Saturday, October 18, 2008

I’m Young, Black, Hispanic and Voting for John McCain. ..Here’s Why

Note: The non-partisan Web site “Opposing Views” offers readers a look at all sides of the debate on a variety of issues. This is part of a series of posts from the Web site that will appear in the FOX Forum.

By Claudio Simpkins

Far from being the post-racial campaign that pundits have talked and written about for months, this election cycle is proving to be the most racialized ever. Every word, gesture, act or omission is scrutinized by the media for double-meaning or racial undertones. But when we move beyond race and talk about what really matters -– the qualities we all seek in a president –- things become clearer. Senator John McCain is the best man for the job.

This doesn’t take anything away from Senator Obama. As a young Black and Hispanic male, I see Senator Obama as a role model. No one can deny his amazing achievement and inspirational life story. I also understand the concern of the Black and Hispanic communities given the Republican Party’s unfortunate recent history with regards to race. Senator McCain however, represents the best of what the Republican Party has to offer: service, experience, independence, judgment and pragmatism.

Senator McCain is a well-respected and known reformer. Significantly, McCain took on the entirety of the Republican establishment on immigration, offering leadership in devising a respectful and effective immigration policy. Unfortunately, the discourse surrounding the immigration issue from more xenophobic parts of the party has turned off many Hispanics to the GOP entirely. But it can’t be denied that McCain refused the politically expedient route and stood by his principles. This is the sort of bravery we should seek in our leaders.

The popular Democratic talking points that paint McCain as the second coming of President Bush miss the mark. McCain has repeatedly illustrated that he is his own man on issues of the highest import: interrogation techniques, diplomacy and nuclear proliferation, even the handling of the War in Iraq. Senator Obama’s record, on the other hand, reveals few attempts at bipartisanship and even fewer instances of the senator taking a principled stand in opposition to his party. With a country as divided and polarized as ever, can we really expect someone with the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate (see The National Journal’s 27th annual vote rankings) to compromise, to heal, and to unite?  I have my doubts.

In spite of the utter incompetence of Congress, Senator McCain has proven himself willing to do what it takes to get the job done. McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Kennedy, the Gang of Fourteen –- the list goes on. Senator McCain’s record indicates an individual committed to doing what is right, not simply what is politically expedient. It belies a man of deep conviction, of even temperament and sound judgment.  Senator McCain might not always say or do what’s popular. Perhaps that’s why he’s losing this race. But perhaps that is exactly why he should be leading us through the next four years.

To read more coverage of the election on Opposing Views, click here.
~Claudio Simpkins is a contributor to, Simpkins is a third-year Harvard Law student, Harry S. Truman Scholar and Jeanette K. Watson Fellow


stephanie mccullough said...

it is very refreshing to finally read in the media that a person who is black, no less educated with impeccable credentials is not voting for sen. obama. i am a 44 year-old black female who also will not be voting for obama for precisely the same reasons that were so eloquently stated. we are living in scary times and we need a PROVEN leader, not someone who wants the glory of having the title of a leader.

Anonymous said...

Ils sont beaux et courageux !

Anonymous said...

So well put... you touch on every relevant point as to why people should vote for McCain vs. Obama... in a constructive positive manner w/o really attacking Obama.... As you said Obama should be viewed as an inspiring role model for all..I have two newbord twins who I hope grow up to be like him. That being said... The executive office of the most powerful country is no place for "stop-gap" presidencies...or on the job training.... and black or white...there is no way anyone can be convinced that Obama is as ready from day one as Sen. John Mcain. End of discussion....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for presenting your opinion. I agree with you on many points and in 2004, had he run, I probably would have voted for John McCain (full disclosure, I'm a registered independent).

I thought the same thing this year and I honestly thought he was going to pick Leiberman as his running mate. I think that would have been a real streak of independence... a real sign of being a maverick.

But he picked Sarah Palin... and respect her ambition and grit as I might... I simply can't support her. Every time I hear her or see her, my opinion of her drops. She does not present herself well in interviews and her answers are nonsensical.

