Far from being the post-racial campaign that pundits have talked and written about for months, this election cycle is proving to be the most racialized ever. Every word, gesture, act or omission is scrutinized by the media for double-meaning or racial undertones. But when we move beyond race and talk about what really matters -– the qualities we all seek in a president –- things become clearer. Senator John McCain is the best man for the job.Well done.
This doesn’t take anything away from Senator Obama. As a young Black and Hispanic male, I see Senator Obama as a role model. No one can deny his amazing achievement and inspirational life story. I also understand the concern of the Black and Hispanic communities given the Republican Party’s unfortunate recent history with regards to race. Senator McCain however, represents the best of what the Republican Party has to offer: service, experience, independence, judgment and pragmatism.
Senator McCain is a well-respected and known reformer. Significantly, McCain took on the entirety of the Republican establishment on immigration, offering leadership in devising a respectful and effective immigration policy. Unfortunately, the discourse surrounding the immigration issue from more xenophobic parts of the party has turned off many Hispanics to the GOP entirely. But it can’t be denied that McCain refused the politically expedient route and stood by his principles. This is the sort of bravery we should seek in our leaders.
The popular Democratic talking points that paint McCain as the second coming of President Bush miss the mark. McCain has repeatedly illustrated that he is his own man on issues of the highest import: interrogation techniques, diplomacy and nuclear proliferation, even the handling of the War in Iraq. Senator Obama’s record, on the other hand, reveals few attempts at bipartisanship and even fewer instances of the senator taking a principled stand in opposition to his party. With a country as divided and polarized as ever, can we really expect someone with the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate (see The National Journal’s 27th annual vote rankings) to compromise, to heal, and to unite? I have my doubts.
In spite of the utter incompetence of Congress, Senator McCain has proven himself willing to do what it takes to get the job done. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Kennedy, the Gang of Fourteen –- the list goes on. Senator McCain’s record indicates an individual committed to doing what is right, not simply what is politically expedient. It belies a man of deep conviction, of even temperament and sound judgment. Senator McCain might not always say or do what’s popular. Perhaps that’s why he’s losing this race. But perhaps that is exactly why he should be leading us through the next four years.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I love a man who stands up
Believe it and be strong about it. I’m Young, Black, Hispanic and Voting for John McCain. Here’s Why. is an op-ed by a third year Harvard law student. Way to go, voice your vote!