The McCain Acceptance Speech I’d Love to Hear

Good evening, my fellow Americans, I am deeply honored to accept your nomination as the Republican Party candidate for the President of the United States. Let’s stop a minute and think about what that means…President of the United States.

When the speeches are over, the Oath of Office is sworn and the reporters go home, this is the loneliest job in the world. You lead the most powerful nation on earth but you must act with prudence and restraint. You propose policies and laws that affect the lives of millions of working families but you have to explain it them in a few words that can make it on the evening news. You might get a call at any time of the day or night, at any location, for any number of reasons and must be ready to act decisively. You must work long hours, have few friends, many critics and yet, every decision you make is for someone else’s benefit. You have to be REALLY sure you want this job.

It took me a long time to be sure I did. I have served my country and my fellow citizens however they asked me. I have asked nothing in return because I serve a cause greater than myself: You. You are the reason I have been on the road. You are the reason I have given the speeches. You are the reason I am standing here today. Not me, you.

Today you have a big decision to make. Two years ago, you heard a call for change and voted in a Democratic majority in the US Congress. In the two years my Democrat friends have controlled Congress they have made a big mess of things. They refused to pass an energy bill that could have avoided the current crisis, inviting speculators to run the price up $2 to $4. They have been waiting to raise taxes while you have been waiting for a job. When there is something hard to do, they table it, deflect it and if there is any danger of having to vote on it, adjourn for a vacation. They have been writing self-serving laws and you have been writing the checks. They eat pork while you eat chicken.

That is why I am asking you for two things, not one. Yes, I humbly ask you to allow me serve you as president. But second, and more important, I ask you to send me a Congress that is ready to act. Don’t send me there and give me a Congress that thinks they can tax their way to prosperity and engineer your life with rules and regulations. It just won’t work. I can’t get anything done if I must veto our way to a balanced budget and the freedom to choose.

Stop and think for a minute. Do you really think the Democratic-controlled Congress is looking out for you? They’re on vacation, when it’s time to find more oil. They’re out to lunch when it’s time to rein in government spending. They’re taking their orders from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, like bobbleheads in the economy’s rear view mirror. Can you imagine any serious, budget-minded, economy-building, pork-blocking President working with 535 Nancy Pelosi’s. No way.

This time, I ask that you not only make me and my honorable opponent run for president but make your Congressperson run for Congress. Ask him or her how many laws have their name on them and how they have affected you and your family. Ask, “why we are running out of oil and gas and spending $700 Billion a year to buy it from others?” Ask, “why we don’t build factories and refineries and roads and bridges and dams?” Ask, “why your job is being outsourced?” and if you don’t like their answer, outsource them. No more “It’s all George Bush’s fault” blame-game excuses: Ask them what they did for the last two years.

In short, don’t give me a bobblehead Congress to work with.

I congratulate the Democrats in electing the first African-American presidential candidate. He won by convincing his party that race, background, and ancestors didn’t matter. It marks a turning point in the Democratic Party: It is the beginning of end of their victim politics. It says that they no longer think that minorities need special privileges and can stand on their own. Finally, the Democrats and Republicans agree on something. Government should provide a level playing field, just not the balls, bats, uniforms, gloves and player salaries. It should open the door to opportunity but not block the door for everyone else. With just a little bit more self reliance, most Democrats can find a new home in the Party of Lincoln.

Because the answer, my friends, is painfully simple: Gerald Ford cautioned, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” While Democrat spending was going up and up and up, the economy has gone down and down and down. Is the answer to raise taxes and spend more? I think not.

Put more simply, beware the slick, smooth, fast talking politician who tells you what you want to hear not what you need to hear. He has what it takes to take what you have. Don’t be taken in by the big lie, “we are taxing the rich.” Ask yourself how many times have you heard that and then found later that YOUR taxes have gone up and YOUR employer closed his doors and YOU can’t find another job. “We are taxing the rich?” YOU always, always, always, paid the price.

Ninety Five years ago income tax, as you know it today didn’t exist. When the sixteenth amendment was passed, politicians promised that only the very rich would ever pay income tax. I suppose all Americans are rich because we all now pay income tax. As the income tax has grown, so has the government. I ask you now, should taxes and government keep on growing? Should it be allowed to take all your money? Even if you gave government everything, can it meet your every need? In fact, do you think it even KNOWS what you need?

There IS a fundamental difference between the Republican and Democratic Party. We believe in self-reliance; they believe in government reliance. If you want big momma government, do NOT vote for me. If you want it avoided and resisted, if you want it vetoed, I will do my best. But if you want, really want, government off your back, you have to start with Congress. If your local Congressperson wants to make taxes go up, watch out. He says he’ll chase your cares away but he will eventually chase your job away. Bigger government doesn’t create jobs but it’s great at destroying them.

