These are difficult times.
Over the past few weeks, Americans have watched helplessly as the nation's financial infrastructure crumbles around them -- and their political leaders scramble for "solutions" intended to "restore confidence" but which accomplish the opposite by laying bare the stark fact that nobody really knows what to do.
The nation is likely in a recession, perhaps heading for a depression. The stock market bounces around like ping-pong balls in a wind tunnel as individual retirement accounts shrivel.
Meanwhile, the nation continues to have troops in harm's way. While Iraq has stabilized, the situation in Afghanistan has worsened, leading many to worry about the potential for another prolonged -- and increasingly deadly -- conflict halfway around the world in the battle against Islamic terror.
Americans are nervous -- for their jobs, for their futures, for their children, for their sons and daughters overseas, for their country.
As we head to the polls this November, the presidential candidates inundate us with promises of "change" -- and it's clear the country craves precisely that, desperately seeking a leader who will upset the beltway status quo and reinvigorate the principles that built the greatest country on earth and are the key to restoring this nation's pride and promise.
That's why we support John McCain for president.
Barack Obama has captured the imagination of many voters, particularly younger ones, with his charisma, intelligence, passionate oratory and collected demeanor. Yet his resume -- he's just four years removed from the Illinois legislature -- remains alarmingly limited. His four years in the U.S. Senate have failed to produce any memorable accomplishments.
During these critical times, experience does matter.
While Sen. Obama preaches "change," he in fact proposes only to accelerate business-as-usual in Washington.
For instance, his redistributionist tax increase proposals -- transferring billions of dollars from those who pay income taxes to those who don't -- would further feed the beltway bureaucracy, hurting many small business owners and crippling private investment at a time when this economy needs it most. His agenda calls for almost $1 trillion in new government spending over the next four years -- on green energy, education, health care and everything else -- while virtually ignoring the looming collapse of Social Security and Medicare.
Change? What change?
If the United States is to emerge from this downturn in a position to ensure its citizens have the opportunities enjoyed by previous generations, we must get a handle on out-of-control federal spending -- and that is nowhere reflected in the policies advocated by the Democratic candidate.
In contrast, Sen. McCain has a proven record of battling the drunken sailor culture so pervasive in our nation's capital. He has been an outspoken advocate for fiscal restraint, angering many of his colleagues by embarrassing them over their penchant for pork. Sen. McCain vows to veto any bill that includes earmarks and says he will freeze spending in many areas of the budget.
That would represent real change.
Sen. McCain opposes any tax hikes, recognizing that in these troubled times leaving money in the hands of those who earned it offers the best hope for encouraging the creativity and entrepreneurship that defines this nation's legacy. He would be far more likely to appoint judges who respect freedom and individual liberty and who recognize the restraints our Constitution imposes on the federal government.
On energy, Sen. McCain -- while acknowledging the importance of developing alternative sources -- understands that for the foreseeable future the nation must continue to harness its domestic supplies of clean coal and oil. This is in stark contrast to Sen. Obama, who falls in line behind the greens and advocates a radical and massively expensive economic upheaval in order to build more windmills and solar panels.
But while the economy has jumped to the fore in this campaign, the United States remains engaged across the globe in a struggle to establish democracy in Iraq and cripple the Islamic extremism that led to 9/11. We are winning -- and Sen. McCain is best prepared to ensure we continue on that course.
No, Sen. McCain's service as a Naval aviator in Vietnam -- including his five years in a POW camp, during which he was mentally and physically tortured -- don't automatically qualify him for the presidency. But his experience certainly offers a snapshot of the man's character, honor and sense of duty.
Sen. McCain realizes the long-term ramifications for failure in Iraq and is prepared to make the difficult decisions that will no doubt confront our next commander in chief. His military background and foreign policy expertise project an image of strength, decisiveness and determination, in stark contrast to Sen. Obama, who has voted to cut and run in Iraq and was spending time as a "community organizer" in Chicago while Sen. McCain was distinguishing himself on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Our national security would be in good hands with Sen. McCain in the White House.
"Hope is necessary in every condition," wrote Samuel Johnson. And even during these trying months, Americans retain the sense of optimism and conviction that have served as pilot lights for this nation's very survival over the past 230 years. Regardless of who is elected this November, we will emerge from these times stronger in spirit. But one man is uniquely qualified to guide us through any coming storms, both domestically and overseas.
That man is John McCain.