I guess Iím going to continue this since yesterdayís post didnít start a war. I usually NEVER talk politics so this is a risk Iím taking, but I kind of like talking to myself and airing my thoughts and issues.
In this case I definitely have an issue. It may be irrational to some, especially if they werenít voters back in 1994 or donít remember the Reagan years (1981Ė1989).
Some back ground from my view. Reagan, love him or hate him, gave this country back itís respect in the armed forces. Maybe it *was* by beating up teeny weeny Grenada but they rescued our citizens and made us feel like our government and specifically our armed forces were for *US* and behind the common man. We hadnít felt that since Vietnam, which ended in 1975. So whatís that? Twenty something years of disgrace? He was the great communicator and I remember him explaining the trickle down theory with flow charts that a child could understand (valid or not, I understood it). He was new, he was different and he could lead. People listened and loved him for the most part.
After Reaganís two terms there was a shortage of outstanding politicians, the field was filled with look a-likes and sound a-likes, until Ross Perot in 1992. Ross with his ďThat Dog Wonít Hunt!Ē and his southern drawl. Ross Perot, the popularity meteorite who took on the crown of the Great Communicator. He was speaking to ME, the common man. He was a leader, a self made man and he was different with his ďGiant Sucking Sound of jobs moving to MexicoĒ, which every common man knew was true if NAFTA passed. People loved him. His popularity sky rocketed until .. until .. he turned into a paranoid S.O.B. who swore the CIA was threatening to play with his stocks, the FBI was wire tapping him and they were going to ruin his daughterís wedding by placing her head on a lesbian love photo and outing her to the popular media.
He up and quit on us. In the middle of people committing to him and flocking to his cause, he just up and quit and left us all hanging. I was very angry. There was no alternative even close to Ross Perot. At one point in June 1992, Perot led the polls with 39% (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton) and there had been a grass roots movement to get him on all the stateís ballots and after all that popular commitment he just quit .. and then .. he tried to come back.
I, for one, never trusted him again. I thought that there had to be some threat he hadnít shared with us because it was so terrible or dangerous, or he was just a crazy, weak fake that couldnít stand the heat. I wasnít alone. He lost all support and never rallied to that extent again.
Now letís fast forward to John McCain in 2000. Here was the peopleís Maverick. Conservative Democrats, Liberal Republicans and most of all Independents flocked to him. He was different, he had charisma enough for all the candidates combined. He was a Vietnam war hero who had been a prisoner of war for 5 and one half years and had resisted torture to uphold the first in- first out policy so that everyone before him should be released first and he refused to take advantage of his familyís position to get him out early. Thatís strength. Thatís a manís man. Thatís a better man than Iíll ever be. (gender not withstanding)
I loved him. The nation loved him, so imagine my Ross Perot flashbacks when he quit, with unfinished primaries amidst rumors that heíd fathered a bi-racial baby which turns out to be his current adopted daughter also that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, that he was a "Manchurian Candidate" traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days. There may have been more but nothing was published and this from a man who survived the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s and torture at the hands of the enemy. He quit too early and with too little reason in my book. I know he lost a number of primaries after S. Carolina but they were very close. I still had hope and feel he should have stayed until the end so we at least had chance to send a message. He had Bush very scared, enough to change his image and to pander for support. It was a dirty campaign.
Anyhow, he broke my heart and I have put him on my Ross Perot list despite his heroism. Something made it too hot in the kitchen for him and to add insult to injury he threw his support behind Bush as he made his exit. I donít trust him anymore.
Only in deference to his past (considerable) accomplishments would I vote for him, after and only, if I end up hating every other choice for presidential candidate.
Is this an irrational, emotional decision? Maybe, probably, but I smell smoke and Iím looking for the fire. What would make a man like this turn tail and run? He had the sense not to return in 2004 but here he is in 2008 looking for a fresh start hoping for short memories and I think he needs to prove his credibility somehow besides having every news article I see on him declare ďMcCain, not a quitterĒ because he was to me.