I'm actually struggling over a few hard socially conservative issues myself (I'm pro-life for moral reasons but for other women I lean pro-choice; conflicted over the issue of gay marriage... anti-death penalty and have a hard time how others can be pro-life/pro-death penalty... I could go on and on)... at one point I thought GWBush might work out for this country (I'm a big fan of his father)... but our federal government has expanded to massive sizes under his leadership... so yeah, struggling with how to handle all of this stuff over here!

I'm curious to hear your thoughts (or anyone on this blog) about Sarah Palin - what role she would have in the White House... is this who you would have picked if you were John McCain... etc.

I know, the pick "riled up the base" (apparently, it also riled up the Democrat base) but I think McCain could have won and run an excellent campaign had he picked a moderate Republican (or a conservative Democrat). Why not Leiberman? Why not Olympia Snow? Why not Kay Bailey Hutchinson?

Lisa said...

I'm not black, but I am inspired by Claudio Simpkins' writing. Being a true conservative, I felt the same way about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. I would never vote for a woman simply because she's a woman, even though I certainly respect her accomplishments. I don't agree with Hillary's stance on just about anything, which is why I'm excited about Sarah Palin.

I hear the "not enough experience" argument often, but she has more executive experience than ALL of the other three candidates combined. I also see energy independence as a key to long-term economic growth, and this is an area of expertise for her. It's refreshing to see someone who lives her beliefs, which seems to be rare for politicians these days. I have read that 90% of Downs babies are aborted, but she made room in her life for little Trig, which is inspiring to me.

I like the fact that she has taken on the corrupt Alaskan Republican party, including the now infamous Ted Stevens. Remember, too, that interviews are heavily cut and clipped before they air, which can make a difference in how the interviewee is depicted. Did she really have a chance with Charlie Gibson or Katie High Horse?

She's also a fiscal conservative, cutting costs and lowering taxes, which creates jobs and stimulates the economy. Raising anyone's taxes during this kind of economic slump would be a disastrous thing to do. After all, the government doesn't create jobs in a capitalistic system, businesses do!

byron said...

You speak of John McCain as if this campaign has never occurred. You stood up to his party on immigration reform? Great! Too bad he wouldn't support that bill anymore. Still, you give him credit for not being "politically expedient"?? Lets not forget McCains 180 on interrogation techniques either.

And talk about popular talking points.. You're dragging out this "most liberal senator" nonsense. Please! It's ridiculous on it's face. Bernie Sanders is a US Senator!
Anyway, everything that you give McCain credit for has been undermined in this horrible campaign that he has ran. You say we need a proven leader in just polarized times while ignoring the fact that it is McCain that seeks to divide this country for political gain as his campaign has become completely focused on the "good america" vs the "anti-american" areas.

You're young, black, Hispanic, and you're voting for John McCain because of who he seemed to be 8 years ago.

I'm young, black, and I could never be part of a party that feeds off of racism.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering

with 2 wars (and new ones popping up in other places), how are we going to cut costs, lower taxes, bail out banks and mortgages, reform the healthcare system, create new energy solutions, and pay for veteran benefits?

I'm also interested in knowing how we're going to maintain an all-volunteer draft army to fight all these wars since both McCain and Palin said (today in an interview) they plan on growing the number of enlisted people. My cousin has already done 3 tours of Iraq. Do we make the military more enticing by paying more money/benefits? If so, where do we get the money for these benefits, etc.

And please don't say cut earmarks... that's 1% of the federal budget.

Also... this whole trickle down theory stuff... cool tax cut for the big guys and the corporation... in theory, they'll take their newfound wealth and trickle it down... new hires, raises, better benefits... right? But 1/2 the time, you give these folks cuts and they give themselves raises and ridiculous paychecks. So where's the trickle down? Self-regulating right? No rules! Problem is, no rules, plenty of room for cheating since the only person policing the morality is you.

King Vernon said...

Effective immigration policy, please. America DOESN'T HAVE ONE. McCain or Obama ARE NOT the best choice for American.

It goes back to the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Anonymous said...