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FROM THE EDITOR
Heading into the Final Stretch
By JR Dieckmann

So far, just about everything has gone wrong for conservatives in this election. So what more can happen to further damage the conservative cause? It's already happening. Mike Huckabee, with no chance of winning, refuses to use good judgment and drop out of the race before Super Tuesday so that the votes can be decided between Romney and McCain. Huckabee will be siphoning off votes mainly from Romney, which will give the liberal McCain a decisive lead heading into the final stretch.

We need to take a closer look at what these two candidates really stand for on the major issues. Neither one is what I consider a true conservative but there are some major differences which should be important to all conservative voters.

National Defense

1. Both support the war on terror. McCain’s primary campaign issue has been the contention that he supported the “surge” in Iraq. Didn’t we all support the “surge” in Iraq? Mitt Romney supported the “surge” in Iraq as well. McCain has no exclusive on that issue. McCain is touted as a “war hero.” So was John Kerry, but what did either of them do to qualify as a “hero”? I still have not found an answer to that question. Was everyone who served in Vietnam a “war hero”?

2. Experience with foreign affairs would have to go to McCain. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he has access to more military intelligence information than does Romney. But McCain also joined with John Kerry on the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs to stop investigations into the remaining POWs and MIAs in Vietnam. McCain refuses to allow full disclosure of his records from Vietnam just as John Kerry has. Mitt Romney served in France during the Vietnam war. I don’t hold that against him, I served in Oklahoma during that period. McCain’s experience with the Senate Armed Services Committee could be a small advantage here but not all that significant. Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience either but it didn’t stop him from defeating the Soviet Union.

3. Some say McCain is strong on national defense but I have one problem with that. McCain favors closing down Camp Gitmo and moving the terrorist prisoners being held there into the domestic civilian court system, providing them with lawyers at our expense, and putting them on trial in civilian courts. These people are not domestic criminals, they are foreign terrorists and must continue to be treated as prisoners of war under supervision of the military. Romney has no such aspirations and supports the confinement of terrorists outside the United States.

4. McCain opposes any harsh interrogation methods of terrorist prisoners, even when the nation’s security against attack is threatened. McCain adamantly opposes waterboarding of prisoners with critical intelligence information such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in an effort to deter future terrorist attacks. McCain’s experience with torture and suffering in Vietnam, which was considerable and nearly fatal, has given him a sympathy for prisoners that affects his judgment in dealing with terrorism. He would allow no effective interrogation techniques to be used, even if it could prevent another attack on our nation. This could be disastrous for the country. On the other hand, Mitt Romney has no such problem and would do what is necessary to protect the country from terrorist attacks. He considers the lives of American citizens to be more important than the comfort of terrorists.

The Economy

There is no contest here. While Romney has spent his entire adult career in dealing with economic matters, turning red ink into black, managing corporations, and running a state government, McCain has no experience in managing anything at all and by his own admission, knows and understands little about the economy.

McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts on the grounds that they favored big business rather than the little guy. He didn’t even understand that the “little guys” don’t provide jobs, grow commerce, or stimulate the economy. McCain is using Democrat logic when it comes to tax cuts. He doesn’t understand that business needs more money in their pockets to grow and provide jobs for Americans.

McCain has a record of being a fiscal conservative in Congress, opposing excessive spending and special interest earmarks, but he was also deeply involved with the Keating Five Savings and Loan Scandal which cost investors and private citizens billions of dollars. As Senator, he took hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions in exchange for his influence in the investigation. Just another example of the mishandling of finances by John McCain.

Mitt Romney has been accused of raising taxes as governor of Massachusetts but he also cut government spending to balance the budget and end up with a budget surplus. McCain has never had to deal with budget issues as an executive, but as an establishment politician, has spent more time working with the Democrats than with the Republicans.

But what I find even more frightening is McCain’s current efforts to work with Joe Lieberman on global warming legislation. McCain has already been engaged with California’s RINO governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to impose global warming restrictions on California citizens and industry, now he wants to do it nationwide.

I won’t go into the fallacy of believing in “man made” global warming here, but the nation cannot afford a president who has fallen for this hoax and could put the whole country in danger of economic collapse by imposing the restrictions of the Kyoto Treaty on the country. McCain thinks we can control the weather by lowering our standard of living and turning off the power to industry. This is an anti-capitalist view that would destroy our economy. This is not the kind of leadership conservatives have in mind. I cannot stress enough the dangers of electing a president who has fallen for the man-made global warming fantasy, would further restrict domestic oil production, and thwart any hope for energy independence.

On Social and Domestic Issues

Neither candidate here has been a true conservative on social issues. Romney’s state run healthcare plan is frightening and he also supported legislation to legalize abortions and same sex unions, issues he now says he is opposed to. Keep in mind that Romney was the governor of a very liberal state and sometimes had to do things their way to remain in office. On the national scene, these are issues that the president of the United States would have little contact with or influence on. These issues are decided in the courts or in Congress in spite of the fact that Congress has no constitutional authority to be involved in them. Romney’s position is that couples should be married before having babies and their children should be raised in a healthy family environment with both a mother and a father. McCain couldn’t care less.

