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In 2004, John Kerry was swift-boated by T. Boone Pickens’ group of hatchet-men. For the longest time, Kerry did not respond. Some people closest to him have since suggested that he was actually frozen on the issue, incapable of responding. They give an almost imperceptible nod when the issue of PTSD is raised.
In retrospect, Kerry, PTSD and all, STILL would have been a much better president than the village idiot currently polluting the White House.
Yesterday, for the umpteenth time, John McCain tried to make Professor William Ayers the issue of this campaign, a guy who 40 years ago protested against the US military occupation of VietNam. 40 years ago, McCain was an involuntary guest at the Hanoi Hilton.
Coincidence? Unlikely. These two points go far in explaining several things. Why does McCain have the most infamous, uncontrollable, scary temper in Congress? Why do people in his own party shudder at the thought of him as president? Why did McCain repeatedly call the Viet Namese “fucking gooks?” Why was McCain the foremost of all US senators in PREVENTING more investigations of MIA/KIA/POWs still in Viet Nam? Who else had the standing and history to crush efforts to find hundreds of US soldiers, either dead or still living, in the years after we left Saigon? And why does the topic of Bill Ayers create such frantic, scary energy on the part of McCain?
If Kerry suffered from PTSD (not an unlikely fate for any military person, especially one in combat), how likely is it that McCain, a POW for 5 years and a repeated failure in landing his planes without crashing, also suffers from some mental injury or condition? It would explain his bizarre behavior, especially in recent times. It would explain his temper, and much more. It also can explain his fixation on someone who represents, in his mind, everything wrong in America.
John McCain has used his military service and POW status as a weapon ever since he entered politics. He has hidden behind it, he uses it as huge cover on tough issues, and he uses it to manufacture his “hero” status. I am sorry, but a POW is not automatically a hero. A POW is a POW. A POW is merely a soldier who was caught by his/her enemy.
In one respect, every military person, every fireman, every police officer, every lawyer, doctor, nurse, chiropractor, grocer, garbage collector, blogger, even those soiling themselves in politics can be called “heroes” simply for showing up at work.
Was McCain a true “Hero?” I cannot answer that. The deeper that people try to dig into his behavior in VietNam, the squirrelier it looks. McCain’s campaign has done its best to prevent research into his history, almost as strongly as they attack those who research Sarah Palin’s terrorist AIP connections.
Those who served with McCain are more likely to say no, he was no hero. Does he use his POW to manufacture some aura, some PR image, and to further his personal goals and quest for higher office? Of course, he does. The briefest look at his political history proves that. Is that wrong? Probably not. Circumstances befall all of us, and using them to one’s advantage is not necessarily a fault or a failure of character. But let’s apply the complex, unusual facets and history that is John McCain to Professor Ayers.
Why the fixation? Why the noticeable grimace, apparent hatred and refusal to think straight about the whole issue? I suspect that McCain suffers from some mental disability, and in some ways, it is connected to his five years as a POW. To him, Bill Ayers represents that pampered segment of society that dared attack his military service, that protested the very war that makes him a hero, and the events that allow McCain to slide on his many personal, professional, political, even criminal failings and mistakes in judgment. Ayers poses a danger to his concocted self-image, and the image he chooses to display to others. Ayers represents the college kids of the 1960s who did not suffer like he did. Ayers, perhaps, in the twisted mind that is John McCain, has replaced the image of the “fucking gooks” who he has repeatedly sworn at as recently as two years ago.
In John McCain’s mind, there were two arch-enemies on the stage last night: Professor William Ayers, and his accomplice, Barack Obama. And in his mind, they really are linked together in the worst possible way. Poor Senator McCain. He really is not suited for the highest office in the country.