Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 1999 /29 Kislev, 5760
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST NEWSWEEK POLL, Sen. John McCain is now in a
statistical dead heat with Gov. George Bush in New Hampshire. McCain has
courage and charisma -- everything except an agenda.
Dwight David Eisenhower, another military man, was our last president without a worldview. Ike did well in a non-ideological era. After four decades of the leftist assault on our national values, this isn't nearly enough.
We need a president who understands what's at stake in the culture war the way Ronald Reagan understood the stakes in the Cold War. McCain betrays no comprehension of the struggle that defines our age.
When asked what he'd do on a number of economic issues, McCain airily speaks of convening a panel of the "best minds" (a la Ross Perot) and letting them decide on a course of action.
We elect a man -- not a panel -- president. Voting for a president who intends to govern by committee (because, after almost two decades in Congress, he doesn't know where he stands on no-brainers like tax reform) is like choosing a mystery package from a grab bag.
McCain is a candidate without a program and a hawk without a compass. America needs to be defended, no less in the post-Cold War era. Like the man he would succeed, McCain can't seem to distinguish threats to America's security and vital interests from mere annoyances.
During the bombing of Belgrade, the senator fairly salivated for a ground offensive. The justice of our dubious cause aside, fighting the Yugoslav army on its terrain would have been a bloody business. How many Americans would have died to bestow statehood on a gang of narco-terrorists who are now merrily butchering the province's remaining Serbs?
If McCain would spill American blood over Kosovo, is there anything too trivial for his trigger-happy impulses?
To make all of this infinitely worse, John McCain is an authentic hero. It gives everything he does an aura of moral authority. Imagine how much more damage Bill Clinton would have done if he'd had credibility.
You don't question the courage of a decorated war hero. If that image were harnessed to the right causes, it would be a godsend.
Given McCain's issues hollowness, and affinity for the media's accolades, it makes him all the more