I've finally made a decision about who I'm going to support for President. After hemming and hawing, going to Rudy Giuliani, possibly changing my mind, looking at Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson's charismaless outer shell, and Huckabee the Baptist Preacher, I've decided on John McCain. There are several things that I really like about him despite his not having much of a chance. Of course, that could change with Rudy's sudden plummet, but who knows. One thing I do know is that I agree with him on issues the most of all the candidates.
I disqualified Ron Paul for a lot of reasons. One is his stance on immigration. Another is his stance on war. Don't get me wrong, I don't like war. Nevertheless his no war ever stance is a bit perplexing. Consider this exchange from Meet the Press:
Russert: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."
Paul: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist--
Russert: We'd still have slavery.
Paul: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.
The thing about this is that the Confederacy seceded before the Civil War started. It wasn't that Lincoln was knocking around saying "let's start a war." He prosecuted a war to keep the country together when the Confederacy had left because a Republican was president. If Lincoln didn't fight, the US wouldn't be the US we know. The fact of the matter is that Paul is engaging in the absolute worst kind of historical hindsight - taking something that is unquestionably known to have been the right decision (indeed, it is the single biggest reason why Lincoln is considered the 2nd greatest president) and saying that it wasn't because 600,000 men died. I suppose that he also believes we shouldn't have fought World War II.
Anyway, enough of Ron Paul, back to McCain. The first reason I like him is his immigration position. Every Republican to one degree or another has to say they hate immigration to get anywhere in the primaries, but McCain is the least vocal about it. I like his position on military intervention and the current war - get out on our terms. I like his position on government waste. He's been a one man show in the Senate for a lot of years on earmarks and other spending and that should count for something. Normally I wouldn't be as big a proponent of his former POW status, but it shows his toughness and his commitment to the nation. After all, he didn't just spend a weekend in the Hanoi Hilton, he was there for over 5 years. That's dedication. Like I said, I don't think he'll end up winning the nomination, but he's certainly a candidate I feel like I can be proud to support.