John McCain's legacy

Little can be said that can add to John McCain’s honorable legacy serving our great country. As Navy pilot fighting far from home as his father and grandfather did before him, as a casualty in a shipboard fire, as prisoner of war to a merciless and God-less regime in unspeakable conditions, and as a longtime maverick legislator in the world’s greatest democracy, John McCain has served nobly and with distinction.

However, Mr. McCain’s day has passed, his noble acts are behind him. This great American servant has given himself over to the ignoble and shameful ways to which he was himself made victim in the 2000 campaign. Mr. McCain has decided, apparently, that having not beaten them that he must join them for his last chance at the office for which he must have come to lust. For only lust can explain how a principled man can give up his principles and practice the despicable politics of smear and smoke. The demagoguery of Rove, GW Bush, Ralph Reed, Lee Atwater, GHW Bush, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh, and the countless others, that demagoguery of Joe McCarthy and Father Coughlin has become John McCain’s. The Republican party, once a standard for truth and freedom, the party of Lincoln, has become the party that panders to hate and fear for the sake of power, and power for its own sake. For no party has ever flip-flopped so breathtakingly from its rhetoric to its policies. Rhetoric that railed against big government, mountainous deficits, nation-building, international adventurism, and government intrusion into everyday life has become policy that gives the lie to all the Republican campaign slogans of the last 30 years.

This is the party of John McCain, this is what John McCain has become. We could mourn the death of his virtue, were he less apparently proud of his hand in its demise. Nobility cast aside can no longer be counted in the measure of that man’s character.

Instead of mourning the demise of one man’s soul, we can rejoice in the morning in America that is the promise of Senator Barack Obama. This election year could be an inspirational story of the resurrection of American ideals, of American strength, of American respect and of the American dream for millions here at home and for the the masses around the world who want to believe in us.

We have the choice — fear and hate, or the dream of the America that we can be and which was the dream of previous generations.

Please, please, take your hand off the lever that would cast your vote for fear, for hate, for Mr. McCain and for more of the same that we have had since Mr. Bush was so dubiously elected. Place it instead firmly, confidently and joyfully on the the lever that can make Barak Obama our next president and make us into America again. Do your bit in a cause that is greater than ourselves. This is a rare and passing opportunity that may not see us soon again.

David A Johnston