A Republican family
They live in a blue house, but Jon and Judy McCormick of Carson City are hoping Nevada turns Republican-red on the electoral map this Nov. 2.
When they’re not busy with 5-year-old Jon, 3-year-old Jeffery or 8-month-old Jennifer, Jon McCormick is a full-time electrical engineer and a student going for his master’s degree in business administration. Judy is a local Avon representative. Getting eight hours of sleep doesn’t happen too often for this couple, explains Jon.
They sit on a comfortable white couch in the living room under some baby pictures. Instead of a television, they have two bookcases full of books. Jon is soft-spoken but thoughtful and reflective, as the couple is flanked and sometimes crawled over by their kids.
Both in their mid 30s, they have been living in Carson City for about a decade.
“I think the war on terror is the biggest issue of this election,” Jon said. “In fact, I think it’s the defining issue, along with having a leader with integrity and strength, no matter how good he might or might not look on camera.”
“Kerry’s destroying the confidence of our allies,” Judy said. “Every time something happens in Iraq, every time something goes wrong, it seems Kerry uses it to advance himself politically.
“I think it says a lot that our enemies are hoping Kerry wins.”
Regarding the veteran issue, Jon is respectful of Kerry’s service record. “But,” he said, “this election is for president of the country. A commander-in-chief of all the armed forces. If the job was ‘swift boat captain’ then I would probably have to vote for John Kerry,” he smiles. “But this is for president.”
He also takes issue with Kerry’s executive side. “Democratic presidents are traditionally more micro-managers, they want to be in charge of everything, but the fact is not everybody can be the best at doing everything.”
That’s why, he said, President Bush gets an unfair reputation as being somehow just above par among his own administration.
“Bush isn’t afraid to use others’ talents for the good of the administration. He surrounds himself with the best people possible, and he’s not afraid to be overshadowed by larger-than-life figures like Colin Powell, Condolezza Rice and even Dick Cheney.
“My question is, who would Kerry bring in?”
So far, he said, all we have to go on is John Edwards.
“George Bush picked Cheney because he was the best person for the job. I can’t say that about Edwards.”
McCormick says Kerry is a little naive on foreign policy. “He says he wants to bring in France and Germany to the alliance to rebuild Iraq, but France and Germany have already said they’re not going in there. No way. No how. What makes him think he can change their minds?”
Though McCormick says he was impressed by Kerry’s performance in the debates, it hasn’t eroded his steadfast support for Bush and he thinks what Kerry says lacks any kind of substance.
“He seemed very prepared with how to say it,” McCormick said. “I just don’t think he said anything of any consequence.”
Recently, somebody stole the family’s George W. Bush yard sign. In town from Minnesota for a visit, Jon’s father, Sherman, said the vandalism and theft of those kind of things demonstrates core differences between Democrats and Republicans.
“Republicans will tolerate a Kerry sign,” he said. “We don’t feel threatened. But Democrats …”
“Those ‘anybody but Bush’ people,” Jon said. “I really don’t know what makes them tick. It’s hard to relate. How can you be angry with the person and not with the facts. It’s just detrimental to everybody.”
For perspective, McCormick looks back to World War II. “Republicans could have opposed a lot of things that Roosevelt wanted. They could have undermined the cause. If they had, who knows what could have happened.”
Regarding many of the other issues, McCormick is open to discussion.
“If you want to sit down and discuss gay marriage, let’s sit down and talk about that. One issue at a time,” he said. “But I think with the war on terror, we need to choose who would make the better commander-in-chief.”
“After 9/11, I was never more proud to be an American,” Judy said. “The country was so united.”