Do we need another T.R.?
If John McCain gets his way, you'll have your faith in the country restored ... or else!
By Matt Welch, The Los Angeles Times
You can read 1,000 profiles of GOP presidential front-runner John McCain without encountering a single paragraph examining his core ideological philosophy. His career is filled with such distracting drama — torture at the Hanoi Hilton, noisy conversion to the campaign-finance-reform faith, political suicide on the Straight Talk Express — that by the time you're done with the highlights, and perhaps a few "maverick" anecdotes, time's up.
People are forever filling in the blanks with their own political fantasies. Third party candidate! John Kerry running mate! Far-right warmonger! Republican In Name Only! (link)
Having found, upon thorough investigation, that McCain believes, really, in nothing (which means, like Bill Clinton, he is capable at any given time of believing in anything), a troubling truth - one that I have pointed out over the years - engulfs Welch:
Sifting through McCain's four bestselling books and nearly three decades of work on Capitol Hill, a distinct approach toward governance begins to emerge. And it's one that the electorate ought to be particularly worried about right now. McCain, it turns out, wants to restore your faith in the U.S. government by any means necessary, even if that requires thousands of more military deaths, national service for civilians and federal micromanaging of innumerable private transactions. He'll kick down the doors of boardroom and bedroom, mixing Democrats' nanny-state regulations with the GOP's red-meat paternalism in a dangerous brew of government activism. And he's trying to accomplish this, in part, for reasons of self-realization.It isn't quite accurate to say McCain believes in nothing. He, in fact, has an unflagging belief in government, and is willing to believe that government can solve all problems.
Which makes for a very dangerous proposition.