By Kyle Collins
The Rider community, along with millions of Americans around the nation, will soon vote for a conservative change or a liberal change. Which change you choose depends on your belief about the role of government. The candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, have two conflicting views on how to lead our nation. However, McCain is the change I can believe in.
First, I believe in McCain’s fiscal responsibility. The national debt clock has risen past $10.5 trillion. That comes out to be about $35,000 per person. And you thought New Jersey was in debt up to its eyeballs. Under an Obama administration, expect that number to keep going up like the Energizer Bunny. He plans to add $800 billion in new spending. While in the Senate, McCain refused to use legislative earmarks, which many members of Congress insert into spending bills for pet projects. Obama, on the other hand, submitted over half a billion dollars to this unnecessary spending. The change this nation needs requires cutting our deficit and balancing our budget, and that requires a spending hawk like McCain.
Secondly, I believe in McCain’s ability to bring a new age of bipartisanship to the White House. The president will represent more than just his political base while in office. Once again, McCain is the one for the mission. According to a Washington Times report, “Records Show McCain More Bipartisan,” McCain has had 55 percent of his bills co-sponsored by Democrats, whereas Obama has had a mere 13 percent co-sponsored by Republicans. The next president will have to deal with issues that require someone who can unite members of Congress. Look no further than the great teamwork between McCain and Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Conneticut, who caucuses with the Democrats, to see McCain has a 40-year record of uniting.
Lastly, I believe in McCain’s view of a smaller government. McCain envisions America’s excellence taken care of by its individuals, not by its government. He understands that it is not bureaucracies who help those in need, but people who help people.
The government views the downtrodden as statistics, whereas the individual sees them as other individuals who need a helping hand. They give them strength and support in order to better their condition. Increasing taxes to redistribute to those in need is not charity. There is no certainty that money the government takes from you even makes it to those who need it. I have no clue if my taxes went to help someone in need, or were diverted through earmarks to some button museum in the middle of nowhere. Real charity comes from the soul. It is not coerced through new taxes. Indeed, each year 225 million Americans voluntarily donate a total of more than $30 billion to trustworthy charity organizations, according to Arthur Brooks’ book Who Really Cares. Real charity is found in people who give money to organizations such as the Red Cross. Real charity exists in the individuals who work at an after-school program for kids or in someone who works at a soup kitchen. In the words of McCain, real American charity is found in those who “serve a cause greater than their own self-interest.”
Both men would bring change with them if they occupied the White House. However, only one will bring the change we truly need: fiscal stability, bipartisanship and smaller government. That is why I am voting for McCain on Nov. 4.