Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who is the Real John McCain?

I don't care how much I hate George Bush and the Republican Party. I want the old John McCain back. I don't know who this vile imposter is, but he's not the McCain we all remember so fondly.

With everybody I speak to, I hear the same story, the same story as mine: we may not agree politically with John McCain, but we liked and respected him. He spoke his mind. He stood up to the monsters who now run the Republican Party. He was an honorable man. And we can't figure out to save our lives what has happened to him.

Look, I've been punching as hard as I can, but I punch back at the right because I am so horrified at what has happened to America. I'm shocked and horrified. And I feel a deep sense of loss, maybe even betrayal, at the sight of John McCain playing straight from the Karl Rove playbook. It's like he's transformed himself into George Wallace. His campaign as of late has been nothing but fear, hatred, and thinly veiled racism. He doesn't even try to discuss issues, especially in the tv and internet ads. It's nothing but Black Muslim Terrorist, Black Muslim Terrorist.

I am a strong supporter of Barack Obama, and I've been so ever since his famous keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. But I feel only sorrow at what McCain has done with this campaign, sorrow for the man he has become. I don't know who he is anymore. I thought I knew. I thought this was the man who bravely resisted his Viet Cong captors. I thought this was the brave man who chose torture over freedom, because he didn't want to take advantage of his daddy's famous connections and turn his back on his comrades. I thought this was the man who stood up to Falwell and Robertson, the agents of intolerance.

I want that John McCain back. Does he even exist anymore? Did he ever exist? Is this new McCain the true one? Was he always a vicious racist, spitting fire and venom? I don't know. I honestly don't know. I only know that I feel a deep sadness for him.

So today, at a campaign stop in Lakeville, just north of Minnepolis-St. Paul, McCain appeared to pull back from the abyss. I don't know what to think about this. The crowds here are the same as the crowds everywhere, masses of fools who are fed a daily diet of extremism, hatred and paranoia by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the televangelists of the Christian Right. They aren't bad and terrible people, at least I hope so in my more mindful moments. But they are scared. They are terrified out of their minds. They are terrified because they have been fed nothing but fear and loathing every day of their lives, by a right wing political machine, the very machine that has exploited them for power, robbed them of their wealth. And today they came to McCain with the same paranoid rhetoric.

But McCain recoiled. He I can't tell. Who is the real John McCain? Is he recoiling because he quietly abhorrs what he has done? Does he realize what has happened to him? Did he just give in to Karl Rove, follow their orders, follow their rules, because he was told this was the only way to win the election? Has he known the Faustian bargain he has cast these past eight years? What does he feel inside when he sees these vile attacks, and what they have done to the people who come to his rallies?

When he looks that woman in the eye, is he reminded of South Carolina, 2000, when Rove and Bush started a whisper campaign, telling people that McCain's adopted daughter was an illegitimate black baby? Does he know, when he looks into the eyes of these conservative voters, the same attacks are now being visited upon Barack Obama? Is this why he averts his eyes, and he stares at the ground while speaking in Obama's defense? What has happened to his man? What evil has he wrought? What violence will be loosed on this nation because of it?

If I was in a lighter mood, I'd probably say this reminds me of Return of the Jedi, where Darth Vader hurls the Emporer into the darkness. But I'm much too upset for that. That's a surprise. I'm really surprised. This video really got to me. I find myself nearly weeping at the fall of John McCain.

So who is the real man? I don't want to believe this Wallace clone is really him. This has the mark of Karl Rove all over it. You can practically set your watch to the smear ads and the Limbaugh talking points. But I don't know. All I know is that I want the old McCain back. I want him to stand up to this. I want him to take down Rove and all the rest of the snakes. The election is lost, but that doesn't mean he shall be lost. No one in this life is ever truly lost. John McCain must find himself again. He must free himself from the prison, and the vile torturers, one more time.

That's it. I can't go on. I have nothing more to say.

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