I am a registered Democrat and I supported Hillary Clinton, but I am voting for John McCain.
I see two critical questions in this election. First, how we're going to confront this economic crisis, and second, the question that has lingered since 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001: who best understands how unprepared we were then and what we need to do now to combat terrorism.
I fear Obama is the change that Osama bin Laden has been waiting for, an American president who will impose a defeat on the endgame in Iraq, placing vindication above victory.
My wife was burned from head to toe in the 9/11 attacks, and hundreds of my colleagues were killed. I have never come to terms with Obama’s seven-year delay in repudiating the words "God Damn America!" shouted by Rev. Jeremiah Wright as 2,881 lay dead in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and Ring C of the Pentagon.
With his allusions to restraint of trade, higher taxes, unilateral military withdrawals, pullbacks in defense spending, and the redistribution of wealth, Obama has aggregated the most discredited governing ideas of the twentieth century and some from the twenty-first. His unparalleled popularity may well evaporate should there be another major terrorist attack in America, one that I fear may become more likely if an Obama administration unwinds the tactics that the hated and vilified George W. Bush has used, so far successfully, to prevent a recurrence of 9/11.
I read Obama’s so-called middle-class tax cut as a subsidy. He is committed to raising capital gains taxes, even though history teaches that doing so invariably slows or reverses economic growth, leading to a reduction in tax revenues. Angry as the middle class may be, this is chemotherapy for influenza; if Obama keeps his tax promises, economic conditions will get worse, not better. The check won’t be in the mail.
More tragically, I fear Obama is the change that Osama bin Laden has been waiting for, an American president who will impose a defeat on the endgame in Iraq, placing vindication above victory. Even for those who hate the Iraq War, it must be seen as a grave mistake to replay the response to the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive, where a hard-fought victory on the ground became a political defeat in the media and at the ballot box, ending with a scramble to catch the last helicopter out of Saigon. If we abandon the Iraqis to the murderers among them, there will not be a helicopter big enough to rescue those desperate to escape.
I assume the world’s bad actors understand this calculus and have taken their own measure of Senator Obama, one that meshes with Joe Biden’s prediction that our enemies would move to test him as president, as Kennedy was pushed to the brink of nuclear war in Cuba and drawn into Vietnam and as Carter was embarrassed over Iran and then Afghanistan.
Yet Obama’s refusal to concede that he was wrong, and that John McCain was right, about the surge in Iraq is a fatal flaw in a commander-in-chief, a signal to all that he may well place politics before strategy in his military decisions. By contrast, despite his regrettable words demonizing Wall Street (words however far more forgivable than "spread the wealth around"), McCain offers a more reasonable tax agenda, and a demonstrably superior strategic and diplomatic understanding. He may not have a first-class temperament, but he is likely to be a better president, something we will learn over the next four years no matter who wins.
Greg Manning is a veteran of the financial information industry, most recently with Cantor Fitzgerald. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller LOVE, GREG & LAUREN: A Powerful True Story of Courage, Hope, and Survival