Republican Convention 2008

You, Sir, Ain't No Barry Goldwater


Over the weekend the Denver Post published an interview with me, conducted by occasional reason contributor David Harsanyi, on the topic of John McCain. Here's an excerpt:

DP: McCain followed Barry Goldwater in Senate, yet his voting record reveals little Western-style libertarianism. What is McCain's guiding political philosophy or ideology? Does he have one?

Welch: Actually, Goldwater was never really warm toward his replacement, which is something McCain, to this day in my judgment, has never properly understood. McCain's guiding philosophy is National Greatness Conservatism - he wants to restore your faith, and my faith, in America as the singularly blessed shining city on the hill, a confident and self-aware superpower whose destiny is to keep the world safe for democracy. Anything that jeopardizes that faith, or otherwise sows public cynicism, is a legitimate target of McCain's - and the federal government's - considerable wrath.

I'm also quoted at length on same by this weekend's Scotsman; and this Washington Post/Slate roundup of McCain-related books says that mine is "a meticulous upending of the candidate's public identity."

One book that Post/Slate left out, and which I found helpful particular in its knowledge and reflection on various military traditions and subcultures, is John Karaagac's hard-to-find 2000 volume John McCain: An Essay in Military and Political History.