Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who are those guys?

Just to continue along the lines of the previous post and comments (note to Jerry - hijack my blog anytime you feel the urge). I used to like McCain back in his heyday, he seemed committed to reform and to crossing the aisle to get it done. That's not to say he was squeaky clean - remember the Keating Five scandal which cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money? But since McCain began running seriously for president, the more I've watched him the more pathetic a character he has become for me.

It began with the way Bush/Rove destroyed him in South Carolina. From that point on, it seemed that McCain became infected by the most craven and sleazy impulses of his party and of Washington in general. He's almost a tragic figure, a hero undone by his own ambition. He's what we call in the Lit biz a complex figure, and, like all complex figures, he's not without his sympathetic qualities. What's remarkable to me is how starkly his different sides now stand in contradiction to one another. Maverick meet mainstream establishment. Honorable soldier meet panderer and slanderer.

He may not be the man he once was, but he once was someone unlike the man he now is. This may well be what accounts for his continued appeal for some voters. Leaving aside those who are simply voting against Obama on general principle, be it political or cultural or racial, there are people who drawn to McCain. For these people, McCain represents a leap of faith. It is the faith that he is not who he now seems to be. They believe that the old McCain will be resurrected when he is inaugurated. This is, it seems obvious to me, nothing more or less than a question of faith; it is, therefore, quite beyond the appeals of reason.

When I hear Obama supporters express incredulity at the idea that a majority of Americans might vote for McCain, when I hear them wondering what kind of electorate actually comprises this country, and when I hear them utter dark prophecies about what this election portends, it is as if I'm hearing people confess that their own neighbors are complete strangers to them, that they really don't know who their fellow Americans are, that we may as well be living side by side with Cylons. We look across the political divide and see the gathering multitudes, and we mutter a la Butch Cassidy and Sundance, "Who are those guys?"

I hate campaigns predicated on culture wars, yet I look around and see that we are so very susceptible to life in the trenches. My fondest hope is that Obama (or McCain) will embolden and enable us to climb up and meet in No Man's Land.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I might introduce you to one of the Cylons. I have a great family with two kids. Most of what I do centers around doing what I think is right for my family and community. I work and take time to volunteer at my kid’s school I am part of a church that works with the community to make sure the local food bank is secure. Some of the things we do as a church includes providing housing for low income individuals, direct cash payments to people in need and after-school activities for kids once every week. (Is that like a community activist?). I participate in my kid’s activities and help coach baseball, soccer, and basketball. Although I probably do more harm than good as a basketball coach. I enjoy getting together with friends and family and especially enjoy a round of golf with my brothers and Dad. Most of what I do has little impact outside of my family or church, but it is important for me to take care of those closest first and move that circle of influence out as I can. I will most likely vote for McCain, but, I have faith that Obama will do his best and things will be fine should he get the nod.
I really enjoy keeping up with you and your family through this blog!

The other K

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that you have to justify your vote or anything, everyone has the right to vote for whoever they see fit, but can you tell us what is making you choose McCain over Obama? What are the differences you see between the two candidates?

What do you think of the USA's current affairs? Are things going OK? Is there anything you would like to see change?

I'd love to hear from a McCain supporter what kind of hopes they have for a McCain presidency...


5:26 PM  

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