Friday, October 24, 2008

Discounting McCain's military experience

Searching for a response to an electric convention, pro-Obama bloggers and editorial writers are discounting McCain's military experiences: "how do McCain's sufferings in a tiny, squalid cell 40 years ago logically translate into presidential aptitude in the 21st century? Cast him a statue or slap his name on a ship, and let's turn the damned page," writes Camille Paglia of Salon.

If you do not believe John McCain would make a good president, I can understand why you discount his military credentials. His greatest strength bugs you the most and Obama has no answer for it.

While I respect but disagree with opinions discounting McCain's military experience pas preparing him to lead our nation, I think those who do are looking through the wrong prism.

In a way, McCain's experiences in the Hanoi Hilton stopped being military service and became human suffering the first day he was shackled. While this may not specifically help him in hand-picking the next RNC chair, aren't we all the sum of our experiences? Someone who can not only survive his torture, but doing it willingly can not be intimidated easily. There are times the president must have nuts of steel.

If anything, I'm glad McCain has softened. I'm glad he's been dealing with a kinder gentler place and come to terms with his experience. To me, McCain's legacy is not what he endured in 'Nam, but how he managed to avoided complete insanity.

The fact that the GOP touts his war experience does seem patronizing, but after all, they were trying to make viewers patrons of a McCain presidency.

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