What about McCain?

David Brooks argues that John McCain has the best character of all the candidates. Indeed, he is a war hero, a POW who was never broken, a man of integrity who stands by his principles even when they go against the grain in Washington. He has been said to have the strongest pro-life credentials of any of the other candidates.

He is wobbly, though, on stem cell research. And the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill is an assault on the most important kind of free speech the founders had in mind, namely, political discourse. Still, I have a lot of respect for John McCain. Isn’t the “character issue” an important consideration for Christians?

HT: inexile

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    McCain was part of the effort to grant an effective amnesty to illegal aliens. He really lost of a lot of points on that issue.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    McCain was part of the effort to grant an effective amnesty to illegal aliens. He really lost of a lot of points on that issue.

  • Richard

    I would think so, too, Dr. Veith, but with McCain, the character issue cuts both ways, I guess–hard to fathom. A war hero whom a lot of Christians thumb their noses at while embracing other candidates with real character issues.
    Hey, on another issue, pray for me. I’m doing a presentation from Chapter 3 of your “God at Work” book to our church’s men’s study on Sat. I’ve studied the Gustav Wingren book as well–and I’ve been overwhelmed at the paradigm-shifting material he presents. What a gem!

  • Richard

    I would think so, too, Dr. Veith, but with McCain, the character issue cuts both ways, I guess–hard to fathom. A war hero whom a lot of Christians thumb their noses at while embracing other candidates with real character issues.
    Hey, on another issue, pray for me. I’m doing a presentation from Chapter 3 of your “God at Work” book to our church’s men’s study on Sat. I’ve studied the Gustav Wingren book as well–and I’ve been overwhelmed at the paradigm-shifting material he presents. What a gem!

  • Joe

    I really have a problem with the campaign finace bill. In fact that day Bush signed it into law I informed my family that Bush was not going to be the next Regan and that he was going to be the next Nixon. I think that my prediction has come true.

    McCain is a war hero yes but he is also petty and easily sent over the edge into some kind of a screed against someone that he will never apologize for. I really don’t think his character is all that special. Also, and I say this as a former Sgt. in the US Army, being a soldier does not qualify you to be President.

    His pro-life record is pretty darn good, excepting Stem Cells, but that is the current battle. Where we will face our biggest fits and where we will need true leadership from the exceutive branch.

    McCain is past his prime; he had his shot and lost. He is very effective in the Senate and he should stay there.

  • Joe

    I really have a problem with the campaign finace bill. In fact that day Bush signed it into law I informed my family that Bush was not going to be the next Regan and that he was going to be the next Nixon. I think that my prediction has come true.

    McCain is a war hero yes but he is also petty and easily sent over the edge into some kind of a screed against someone that he will never apologize for. I really don’t think his character is all that special. Also, and I say this as a former Sgt. in the US Army, being a soldier does not qualify you to be President.

    His pro-life record is pretty darn good, excepting Stem Cells, but that is the current battle. Where we will face our biggest fits and where we will need true leadership from the exceutive branch.

    McCain is past his prime; he had his shot and lost. He is very effective in the Senate and he should stay there.

  • fwsonnek

    I think that Barack Obama has the right idea on campaign finances.

    Let everyone collect funds however they want with some diffinitive boundaries, but make there be a “sunshine” provision where everthing has to be reported in a way that let´s the public know exactly where the money is coming from. “bundlers” for example have to reveal a breakdown of who contributed what by name.

    I don´t think it would militate against freedom or privacy in this case to insist that all political contributors provide their name and ss# when they contribute politically.

  • fwsonnek

    I think that Barack Obama has the right idea on campaign finances.

    Let everyone collect funds however they want with some diffinitive boundaries, but make there be a “sunshine” provision where everthing has to be reported in a way that let´s the public know exactly where the money is coming from. “bundlers” for example have to reveal a breakdown of who contributed what by name.

    I don´t think it would militate against freedom or privacy in this case to insist that all political contributors provide their name and ss# when they contribute politically.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Robert Perry

    Lessee….character…divorce….campaign finance deform….very quick temper….

    Sorry, I’m not quite seeing how all of these words really go together.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Robert Perry

    Lessee….character…divorce….campaign finance deform….very quick temper….

    Sorry, I’m not quite seeing how all of these words really go together.

  • Joe

    fwsonnek – I did not know Barack was on board with this. It was pushed by conservatives in the 1970′s when they first enacted campaign finance reforms that McCain updated. It is also what Justice Kennedy suggested in several concurring opinions. It is truly the right answer. This way free speech gets protected and the voters have the right to see the source of the funding.

    Btw- it will never happen.

  • Joe

    fwsonnek – I did not know Barack was on board with this. It was pushed by conservatives in the 1970′s when they first enacted campaign finance reforms that McCain updated. It is also what Justice Kennedy suggested in several concurring opinions. It is truly the right answer. This way free speech gets protected and the voters have the right to see the source of the funding.

    Btw- it will never happen.

  • Richard

    Lessee . . . a war hero, a former POW, a man whom the Vietcong couldn’t break, a great pro-life record. And these count for what? Nothing? We vote for someone else because he has a quick temper? Sheesh. Shouldn’t two kingdom thinking enter into the equation here?

  • Richard

    Lessee . . . a war hero, a former POW, a man whom the Vietcong couldn’t break, a great pro-life record. And these count for what? Nothing? We vote for someone else because he has a quick temper? Sheesh. Shouldn’t two kingdom thinking enter into the equation here?

  • organshoes

    But let’s not forget embryonic stem cell research (i.e.: federal funding of same), and amnesty for illegals.
    Not small potatoes, even if they’re not character-defining.

  • organshoes

    But let’s not forget embryonic stem cell research (i.e.: federal funding of same), and amnesty for illegals.
    Not small potatoes, even if they’re not character-defining.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, McCain’s record 30 years ago counts as what happened 30 years ago, no?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, McCain’s record 30 years ago counts as what happened 30 years ago, no?


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