January 1, 2008
Dreaming of a United-We-Stand America in 2008By Kyle-Anne Shiver
With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last week, we in America are jolted back to the reality that we are a world at war with IslamoFascist armies. Even our holiday cheer and spiked eggnog cannot protect us from the grim truth that in this modern age of nuclear weaponry, a single assassination halfway ‘round the world can shake us to our core and bring us back to our instincts for self-preservation. Instantly, we are forced to imagine the very real possibility that an enemy such as Al Qaeda could take possession of a nuclear weapon capable of destroying a great American city, or that an entire nuclear arsenal could fall into the hands of a rogue regime.
And suddenly our votes for a new president must be reconsidered. By necessity we are compelled, utterly against our peace-seeking wills, to abandon our domestic concerns and opt for the best possible protect-and-defend Commander in Chief we can find among those willing to take on the job.
This is as much a sobering reality as a bucket of ice-cold water thrown into our happy-go-lucky, holiday-cheered American faces.
And about as welcome too.
If we were not a nation at war in a world threatened by nuclear bombs, I might consider voting for a jokester, a huckster, a populist, a lawyer, a businessman or just a handsome face.
If I were feeling just a tad more serious than that, I would be looking for someone who agreed with me on every issue, who felt as passionately as I do about some of the most pressing domestic issues of our day. In 2000, I did just that.
That was then. This is now.
And even I, impassioned female voter of special domestic causes that I am, seek a president who really knows the score in wartime. I'm reassessing and processing and percolating, giving the candidates another once-over perusal.
As perhaps never before in my 40-year voting history, I'm looking for a United-We-Stand President.
Who among our array of candidates can successfully bury enough domestic hatchets and convince this Nation -- as a whole -- that we are in a fight for our very survival, and that our public divisiveness serves to embolden our enemies, prolong and expand the bloodshed, and may even spell doom for our civilization in the end?
Which candidate will inspire the most courage and loyalty among our soldiers, those entrusted with our ultimate safety?
Which candidate can garner our respect, even if we don't like him or even think he's cute?
Which candidate has actual military experience, untarnished by cowardly dodging or special privilege?
Which candidate has grown in tested wisdom and now possesses a non-naïve realism, born of a youthful idealism perhaps, but tempered now by experiences with failure and forced compromise?
Which candidate has the purest integrity, untainted by personal scandals or get-rich-quick schemes hatched on the backs of hard-working American taxpayers?
Which candidate can we most believe, even when he tells us truth we would prefer to deny?
Which candidate will most ably broker compromises among our Representatives in Congress, with whom he must at least try to get along and lead to common ground?
Which candidate has not merely a foreign-affairs vision of the rose-colored variety, but knows firsthand the reality on the ground?
Which candidate has unflinchingly, unashamedly, unstoppably loved this Country with his own shed blood into the cold, darkened night of the soul's ultimate temptation to quit, and has stood the test with the kind of mettle that has made America great?
Is there such a candidate for 2008?
Or am I just indulging a childish dream for a United-We-Stand America with a new President?
Is there any man or woman alive who possesses all these qualities?
One who has also enough stamina, enough courage of conviction, enough tried-and-true experience, to lead and to convince a squabbling, bickering, grandstanding, un-compromising, know-it-all American electorate to join hands and forces to defeat our common foe, the IslamoFascist armies.
There is one such man, whom I had long ago given up as politically dead. I've had a lot of bones to pick with this man, issues on which we have vehemently disagreed. Campaign finance "reform." Tax cuts. The best way to protect America from illegal immigration.
I may not like John McCain, may not always agree with him, may see him as a bit too politically compromising at times, may be downright ticked-off with a few of his issue stands. But there is one thing that stands out in my mind, and now it seems to be the overriding factor in 2008.
John McCain has never - not even for an hour - lost my respect.
Respect is a desirable quality in any President. In a time of war, it may very well be the only genuine essential.
A few commentators have already gone on record, predicting that John McCain may be the last man standing in 2008. I don't believe that it's possible to predict any outcomes with an often fickle, and sometimes downright bewildering, American electorate.
But I, for one, am reconsidering John McCain for my President.
John McCain, tried-and-true war hero. John McCain, who knows intimately the other side of torture. John McCain, ornery as they come, but with integrity any man or woman of good sense can find worthy.
John McCain is the man who has said about this war, with the only substantive soldier-card this field has to offer:
"We will never surrender. They will."
John McCain is the man who advised the surge before there was a desperate need for a surge. This is the man who has backed an unpopular President, in the interest of unity, even when he disagreed with the President's methods. John McCain is perhaps the truest American among us all, with genuine bi-partisan credentials in his hip pocket.
So, maybe this electorate will just "roll the dice" this year, and elect a seasoned, knows-best-how-to-pander, wife of an old pol, Hillary Clinton. Or maybe we'll be naïve enough to put our fate into the hands of the man with audacious hope and nothing of substance to back it up.
Or maybe we'll go with the preacher-man from the somewhat less-than-esteemed state of Arkansas, who's good at pelting pheasants for rolling cameras and has a bagful of entertaining one-liners. Or perhaps we'll go with America's mayor, who for quite a while, held my own nearsighted vote.
Then there's Mitt, with impeccable conservative credentials it seems, and business experience comparable to the best American CEO's. Or we could go with Fred, and hope he has the resolve to see us through this war.
In the end, though, I pray we'll all be thinking hard on election eve about the foe we face, and what it will actually take to preserve our grand Republic against the world-dominion designs of the IslamoFascist legions.
John McCain may not actually be the last man standing when the polls close in 2008.
But John McCain may truly represent our last, genuine hope standing in this fragile precipice of time between what is bound to be our ultimate victory or our profound defeat.
A sobering thought indeed for this now-here New Year.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.