Robert Bidinotto makes a thoughtful case for McCain from a libertarian perspective. This is the best reasoned and most concise argument for McCain that I have read so far:
The gamble we now face is that in voting for a ticket that professes hopelessly confused moral, political, and economic premises, we will not be doing greater damage to our nation’s future than by simply allowing the ascendancy of the overtly collectivist, anti-American left, represented by Barack Obama.
However, the operative word in the preceding sentence is “confused.” The Republican Party and its standard bearer are a mixed bag of clashing ideas. Inside that bag are not just anti-individualist and progressive ideas, but individualist and capitalist ideas, as well. It’s an incoherent hodge-podge. But it’s not all toxic; there is a lot of good in the mix.
This still makes the Republican Party infinitely better than the consistently anti-individualist, anti-capitalist, and ultimately anti-American Democratic left. The very fact that, in order to have a prayer of holding and inspiring his party core, McCain had to bring aboard a running mate who was much more consistently pro-free-market, speaks volumes about the priorities of the Republican base, and also their animosity toward McCain’s more statist inclinations. And in order to retain their support in governance, McCain will be forced to abandon or at least water down his worst initiatives, and also to promote a lot of pro-capitalist measures. He already has come around on the need for more offshore oil drilling, and you heard no mention of the terms “global warming” or “climate change” in his acceptance speech.
On individualist philosophical grounds, then, we are left with the choice of supporting either a profoundly flawed representative of America’s founding premises, or of supporting a candidate whose philosophy and every policy proposal are profoundly at odds with those premises. For me, that is no choice at all. (I leave aside the Libertarian candidacy of Bob Barr, who has zero chance of being elected; the only meaningful choice is between McCain and Obama.)
John McCain loves America and has its best interests at heart, even when his “heart” leads him to mistaken conclusions. I have no doubt that if persuaded that his ideas are contrary to America’s best interests, he would abandon them without hesitation. But can anyone say that about a candidate whose long-time minister damns America and whose long-time Chicago political associate bombed its institutions?
On the most gravely important policy issues of our day — national defense and energy development — the choice is clear. No, I will not expect much from a McCain-Palin administration; in fact, I will expect policies as incoherent as its premises. But I will never expect McCain and Palin to intentionally undermine the nation they love.
It’s worth reading the whole thing.
(Via Johnathan Pearce.)
UPDATE: Another thoughtful pro-McCain argument, this one by libertarian columnist Vin Suprynowicz.