Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why I'm More Afraid

One of the big reasons supporters are citing for John McCain is that he will be a better commander in chief and will keep us safer in the future. I don't think that is true. Indeed, I am afraid if John McCain becomes president that we will be less safe not more so.

here are a few reasons why I think that...

1. He presents himself as being truly unaware of the complexities of the world today. We all saw the news clip with Liebermann correcting him regarding the role of Iran in terrorism.

2. The most frightening piece of that is that he doesn't seem to see the difference between state actors and non-state actors and speaks as if they can be dealt with, excuse me, attacked in the same way. They cannot.

3. His hot temper just isn't the kind of temperament I want in a person who commands the military or especially one who has his finger on the button.

4. he has given up any moral ground that he held before. Read these words from Rabbi Rami Shapiro's blog, Toto, speaking about the Republican Convention... but the comment certainly reflects McCain's current stance
Rather than referencing John McCain’s war record as a sign that he would keep us out of war, rather than pointing to his brutal torture as proof that he would stop America’s use of torture; speaker after speaker glorified war and rumors of war. Rather than use the moral high ground to be moral, they used it to excuse the immoral.

5. He consistently paints the world in black and white, good and evil, us and them. It may play to his base but the real world just isn't that simple.

6. He seems ignorant of cultural and religious differences that are critical for dealing in constructive ways with the Islamic world, a world that is extremely diverse.

I don't believe that John McCain can build the coalitions that are required to work against non-state actors. I don't believe he trusts the power of our example over the example of our power. I don't believe he is able to get past a Cold War type understanding of the world.


Michael Mahoney said...

Looks like you're in the minority, Roy, according to Gallup, and now CBS:

Obama still not prepared: 42% say he's prepared to be president, versus 76% for McCain. And 55% think it very likely that McCain would be an "effective" commander in chief, up nine points from the previous poll.

Even the Huffington Post, that bastion of Bush-bashing liberalism, is in a panic state.

As a Democrat, I am nervous and on the verge of desperation. As a media relations professional - someone who does messaging and media training for a living - I am simply puzzled. This is not hard stuff. The Democrats MUST stop responding and become more proactive. Here are ten tips for the Obama campaign, gratis:

They suggest that Obama do more photo ops with military leaders, so that he will seem more Commander-in-Chiefish. Oh yeah, that makes me feel safe.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...


There's the idea that because McCain is military he's prepared. Remember that many military folk, including US Grant have made poor Presidents. Remember too that Adams, Jefferson, and Madison weren't miltary.

The big problem with McCain is that he is a shoot from the hip reactive personality. Obama on the other hand is thoughtful and pragmatic. But, it seems that many think that a gunslinger is a good commander in chief. Well look at what GW got us into!

Mike said...

Yeah, makes me feel safe too. Roy, you basically are saying that you have more of an understanding of the world than McCain...who probably has twice as much life experience as you in age alone, not to mention his years of experience in serving his country and sacrificing for his country. Are you always this arrogant?

What have you done to gain experience in understanding how the world works as a whole? From what I see from this blog, you are and have been a pastor. Not something I'm mocking at all...I think it's great...but it hardly qualifies as "world experience" on a political level.

You say the "real world" isn't that simple. I think McCain may have a better understanding than you of just how real the world actually is. Not everyone can be "talked to" and not everything can be solved by "talking" which is what Obama seems to be all about. Sure, it's good to talk and solve things by communicating if at all possible. But often times, in dealing with bullies and fanatics, it takes more than that and it frightens me to think of Obama as the Commander in Chief because I just don't think he has it in him to do more when it will be required.

You want a community organizer and senator to make decisions on when to use force and when not to? I would prefer someone with actual military experience and credentials any day...and so will most of America on election day.

roy said...

Michael, I may be in the minority... but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Mike, arrogant? You'll have to make that judgment.

Know more than McCain about the world? Yes. I do. If all it took to be wise was years, then as a culture we are clearly asking the wrong questions when we vote and Cuba and China have better leaders

Military experience... no I have none... but what does military experience have to do with leading the military or making good decisions? Just because I can drive a car doesn't make me qualified to do traffic planning. Part of the genius of the shapers of our democracy was that they put the military under civilian control and clearly did not require the president to have military experience. Indeed, the only positive that a vet would bring to the office is the realization that war is hell and should be a very last resort and that some things are just immoral such as torture. McCain seems to have forgotten both of those lessons.

Mike said...

What I meant by McCain's years is that he was serving our country when many of us were in still in grade school and high school...life experience SERVING his country.

So you do know more about the world than McCain. How so if I may ask? Where and how did you acquire such knowledge and understanding? If you say "from the Bible," I'm going to fall out of my chair.

fernando said...

I'm a lot less worried about his temper or the moral categories that he uses to simply the world into sound bites than the way he has turned back on a lot of the principles that made him attractive. McCain circa 2000 was a lot more critical in his views of how to use the military, in the cultural divisiveness of his party and the need to build global coalitions than McCain circa 2008.

It seems both candidates may have overreached in an attempt to gain the full support of their parties. At least that's what I'm hoping.

roy said...


the short answer is curiosity and openness.

the long answer is that I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood and always was interested in understanding how other people experienced the world. I have spent some time in a variety of places in the world, my daughter lived in India and in Hungary for about 6 months each and spent a summer in Central America. The entire family spent 5 weeks in Great Britain when I did an exchange with a pastor in Leicester. I have friends from all over the world.

Mike said...

That is all good. But you assume that McCain has not had a least that much, if not more, international experiences and exposure? Why are your experiences better or filled with more understanding than his?

roy said...

I assume he has traveled other than while in the military... but he doesn't evidence that he has learned much from it

Jane said...

Frankly, I'd rather have a president in office that lacks experience but surrounds himself with that knowledge base than someone who continually harps on winning wars. Haven't we had enough war? - Jane