Video via Reader ridewind:
...which I'm linking to and not promoting because it's a lead-up to a post that I'd like for you to read from Dizzying Intellect.Dizzying Intellect is riffing on Quin Hillyer's post ("McCain's Best Argument"), which is a self-described "intellectual exercise," not an endorsement - which is to say, it's an endorsement, but it sticks in Quin's craw to call it one. Here's his core argument:
There is something special about this country. The United States is exceptional. We are blessed by the good Lord, and in turn we have done more, far more, than any other people to spread freedom across the globe, and prosperity across the globe, and human rights across this great good Earth. We are a particularly good people -- and John McCain understands all this and believes it with every fiber of his being, down to his very marrow, in a way that is deeply spiritual in nature. There is nothing fake about McCain's belief in American Exceptionalism. His belief in this is as genuine, and as deeply felt, as is a son's love for his father. He will defend this country, fight for this country, with every last breath in his body.
Dizzying Intellect responds to this thus:
We take the sheer amazingness of this country for granted. Our reliable electricity, and our two-car households, and our great doctors. To say nothing of our ability to speak our minds and rally loudly for the politician we like, and against the one we don't, without fear of reprisal. And believe in whatever god we prefer, or none at all. And rely on our capable, caring local police forces, but protect ourselves from bad guys if they don't arrive in time.
It's sappy and unpopular to be a proud American. I know that, and in a way, I can understand it. It's old-fashioned and dusty, and something our grandparents would do. And I have to tell you, Russia was a really interesting place when I lived there. It was going through the biggest changes in nearly a century, and it was exciting. I still have soviet souvenirs that kids today would kill for. London was beautiful and smart and cultural, and crammed with Indian food, and my flat was gorgeous. But the most important thing I learned and experienced, in the years that I lived overseas, was how great I had it at home.
I wish I could hand that knowledge on a silver platter to every screaming demonstrator who hates this country, no strings attached. Free lesson with no need to suffer for it.
The fact that John McCain has that knowledge? Loves this country even more than I do? That makes it pretty easy to vote for him, actually, despite my issues with some of his policies.
As both authors note, there are plenty of other reasons to vote for John McCain - not least of which is the war, which he happened to get right - but this comes to the core of the appeal of the man. When you've been following the commentary and speeches and debates and off-the-cuff moments of a political campaign for a while, you get a feel for what motivates and humanizes the people in it. Senator McCain is never happier than when he's talking about how wonderful this country is. Senator McCain is precisely that sort of hokey, quote-unquote "archaic" throwback who is unapologetic about his patriotism. Senator McCain is not a man who, when he says "I love my country," you automatically start waiting for the "...but." These are all true things about him, and they speak about his fitness to run the country in a way that dwarfs to insignificance Quin's, DI's, and my disagreements with him on various policy issues. So I am not asking you to go out and vote for John McCain on Tuesday. You're all adults; you understand how this political system operates, and you know the score and the stakes.
I am asking you to vote for John McCain on Tuesday with a song in your heart - for at seventh and last, you will be voting for the better man.
PS: And if you're muttering "lesser of two evils," consider: if he was smart enough to pick her for VP, he's smart enough to listen to her, too.
PPS: Actually, watch it: