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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Lazarus Come Forth: The Rise of John McCain

Posted by iusbvision on February 4, 2008

John McCain, the man who would dare question Republican Orthodoxy, will soon take the mantle as the Republican nominee for the presidency, despite being left for dead only a few short months ago. But Mac is back with a vengeance, and it will no doubt come as a complete surprise to those who have derided him as the political equivalent of a heretic; he has challenged the odds, toughened his message, and some say he has even defied gravity.     

For an orthodox republican, he has shown a flagrant willingness to challenge the accepted party line when it seems to suit him. Worse yet, he has even shown that he believes what he says and votes on principle of all things. Shocking! This is but a foretaste of things political to come, the trade winds that will guide the McCain juggernaut to victory in November.    

The bottom line is that the McCain juggernaut is now unstoppable, whether it currently looks that way or not from the media who refuse to tell the story from an insider’s cultural perspective. Despite the talking heads on television who have told us that McCain’s victory is the result of his reliance on the independent vote to carry him to victory, the real story that is not being told is that both conservatives and evangelicals who vote in republican primaries are also quite practical: they really like winning. And that more than anything is driving Republicans to rally behind McCain, a nominee who can carry them to victory. Further, even though the current topic of conversation is about the fracturing Republican Party, it is assumed in conservative circles that this is only a temporary detour on the path to November.     

As Republicans, we assume it will all work out in the end. For Democrats, by contrast, the fractures are much deeper. There is the sense of real division. When Democrats come together, they don’t assume anything; they just make it happen anyway. This is one of the many differences between Republicans and Democrats as separate subcultures.    

But John McCain’s victory in November will take place for two basic reasons. The first of these is the issue of electability, the one reason for his eventual election that dwarfs all other considerations. The fact is, McCain can appeal to both Liberal and Conservative, Democrat and Republican, Independent, Libertarian, and even Hispanic. Even the networks have begun to report on this story. It is more than just an oddity that he is a genuine war hero — as opposed to the fraudulent John Kerry kind we saw in 2004. It is certainly notable that he was right in his criticism of the war in Iraq, even when it was political suicide to do so.     

And it is more than just another day at the political office that it was John McCain who teamed up with Senator Ted Kennedy to push through comprehensive immigration legislation, despite the blatantly false accusation that it was an “amnesty” bill, which it was obviously not but was demagogued to death by conservative talk radio. It is still more than just coincidence that he is for lower taxes, which he voted against only for the reason that there were no corresponding spending reductions — an obviously Republican position despite his detractors who deride him for wanting to — gasp! — cut spending.     

Add to this that he is pro-life and pro environment, meaning that he believes global warming is real, wants nuclear power plants and plans to invest in energy independence technologies, and you have a presidential candidate who is right in line with a clear majority of Americans on these and other important issues. Put another way, McCain doesn’t need the polls to inform his political judgments; he already takes the most popular positions on all of the major issues that challenge this generation, and that makes him virtually unbeatable, at least in regard to substance. The novelty of electing our nation’s first woman or African-American is quite another matter.    

The other major issue that will lead McCain to victory is the issue of expandability.  John McCain can do something that no other Republican candidate can do; he can expand the party with liberals, moderates, Hispanics, and independents. He has a wider appeal than any other candidate, save that of Barack Obama. McCain has seen correctly that the party must expand in order to survive, not just appeal to the base. And this sets him dramatically apart from Hillary Clinton, who has successfully alienated her own core constituency to the point of being completely unelectable. The McCain strategy of expansion is the future of American politics, not the politics of exclusion, and it is McCain alone who can carry that torch better than any other candidate.

Gerry Rough 

5 Responses to “Lazarus Come Forth: The Rise of John McCain”

  1. Ed Lima said

    The stars of talk show radio — especially Laura Ingraham and El Rushbo — have all denounced McCain as a liberal in disguise. Rush has even declared he will not vote Republican if Mac gets the nomination.

    Here’s my prediction: if McCain gets the nomination, Rush will reluctantly tone down his reservations towards the senator from Arizona, ESPECIALLY if Hillary gets the nod from the dems. The last thing Rush and the talk radio-dom wants is 4 more Clinton years. Although, should Hillary become president, conservative talk radio would have 4 years of material to work with…

  2. Craig Chamberlin said

    I appreciated both sides coming out for both candidates of the republican party in the past few weeks – it has given me alot of insight. Great article Gerry.

  3. Jarrod Brigham said

    There is a third candidate that we have not covered yet: Mitt Romney.

  4. Jarrod Brigham said

    Romney just endorsed McCain. Mark 2/14/08 down as the day the Reagan Coalition died. I for one will not be voting for the McCain/Romney ticket. Too bad we don’t have a camera at Reagan’s grave, I’m sure he is turning over.

  5. Chuck Norton said

    I liked the longer primary process from before. Candidates learn and grow during that process. Mitt Romney sure has. While I dont think he was idealy ready to be president this time – I do see him growing in his philosophical and technical understanding of things – so I am looking forward to Mitt running again next time.

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