I thought John McCain gave a fantastic speech last night. He has an extremely compelling and sympathetic personal story. He was tortured as a prisoner of war, and returned not bitter and even more willing to serve his country. These are part of what make him who he is, and he should be commended for those things. The video preceding his speech was very moving, as were his stories about his POW time. But having a great story, a sad story, does not a presidential candidate make.
I think John McCain made a lot of really good points last night, and was inspiring with all his talk of serving a cause greater than one's self, helping others, looking for alternative forms of energy, making real change, etc. I even think he really believes those things himself. He is a smart, experienced politician. I think we can all agree on that. The problem I have is that the majority of his Republican party do not also share the same thoughts that he expressed last night. Serve a cause greater than one self? That's a Democratic tenet!
The problem I have is that his followers, his voters, and those in Congress DO NOT adhere to the ideals he expressed last night. If they did, they'd be Democrats! Republicans are the ones not allowing gays and women equal rights, not helping out their fellow citizens in time of need. The ones who are not thinking about the global economy, that Americans are not the only country on the planet. The ones who act first and think about our international impact later.
I laud McCain for his speech, his ideas. He seems like he really does want to make a difference. I think he already has. His party does not follow all those beliefs though, and that's a problem. Call him a maverick--the term is getting a bit overused, but it's probably true. He does have crossover views--which I think is important. The right wing is just not going to do all those things, as they've shown throughout history that they do not.
I also have a problem with the utter lack of diversity in the audience at the RNC. I think the visual picture screams loud and clear who the party is really representing. A conservative friend of mine agreed and even joked "I know! It's like a Klan meeting." While I appreciate that he also sees the disparity, I'm not sure that joking about Klan meetings is really the way to show your understanding. I think it is just a shame that so many of those who identify as working class seem to think that this is the party for them.
It does seem as though McCain is getting painted as the guy with the good story. The hero. Full of character. These are good things, but I want policy, plans, details, issues. If voters only vote for who has the stronger character, what does that get us?