Friday, September 05, 2008

The McCain Speech

When Palin delivered her convention speech she had the weight of conservatives across America on her shoulders- and she delivered. In one stroke she proved herself to be more than capable in front of the country, tough under pressure and she gave the campaign a big jolt of energy.

I wasn't sure what to expect of McCain's speech but, having just watched it, I've got to say that I liked it- as the campaign has gone on my respect for McCain the man has increased. There are still some big issues on which politically I disagree with him but I respect him.

Now he and Palin need to get out there and talk specifics. Obama promises the world to his supporters but declaring that he'll raise incomes and make college more affordable is nothing more than hooey. What the American voter should be asking is how exactly he hopes to accomplish this? Are more students going to be able to afford college because the cost of going there has fallen or because Obama is going to increase taxes and take that money from your pocket to give to those students? And how, exactly, as President is he going to increase people's incomes? What authority and power does he think he'll have to be able to accomplish that goal? Is he going to reduce the amount the government takes from your wages to do it? If not, how does he square his other lofty proposals with increasing incomes- or does he mean you'll earn more before he takes his cut of your wages?

Anyway, here are the- for me- stand out lines of McCain's speech.

I’m very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.

Great reaction from this. I would have liked McCain to remind the American voter though that Democrats have been in control of Congress for the past few years- and they're the ones who have sat by while, for instance, gas prices have risen.

My fellow Americans, when I’m President, we’re going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much.

Now there is a policy that I'm sure a lot of Americans would like to see. Out on the trail why not quote some of the terrorist threats from Palestinians- for example- against American interests and then ask, so why are we sending them millions of dollars?

I’ve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I’ve never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn’t thank God for the privilege.

Surprising to hear a politican admit that he is not perfect. McCain's humility is starkly at odds with Obama's arrogant attitude.

A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I’d been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

I was pretty shocked to hear him admit that- and it struck a cord with me. When I was in the Marines I took a bad fall. I lay on the ground for maybe a minute unable to move my arms or legs- I thought I was paralysed and it was a pretty scary time. Gradually though, the shock wore off and I was able to crawl and stumble off towards a pick up point. It was night, I was on my own and I was in the most all-encompassing pain I'd ever felt- my back was in a bad way and I'd given one arm and leg a bit of a bump too. At one point the pain got to be too much and, after one of many times when I fell over, I just stayed down in the mud. I gave up. I can't have stayed there for long but I felt like my will had snapped. Getting moving again wasn't easy but I managed to pull myself together. It in no way compares to the very real hell he went through- not in any way at all- but I can certainly empathise with him. And I admire the courage he possesses now for being able to admit that in front of millions and the courage he possessed then in being able to keep going. He's tough.

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