Windy Twilley

Yarn keeps me from opening fire.


John McCain

This is an excerpt from a speech McCain gave over the weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

"By all means, let us argue. Our differences are not petty, they often involve cherished beliefs, and represent our best judgment about what is right for our country and humanity. Let us defend those beliefsā€¦.But let us remember, we are not enemies. We are compatriots defending ourselves from a real enemy. We have nothing to fear from each other. We are arguing over the means to better secure our freedom, promote the general welfare and defend our ideals. It should remain an argument among friends; each of us struggling to hear our conscience, and heed its demands; each of us, despite our differences, united in our great cause, and respectful of the goodness in each other. I have not always heeded this injunction myself, and I regret it very much."

At first, I was nodding and smiling. Yes, I thought, why don't we all just get along?


I get hung up when he says "defend our ideals." I no longer believe that we all share these ideals. The Founders set them out pretty plainly, in the form of "inalienable rights... chief among these Life, Liberty, and Happiness." Earlier drafts substituted "property" for "happiness." I think we have lost sight of the idea that freedom itself is a right. Instead, we are quick to call on the government to fix everything from obesity to OPEC. Every time we ask its assistance, we become its slave.

McCain has proposed some pretty harsh limits on freedom - most notably, the campaign-finance reform bill that bears his name. While he rails against Congressional pork (as well he should), he is quiet on issues like education spending, which sucks up more money for less result. I understand that - a politician would be tarred and feathered for suggesting spending cuts on education.

We will need a brave man (or woman) to turn the tide of governmental bloat. We will need an army of brave men and women to break our bondage to the federal government, to live up to our ideals. If these are not the ideals McCain is talking about, if these are not the ideals embraced by those on the other side of the debate, then they are indeed my enemy. The enemies of freedom should be lumped together, no matter who they are or where they live.


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