Monday, July 14, 2008

John McCain: Pseudo-Maverick II

Senator John McCain is a political pseudo-maverick because, in reality, he subscribes to every major fallacy at large in contemporary Western culture.

He believes, with Senator Barack Obama - and the term believes cannot be overemphasized - in man-made global warming.

He believes, with Obama, in "voluntary" servitude as the price of American citizenship and as the cure-all of the nation's ills.

He believes, with Obama, that the West's Islamic enemies can be bargained with and neutralized if "preconditions" are first established.

He believes, with Obama, in the efficacy of government regulation of the economy.

He believes, with Obama, in the abridgement and/or violation of the freedom of speech in the name of protecting the feelings or minds of children, religionists, and other groups "sensitized" by multiculturalism and political correctness.

He believes, with Obama, that the country should go in a "new direction," and that all Americans should pitch in to move it in that direction.

So, what is the difference between them? As mentioned in Part I, only the speed with which Obama, McCain, and their respective Parties wish to reach the goal that remains unnamed or repressed in all their minds: an American-style fascist state. Obama and his Democratic ilk, in the shrill style of their hippie and Yippie predecessors, want to accomplish it now. McCain and his Republican ilk, in the traditional "Grand Old Party" style, wish to sneak up to it on tiptoe.

Given their premises, given their distance from the American people and the principles behind the Declaration of Independence and the original Constitution, both Parties are working towards the same "F├╝hrer."

Thomas Sowell, syndicated columnist and one of the most articulate observers of the political scene, in his July 8 Capitalism Magazine article, "Republicans for Obama," notes that many conservative Republicans find Obama attractive as presidential material because of his recent "refining" of his position on a number of issues, "as he edges toward the center, in order to try to pick up more votes in November's general election."

"The man has become a Rorschach test for the feelings and hopes, not only of those on the left, but also for some on the right as well."
But, why is that? Sowell cites a number of reasons for the defections, many of them true, but he overlooks the governing reason: Obama's leftist/altruist positions resonate and mesh with the traditionalist/altruist positions of the conservatives. As Obama and McCain move towards each other and the "center," each will shed his "maverick" persona, Obama a little less so than McCain. But by November it will be difficult for voters to distinguish any major differences between them. Obama will have the advantages of his relative youth (with echoes of John F. Kennedy) and having been "nominated" by the news media. And, he sounds more sincere than his Republican rival.

Let us compare McCain and Obama's statements on the issues.

National or Universal Service:

On December 3, 2007, McCain, appearing at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, stated:

"I hope that you'll go see other candidates and get involved in the political campaign and be involved in public service. And if you remember anything I said tonight, please remember there's nothing nobler than serving a cause greater than your self-interest."
On July 2, 2008, Obama stated at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs:

"That's the bet our Founding Fathers were making all of those years ago - that our individual destinies could be tied together in the common destiny of democracy; that government depends not just on the consent of the governed, but on the service of citizens....Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it."
The Progressive Policy Institute provides a concise and revealing history of the extortionate means, ends, and scope of "voluntary" universal conscription, together with the role of its principal advocates, including John McCain's.

Global Warming:

Never mind the effects of sunspot activity or the cyclical nature of the atmosphere over millennia or the negligible contribution of man to "global warming"; never mind the proofs and testimony of climatologists that man has little or nothing to do with global warming or cooling, or the ample evidence that the vaunted computer models predicting catastrophic warming (or cooling) are just so much Lysenkoesque jiggery-pokery. The collectivist premises of all the candidates and all our policymakers, including President Bush, McCain and Obama, compel them to discard reason, ignore evidence, and advocate government "action" to combat global warming. This is policymaking based on science by consensus.

Because so many papers and articles published in print and on the Internet have exploded the whole fallacy of man-made global warming - papers and articles ignored by or unknown to politicians and the news media, and certainly countered by "warmists" with either suppression or ad homina attacks on their authors - the occasional "inconvenient truth" comes through, such as in this Daily Telegraph (London) column of July 10, "Our Leaders are in carbon-cloud cuckoo land." The article focuses on the empty, unrealistic pledges made by the leaders of the G8 summit this month in Japan.

