Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Happened to 'Country First'?

My friend "J" is confused about what's transpired in the presidential election over the last month. She's not the only one:
To put it mildly, I've watched the McCain campaign with growing concern. I watched as he was nominated almost by default and got a lukewarm reception by everyone but Cindy. The Republicans were going to lose anyway, so who cared? I watched with half an eye as he bumbled his way along the campaign trail, but I mostly watched the other side's exciting primary battles culminating in the electrifying Obama speech in Denver.

When the main players were in place, the match was on, but I didnt really expect too much electricity. Silly me. I didnt want 'four more years' so my mind was pretty much made up, and figured there were enough sane people who could see the obvious damage of the Bush administration and felt the way I did. It was a no-brainer after all. When I watched parts of the Republican Convention, I didnt expect too much....

Then I watched as McCain cynically selected Palin to be 'one step away' to temporarily boost interest in his sagging candidacy. The next couple weeks I watched in horror as her interesting but shallow persona caught on and made the political choice I thought obvious into something that was too close to call - or worse. What the heck had just happened?

What happened to 'country first'? I've watched McCain/Palin ignore issues, make mistakes, continually lie, and hide from the press. They are making a mockery out of the selection process for the highest offices in the land. I've watched this past week as daily it's became increasingly clear that McCain/Palin simply are not fit in any significant way to lead the country in such a perilous time.

I dont blame McCain for not putting country first. When things get tough, he's always put himself first. From insisting on being a pilot when he kept crashing planes, to dumping his first wife for a rich, pretty young thing. And of course when he was a POW he survived by doing whatever he had to do. He is merely doing that again.

I dont blame Palin either. She is merely a clueless, opportunistic pawn.

So who do I blame for not putting country first? The Republicans. Not only millions of Republican voters who cant see though this sham, but moreso higher level Republicans in the know who obviously realize McCain/Palin are not fit for the job. We see a handful of columnists being critical, and an occasional politician or talking head, but far too few of the many others who must know and who must also be as afraid as I am.

Instead of quietly whispering that McCain doesnt have 'the right temperment', or simply not helping the campaign much, why are they not stepping to the front of the line to shout what they really must also believe? Why are they not putting country first? Is winning more important than country?

Since Republicans have wrapped themselves deep in the folds of 'patriotism', why are they more faithful to being a Republican than being an American?
Wish I could answer these very valid questions, but I can't -- I keep asking them myself.

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