A faltering economy, terrorism, national security, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, growing budget deficits and more: Our nation faces a lot of challenges.
And we need a president with the wisdom, the experience and the character to guide our nation through the difficult times ahead. And on those criteria, there is only one choice: John McCain.
From being a fighter pilot to serving as a member of Congress, the Arizona Republican has a lifetime of service.
He showed his strength of character by not taking the easy way out while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The torture he endured didn't break him; instead it steeled his commitment to the United States and his colleagues in the military.
McCain also has shown his stripes in the Senate, bucking his party and the White House when he had disagreements. Often, we come to find that he was right.
An example is the war in Iraq. Long before the surge, McCain was saying more troops were needed.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama disagreed. He said the surge wouldn't work. He wanted to cut and run. Fortunately, Obama wasn't the commander in chief.
It took awhile, but finally our nation's leadership came around to McCain's point of view, and the results show he was right. Our increased military presence has reduced the violence and offered Iraq a chance to stand on its feet.
Americans may disagree on the war. But the reality is we are there, and there are only two choices: find a way for Iraq to succeed as a nation, which makes the United States a winner, or cede defeat and destroy our nation's reputation.
We should be striving for victory, not defeat.
Everyone wants the Iraq war to end quickly so our troops can come home. But history shows that establishing stability can be a long process. The United States sent troops to Bosnia for peacekeeping in the mid-1990s for supposedly one year. They wound up being there nine years.
Nearly a decade ago, the United States committed thousands of troops for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. They remain there today.
We need similar patience with Iraq.
The war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaida is increasingly worrisome. We must find a way to boost troop levels there. McCain's military experience will be a big asset in forming a plan for victory.
In addition to the military strategy, the United States faces a challenge of how to pay for the wars and our other needs.
Our nation would be in much better shape if it had followed McCain's lead three years ago to rein in the abuses of subprime mortgages. Unfortunately, congressional liberals defeated the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. Now, we're paying for that mistake through massive bailouts and an economy heading for recession.
It's going to take a long time for our nation to recover economically. In order for that to happen, we need to control government spending.
McCain is the best option on that front. The Arizona senator has demonstrated his commitment against wasteful government spending. He will stand up to the Democratic-led Congress to control expenditures and to maintain a tax policy that will promote economic growth.
We're not going to get that same resolve with a Democratic president and a Congress controlled by Democrats.
The United States will face many challenges during the next four years. We need a steady, experienced hand at the helm.
McCain is the leader America needs to steer us to a more secure and more prosperous future. Americans should elect him president Tuesday.