Republican Candidate: John McCain

    Illustration by Lars Ingelman/Guardian

    Simply put, John McCain is the best Republican candidate for

    The Arizona
    senator has both the leadership skills and character necessary to lead the United
    in a new direction at a time when
    most of the world continues to regard our country with hostility, especially
    amid the increasingly unpopular Iraq War.

    Unlike his opponents, the 71-year-old Vietnam War veteran
    and former prisoner of war consistently defends his beliefs without regard for
    political peril, a characteristic most strongly demonstrated by how many times
    he rejects the motions of his own party and president.

    He breaks with the GOP on illegal immigration, an issue that
    hits close to home for this border-state politician, sensibly advocating a
    pathway for citizenship for the country’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens
    while simultaneously calling for tougher immigration standards.

    Again separating himself from others in his own party,
    McCain also staunchly supports rebuilding America’s
    image abroad by closing Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    — the military detention center that houses suspected terrorists — beginning
    legal proceedings for detainees and banning torture, which he himself has

    With many Republicans refusing to acknowledge global warming
    as a dire problem, McCain has been a leading voice for climate policy reform,
    championing the first Senate bill to address the problem legislatively in 2003.
    Although that bill ultimately failed, McCain continues to defy many fellow
    Republicans by supporting cap-and-trade policies to reduce greenhouse-gas

    He also supports more federal funding for embryonic stem
    cell research — one of the only leading Republicans to do so — and is realistic
    about the ominous future of Social Security and Medicare, saying that if elected
    he would place overhauling those programs at the top of his domestic agenda.

    But McCain does have his flaws. He is against abortion and
    the legalization of same-sex marriage, and has consistently said that he would
    keep troops in Iraq
    for as long as necessary — whatever that means.

    Those issues aside, McCain is clearly the best choice from a
    field of candidates that also includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
    and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. While McCain continually stands by his
    core beliefs, Romney has left voters confused about his positions, the most
    notable example being his support for abortion as governor but a sudden
    turnaround on the issue now that he is trying to capture the White House. And
    Huckabee’s religious jargon is often so alarming (bringing the Constitution in
    line with “God’s law”) that he has no broad appeal.

    With this election’s outcome so crucial to our country’s
    future, voters should recognize McCain’s conviction and support him on Election

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