Senator John McCain's recent description of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "monkey," and his earlier stunt of singing an old Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann," but using the words "bomb Iran" instead, is proof of the good reason why I didn't vote for McCain for president in 2008.
However true these inflammatory exhibitions may be, I don't want a president whose finger is on the nuclear trigger who engages in school-yard-style name calling.
McCain also referred to his Vietnamese captors as "gooks." He said, "I hate the gooks." He was a prisoner of war during Vietnam and suffered at the hands of his captors. Nevertheless, lumping members of an ethnic group together with a term that reflects a lack of basic humanity must be seen as what it is---an abomination.
McCain gets away with slurs. One time a pesky reporter (only doing his job) asked McCain about his schedule of travel, and had the effrontery to refute a response from McCain that was meaningless deflective drivel doublespeak.
McCain lost his always fragile temper and adopted a tone of mockery dripping with sarcasm. "I'm so glad you're explaining my itinerary for me," he taunted.
Translated what that meant was, "Get out of my way you lousy sonofabitch."
Anger and the inability to control it has always been a problem for John McCain.
Another problem is that he doesn't recognize it as a problem. He sees himself as a man's man of action, who speaks bluntly to people, who refuses to stoop to mere diplomacy, whether it's with a foreign head of state or a reporter at an airport.
McCain, as physically brave a man as he is, suffers from two almost twin maladies, Joan of Arc Disease and Jesus Christ Syndrome. Joan of Arc Disease is characterized by the notion in your head of, "I'm the only brave man in town. I'm the only noble man in town. The only smart man."
Jesus Chris Syndrome is, "I'm more than you are, I'm more American because I suffered (in captivity) and you didn't. I risked my life and you didn't. I agonized on the cross of patriotism------and you didn't.
I'm better than you."
Both of these dysfunctional afflictions lead the sufferer to adopt an angry tone of lordly superiority and in turn often results in decision-making that is tainted with the fallacy---"The truth and the world are whatever I say they are."
Millions of soldiers have died over such delusions of grandeur.
Another offshoot of Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ is the idea that destiny and history have personally selected a politician to become not just president of the U.S., but of the entire world.
The title of McCain's book, "Faith of My Fathers," draws inspiration from the heroic nature of McCain's forbearers in earlier wars. The title literally drips with self-important sanctimony, hinting directly that brave acts, rather than individual choices, even those influenced by one's own family, are somehow inherited traits in the blood.
In other words, "I come from a long line of heroes of destiny.
I'm better than you."
Most politicians have this "destiny" malaise in their heads. Romney had it. Obama has it too to a slightly lesser degree. His book is called Dreams From My Father.
Hillary Clinton certainly has it. But she is a woman.
Americans who are apt to be charmed by McCain's temper, how will they react to a female almost certainly to become the first woman president? Pollsters agree she remains popular despite the incident of the American Embassy in Libya. In fact, at the hearing to find out what went wrong in the Libyan fiasco, Clinton under questioning displayed some temper to her accusers.
Meghan and John McCain
Meghan Marguerite McCain, born October 23, 1984, is an American columnist, author and blogger. She is a daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain and Cindy Hensley McCain. | Photo: |
But if Clinton becomes president and I have no doubt she will, for she still has the luster of her hugely popular husband, the last president to serve when people had plenty of jobs and money. If Clinton becomes president and calls Ahmadinejad a "monkey," what will happen?
A portion of the public will call her a "Bitch!"
As a woman, she won't enjoy the macho charm McCain gets away with.
When Democrat Geraldine Ferraro ran as the first vice presidential candidate alongside Walter "Fritz" Mondale in 1984, a cruel placard displayed by an opponent at the Republican Convention nominating incumbent Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush read, "Fritz and Tits (Ferraro) Give Me the Shits."
In her single debate with Bush, Ferraro displayed temper once, when she admonished the future president for his accusations with the highly feminized indignant response, "Don't patronize me!"
Bush must have been sorely tempted to respond with a fey hand gesture and the statement, "Well laaa-de-daaa!"
He didn't. Reagan and Bush won in a landslide.
During the operational killing of Osama bin Laden, the now-famous picture of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered with tough-looking men in the war room shows her looking horrified with her hand to her mouth. Critics of Clinton said the picture displayed a troubling sign she was weak in a crisis in that she looked appalled at what was happening on the big screen right before her eyes.
Later, to counter the charge of feminine weakness, Clinton lied and said she was trying to stifle a sneeze. She proved like other politicians she will lie when she has to.
Women have recently been allowed into combat roles in the military. Traditionally, they have been life givers (birth) rather than life takers (war). So perhaps Clinton should be forgiven her true more humane and feminine response to the killing of another human being---even one who deserved it.
Have no doubt. Hillary Clinton will be the next president. But the public won't allow her to act like John McCain.