Senator McCain’s Acceptance Speech

John McCain formally accepted the GOP nomination for President Wednesday night. He had a hell of an act to follow. Although he was a bit overshadowed by Sarah Palin, the gist of his dedication and experience came through loud and clear.

The complete text of the speech here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13179.html

Some excerpts:

……I’m not in the habit of breaking promises to my country, and neither is Gov. Palin. And when we tell you we’re going to change Washington and stop leaving our country’s problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We’ve got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.

You know, I’ve been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it’s meant as a compliment, and sometimes it’s not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you.

……I’ve fought corruption, and it didn’t matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I’ve fought big spenders in both parties who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I’ve fought to get million-dollar checks out of our elections. I’ve fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn’t a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

The only drawback is that McCain still doesn’t get the massive problem of illegal aliens, or the fact that Americans are fed up.

When he utters things like this:

We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We’re all God’s children, and we’re all Americans.

and tries to equate ‘migrant workers’ with bona fide American citizens, he proves, once again, that he is clueless about illegals. I bet Juan “open borders” Hernandez wrote that line. Who’s “we”, John? Certainly not the hordes of illegals sneaking across the border. Once you get into the Oval Office McCain, you will find that the majority of Americans will not let you get away with being lax on border security. Senators and members of Congress have the luxury of hiding behind their collegues, not so the President. All eyes will be on McCain, and so will the anger and dissatisfaction with any attempt to obstruct the enforcement of laws.

If McCain were as strong on immigration control as he is on Islamic terrorism, we would have probably had a much-needed border wall by now.

I like this idea:

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. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we’ll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

On foreign policy:

We have dealt a serious blow to Al-Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they’ll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia’s leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world’s oil supply, intimidate other neighbors and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As president, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can’t turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.

We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I’m not afraid of them. I’m prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don’t. I know how to secure the peace.

With regard to his weakness on border security, he’d better read the section in the GOP platform dealing with illegals:

Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest? By that standard, Republicans know America can have a strong immigration system without sacrificing the rule of law.

Enforcing the Rule of Law at the Border and Throughout the Nation

Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal
gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people. We simply must be able to track who is entering and leaving our country. Our determination to uphold the rule of law begins with more effective enforcement, giving our agents the resources they need to protect our sovereignty, completing the border fence quickly and securing the borders, and employing complementary strategies to secure our ports of entry.

Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration. Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in fraudulent documents. As long as jobs are available in the United States, economic incentives to enter illegally will persist. But we must empower employers so they can know with confidence that those they hire are permitted to work. That means that the EVerify system—which is an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be reauthorized. A phased in requirement that employers use the E-Verify system must be enacted. The rule of law means guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay — and correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult.

It means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas, rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them temporary entry. It means imposing maximum penalties on those who smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S., both for their lawbreaking and for their cruel exploitation. It means requiring cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement and real consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for self described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such sanctuary policies, and which endanger the lives of U.S. citizens. It does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law. We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity.

The American people’s rejection of en masse legalizations is especially appropriate given the federal government’s past failures to enforce the law.

Embracing Immigrant Communities
Today’s immigrants are walking in the steps of most other Americans’ ancestors, seeking the American dream and contributing culturally and economically to our nation. We celebrate the industry and love of liberty of these fellow Americans. Both government and the private sector must do more to foster legally present immigrants’ integration into American life to advance respect for the rule of law and a common American identity. It is a national disgrace that the first experience most new Americans have is with a dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy defined by delay and confusion; we will no longer tolerate those failures. In our multiethnic nation, everyone — immigrants and native-born alike — must embrace our core values of liberty, equality, meritocracy, and respect for human dignity and the rights of women.

One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to prosperity in America. English empowers. We support English as the official language in our nation, while welcoming the ethnic diversity in the United States and the territories, including language. Immigrants should be encouraged to learn English. English is the accepted language of business, commerce, and legal proceedings, and it is essential as a unifying cultural force. It is also important, as part of cultural integration, that our schools provide better education in U.S. history and civics for all children, thereby fostering a commitment to our national motto, E Pluribus Unum. We are grateful to the thousands of new immigrants, many of them not yet citizens, who are serving in the Armed Forces. Their patriotism is inspiring; it should remind the institutions of civil society of the need to embrace newcomers, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help their communities avoid patterns of isolation.

Welcoming Refugees
Our country continues to accept refugees from troubled lands all over the world. In some cases, these are people who stood with America in dangerous times, and they have first call on our hospitality. We oppose, however, the granting of refugee status on the basis of lifestyle or other non-political factors.
http://www.gopplatform2008.com/2008Platform.pdf

Last I checked, his campaign motto is “Country First”.

Don’t forget it, John.

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