Women and the Maverick

Women are the newest kids on the block when it comes to voting, and that’s a historical fact. Women weren’t given the right to vote in America until almost the mid 20th century, and now in the early 21st century the political arena is replete with women to include a woman running for President, and as my granddaughter might say, how cool is that for our side. As a woman myself, I swell with pride at the very thought of how far we’ve come in such a short time, because we earned it! But I won’t be voting for her – this woman running for President – because my country is about more, a lot more, than pride in my own gender.

My country is about our husbands and sons voluntarily shipping overseas to war with a distinct possibility of not coming back home. It’s about the price I pay for gas to travel 50 miles one way to take care of my 90 year old Mother who lives on social security and can’t afford a new Easter dress. It’s about my government spending more money than I can make for ridiculous causes like studying the DNA of bears because someone slipped a check into the right hands on the senate floor. It’s about the fact that we can’t afford health insurance premiums that present more like extortion payments than health coverage, and even if you pay the extortionists God help you if you actually file a claim. No, the problems of my country transcend any personal pride I may have in the gender of a candidate in this 2008 Presidential Race.

I need a President who will fight for me, not just stand behind a podium and tell me they’ll fight for me, but really bust in on day one and get the job done. I don’t need a President that says I have to buy health insurance – excuse me, what I have to buy is groceries for my family and I could do that more easily if I weren’t paying $3.50 a gallon for gas at the pump. I have to pay my home mortgage, and I could do that a lot more easily if I didn’t have to pay more taxes to finance more pork barrel spending for the government. I need a President that understands my need to feel secure in my own home, and on the streets. I need a President that’s not afraid to go against the grain on Capitol Hill and do what’s right for me.

Honestly, and in my own defense, I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life, and I’ve been voting for 35 years. However, I’ve never considered myself a Democrat, either. I’m one of those American voters that try very hard every four years to strip all of the candidates of their labels – republican, democrat, liberal, conservative – and judge them simply for who they are today, who they were yesterday, and what I believe they’ll be tomorrow. I try to judge their abilities knowing that I’m not voting for the King of a Monarchy here, only someone who will fight with Congress and the Senate to try to make my country more solvent and user friendly for the next four years.

John McCain really comes off as a quiet candidate with very little to say lately. That may be because he can’t get a word in edgewise between Clinton and Obama, but I digress. I had to really search out his record and his policies because there are many and span a lot of years, but when I did, of course, I found he isn’t really such a quiet man and never has been. He’s been quite the “Maverick” on Capitol Hill for decades now, and how odd is it that during an election year when everyone is screaming “we need change” we’ve overlooked something in John McCain – you don’t get a reputation as a “Maverick” for wanting the implement the same old thing. No, the very definite of a Maverick would be one that not only talks change, but sets about to create change. While “the kids” promise and hope for change, the “old man” has already earned a long standing reputation for fighting for and bringing about change. It doesn’t matter to me if he crosses every aisle in the world to accomplish that, and I’m not offended that he would unite with a democrat or an independent or a liberal to do that. After all, isn’t that an example of the unity that we are seeking??

I don’t agree with all that John McCain says. If I did, I’d worry about myself. But I’m smart enough to know that I’m not qualified to debate him about some of the issues we disagree on. Thus, I bow to his expertise in those areas, as he is far more credible and knowledgeable on certain issues than I. The war issue, for example. As I’ve said in previous posts, we can argue the principles of war all day long, but the magnitude of realtime military knowledge and strategy it takes to wage a successful campaign in Iraq or anywhere else would absolutely boggle the minds of the vast majority of us. And if I have to place my trust in anyone concerning these very sensitive matters that our sons and daughters very lives depend upon, you can bet I will place it with the man who knows the most about it. No question that’s John McCain.

At a time when we are attacking and dissecting every aspect of the candidates’ personal histories and lives, it seemed a shame to me that we completely skipped over March 15th. March 15th marked the 35th anniversary of the homecoming of an American hero – John McCain. And in visiting the McCain website I was privileged to get a glimpse of that soldier that he was then. So, before we all get back to the slamming and bashing and wailing and gnashing, please take a moment (if you haven’t already) to look at a man’s history who has overcome more adversity in his life than you or I will probably ever see.