So, it’s been a while since Jason posted about throwing the entirety of DadCentric’s weight behind Sen. Obama. And although I respect his decision to do so, it’s really not an accurate depiction of the true make up of the DC staff. Without knowing the leanings of every other member, I’m pretty sure I can say that I am the only right-leaning one. The Conservative. (Cue ominous theme music….now!)

To use Jason’s restaurant analogy for a bit: imagine you have soured on Applebee’s and its fare. Now, imagine a new guy comes to town. Little is known about him but he comes amid great fanfare — there’s glitz and there’s flash and there’s real buzz. He speaks about how he knows you HOPE for something different in the same-old restaurant scene; about how he knows how much you want to CHANGE it; and he asks you if you can taste something different and everyone answers, “YES, WE CAN!” Then his people hand everyone in attendance two slices of bread just before they and the new guy leave town. After a while, when the euphoria has worn off, you realize that you’ve got nothing but an empty sandwich. It’s empty because no matter how much HOPE and CHANGE you put on two slices of bread all you have is two slices of bread (h/t Dana). How is that good?

I’ll be honest about something right up front: I am begrudgingly voting for McCain. Now, before that whips some of you up into a frenzy, let me explain. I am a Conservative first, Republican second. I know that might be hard for some to understand, but there is distinction. I subscribe to the Conservatism of Burke, de Tocqueville and Kirk among others. As Bob Dole wrote in Why I Am a Reagan Conservative, “It is a faith; the humbling perspective that not every change represents progress; a fierce defense of individuals and national freedom; and a healthy skepticism toward institutions too large, too remote, and too impersonal to be truly democratic.” That’s what I look for in my candidates. If a Democrat held these same values, I’d certainly consider them as well. I’m not beholden to a party; I’m beholden to a set of ideals, a philosophy. So, I’m voting for McCain because, for me, he espouses enough of those values, with some exceptions mind you, but exceptions I’m willing to overlook because the alternative, to me, is just unacceptable.

Whether the connection is as benign as the Obama camp makes it out to be or not, a relationship, any relationship, with a known, unrepentant domestic terrorist is a non-starter. Bzzzzzzz – who’s our next contestant, Roddy? Listen, downplay, shout down, talk over this as much as you’d like, but had this type of relationship been found in my past when I was getting my security clearance, the most secure place I would have been allowed would have been the kitchen walk-in, that is if I hadn’t been disinvited from the military all together. And that was during the Cold War when names like McVeigh and Nichols and groups like al Qaeda were unknowns. Now, when we should be appalled, people are busy making excuses – nothing to see here, move along – would we be so quick, so glib to brush this off were it April 1995? October 2001 rather than October 2008? I think not, but then again, I might have misplaced too much faith in the American electorate.

I’m pro-life and I don’t think that’s a position that I need to justify…to anyone. But somehow, as Conservatives, we have to justify – explain ourselves – that we believe that life begins at conception (like Sen. Biden), is sacred and that we neither believe in nor condone abortion. I really do not care what you do in your own life – not one whit – it’s your choice, not mine. In all honesty, I believe Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision and should be returned to the states. But I’ll leave that to people much smarter than I in Constitutional law. That’s really not my point, anyway. My point is if the procedure is going to be performed, we should have standards in those cases when it fails. Thankfully, we do in the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. However, Obama, along with five other Democrat senators, voted to kill a, Illinois bill identical to this Act – a bill that unanimously (with an endorsement from Sen. Barbara Boxer no less) passed the US Senate.

I think, as a former soldier, I’m in a unique position to say some things about war. I trained every day for a period of my life for just such an eventuality – so much so that I knew the Fulda Gap better than I knew my own front yard. I am not pro-war, nor am I a chicken hawk (I’ve worn the uniform). But I believe that war is sometimes necessary and that protection of this country’s sovereignty; the defense of the Constitution; and the safety of this country’s citizens reigns supreme. I swore an oath to defend the same as did every other soldier serving now. When I raised my hand I knew what I was getting into – I’m a fairly smart guy – you don’t learn to accurately fire an M16A2 because it’s cool (but it is though). Soldiers are a prideful bunch – we don’t take kindly to losing…anything. A bar fight, a simulated battle or a firefight – losing is not an option. So when members of Congress talk about timetables and withdrawals, it raises the hackles of vets and those serving now. We don’t leave with our tail between our legs. Never again. I trust the judgment of those wearing the stars, not those mingling with stars. In the same vein, I don’t give a flying fig what some cheese-eating surrender monkey thinks about the US. This is not his country, it’s mine…ours. I don’t apologize for who we are or what we do. I think saving the world…TWICE…allows for a lifetime pass.

Finally, if you’ve read this far, I appreciate it. It’s not comprehensive of what I believe, merely a smattering. I know these opinions won’t win me many friends in the blogosphere, nor will they change minds, I’m just trying to be open and honest. And to show that some of us are smart.