No he can’t (think)
February 12, 2008 2 Comments
It’s dawning on me that I’m going to have to start paying a bit more attention to John McCain, given that he’s almost certainly going to get my vote for the Presidency in November (despite the fact that I find him creepy and in some ways kinda despise him).
It seems almost universally agreed that the key to understanding and unraveling the creepy fiery fireplug that is John McCain has got something or another to do with “honor”. The only question is what does “honor” mean to John McCain, or as an explanation for John McCain. This old piece seems to come pretty close to the truth of the matter, and yet it leaves so many things unexplained. Like, how can a man who claims to be so obsessed with “honor” not see that in nurturing his “maverick” (i.e. traitorous) role within his political party, he was behaving in a way that was the opposite of honorable? Does he, in fact, think that “honor” is merely about endlessly insisting how honorable he is?
Today I caught this on Youtube:
Which, of course, I knew was coming. I didn’t get the whole way through but the one McCain quote/incident that really struck me, which I had forgotten about, was the bizarre one that went like this:
Now, my friends, I’ll offer anybody here $50 an hour if you’ll go pick lettuce in Yuma this season and pick for the whole season. So — OK? Sign up. OK.
You sign up. You sign up, and you’ll be there for the whole season, the whole season. OK? Not just one day. Because you can’t do it, my friend.
This, of course, embodies a truly idiotic economic argument. It is, quite simply, the argument of an economic illiterate.
So that’s when it hit me, why McCain seems like such a paradox to me. I’d been missing a key factor in the McCain conundrum. Yes he is honorable, but he is also downright stupid. The man is a dummy. This is the only thing that makes sense. On issues like this, he falls for some dumb-ass argument or another, probably that some trusted friend has told him (honor is all about trusting in friends), and then sticks with it against all logic and reason. And this explains his bitterness and vehemence too: after all, if you argue against McCain’s dumb-ass lettuce-Yuma argument, that’s like you’re dissing McCain’s friend Joe Bloe (or whoever told him the argument), and DAMMIT, Joe Bloe is a veteran and an honorable man, &c.! So McCain ain’t having that.
It is in that sense that McCain is “honorable”. And indeed, there’s something to be said for that sort of personal loyalty. In fact, by figuring out that John McCain is stupid, I’ve actually increased my estimation of him a notch or so. But maybe that’s just me, because that’s the weird way I think.
Okay, there’s no “maybes” about it. It’s just me.