Skip to main content

Identity Crisis (yes, just like the comics!)

Someone recently told me, "I may not agree with McCain on all of his positions, but at least I know what his are without having to go out of my way to find them," so I asked:

Really? Is he for drilling off shore, as he has been for the last two months, or against it, as he was for over a decade before that? Is he for keeping troops indefinitely in Iraq when its ministers tell us we must leave or set a timetable, as he has just recently intimated, or against staying if asked to go, as he had said previously? Is he a respectful friend of Evangelical Christians, as he has been trying to make himself out to be since 2002, or does he consider them 'agents of intolerance' who should be excoriated as he had characterized them for years before that? Is he against any and all forms of torture and inhumane treatment, including measures the Bush administration has put into use, as he had been prior to '04, or for Bush's approach, as he has been since '06? Does he want to talk with Hamas and other rogue groups, as he had suggested prior to getting into this race, or does he consider talking itself to be appeasement, as he has claimed in the last six months?

While he still holds many independent minded views, McCain has done so much to align himself with his party's base over the last 6 years, and particularly in the last year, that it's hard to tell where he stands on many issues, whether or not those stances are serious or merely affected, and what tacks he will actually pursue once in office. Does he believe in balancing the budget and cutting spending as he's always said, or in all the tax cuts and programs he's promising now?

Now, by no means am I saying Obama hasn't changed or refined his positions on matters. Nor do I believe that politicians should always avoid reconsidering their views. But, when one changes so many, so often, and so quickly with the obvious goal of winning the trust (or at least the backing) of party faithful, it is obvious that politics have been trumping one's ideals and better judgment. Now, leading up to the and through the primaries, that was good politics. I don't fault him for making those moves. He wouldn't have gotten this far if he had stayed in the same mode as his 2000 campaign, where McCain's maverick reputation and promise of straight talk lead party insiders and power brokers to run to the untested George W. Bush's side.

But, which set of views will he uphold in office? The ones he held when he wasn't so worried about the sort of folks who to this day think Bush is doing a good job, or the ones which he thinks will help him keep their votes? Or will he find some kind of middle ground? At this point, I'm not even sure John McCain knows, so how could you?


Popular posts from this blog

More Political Notes

-Rick Santorum seems a somewhat likeable guy who believes several crazy, distasteful things. It may not be helpful to say his ideas are nuts, but it still is less useful to fashion him an evil man because his discriminatory views don't jive with the left, centre, or centre-right in America.

-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Magical Unrealism

The same men who say global warming is a hoax, Obamacare has been failing for eight years, and abstinence-only sex-ed works are also convinced even basic gun control is an impossible and useless approach which would only make us less safe. These are also the dudes most likely to tell you black and brown folk have it too good, Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and Sharia law is being forced on American legal systems. I wonder if there's some sort of overarching thread or theme to all this.