Steamboat Springs "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
- John Stuart Mill
As the election nears and political divisiveness escalates, Americans are - and rightfully should be - seriously contemplating those issues, political and otherwise, that matter most to us. Employment, health care, Social Security and faith-based initiatives deserve consideration, but so, too, do our current military operations in the Middle East. In light of the excessive criticism of the global war on terrorism, I author this letter with a deeply founded concern for the direction in which the American voters will guide our great nation this November.
Recent polls indicate the economy, by overwhelming margins, is the issue of greatest concern to Americans. Although the negative trend of our markets merits the attention of voters and politicians alike, the importance of earning victory in Iraq and Afghanistan should not fall by the wayside, as it has in recent months. Briefly consider the implications of an unstable Middle East for America. The price of oil likely will increase, our access to oil will be compromised, and Americans will forfeit more money at the gas pumps, grocery markets and department stores. Moreover, premature withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the resulting instability will invalidate the progress so many Americans already have paid for with their lives.
Ultimately, Americans will fight the war on terrorism here at home, instead of abroad at its origins. Nobody wants to witness a repeat of the Sept. 11 attacks; national security is worth fighting for. Sen. Barack Obama is an amazing man, and the value of his accomplishments never should be brought into question. Although the inflammatory personal attacks against Obama's character are ill-founded and unrightfully detract from the praise deserved for his notable public service, Obama does not possess the military and executive experience necessary to lead a nation at war. Sen. John McCain will carry into office a legacy of military service and command experience and 22 years of service to our nation as a senator. McCain's records, military and political, evidence his ability to lead our country in war.
It should be noted that a vote for McCain is not a vote for the war. Both candidates seek an end to the war on terrorism. The manner in which they go about achieving this end, though, is markedly different and deserves your most sincere consideration.
A vote for McCain is a vote to end the war with victory in hand and stability in the Middle East. As we make our way to the voting booths this November, I urge everyone to pause for a moment and consider the importance of our country's military operations in the Middle East. Remember, some things are worth fighting for.