After reporting that, in general, there is no solid correlation between rising CO2 or "greenhouse gas" levels and global warming, and that, in fact, global temperatures have flattened out and are even decreasing, Christopher Booker notes:

"Yet just when such huge question marks are being raised over the 'CO2 equals warming' theory, our politicians have swallowed it whole, as an act of blind faith - using it to justify such massive costs to our economy that our whole way of life seems destined to change significantly for the worse." [Italics mine.]
Obama has had little to say about global warming, other than incidental references to the necessity "saving our planet" and creating an "Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects." He has a different notion of "climate change," that is, of extinguishing the climate of relative freedom enjoyed by Americans today by putting them to work in a variety of statist and collectivist causes.

McCain, however, has, like the G8 leaders, swallowed the fraud of man-made global warming whole. Aside from advocating the same system of "cap-and-trade," emission offsets, and emission permit auctions adopted by the European Union - a system that has accomplished precisely zero except to spawn fresh new categories of bureaucracy, corruption, fraud, thievery and unconscionable waste - McCain endorses the construction of more nuclear power plants, not because they are more efficient and dependable sources of power, but because they have been proven to be environmentally friendly and could be tools to combat global warming. And in a speech on May 12 at the Vestas Wind Technology Company in Oregon, he outlined his climate change policy, emphasizing that

"Our government can hardly expect citizens and private businesses to adopt or invest in low-carbon technologies when it doesn't always hold itself to the same standard. We need to set a better example in Washington by consistently applying the best environmental standards to every purchase our government makes."
Which in effect would be an open invitation to repeat the scandals of $50 hammers and $1,000 screwdrivers. And million dollar wind turbines. McCain proposes to spend federal billions to "develop promising technologies, such as plug-ins, hybrids, flex-fuel vehicles, and hydrogen-powered cars and trucks."

"Like other environmental challenges - only more so - global warming presents a test of foresight, of political courage, and of the unselfish concern that one generation owes to the next." [Italics mine.]


In short, Americans should reduce their standard of living so that the next generation can exist by the chancy grace of wind turbines and expensive power sources that will drive everyone, including the next generation, into abject poverty. As for the only rational element of his proposed program, nuclear power, McCain could easily be talked or browbeaten out of it by the environmentalists he has chosen to patronize.

"Reform. Prosperity. Peace," reads a banner of McCain's campaign website. "I believe each and every one of us has a duty to serve a cause greater than our own self-interest....I hope that...you will see why I truly believe that I owe America more than she has ever owed me....I've spent my life in service to my country, and I've spent my life putting my country first....."

Now it's your turn, he is saying, to sacrifice and pursue a cause greater than your self-interest.

Everyone thought that John F. Kennedy's imperative, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country," was old hat. But Obama means it. McCain means it.

Come November, voters should send McCain, Obama, and Congress a reply that echoes John Galt's in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: "Get the hell out of my way!"

The final installment of this commentary will focus on McCain's positions on speech and the war.

3 comments:

TJWelch said...

Specifically what action do you think voters should take that would send the reply "Get the hell out of my way!"?

Edward Cline said...

What action could voters take? Don't vote. Write in freedom-oriented candidates where permitted. Start ad hoc committees. Inundate Congress with letters to Senators et al. Don't give Congress and the winner a clear mandate to destroy this country. Use your imagination.

Ed

drjegoist said...

Mr Cline,

First, I'd like to thank you for the Sparrowhawk series. I began reading the series before book 6 was published, and I can easily say that I have never anticipated a book being published as much as with War.

On the topic of McCain, though, I noticed something while re-reading The Fountainhead today: In the first speech given by Toohey, no less than three times did he refer to the audience as "my friends". I never noticed it before, but it's hard to miss it with McCain saying it nearly as often.

Needless to say, that's not a very encouraging parallel.