Saturday, November 01, 2008

That One '08

In which we get political

Now, normally Travels West eschews politickin' but this time the stakes are just too damn high.

John McCain was once a great warrior. Like my uncle and grandfather, McCain served his country in uniform with valor, distinction and courage (a fact that his campaign never lets us forget). He was wounded in battle and tortured by the enemies of liberty. For his sacrifices during that time and in his early political career he deserves all the approbation he has received.

But over these latter years and during his long exposure in Washington, McCain's character has soured. In his quest for power, the great warrior has devolved into a hot-headed, cantankerous and curmudgeonly old shell of a man, one who will pander to the lowest instincts of the religious right and the alleged moral values of the so-called working class to get what he wants. As one of the Keating Five, he sold out his country to protect the fortunes of a few friends. That's not the man I want in the White House during a financial crisis. And by his choice of the ridiculous, loathsome, Sarah Palin, as his running mate, John McCain has shown that he has utterly lost his judgment.

The ill-conceived, tactless, and dehumanizing tactics that the McCain campaign has leveled at its opponent -- "that one," "socialist," "palling around with terrorists," "Hussein," "closet Muslim, " and so forth -- show that McCain is also completely out of touch with the national Zeitgeist, at least among literate Americans. They have tried and tried to play a gotcha game with Barack Obama and his family, throwing anything at them that they think will stick.

But there's no there, there.

By contrast, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a coolly elegant and calculating political operator who never once let the barbs flung his way sting. And, yes, style counts. He has shown himself to be what John McCain may once have been but has decidedly ceased to be: a gentleman. He is the kind of man I want facing the likes of Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, Hugo Chavez, and Bashar Al-Assad. If there is to be a finger on the button, then I want that finger to be guided by a mind coldly rational.

Vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday.


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