It’s hard to imagine how Sen. John McCain could have had a better Republican National Convention. Despite Hurricane Gustav and a storm of unbelievably vitriolic criticism of his vice presidential choice from left-wing bloggers and certain of their mainstream media comrades, McCain and running mate Sarah Palin now can mount a far stronger campaign to November than anybody could have predicted even two weeks ago.
McCain’s resolve in standing by Palin paid off big-time when her acceptance speech electrified millions of conservatives who weren’t happy about the Arizona senator heading the GOP ticket. And just when his own acceptance speech seemed to be dragging to a somewhat less-than-stirring conclusion, McCain suddenly found his voice and brought the convention hall crowd to its feet in a raucous, foot-stomping climax that bodes well for a vigorous GOP effort. It was indeed an amazing week for a guy who was counted out just last year.
But McCain must not squander this opportunity by losing sight of what got him here — Americans admire and respect him for his profoundly heroic service in the past, and they are inclined to believe him now when he promises to shake things up in Washington, D.C. The path to victory is keeping it simple and straight (KISS). Or, as McCain himself put it, “the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going back to the basics.” Voters must remain convinced that McCain’s promises of genuine change in Washington aren’t mere rhetoric. To that end, four issues that McCain highlighted in his convention address should be emphasized — stopping wasteful spending, guaranteeing parents the right to choose their children’s schools, restoring American energy independence and securing health care for every American.
The common theme behind those four issues is breaking up entrenched special interests.
On the spending front, thanks largely to earmarks that invite corruption, congressmen in both parties use tax dollars to buy re-election with special favors. That abuse will end with McCain’s veto pen.
On education, bypass the unions that put higher salaries before all else by letting parents pick schools.
On energy, drill, drill, drill — plus the House GOP’s “all of the above” proposal — will break the power of OPEC and the environmentalists who have crippled American energy production since 1982.
Finally, giving Americans the right to choose their own health care — as congressmen can do now — will stop spiraling health care costs and put consumers — and their doctors — back in control of their health care. And in the end, restoring and protecting American freedom would be John McCain’s final and best service to his country.