Valiant Effort From McCain

09.05.08 | Comment?

After listening to Senator McCain’s speech tonight, I felt I had the opportunity to hear an impressive resume from an impressive candidate. It was a speech full of homilies, code words to activate the religious right, and was righteously jingoistic. Despite the content of the speech, I believe John McCain believes he’s running for the right reasons and that he truly believes his approach is the best one for the US to follow going forward. Despite many disagreements over policy, for some reason, I’ve always liked McCain and tonight’s speech reminded me of that.

An aside, it is a real shame that demonstrators interrupted his speech. Obviously they have a right to do so, but I submit it achieved nothing other than to reinforce stereotypes that are already well entrenched in that environment. It did nothing to enhance the alternative.

That being said, the rabid patriotism in that venue was unsettling. While I don’t believe this was the intent, it really and truly reminded me of film clips of speeches in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s with promises of jobs, defense from foreign threats, and repeated identification of “America” and Americans. Independent of McCain’s message, the audience response really made my skin crawl.

On to the content of the speech, I think it really did show McCain’s experience and knowledge, it was short on specifics and the specifics provided really didn’t constitute any new ideas, it was simply a rehash of a fiasco of an energy policy and traditional financial values (from the old Republicans – not this new breed that have been the biggest of big government profligate spenders.) I really wonder about the wisdom of running on a “change” platform when McCain has been part of the process and problem for decades and voted with the Bush Administration over 90% of the time.

Most of the speech focused on the past. Challenges of the past, politics of the past, and ideas of the past. Sure, they were dressed up in modern concepts, but it wasn’t a significant change from the status quo. Energy policy: drill more. Health care: privatize it. Abortion: get rid of legislating judges. Education: privatize it so fundie kids can get public money to attend religious schools. Social security: privatize it. Not much change there folks…

Mostly what the speech did for me was frame the choices: trust John McCain to change things, one of the same characters doing the same things and expect that we’ll get different results. (The definition of insanity.) Or do something different, take a chance that the combination of Obama with a friendly legislature can drive some meaningful change.

While I like John McCain and I respect John McCain, I cannot support John McCain in this election. The consequences are simply to dire for my daughter and her future. Could my mind change? Yes. If we were to find out that Obama has a fatal lapse in judgment, a scandal involving romantic coupling with goats, or Hillary Clinton makes an appearance on the ticket, those would cause me to reconsider. But short of that, the decision is done.

So, who will your choice be? Regardless of who you support, do please vote. It is only through participation and exercise of our Constitutional rights that we truly enjoy freedom. With that freedom comes great responsibility, choose wisely.

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