"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-Samuel Adams

the Misanthropic Humanist:


15 June 2008

How do you solve a problem like John McCain?

If Senator Obama wins the election this November, we will have the most liberal president in the history of the country. A drastically, radically left wing president will have two heavily democratic majorities in congress, and plenty of empty judicial seats to fill. If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, maybe this will: If Senator McCain wins the election this november, we’ll not only have a left wing president with two houses of congress on his side, we’ll have that for the next 12 years.

The wholesale push from the mainstream media to get McCain nominated for the republican presidential nomination was a resounding success for them. By repeating over and over again that he was the only candidate that even had a chance at beating the Democrat nominee, they managed to secure the nomination for one of the only people that has a chance of losing. Really, I know that the common wisdom out there is that after 8 years of George Bush, the country is really tired of the right wing, and McCain is just moderate enough that he might have a chance. I don’t even accept the premise. Starting with George Bush being right wing. The man let Ted Kennedy write the education bill. He tried to push through an amnesty bill. Oh, and he signed McCain/Feingold. Sure, no president is perfect, and even if one was, I’m sure I’d still find a way to disagree with him, but to believe the labeling of Bush as “extreme right wing” is to throw away all critical assessment of the political spectrum. What he did was to pass exactly ONE substantial tax cut - which increased the total income of the federal government - and he defended the country when it was attacked. Those two things ought to be the bare minimum before a person is even considered for the nomination of either party. That they’re not is exactly why McCain has a chance to lose the election. Because the only conservatives that will vote for him will do so out of fear of Obama.

So about those 12 years... The next 4 years are going to be rough no matter who the next president is. The economy is wobbly, gas prices are astronomical, and we’re teetering on a victory in the middle east that may or may not be accepted as such by the electorate. If Obama becomes president those rough four years will become a disaster. In response to a weak economy, he’ll easily convince congress to increase taxes, and the economy will spiral faster. His solution to a gas price crunch caused by a lack of supply will be to punish those who supply it. Or maybe take things even further and effectively nationalize the industry through regulation and taxation. Either way, the situation will get worse, not better. Oh, and with Iraq on the verge of standing on its own two feet and joining the civilized world, and he’ll pull the carpet out from under them. Iran will likely invade. What do you think THAT will do to oil prices? What will THAT do to the economy? And don’t even get me started on social issues. The good news is that the backlash would be huge. A conservative leader would HAVE to arise from this mess, because conservative ideas will become inarguably true. (I must add here that I already think they’re completely self-evident, and I’m shocked every time some adult who apparently functions on his own in society tries to argue otherwise.) Epic, public failures have a way of changing even the votes of people who don’t really understand the argument, and this will happen in four years if Obama gets elected. The real question is: Can we afford that? How much will be given away in those four years? How much national sovereignty will we cede? How far will our economy slide, and how dependent will people be on the inevitably expanded federal government? In what state will our freedom really be? I don’t know for sure, but I know that it doesn’t look good. The end result will be a re-birth of conservatism. Leadership often develops to fill a vacuum, and we would certainly have that. I think the fear of being “right” would fall away and even some congressmen would start to think on their own.

What happens if McCain wins? Well, the next four years won’t be rosy, but they’ll be survivable. He’ll work with the Democrats and I won’t be happy about 75% of the judges appointed, but at least he won’t nominate Gloria Steinem. The economy will continue to slump, what with “obscene profits” of oil companies being a target of his, but at least he won’t try to nationalize them. Iraq will have a chance to turn out alright, though I hardly think he’ll be the one to sell the victory for what it is. So in the long run, that may turn out to be OK, too. Not great, but OK. In the meantime, the same vitriol we’ve heard from the left for the last 8 years would continue. The miserable economy would be the great depression. The energy crisis would be the result of Republican collusion with Big Oil, and dirty gutters in Iraq would be the obviously heinous result of continued right wing hatred for any people even a little bit swarthy in complexion. It would all be our fault for sending up another “right wing conservative” even though he bears no resemblance to one (if only...). So the conventional wisdom and evening news will rise together and declare that conservatism is dead. Our guy had his chance and blew it. Supermajorities in both houses of congress will grow even further, and with all the country’s problems blamed on the “Republican” (I have to use quotation marks to call him that), a Democrat will win the oval office in 2012. Any republican VP chosen by McCain for this election will be buried under the previous 12 years of combined bad press and bad ideas. No matter how conservative this man started out, he would be completely unable to champion his most valuable ideas, as he would be inevitably weakened by his term of vice-presidency with McCain. So the Democrat would serve for 8 years while masses of people believe that conservatism has been proven ineffective despite never having witnessed any of it at all.

Again, pretty bleak. With no conservative leadership in sight, neither option looks very good. I only see one opening. I think there is a way to have the 4 years of McCain (much less tragic than 4 years of Obama) and still prevent the murder of conservatism. I want John McCain to win the election, but I want Democrats to elect him. I want the lowest Presidential election turnout in history. I want it to be painfully, unavoidably obvious that conservatives DO NOT want to vote for him. It’s the only way to prevent “He was the only one who can win” from becoming the truth it never was. So if he’s elected by democrats, voting for his liberal ideas, then true conservatives (and hopefully Republicans) can disown his presidency. We didn’t want that, we’ll say. We wanted Thompson, or Romney, or even Newt Gingrich, but not John McCain. We’ll have a president that we can respect, and still survive to mount a defense of conservatism four years later.

It ain’t perfect, but it’s something.