Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Until recently, when my dad had trouble going to sleep, he would count backwards (from 10 or 5, I can't remember) and then say "McCain" in his mind. My dad figured if John McCain could get through years of life as a POW, he himself could get through another sleepless night. McCain's name was a soothing mantra, a source of comfort, even though my dad's a lifelong Democrat. He doesn't repeat it any longer. This letter he wrote to the North County Times will help you understand why:
I Worry About John McCain by Buzz Brandeis

John McCain is a hero, having courageously survived over five years of imprisonment in Vietnam. He has served his country well during his many years in Congress.

I admire John McCain. But I also worry about him as a candidate for President of the United States. It's because of his attitude about war. When he fervently speaks of war, it's as though he has a personal score to settle. It seems that he has a psychological need to win wars.

McCain's commercials refer to him as our next Commander-in-Chief. I know that's campaign rhetoric to portray him as a strong leader. But McCain wants to be referred to as "Commander-in-Chief".

Yes, it's dangerous world with many threats to our security. The United States must always be strong and vigilant. But we must not believe in the inevitability of war as McCain obviously does when he says " There's going to be other wars....we will never surrender but there will be other wars".

If our President believes in the inevitability of war, there will be war. If, however, our President believes it's possible to settle differences peacefully, then, at least, there is the possibility that there can be peace.

If McCain is elected and becomes our Commander-in-Chief, which is the office he's running for, I fear that one of those "other wars" will be McCain's war because he will carry his self-fulfilling prophecy into the White House. Then he can go down in history as America's Great War President.

I hope our next President will be remembered as America's Great Peace President.
I hope so, too, my Papa.

1 comment:

Rachel said...


I'm in full agreement with your father on this one.

We must be ready to fight wars started by outside powers against our will. However, we cannot make up nonexistent threats and start wars based on them. Besides, I've always believed that the best war victories are won without ever firing a shot.

The Iraq War has done nothing to make America safer, and everything to trash its economy and social fabric. The removal and execution of Saddam have done nothing, except to settle personal scores for the Bush family. The only ones laughing to the bank are the Halliburton rapists (the likes of Halliburton and Bechtel are why I am seeking to leave the construction field altogether).

The military, through its discriminatory practices and despicable behavior overseas, is no longer an institution worthy of my respect and support, especially when its work is suppressing, not defending, our freedoms. This can't change soon enough. Even if I can't be at CODEPINK's anti-recruitment drives in person, I am with CODEPINK in spirit.

Now, I will probably work on that six-word memoir. And I'll also send you the Fruitflesh exercise I did during my week in Florida - it's still sitting in my laptop for now.

Thanks as always.