So now you see how tough this election is going to be. I don’t have one opponent, I have hundreds of opponents. Each one of them is after the people’s money and to get it, they will tell you just about anything. All I have is the truth. Those that know me, know that is all I have ever needed.

Now, I am not the greatest orator in this race. I am not the best looking. I am not the slickest. I am far from perfect and no sound bites or photo ops will ever change that. In fact, I am pretty beat up from all the things I have done for my fellow citizens. As George Washington once told his officers, “forgive me, I have grown old in the service of my country.”

This is a critical time in America. Our economy is enslaved by its dependence on one source of energy. We are trading our homes and business just so we can drive to work. We need energy from multiple sources and we must be able to switch when we choose. If one energy supplier gets too expensive, we need to choose a substitute as is our right. You get options, they’ll get the message.

We should not be afraid to invest in ourselves. This is a high value added economy that makes high technology products and provides high expertise services. Skilled and knowledgeable folks are needed to build these products and provide these services. Government can play a vital role in helping its’ citizens get the training and education they need for these jobs. You must also commit to building your knowledge through continuing education and lifetime learning.

Are we spending on the right things? Many have adopted a lifestyle defined by Rodeo Drive and not by Main Street. A rich Hollywood star who can buy anything often thinks they can do anything. The best aspire to service and contribution to others, not fame and fortune drawn from others. Buy those things that you truly need, not what you are told you need. Consumerism for its own sake offers a way to feel good but not a chance to do good.

The people have already decided to pay for a few programs and know they will pay the price. Social Security means no one should live in poverty after working their whole lives. We need to make sure this program is financially sound and around, when the people who paid for it need it.

Medicare and Medicaid protects the health of the non working as well. Other folks are still falling through the cracks. The American Public is compassionate but not crazy. All of you know how expensive health care is. Think of the cost if doctors and hospitals had full access to the people’s treasury, the people’s ability to tax and the people’s ability to borrow. Some level of care for every citizen is necessary and government can help bring this about.

Finally, we have to take away Congress’s credit card. The bobbleheads have been hiding the truth from you. No more fake budgets. No more off-balance sheet spending. No more tricks. No more gimmicks. Folks, let me say this plainly. We have to start saying no to spending more than we take in. I need a line item veto, pure and simple. Anything else is a lie.

But you get something in return. Pull a dollar bill out of your wallet. Remember what it bought last year and the year before that? Last year, a little over two could buy a gallon of gas, this year it takes four. A dollar could buy a loaf of bread, now it takes two or three. The problem is that Congress can reach in and tax the money while it is in your wallet: All they have to do is print more dollar bills to compete with yours. Let me say this plainly, “this is a tax, this is a tax, this is a tax.” The bobbleheads borrow and spend, look pretty, get re-elected and you and your children are left holding the bag.

Here is what you get when we balance the budget. You get a dollar that is not just a piece of paper but a real store of value. We get government on a diet, you get a dollar you can trust. When you leave it to your kids, they can trust it, too.

The way forward is a bigger vision for our people, not a bigger government running their lives. It is not going to be easy: In fact, it’s going to be hard. I have to say no to a lot of excess spending and trust you to look out for yourself. I have to keep taxes low and trust you to spend wisely. I have to keep government out of things it has no business doing including your business. I have to defend the country wherever and whenever I see a threat and trust you to stay the course. All I can promise you is that, in a few years, you will see the benefits, more freedom, more security, more prosperity and more opportunity. If we do this right, you won’t ever have to pay this price a second time.

So, I ask your support to make these changes. Cleaning up this mess and holding Congress accountable means making the bobbleheads mad by taking away their pork. They didn’t like me in the past and they aren’t going to like me as President. All I offer you is truth, dedication and service. I am looking for a few like-minded folks who can serve a cause larger than themselves. Of course, we need people who can serve in Congress and keep the country’s grandchildren in mind. Much more importantly, we need people who can look into the hearts of candidates, judge them, help them and, yes, vote for them. If you are such a person, will you join me in this cause?

This election is about you and not about me. You are about to give your vote to someone you trust to keep you in mind, not them. This act, voting, is the thing we live for, die for, protect and defend. Your vote cannot be bought: It must be earned. It is at the center of this country, the greatest country on earth. It is written into our Constitution. It is hard coded in our DNA. We are disappointed when some don’t vote. We would rise up united if anyone tried to take it away.

When you vote this November, make it count. Moreover, ask your friends and neighbors to vote. No matter how they plan to vote, wrong or right, admire them for voting and thank them for voting. When they vote, they are upholding the greatest traditions of the United States, your traditions, my traditions and the traditions of our fathers.

So, my fellow Americans, I humbly ask for your vote. If you give it, I will do everything in my power to empower you. I will pester Congress to leave you alone. I will resist spending in Washington to let you spend at home. I will eliminate regulations that eliminate jobs. I will shape a government that serves your interests and not the special interests.

Will you let me serve?