A reader wrote me about how anabaptists are struggling with which candidate to vote for, and I offered a first response last Friday. Today I’d like to ponder one of our candidates: John McCain. What will it be like for us — for me — if the Republicans win? (OK, just in case you think this blog is biased and not — like FoxNews — “fair and balanced,” I’ll do one like this on Obama too.)
No matter who becomes President, it won’t change my assignment. I’m called to be a Christian, not a Republican or a Democrat. From that angle, I will offer comments about the Presidential candidates. Some of what the successful candidate promises now will be partially achieved when that person becomes President. Not all of it; so reliance upon all the promises goes against history. Candidates promise more than they can achieve. And there’s another side to this.
When folks — voters and candidates — go apocalyptic on what will happen if their opponent wins I reflect on the 11 elections I’ve been through (consciously). The apocalyptists have always sprinkled their language with doom and gloom and they’ve never been right. If you compare the differences between Democrats and Republicans to what some other countries in the world have, there’s not that much difference. The differences are not apocalyptic.
Now for McCain.
I respect John McCain; I think he’s authentic; his personal story is a straight line. For the most part, I think he tells the truth; I think he will tell the truth. I’d like to have coffee with the man.
If they win and if the Repubs reduce big government and reduce our taxes and develop more local fuel sources, then I think those will be good things that will help us work for the kingdom. I do think McCain has lots of experience in DC. Experience helps at times. I will like it that a woman would be officially in the White House. I think Palin would be “fun” to have in the White House. From the Repubs, I think we could expect some support for small business owners and for those who want to develop small businesses. We need more of that and less dependence on the federal government.
I think they will fight against abortion, and I’m confident Palin would work hard for people with special needs. I have already had several conversations with friends who love what Palin could bring to the White House as a voice for people with special needs.
One thing I like about McCain is that he can think outside the box; he can work across party lines. We need more of that.
But, I don’t think a Republican White House is the final solution to our problems. I fear the militaristic spirit of McCain; I know his slogan is “Country First” (which isn’t first for me). We’ve spent way too much on Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have some pressing financial woes in our country. That money could be used for fuel development and education and health care, which raises another point: I don’t hear enough about education from the McCain ticket. And I don’t have a lot of confidence McCain has health care much on his mind. And I’d like to hear a reasonable economic theory — spend some time explaining how it works — that drives how Republicans think poverty in the USA can be improved. But this economic emphasis of the Repubs has a negative side for me: life is more than money But sometimes the economy — call it greed — seems to obsess DC and the Republican platform.
Well, what I’m saying is this: if the Republicans win, we’ll have some things to like and some things to resist. They’ll present some unique challenges for kingdom people. They surely won’t usher in the kingdom and it might be good for us to think about that more.