ELECTION COUNTDOWN 2008
WHO STOLE THE REAL
"Believe me, I've never been taken away by
extraterrestrials and duplicated. That's pure
popycock! And I'm certainly not an actor
who just looks like McCain."
How could the 2000 McCain be so transformed?
By RON MILLER
When Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) ran for the U.S. presidency in 2000, he was a man a life-long Democrat like me could have accepted as my president, even though he was a Republican, because he was a man of principle who didn't espouse all the nutty right-wing stuff so many "mainstream" Republicans were buying into back then.
He made me think of the sort of Republicans I admired and respected in my younger days--men like New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, Sen. Jacob Javits or Rep. Pete McCloskey from my home territory in California. They were moderate men who didn't shudder all over at the mention of any liberal ideas. They even had a few ideas of their own that fell into the liberal category.
When I first voted in 1960, the right wingers were not yet ruling the GOP and were mostly consigned to the "Taft wing" of the party. The Democratic party still was burdened with the racist Southern lawmakers who called themselves "Dixiecrats" because the majority hadn't yet drifted over to the GOP, where they ultimately were greeted with open arms. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the most recent GOP president, had done a pretty decent job and Richard Nixon, the head of the GOP ticket in 1960, was only considererd sinister and not yet a total 100 percent crook. The only time I ever saw Fundamentalist Christians back then was when the "Holy Rollers" came to town to baptize people in the river or my grandmother called me in to watch Oral Roberts dissolve a goiter by preaching it to death on TV. As far as I can remember, they had nothing to do with national politics in 1960.
McCain, in 2000, still struck me as a man of honor. He looked 100 times smarter than his main opponent, George W. Bush, but then I suppose Walt Disney's Goofy would have looked even smarter, too, compared to Bush.
McCain was a regular on late night talk shows because he didn't preach the party line, had nice things to say about Democrats upon occasion, was witty and had a great sense of humor, even about himself. But then George Bush beat him decisively in too many primaries and McCain gave up the chase for the White House. And that pleased a lot of Republicans because they really didn't want him running the show.
So, eight years have passed and McCain is now the standard bearer for the Republican party. He'll be annointed by his party at this week's GOP convention in St. Paul unless Hurricane Gustav prompts a postponement. Has the Republican party changed in such a fundamental way that McCain now fits its idea of what their leader ought to be? Or is there some other answer?
Well, sure, there's another answer: The real John McCain has been kidnapped by extraterrestrials and the guy taking his place is a robot with human features carefully shaped to resemble McCain. Haven't you noticed the Secret Service is now guarding him--and keeping him from passing in front of any metal detectors?
That has to be the solution because I find it hard to believe that the John McCain so many of us admired--including a slew of his Democratic colleagues--could possibly be saying the things he's saying now.
This John McCain has to be an impostor or else he has compromised all his ideals and sold out to Big Oil, the religious right and the corporations and lobbyists he used to campaign against so openly as a "reformer" in Congress.
If this McCain isn't a robot being directed by aliens, I can't believe he just selected a gnn-loving woman from Alaska as his running mate--somebody who wants creationism--all right, call it "intelligent design" if you have to--given equal weight in school text books. A man who was a moderate on gun control is now seeking the help of the National Rifle Assn. for his presidential campaign. A man who had moderate views on abortion is now an opponent of women having the right to choose. And he doesn't believe in equal pay for women either?
The man who constantly criticized the Bush administraton's conduct of the war in Iraq is now the foremost spokesman for us staying the course there.
McCain is either a robot under alien orders or else he is the worst example of a sell-out candidate I've ever seen. I don't want to believe that of McCain. I think we should all watch the skies from now until election day. He'll have to visit the Mother Ship at least a couple of times, won't he? If we can catch him in the act, maybe we can force the Bush administration to negotiate the release of the real John McCain before it's too late. Maybe the spacemen will take Joe Lieberman in exchange for him and everybody will be happy.
©2008 by Ron Miller. This column first posted Sept. 1, 2008.
TO ACCESS RON MILLER'S ARCHIVE OF COLUMNS ON THIS SITE, CLICK HERE: MILLER ARCHIVE
You can comment on this column online. Please address your message to either "The Editors" or Ron Miller. To send an email, click here and don't forget to mention Ron's name: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOME About Us Index To
Talkback Contact Us