Romney would appoint strict constitutionalist judges while McCain formed the “gang of 14” with the Democrats to block Bush’s conservative judge appointments. McCain thinks Sandra Day O’Conner is the ideal judge, Chief Justice John Roberts is okay, but Justice Samuel Alito should not have been confirmed. McCain would prefer centrist judges.

Romney is strong on the issues of illegal immigration and border security. He supports securing the borders and sending illegals back home. That doesn’t mean that he proposes going door to door looking for illegals, but will deport them when the opportunities arise and will remove the incentives for them to be here as well. He believes that America should belong to Americans, not every ethnic foreign minority group that chooses to roost here.

On the other hand, John McCain supports the invasion of illegal aliens from Mexico and wants to offer them amnesty and a path to citizenship. Oh sure, he denies it now that he discovered that it’s not a vote getter but who can ever forget the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty bill he worked so hard on last year with Ted Kennedy, that the entire country nearly went to war against Congress over? Now McCain is lying about his position on illegals and still insists that the amnesty bill was not “amnesty” for illegals. I recall President Bush making the same argument and it didn’t pass the smell test then either.

In 2002, McCain worked equally hard with Russ Feingold (D) to produce the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act which amounted to the stifling of free speech in elections, corrupting the system with unqualified and uninformed voters, placing limits on campaign contributions to candidates, while opening the door to unlimited contributions to 527 political action groups with their negative smear ads on radio and TV, and giving a huge election advantage to the Democrats as a result.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that John McCain has done more for the Democrats than he has for the Republicans and that is not likely to change were he to become president. He shares the opinion with the Republican National Committee that to beat the Democrats, we must be more like them and be willing to compromise on our values to reach across the aisle and work with them.

McCain has spent his career in the Senate doing exactly that. He cares more about getting his name on legislation than he does about the content of the legislation and is willing to throw conservative principles under the bus to do it. He is a career politician with his own political ambitions driving him to do and say whatever is necessary to win regardless of the truth. When challenged on an issue, McCain becomes an angry “hot head” and looses his temper. Is that the kind of man we want with his finger on the nuclear trigger? Would you want Yosemite Sam or Elmer Fudd in the White House? On the other hand, Romney has always been cool under pressure and resolves the issue with reason and logic.

McCain claims to be a “conservative leader” but the truth is, he is neither a conservative nor a leader. He has little experience with either. Leading 22 bombing missions over Vietnam before being shot down four decades ago makes McCain neither a political leader nor a war hero. Spending all of his time in the Senate working with Democrats on liberal legislation does not make him a conservative. It makes him a traitor to conservative values and he shames the name of conservatives by using it.

McCain in the White House would be a compromise between George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Is that really the direction we want the country to go in? On the other hand, Mitt Romney would be a compromise between George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. A much better choice in my opinion.

We must get past this idea of who is best to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. This idea is based on the belief that to win, we must attract Democrat voters. The trouble is that by doing that, we lose conservative voters along with our identity as a conservative party. If you want a president who appeals to Democrats, then you are more likely to vote for the real thing - a Democrat. Just look who is endorsing John McCain. They are all either RINOS or liberal newspapers like the New York Times and the Boston Globe. The liberal media loves John McCain and it’s easy to see why. They all think alike.

We must get back to the idea of telling the nation who we are and what we stand for, while the Democrats are doing the same. Then let the voters decide which philosophy they want to run the country. I don’t see the Democrats trying to appeal to Republicans. I guess they’re not that stupid after all. What I do see is liberal Republicans pretending they are conservatives to attract the conservative base voters who may not know what they’re getting.

Conservative Republicans should be proud to stand up and tell the country what they stand for, that they believe in the Constitution, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and represent the values and principles that the country was founded on and has made it strong ever since. It is the Democrats who should be ashamed to stand up and display their socialist beliefs and anti-capitalist, big government control policies, that go against everything that America has always stood for. We fought global communism for forty years and though we had won. Now we find ourselves fighting it right here at home and loosing the battle.

If you want the country to continue to move toward socialism and communism, then John McCain will help you get there by moving the Republican party further to the left. But if you want the country to move back toward freedom and liberty, then the only choice left is Mitt Romney or Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, Ron Paul’s foreign policy is nearly identical to that of the Democrats and would be a total disaster for the country. At least the Democrats would leave some troops overseas to protect American interests, while Paul would remove all of them and allow Islamic radicals to overrun our interests and allies everywhere. He even advocates shutting down all military bases here at home, essentially leaving the country defenseless. Paul’s “blame America first” attitude completely ignores the Islamic jihad now taking place and considers it all caused by American foreign policy. He gives the Islamics no credit at all for having their own ideological agenda.

The upcoming “Super Tuesday” vote may very well be the most important vote you will ever cast and will set the direction of the country for years to come. Please use it wisely.