Given the degrading race that McCain has run and the unparalleled desperation behind his drive to become president of the United States, it is difficult to find soft feelings for him. However, there is pathos in the story.
John McCain entered this campaign with a reputation that, at least on the surface and as expressed, spoke of a man of conviction. Men and women who worked with him from both sides of the aisle indicate a respect for him and the integrity that was—but is no more.
This man who at times stood for the unpopular position, who voted contrary to expectations, who could claim the title of “maverick” will leave as his legacy actions and decisions that ultimately diminish the man that was.
He will have created a nightmare for his party by having introduced to the national scene an unqualified woman who may, through great hubris and narcissism, see herself as the new standard bearer for her party. This will surely result in new dimensions of intra-party blood letting.
He will have given us Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, who may attempt to project an undeserved 15 seconds of fame into “serving his country” as a congressman. Joe for Congress. Of course, he will need to find a different occupation for the ballot as he isn’t really a plumber. And then…he must first pay his back taxes. But the far right will gravitate to him to make certain that “this great nation,” as Sarah refers to us, does not blossom into a socialist state.
He will have inscribed on the collective conscience the indelible memory of robocalls as an extension of an already scurrilous campaign.
He will have made his disdain for us, the public, abundantly clear by over and over and over again maintaining SP's experiences as a past member of the PTA, mayor of the great urban metropolis of Wasilla and the spurious claim that she is the “most popular” governor in the nation qualifies her to be vice-president of our country. Never mind that less than two years into her term she has been found guilty of unethical behavior in office, has allowed her husband access to state personnel files and to participate in government business, has illegally used private e-mail addresses for government business, has charged the state per diem rates for nights spent in her own home and used tax payer money to pay for her children’s expenses as they accompanied her on trips where their presence had not been requested.
He has offered the most negative presidential campaign in memory. Weekly he, or his misbehaving surrogate, has delivered abominable claims such as his opponent having supported comprehensive sex education in kindergarten, that he has supported no medical attention be given aborted babies born alive and viable, that he consorts with terrorists, implying that he is not a "real" American, that he is promoting increased taxes for just about everyone, that he is a socialist, that he is an "elitist," (which for as long as I can remember has been the territory of the republicans), that he doesn't support the military and..and...and.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned from John McCain this year will be that there is a time to let go of a dream, a time to instill it in someone else, a time to let someone else nurture and form new visions. Perhaps it will be a legacy of knowledge that personal ambition, which isn't of itself a negative, can be corrupting and deforming. Perhaps it will be a legacy that, as this campaign is deconstructed, leads to a new expectation of integrity and honesty in fighting for the respect and vote of the electorate. Perhaps it will be a legacy that recognizes that people want vision, not recrimination.
The result of election 2008 may well be that this man who has prided himself on a record of "crossing the aisle" will now hold no weight on either side as he leaves his party so splintered he will be anathema to his own colleagues.
The final pathos of this election may be a McCain lastly seen as embittered, angry and too old.
As I write this, I am listening to Obama speaking in Ohio, saying with passion and conviction,
"We must unite to bridge our differences--all of us must come together."
"There are no fake parts of this country--we are one nation--all of us proud and all of us patriots."
"Service people do not serve a red America or a blue America, they serve a UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I listen to a man who believes he can unite the United States and passionately wants such a reality. I watch a man who brings hope and a future for Casey and the children of our country...and, my final thought is "what a lucky woman Michelle is."
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.