By ex Republican
Is everyone else in America as tired of John McCain playing the POW card every time he’s exposed for some episode of verbal incontinence or act of malfeasance as am I? In the face of his inability to grasp the number of houses he owns, the McCain campaign all too predictably returned to the sole act of nobility perpetrated by a man best defined by his serial adultery and abandonment of his first wife, his role in the Keating Five scandal and his compulsive pursuit of the use of military force at every turn.
For the record, I am a white collar warrior working below Wall Street who had never served in the United States Military prior to 9/11. After witnessing the Towers fall, I looked into what if any way I could serve in defense of my country. I subsequently enlisted in a reserve branch akin to a state militia (32 states have such organizations) and have obtained numerous certifications in everything from suicide bombing prevention and response to dealing with weapons of mass destruction. Dare I say, I love America as much as John McCain. My BDUs (battle dress uniform) hang in my office each day in the event New York City finds itself once again on the receiving end of a terrorist attack. I will do whatever is necessary to protect and defend this great nation, regardless of the personal cost.
That said, I am calling out John McCain and his band of Rovian mercenaries on their incessant use of his POW experience as an excuse for both past and current conduct that would have forced a lesser patriot out of the political arena long ago. Senator, each time you invoke the fact you were a POW, you cheapen the incalculable sacrifice made by those hundreds of other prisoners who suffered similar or, in many cases, even worse degradation at the hands of the Viet Cong. Each time you revert back to form and bludgeon those who criticize you on policy or protocol with tales of your time spent in the Hanoi Hilton you reveal yourself to be a self-serving septuagenarian simpleton with the emotional wherewithal of an ill-mannered toddler. Each time you draw the POW card at the slightest glimmer of truth’s light into the abyss of your well-fabricated public image, you betray an unnerving propensity to deal from the very bottom of the political deck.
It is part of the American psyche to venerate acts of heroism and those who perform them. Yet never at any point in our nation’s illustrious history has bravery ever been taken to grant a perpetual license to commit misdeeds. There are innumerable veterans rotting in prisons across this country who served with uncommon valor and unquestioned honor. When, Senator, has their service ever sufficed as a ground to acquit them of the crimes they committed? If elected President, Senator McCain, do you plan to pardon all those imprisoned veterans in keeping with the “McCain Doctrine” you’ve shamelessly peddled throughout the years to save your lazarushian skin?
My umbrage notwithstanding, it should come as no surprise that Senator McCain has predicated not only his presidential campaign, but his entire career in politics, on the fact he was a prisoner of war. This is all he has and all he will ever have to distinguish his otherwise pedestrian existence on this earth. So next time the greatest American hero trots out his well-rehearsed spiel extolling his singularly excruciating diminution at the hands of those he still pejoratively refers to as “zipper heads” and “slopes”, take pity on a pathetic old man not for the pains of a past life, but for the fact that his victimization represents the sum total of his humanity.