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The well-tempered McCain brings this paleocon in from the cold

September 5, 2008

I love irony, and it’s what’s made this election season as rich with color as a crisp Vermont autumn.

The liberals and their victim feminism have been absolutely hysterical to watch unravel. Meanwhile, the conservative barefoot-and-pregnant contingent has been churning out exceptional women, immune to victimization, who go about their lives in such capacities as governors and philanthropists while being spectacularly beautiful and blissfully married with terrific kids. The gnashing of teeth in the liberal camp has been high-pitched but somehow causes no interference.

I supported Ron Paul from Day 1 through the end of his Presidential campaign. I hope he will achieve his present goal of bringing others like him into Congress. Meanwhile, we need a President, not only one with a proven record of competence, but one for whom we can vote.

But I couldn’t warm up to voting for McCain. I considered him an equivocator. I didn’t honestly know who he was. One way I assess a person is by who married him. I didn’t know what to make of Cindy.

I have to commend the publicist who assembled Cindy McCain’s convention video. Call me susceptible: it won me over. Hey, if I were easy, I’d sit out the election. It’s easy to hold on to ideals of perfection that keep us from making necessary choices.

John McCain is alive and heroic largely because he has the gift of surprise. And I have been a recipient of that gift. I am surprised. I am wowed. I think he and Cindy are awesome people and they have been very quiet about how awesome they are. She, especially, is not one to toot her own horn. From the field of refugee camps to drift racing, here’s a girl who’s hooked on life and making it better for others.

And, of course, there is the Sarah factor. Back in early spring I saw her name on the “short list.” But I thought, nah, no chance; she’s pregnant with her fifth child. I had the wrong Sarah. The real Sarah is running for vice president and has five kids and a husband whose macho score is off the charts.

The liberals are beside themselves wondering what to make of it all. They’re scurrying to figure out the religion card, shuffling between their own Social Gospel deck and Christianity. They’re asking Sarah Palin, “Doesn’t your religion tell you to go home?” Sarah Palin is my sister in Christ and she will glorify God in whatever position he purposes to place her.

I have been caught in the grip of a shift in my own idea of exceptional people. The McCains and the Palins are the new exceptions. The country has absolutely never seen anything like them. If you think you have, I think you’re stuck in your cynicism. I’m enjoying being wide-eyed for the first time in a very long time.

Authenticity is so new to us that it takes a while to bring it into focus. Legerdemain has displaced reality for so long that we see the image, but we don’t have the ability yet to discern what is really there. I expect the McCains and the Palins to come ever more clearly into view, as their, yes–exceptional–opponents fuzz over into same-old same-old ground noise and static.

I love Presidential elections. I’m secure enough that I don’t mind if you think I’m stupid because I’m a pushover for balloons and kids filling the stage. I love the whole thing. America needs a contest just like this. It’s energizing and it keeps us retooling who we are and how much better we can keep becoming.

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