The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

McCain: A Leader with Concrete Experience

October 17, 2008

In Los Altos, most people are too caught up in Barack Obama’s speeches to bother reading John McCain’s credentials. If they did, they would see that McCain’s résumé includes decades of experience and a lifetime of dedication to his country. Obama, on the other hand, has spent the majority of his “career” campaigning for office.

The primary reason the Obama has become such a political rock star is because of his brilliant campaigning. He has taken full advantage of his oodles of charisma, filling his speeches with calls to action and emotional appeals. What his speeches lack, however, is substance; he is deliberately vague about his plans in order to avoid losing votes.

Obama claims to stand up for the little guy who gets taken advantage of by a corrupt and greedy Washington, to which his slogan “Change We Can Believe In” will attest. However, Obama hasn’t stood up for much of anything in his career. In the current Congress, he has missed almost half of all the votes and simple to the Democratic Party’s line 96 percent of the times he actually cast a vote.

Whichever candidate gets elected is going to inherit the country in a time of economic and political crisis, and his term could determine the future of our country for decades. How can Americans honestly say that a man who has spent the majority of his political career running for office can provide better leadership in such a time of crisis than a war hero who has lived in politics for the last half-century?

Many have compared our current situation in Iraq to that of the infamous Vietnam War, the only war that American lost. McCain’s primary experience with war came directly from Vietnam, from the perspective of both a soldier and a POW. He knows what kind of war the Iraq War is; he knows how the United States can win it and what must be done to prevent losing it.

McCain supported the troop surge, though it was initially unpopular, and his decision has proven to be a wise one. Waving the white flag and hightailing it out of Iraq now would only undo any steps that have been taken to fix the situation, meaning that our soldiers would have died in vain.

Level-headedness, foresight and the ability to make decisions for the good of the country are traits that will help McCain handle both the Iraq War and the economic crisis, if his is elected.

McCain has the integrity to fight corruption and not bow down to special interests; whereas Obama has only spoken about changing Washington, McCain has actually taken a hard stance against mutual back-scratching and has proven that he is a man of morals.

McCain’s active stance against corruption has been consistent throughout his long career. The McCain-Feingold Act attempted to combat corruption by reforming campaign financing to loosen the hold that corporations have on Washington politics. His sense of morals has even come between him and the views of his party, earning him the reputation of a maverick and of being nearly an Independent. He is able to work together with Democrats when his interests come in conflict with those of his own party.

“McCain is more bipartisan than Obama is, so he is far more likely to work with Democrats than Obama [is] to work with Republicans,” senior Brian Sanders said.

Barack Obama may have a nicer image than McCain, but he has not shown that he can stand up for a cause, and he is certainly not ready to inherit the country in crisis. John McCain has the integrity to stand up for a cause and the strength to fight for it. Just think: Who would you rather have sitting across Vladimir Putin of Russia or Hu Jintao of China — someone whose political experience in months, or decades?

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