In a Thanksgiving Weekend letter-to-the-editor of the Manchester Union Leader, John McCain writes that: COMMON-SENSE conservatives believe the government that governs least governs best, that government should do only those things individuals cannot do for themselves, and do them efficiently. Much rides on that principle: the integrity of the government, our prosperity, and every American's self-respect, which depends, as it always has, on one's own decisions and actions and cannot be provided as another government benefit.
McCain's view of American governance is clear and he sounds comfortable with it. Clearly, he believes as many conservatives do that Republicans need to come home:We have more significant priorities ahead of us than finding new ways to spend money unwisely. Thanks, in part, to Republican economic policies, America still has the most productive, flexible and energetic free economy in the world. But to keep our nation prosperous, strong and growing we have to rethink, reform and reinvent: the way we educate our children, train our workers, deliver health care services, support retirees, fuel our transportation network, stimulate research and development and harness new technologies.
And on the biggest issue of our time he gets it:Our most important obligation, of course, is to protect Americans from the threat posed by violent Islamic extremists. They are moral monsters, but they are also a disciplined movement driven by an apocalyptic religious zeal, which celebrates martyrdom and murder, has access to science, technology and mass communications, and is determined to acquire and use against us and our allies weapons of mass destruction. The institutions that sustained us throughout the Cold War and the doctrine of deterrence we relied on are no longer adequate to protect us in a struggle where suicide bombers might obtain the world's most terrifying weapons.
McCain goes on in a realistic and even-handed tone to let Americans know that this is going to be a long war and that victory is the only acceptable outcome (this is the stuff good leaders are made of):We must be honest about the war in Iraq. Without additional combat forces we will not win. We must clear and hold insurgent strongholds, provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies, arrest sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias, train the Iraqi army, and embed American personnel in weak and often corrupt Iraqi police units. We need to do all these things if we are to succeed. And we will need more troops to do them.It is not fair or easy to look a soldier in the eye and tell him he must shoulder a rifle again and risk his life in a third tour in Iraq. As troubling as it is, I can ask a young Marine to go back to Iraq. And he will go, not happily perhaps, but he will go because he and his comrades are the first patriots among us. But I can only ask him if I share his commitment to victory.
Read the entire letter...STIS
believes it's a preview of the 2008 election. Many parts of it have been popping up again and again in the post-election speeches which McCain has delivered and seem to be going over well with audience members in attendance.