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John McCain:

Modern Progressivism?

Presidential hopeful John McCain seems to want to revive

the Progressive Republican Party. With the elections around the

corner, McCain?s campaign is off the ground. And the comparisons

to former progressive president Theodore Roosevelt are endless.

The divide between him and the other major Republican candidate,

George W. Bush are increasingly obvious on most of the issues.

John McCain promises to expand and improve the United

States? Armed Forces for better military preparedness. He

believes that it is our duty as a powerful free nation to ensure

and protect the rights of others around the world using any

measures we see fit., mediation in foreign affairs or even the use

of military power. Theodore Roosevelt advocated the same

military preparedness, he had faith in the virtues of war as he

had previously been so involved in the Spanish-American conflict.

He called the battle of San Juan Hill ?the greatest day of my life.?

McCain has a similar history in the military, having served as a

captain in the United States? Navy in the Vietnam War, he was a

Prisoner of War from 1967-1073. McCain has said that his tortured

time as a POW served to make him a stronger person.

Both McCain and Roosevelt have taken a moral approach in

reforming of the federal government. John McCain and Theodore

Roosevelt share a reformer?s point of view. McCain?s central

ambition as president would be to end the corrupt campaign

finance system of rewarding those with special interests

(companies or individuals who donate money to political campaigns)

with tax-breaks and special privileges while hurting the taxpayer.

McCain wants to do away with this use of loopholes in the law,

saying that ?keeping money out of politics? is the best way to

develop a government that works more for the interests of the

people than for its own interests. Roosevelt did some of his own

reforms in his day, with the setting up of the merit system, where

government workers where appointed in accordance to performance

and competence instead of the previously used spoils system, in

which those who where loyal members of their party and helped

the campaigns were given the jobs. Though McCain has taken some

heat for using the system he is now trying to reform to increase

his personal wealth, Roosevelt also had some contradictions in his

administration. Roosevelt was a firm believer in capitalism and

abhorred socialism, but he did advocate government control over

some business. He was known for breaking up major business trusts

and monopolies, but he didn?t look down upon all trusts, he was in

favor of some and was reluctant to interfere too much in business.

Both politicians are known for excitable temperaments. Some

of McCain?s critics raise questions about McCain?s ability to be a

capable president with his assertive attitudes and firm (almost

stubborn-like) stance, they say he lacks diplomacy. McCain seems

to be turning Roosevelt?s famous phrase, ?speak softly and carry a

big stick? right around. There is a lot of talk about wanting to

reduce crime but his position on how remain unclear He opposes

waiting periods for guns and advocates instant background check

even though they are not really available.

John McCain?s claim that Theodore Roosevelt is his hero and

his Teddy-like ways may be a way to give him more credibility as

would-be president. Many already admire his flexibility as a

Republican. And it annoys some, who see it as a way to get the

majority of the independent vote. Whatever he?s up to, it?s working

just fine. He?s had many state victories and is putting up quite a

fight for the presidency. If he wins, whether or not he will make

things happen in Washington is yet to be seen. He is the only

candidate likely to really push the campaign finance reforms, but

will he really change things as effectively as his hero?


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