Friday, September 05, 2008


I must say that I was moved to tears by John McCain's Vietnam story. I heard it several times throughout the convention and was impressed; but when McCain himself told it in that slightly awkward but honest and direct manner of his, I understood for the first time where the man was coming from when he voices his disagreement with the current Administration about whether waterboarding is torture; as well as how he must feel--on a primal gut level-- about places like Guantanamo--no matter how stringently or carefully they abide by the Geneva Convention.

I thought overall he did a fine job last night in his speech. I don't agree with McCain on a lot of issues, but I instinctively trust him as a man of character and integrity who will do his best for America. That came through loud and clear.

Sorry, but all the soaring rhetoric aside, I become less and less convinced every day that the same can be said of his opponent. I never get the feeling from Obama that he even really likes America all that much--sort of a "God Damn America--unless it realizes the error of its ways and votes for ME, then it has promise" kind of attitude.

You can watch McCain's entire speech here; or read it here.

UPDATE: The Belmont Club has more on McCain's speach (and interestingly compares a word cloud analysis of it with Palin's speech--fascinating stuff):
At its deepest level the speech cannot be understood in terms of word clouds and policies. McCain’s speech was the declaration of someone with nothing left to prove. Any man who can admit that he was broken and afraid under interrogation is describing a kind of endurance, which while any intelligent person might understand, I think only men who have themselves been afraid can truly empathize with. There are places on that dark path which you know you could not have crossed through your strength alone. And whether you owe your emergence to luck or to God might be a matter for debate. But you know you do not wholly owe it to yourself. And this realization makes you less willing to blame others; less ready to stand in judgment of those who failed the test. It doesn’t make you lower the bar. But it makes you aware of how high that bar is.

What John McCain was describing was his redemption; which always brings with it a kind of recklessness in the true sense of the cost being immaterial. It is the realization that the first person singular truly doesn’t matter. “In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.”

No comments: