McCain Sells His Soul


We can sell our souls—behave counter to our deepest purpose and values—to many things: fame, money, and power. John McCain sold his soul recently to try to win a presidential election.

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Then Obama, goaded by McCain, went to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe. His highly publicized trip showcased his grace, dignity, strategic mind, and the hunger abroad for new American leadership.

The McCain camp suffered a collective nervous breakdown over Obama’s media coverage. McCain stammered and stuttered that Obama was wrong about the surge and didn’t understand what was at stake in Iraq. He attacked the media and demanded credit for himself.

In his outrage McCain made more of his famous gaffes saying Iraq borders Afghanistan. Pakistan, not Iraq, borders Afghanistan. The previous week McCain repeatedly referred to Czechoslovakia, a country that has not existed for 15 years. He misstated the history of the surge and the Anbar Awakening. Is this McCain’s foreign policy expertise?

Over the next two weeks, an envy filled McCain set out to destroy Obama—the only way he thinks he can win. He willfully, intentionally, and with full knowledge of his own dishonesty (as documented by countless fact-checkers):

•Accused Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers in Germany,
•Called Obama a traitor who would lose a war to win an election,
•Put out a slimy Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad filled with racist overtones. McCain’s 96 year old mother called the ad, “kinda stupid.”
•A Charlton Heston ad comparing Obama to God. David Gergen, who has worked with White Houses, both Republican and Democrat said, “…when you see this Charlton Heston ad, ‘The One,’ that’s code for ‘he’s uppity, he ought to stay in his place.’”
•The New York Times editorial page, “Both (ads) were designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women.”

The goal of this character assassination is to raise Obama’s negatives with pivotal voting groups to give McCain the presidency. If McCain cannot win on the issues or on his own charisma, he will destroy Obama to win, just like Bush did to John Kerry.

I’ve watched McCain for many years. I’ve always thought of him as a man at war with himself, a man who struggled to be true to himself in the phony world of Washington politics. I’ve also experienced McCain as an angry and wounded man whose dark side often burst through in temper tantrums and ugly jokes and comments.

The ugly twin of the warrior who struggled to be authentic appears to be winning right now. His ambition to be president and his dark envy of the attention and celebrity of Obama override his better self. The more inauthentic John McCain is, the angrier he will become and the more unappealing he will be to the voters he seeks to manipulate.

For a man in his 70’s, McCain is remarkably immature. He parrots the words of the Karl Rove clones in his campaign. He appears bitter and desperate. What kind of president would such a malleable man be?

Voters need to remember that these kinds of politics brought America two terms of disastrous George Bush. McCain, who once said, “I want the presidency in the best way, not the worst way” needs to get his dark side under control. Our nation’s problems demand a deep dialogue about the issues and the direction of this country. We need better from John McCain than his recent behavior.

(Heuerman, Ph.D. is a consultant, former Secret Service agent, and Star Tribune executive. He lives in Moorhead, MN.,