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A year ago, I don’t think anyone thought we would have to make the case for why John McCain should not the President of the United States. I thought he had been doing that for the last 8 years, but his campaign seems to have risen from the dead. But over the last month, Senator McCain has revived a candidacy that was earlier overshadowed by Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. How did he do it? He has an impeccable military record including time served as a POW during the Vietnam War, he called for and supported the seemingly very successful troop surge in Iraq, and he has stayed above the fray during his campaigning and in the Republican televised debates. He has been the most, dare I say, presidential of the candidates. So with all that said, why am I not voting for him?

While I agree that Senator McCain does have a very presidential aura about him and does provide a very steadying hand, I can’t agree with him when he says he has a record of being solid conservative. Economically, he is no real Conservative. He may be a Republican, but not a Conservative. Economic Conservatives do not vote to appropriate public funds to be given to those in need, no matter what the emergency. The Constitution does not allow for income redistribution by the federal government no matter the reason. In 2005 and 2006 Senator McCain voted to appropriate relief funds from the public treasury to those affected by Hurricanes Katrina & Rita as well as the Indian tsunami disaster.

Concerning taxes, Senator McCain has refused to consider alternative tax plans, like a flat tax or national retail sales tax (also referred to as the FairTax), preferring instead to try to adjust the existing billions and billions of lines of the existing tax code. True Conservatives, economically speaking, don’t encourage an income tax in the first place but certainly would be open to other options and would make that a priority. Senator McCain promotes maintaining the status quo but lowering the tax rates… that’s just not good enough.

One of the most important issues, I believe, is the issue of judicial nominations, as there are certain to be more Federal District and Supreme Court openings over the next 4-8 years. Senator McCain has proven that he does not have the same regard for conservative judges that I do. In 2005, Senator McCain broke with a majority of conservatives in the Republican party and brokered a deal with the Democrats to avoid a filibuster over Supreme Court judicial nominee Samuel Alito. While in the end Alito was confirmed and the “Gang of 14” was successful in moving forward the nomination process, McCain showed that he preferred to get along with the Democrats than stand on principle with the Constitution. Rather than force the Democrats to muster the votes to sustain a filibuster, Senator McCain did what was politically expedient to achieve his agenda.

The fact of the matter is John McCain is part of the problem. He was part of a Republican controlled Congress for 6 years during which time government spending and pork increased at a tremendous rate. Senator McCain has continually professed that he “went to Washington to change Washington, but Washington changed us.” While I appreciate his honesty, that’s a pretty good reason why we should all take a hard look at him and decide if he’s the kind of candidate who can change Washington. Senator McCain is 71 years old. Makes you wonder if an old dog can learn any new tricks.

I can’t bring myself to vote for John McCain. While I respect his service and his experience as a Senator and acknowledge that he would be a valiant opponent of Hillary in a general election, I reject him as part of the problem. Actually, he might make a pretty good choice as a VP candidate…

Next up: Why I Can’t Vote for Rudy Giuliani