Alex Coelho

As the presidential election reaches its conclusion, our nation must now make its final choice between Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). These men present two vastly different paths for the future of our nation. I support McCain for president because his vision for the future of this country and his lifelong devotion and service to his country are the rare blend of ideals and character that our nation should always strive for in a president.

At home and abroad, McCain will pursue a course of action that maintains our nation’s security and prosperity.

At home, McCain understands that in this time of economic downturn, raising taxes for any individual or business will only prolong the suffering of our nation as we struggle to revive our nation’s economy. McCain’s income tax proposals will provide relief for the middle class as well as provide added financial capital that those of the upper tax brackets-many of them the owners of the small- and medium-sized businesses that provide the backbone of our nation’s economy-will need to maintain and expand their businesses, creating the jobs that our country needs. Keeping companies in the United States is another important aspect of McCain’s tax plan. While the corporate tax in America at 35 percent, it is significantly lower in almost every other developed nation in the world, putting the United States at a significant disadvantage. McCain proposes cutting the corporate tax down to 25 percent, creating an environment that makes it more advantageous for companies to keep and/or create jobs in America. Other nations have followed this same path during this global economic slowdown: Great Britain, for example, passed a 7 percent reduction in their corporate tax rate this last April in response to economic conditions. Our nation must break its dependency on foreign oil and McCain recognizes this. To solve this energy crisis, McCain knows that our nation must pursue every alternative that presents itself: expanded domestic drilling, clean coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, etc. Only by fully utilizing all of our domestic resources can America truly break free of the OPEC cartel. McCain will, as he has for 25 years in Congress, fight against earmark abuse, pork-barrel projects and the myriad of wasteful spending proposals that riddle our nation’s budget, drive up our national debt and mortgage the future of this country. In doing this, McCain will prove once again why he is known as a political maverick: he will reach across the aisle, sitting down with Democratic leaders and putting party labels aside to achieve reform for the good of this nation.

Overseas, McCain will remain committed to protecting our nation by pursuing our nation’s enemies. In Iraq, having been one of the first proponents of the troop surge that has proven so successful in stabilizing the nation, McCain will see our mission in Iraq through to victory: securing the sovereignty of the young democracy and defeating the remnants of the extremist forces that were rampant before the surge. The same basic principles of the Iraq surge will be implemented in our nation’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan so that tribal reconciliation can take place there as it has in Iraq these last two years. While some in Congress like Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) propose 25 percent cuts in defense, McCain will stand resolute against cutting our national defense in a time when our nation is engaged in a struggle against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist forces of the world that seek to destroy our nation. As Russia is once again pursuing a policy of expansionism, vulnerable nations such as Georgia and Ukraine need to be granted admittance into NATO-McCain has long been a proponent of this action as a safeguard against the desires of Vladimir Putin to reclaim old territories of the Soviet Union. McCain needs no introduction to the leaders of the world: he knows these foreign leaders and only McCain possesses the experience to sit down with these men and women from his first day in office and engage in diplomacy. In McCain, America would have a leader that understands the dangers and opportunities that exist throughout the world for our nation.

For over 50 years, McCain has dedicated himself to serving his country, making it safer, stronger and better. For over two decades, McCain served our nation in the U.S. Navy, fighting for the country he loves. As a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, McCain chose to honor his commitment to the men and women fighting alongside of him rather than accept an early release that would have come at the expense of other military personnel who had been held longer. While this does not qualify a man to be president, it does tell all of us about the character of the man seeking our nation’s highest office. After retiring from the Navy, McCain went to the U.S. Congress, where he has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man who seeks only that which he feels is in the best interest of his country. Before self-interest and before the interests of his party have always been the interests of the country McCain loves. It is this drive to reform and improve this great nation that have led McCain to work with such ideologically different senators like Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). While these actions have-at times-been to his detriment politically, McCain’s only interest in working with these men was to make the country he loves better. This kind of character and dedication to putting his country first, combined with his vision for America’s future, are why it is my distinct honor to be able to support John McCain, a great man and a great American, for president.

Alex CoelhoMemberMiami University College