I respect the writer who says, "If I suspect you cheated, you're disqualified because you weren't playing the actual game by the rules." If cheating is your standard for keeping a guy out, then you cannot say, "I think he was good enough before he cheated."
I think every writer either strongly believes or suspects that McGwire took steroids. The question they are wrestling with is, "How much of his talent and numbers depended on the steroids?" For this they have to try to put together a timeline of when he was suspected to have used them and how it affected his season.
The case McGwire made for his use of andro in 1998-2001 can be summed up as, "It helps me recover from my workouts. Period. It has nothing to do with baseball or hitting a baseball. If you think you can just take a pill or a powder and start hitting homeruns, you need to get your head examined. Ninety percent of everyone in the game takes something to help them out. Do you see them all hitting seventy homeruns?"
For every superstar we suspect was on steroids - McGwire, Sosa, Canseco, Bonds, Giambi, Clemens, etc. - there are scores of no-names who are not suspected because steroids hardly helped them play baseball. The point is that you need talent and hard work to put up the numbers these superstars did. Yet the superstars are taking the hit for the entire game as if no one in that era had any talent!
You may very well say their cheating disqualifies them from their talent being considered for the Hall, but you cannot take away their talent.
I'm for letting them all in on their talent, work ethics, numbers, and value to the game while letting them historically live under the cloud of the steroids era.
Either way, McGwire is in my hall of fame, which is the only vote I have, and cannot be removed from my memories, highlight reels, and the history of the game.
All of this being said, I think he would jump to over 50% of the vote by simply breaking his silence and answering the tough questions and concerns everyone has. You cannot endear yourself to the public by making yourself unavailable to the media and even your fans.