Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Brave, brave John McCain

Whiskey Fire reminds us that John McCain called his wife a cunt in front of reporters, at a time when her drug problems were at their worst.

At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a
little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I
don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt."
That is an extremely ugly word to use to one's wife. People just don't do that in public unless there's a lot going on under the surface. What triggered McCain's famous temper, making him lose control and lash out at his wife in front of reporters taking down every word?

Obviously, Mrs. McCain touched on a sore spot, and mistakenly thought she could tease her husband about it. Hair is a sign of youth and virility, for both men and women. Men can be very touchy about losing their hair, because it's an indication of aging and loss of virility. And Cindy McCain did it in public, making him lose face in front of the people he was jollying along to give him good campaign coverage. It's understandable he'd be embarrassed. It's not understandable that he'd call his wife a cunt. That shows he utterly lost control of his emotions, and reacted out of all proportion to the words. Which shows that McCain cannot tolerate challenges to his manhood.

Maybe this seems like a small matter, but McCain shows this tendency on much more important matters also. His bravado regarding Iran is also out of proportion to the threat they present. He's admitted he doesn't know much about the Middle East, and with his words he reveals that he overreacts to perceived threats to his manhood, I mean his country.

It's no wonder. He was broken by the Vietnamese and forced to make treasonous broadcasts for them. He was imprisoned and tortured, spending two years in solitary confinement, finally emerging from his experience with crippling injuries.

When a man has been figuratively emasculated by a life experience, he can either come to terms with it or deny it. McCain admits he was broken, but his hair-trigger temper and eagerness for more military victories show that he never healed properly. He divorced his wife, who had become crippled and disfigured while he was away, married Cindy, and went into politics. When Cindy had problems, he ignored them, according to one of Cindy's employees.

During my short tenure at AVMT I have been surrounded by what on the surface
appears to be the ultimate all-American family. In reality, I am working for
a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences.
Even worse, McCain tried to pull strings to have the whistle-blowing employee arrested for extortion, despite the fact that he had gone to the DEA before he tried to settle a wrongful termination case with Mrs. McCain.

McCain is a third generation military man, and I doubt you will find anyone more authoritarian than people like him. Obeying orders and sacrificing one's self are honorable and almost sacred goals to them. So is sacrificing others. Authoritarians find it easy to carry out even the most heinous actions "for your own good." All they need is permission from a greater authority, or belief in their own authority. In his speeches McCain advocated for complete militarization of the country to attain its military objectives. He also believes in American exceptionalism, and that we are inherently moral. It seems that Vietnam taught him a permanent lesson--fight with everything you've got, and annihilated the enemy. It's something we like to see in our combat pilots. But do we want that in a politician who has power over nuclear weapons, at a time when Bush has brought us to the brink of chaos?

Can we afford McCain's bravery?

UPDATE: Authoritarianism is handed down from generation to generation. From a New York Times article:

Indeed, John McCain’s own parents were dressing for a dinner party in
when they learned he had been shot down. They went anyway, never telling
other guests. Later, Admiral McCain ordered air strikes on Hanoi, where he
his son was imprisoned.

McCain's sons are in the military also, and one was in Iraq. (The other two are too old and too young.) They are all probably very brave soldiers also. The purpose of a soldier is to fight a war. That is not the purpose of the government.


Anonymous said...

"Obeying orders and sacrificing one's self are honorable and almost sacred goals to them. So is sacrificing others."

True, so true.

But the same holds true for advocates of universal health care and other socialist schemes. Sacrifice is indeed what unites the liberals and conservatives, they just differ on who is to be sacrificed and for what end.

Susan of Texas said...

What would be sacrificed?