First let me specifically state that I am a 56-year-old, white, college educated, Bible believing Christian female. I feel that this is important for those of you who are judging Barack Obama on the basis of his skin color, the false assumption that he is a terrorist with Middle Eastern ties, or that he is a Muslim. If you have read his biography or studied the politics involved you would know that much of what you are reading is propaganda and not true fact.
Saying that the opposite is also true of what is being said about John McCain. I hope that the following information may clarify some misconceptions regarding not only John McCain’s POW Hero status but also his current policies.
One thing that I have wondered about is why there is no mention of John McCain’s religious preferences since so much was made of both Mitch Romney’s and Barack Obama’s. Well the reason may be that McCain himself does not know which way he wants to lean in order to gain the vote of the Fundamentalist who vote according to church preference. Fact is that he grew up Episcopalian, went to an Episcopalian high school and for at least 15 years he has been listed as an Episcopalian in authoritative directories such as the Almanac of American Politics and Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America 2008. He even told a reporter form McClatchy News Service in June 2007 that he was an Episcopalian. However, now that he is running for President and needs the Fundamentalist vote he informed a group meeting in South Carolina last September that he is a Baptist. Could this have anything to do with South Carolina being a state heavily populated with Baptists? When pressed, he said he’s attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for more than 15 years, though he has never been baptized in that church. Now see, that’s exactly the problem. Baptism is kind of a big thing in the Baptist Church. (That’s how they got the name.) No baptism, not Baptist.
Ethical behavior is also a problem for McCain who openly cheated on his first wife despite the fact that she was faithful to him and waited for him the entire time that he was held in a Viet Cong prison camp.
Anyway, details aside, this is one very clear indication of how McCain has changed into just another hungry politician, happy to pander if it helps him win.
Another indication that I see of his inconsistency is his desire to be seen with the current President, George W. Bush, when it fits his campaign fund raising needs but to hide his close association with him from the American people who disagree with Bush’s policies. This was seen just recently when he attended a fund raiser with Bush but made sure that the cameras did not show him with the President until he was sure that the film would not reach the nightly news that evening.
Next, I find it amazing that he is trying to cash in on Obama’s stand that no lobbyists or big corporation dollars will contribute to or be a part of his campaign. This is ridiculous. McCain’s national campaign general co-chair is former Texas Senator Phil Gramm who, according to Keith Olbermann, was found in lobbying disclosure forms, filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, to be a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as December 31, 2007 and was not deregistered as a professional lobbyist until April 18, 2008.. This was during the same period, according to federal records, that he was advising McCain about his economic policy. To top that off, Gramm continues to serve as a UBS vice chairman and it wasn’t until two weeks ago that McCain banned four other of his advisors who just happen to be lobbyists from advising him on the same subjects covered by their lobbying work.
Despite how this may look to the American people who are tired of Big Business and lobbyists controlling our government McCain openly says that Gramm had input on his March 26 policy speech about the mortgage crisis and often cites Gramm’s influence as a way to establish bona fides with economic conservatives. McCain has also reportedly hinted that Gramm might serve as his Treasury secretary. To understand where we as Americans might stand if Gramm is made Treasury Secretary is to remember that he authored and helped pass a law easing regulation of energy-commodity trading and as a result California experienced a sharp run-up in energy costs. The energy-trading company Enron was blamed and soon collapsed.
Then we have the issue of how McCain would respond to Iran. Remember we are already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Bush declares McCain should be his successor and that his successor would stick with the Bush policy. I don’t know about you but I want our soldiers to come home in one piece. I am saddened by the number of soldiers being brought home in coffins or so disfigured/damaged that they will never be able to enjoy life in the same manner as before they went to war. It is not just Bush who has stated that McCain will follow his strategy, however, as McCain himself has already voiced his support for the Bush administration’s views on Iran and stressed that the military option is on the table to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weaponry. Maybe most important to his campaign, however, is his insistence that he was a war hero. I do not question that McCain suffered terrible brutalities at the hands of the Viet Cong but it takes intentional action and bravery to be considered a hero and I do not see that in McCain’s case. McCain did not choose to be shot down on October 26, 1967, which resulted in his being captured and tortured. In fact when all is said and done the result of his imprisonment was that he became a traitor to the United States when he broke down and made a video tape describing war crimes committed by the United States military. Others who were tortured just as severely or even worse refused to surrender and in my mind they were the heroes not John McCain. That does not mean that I could have survived what he endured it is just that I don’t think he should keep touting himself as hero when I don’t think he was. However, even if he had withstood the torture that makes him a brave war criminal, not a war hero. In essence not only did McCain turn against the United States it should be noted that he was shot down after 23 bombing missions and while he was assigned to destroy a power plant in the center of Hanoi, in a country that had never committed a crime on American soil or attacked an American citizen until they themselves were attacked. Isn’t this a perfect illustration of what one would expect to see in a terrorist or a war criminal?
It is questionable if his criminal affiliations ended there as in 1995, McCain sent birthday wishes, and regrets for not attending, a birthday party for Joseph “Joe Bannas” Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family. The only other known official to send their regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of seven felonies relating to fraud and extortion.
Lastly, one cannot help to point out his involvement in the 1980s Savings and Loan scandal where he was one of the Keating Five. During that investigation he was investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after Keating donated large sums of money to his campaign. In the end it turned out that Keating was convicted of racketeering that cost taxpayers $3.4 billion dollars after his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed.
While McCain was never convicted of anything he did intervene on Keating’s behalf after Keating gave him at $112,000 in contributions. During the mid-1980s McCain also made at least 9 trips on Keating’s airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating’s luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain’s wife and father-in-law were also involved with Keating becoming the largest contributors to Keating’s shopping center in Phoenix.
“McCain Says He’s Been Baptist For Years”, by Bruce Smith, The Associated Press, September 12, 2007
“Candidates invite questions about their faith”, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 18, 2007
“The Pampered Politician”, by Amy Silverman, The Phoenix New Times, May 15, 1997
“See John Run Off at the Mouth”, Phoenix New Times, October 1, 1998
“Symington Gets Slammer”, Phoenix New Times, February 2, 1998
Election 98: Arizona Governor, Fox News web site, 1998 coverage (no longer on web)
“Famed McCain Temper is Tamed”, By Michael Kranish Boston Globe, January 27, 2008
So, who should vote for McCain? Anyone who believes that he is really a war hero because he bombed a country that never did anything to America and then made a video describing American War crimes. Anyone who isn’t concerned about electing an honest politician to office. Anyone who thinks that we can afford to send more troops to fight in the Mid East. Anyone who doesn’t care if America’s infrastructure and economic crisis is able to find a credible solution.
That obviously means that I am not voting for John McCain. America needs a fresh voice and I believe that Barack Obama is that voice but what ever you do decide please utilize your right to vote or don’t complain about who is elected to office.