McCain has experience

By By Craig Elder

By Craig Elder

With all the talk of change during the current election cycle, it was experience and a commitment to hold to the roots of American values that convinced me that John McCain is ready to lead, as demonstrated during the first of the presidential debates Friday. The experienced, tested, tried, and fierce “Maverick” of the Senate proved himself worthy of the title on not only foreign policy, but the economy as well.

There is little doubt that now is the time for America to implement principles of decreasing spending, lowering taxes across the board to individuals and companies alike and making sacrifices necessary to maintaining our status as the world’s financial leader. This cannot be accomplished by making unrealistic promises to the American people that would increase spending by nearly $800 billion, promises that Barack Obama has expressed throughout his campaign. Even Sen. Obama began to curtail his ever-encompassing “government will do it all” policy when moderator Jim Lehrer asked him about what would have to be given up in policy plans due to the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street companies. His response: Some things would have to be delayed.

Sen. McCain, on the other hand, not only rejects the addition of costly programs, but supports cutbacks on wasteful pork-barrel spending, a position on which Obama has a less than impressive record.

I can hear the screams of Democrats about the spending in Iraq each month, now standing around $10 billion monthly. Although Obama earlier ran on a campaign that he would get us out as soon as in office, his move to the center now includes provisions on that promise8212;provisions that mark no decrease in spending. I doubt that any American would argue that an American life is not worth any amount of money, and Obama and McCain agree that the troops must have their funds. The surge is working and I pray, along with everyone, that we can bring the troops home, eliminating our monetary costs but especially the cost of Americans lives.

This brings me to the debate on foreign policy that accentuated the differences of the two senators. McCain’s military experience and long career in Congress no doubt shape his views on the direction of American foreign policy, experience that conveys trust and know-how.

In July of 2007 Obama was asked whether he would be willing to meet “without pre-condition” with leaders of Iran, Cuba, Syria and other rogue nations. He said he would. The threat of rogue leaders of volatile nations is ever-present and Obama’s position on meeting these leaders without preconditions, a position somewhat revised during Friday night’s debate, is as McCain said “not only naïve, but dangerous.”

Obama’s somewhat revised position on Friday illustrates that he really is the candidate of change8212;a constant change on position in order to be elected. McCain, on the other hand, has held the position that certain preconditions must be met so as not to legitimize rogue leaders’ positions to arm themselves, declare destruction on other nations and pursue other volatile courses of action.

The experience and inexperience of the two senators was displayed repeatedly on issues involving Iran’s nuclear threat, Russia’s aggression on Georgia, Afghanistan militants, and how to handle the current situation in Iraq. McCain stood out as a leader in his own right, and displayed the necessity to have judgment from experience in those types of situations compared to simply having judgment.

Friday night’s debate not only displayed the experience and strong-willed attitude of McCain to do what is right despite his party’s platform or the possibility of losing votes, but also displayed how Obama will shift to win the presidency. The future is bright for America, but the course to get there will be difficult, a course which I will take with McCain.

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Craig Elder