big Mac. Thanks for being a bright light here at this blogsite :-)

Ferny for McCain at Stanford said...

Wondeful post. I hope that those young independents realize how critical this election is. Without exageration, the most critical election in the United States since 1980. The eighties proved to be a defining moment for the West; many countries in the EU (the France of Mitterand is the posterchild of that situation) adopted the policies that Obama now tries to sell as "new"; those countries screwed up so badly that their current challenge is how to get rid off them or else, the EU might start losing population quite soon (recent estimantes say that by 2015 there will be more deaths than births in the EU).

suek said...

>>the EU might start losing population quite soon (recent estimantes say that by 2015 there will be more deaths than births in the EU).>>

Not so long as there are muslims populating the land. Their birth rate is 3x (at least) that of native Europeans.

Have you read Mark Steyn's book?(America Alone) It wasn't what I thought it would be - it analyzes population growth by anticipated birth rates, and sees the future at being America (thanks to those red states who still have a positive birth rate) against islam as islam takes over Europe, England and much of the rest of the world by domination of the sword, and by political means by out-breeding the indiginous population.

It's scarey.